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Here Is The Design For A Skinny 75-Story Tower In River North

By Emma G. Gallegos in News on Oct 25, 2017 6:31PM

Designs for a River North parking lot to be transformed into a development that will house two skyscrapers were revealed to the public Tuesday. One will be 45 stories and another will be 76 stories tall, which will make it the eighth tallest building in the city and the third tallest in River North.

The project known as One Chicago Square will be across street from Holy Name Cathedral and will take up full block bounded by State, Dearborn, Chicago and Superior, according to the Chicago Tribune.

The parking lot where the development is being proposed (Google Maps)

What's notable about this design is how skinny the taller of the two towers could be. There will be a nine-story base, but the 962-foot part of the taller tower itself will be substantially set back. Jim Letchinger, president of Chicago-based JDL Development, told Crain's Business that he expects to receive pushback over the height of the building from neighbors, but he argues a tall and skinny building is a better option for the neighborhood, which already has a few skyscrapers.

"I would say 'It is tall. Why is tall a bad thing?'" he told Crain's. "We could build it shorter and wider...but building it taller and thinner actually provides more sight lines and view corridors."

The base would connect the two high-rises, and it would house apartments, retail, parking, a grocery story and two-story gym with two pools, Tribune reports.

DNAinfo reports that altogether the project will include 795 apartments, 75 luxury condos, 900 parking spaces (225 for the Cathedral), 45,000 square feet of office space and 200,000 square feet of retail. Altogether the project is expected to cost $740 million.

The project will have 1.5 million square feet, which is 20 percent more that current zoning allows, the Tribune points out. To offset that and encourage a zoning change by the City Council, Letchinger is offering to $12 million to a city fund that encourages development on the South, Southwest and West sides. The project will also contribute $7.7 million to the city's affordable housing fund, and it is expected to generate $8 million in real estate taxes annually, DNA Info reports. 44 affordable housing units are being built nearby to satisfy the city's affordable housing requirement.

To assuage concerns about the traffic this massive development would create, there are plans for ground-floor internal loading docks and a vehicle drop-off area.

DNAinfo reports over 200 people were at last night's meeting about the development. Neighbors who missed it can reach out to 2nd Ward Alderman Brian Hopkins about their concerns.