A prime location along DuSable Lake Shore Drive was set to become home to the world’s second-tallest building 16 years ago, but after more than a decade of silence, construction is beginning on a different project at the site.
The location at 400 North DuSable Lake Shore Drive Drive was set to become home to The Spire, a building standing 2,000 feet tall near the area where Lake Michigan and the Chicago River meet.
Construction started in 2007, but stopped in 2008 after the financial crisis. Instead, it became a massive hole for the past 17 years.
“It’s an eyesore,” said Streeterville resident Randy Krider. “I’ve lived here six years and I’ve seen nothing.”
That changed in a big way on Thursday.
The property, which is the last waterfront site in Chicago, will become two residential towers. Related Midwest are the developers of the site. A spokesperson tells NBC 5 more than 250 truckloads dropped off more than 9 million pounds of concrete to the property Thursday to fill the hole and lay the base mat for the first tower. The process took 12 hours.
Related Midwest partnered with Skidmore, Owings & Merrill to head the design and structure of the buildings.
“It’s been a long design process, and I think a terrific addition to the skyline of the city,” said Architect Partner Scott Duncan. “There are a lot of improvements to the ground plane around, [and] finally the continuation of the Riverwalk all the way out to the lake, which will mean there will be a lot more people down there.”
Duncan says the design is meant to mimic a gateway to the city, with each tower facing away from one another.
“It’s positioned in a way to maximize views of the lake and the city,” he explained.
Related Midwest says the construction is scheduled to be complete by the spring of 2027. They anticipate below grade construction, including the underground parking garage, to continue through Nov. 2024. Vertical construction of the building is slated to begin in late 2024. Construction on the vertical structure is scheduled to top out in Spring 2026.
Some Streeterville residents are excited to see what comes of the prime piece of Chicago real estate.
“That’s going to make this area a little nicer,” said resident Sue Reitz. “The other side of the river walk is just really fun and exciting, this side is a little quieter.”
Others don’t want the towers to obstruct the views of other nearby buildings.
“Frankly I’d rather have it be an eye-sore than have these two huge buildings come up that block a lot of view,” Krider said.
The taller of the two towers will be 72 stories high, according to Related Midwest. It is currently the tallest tower under construction in the city.
The developers are active in 13 neighborhoods across the city, and are currently developing “The 78,” which has come under the microscope as a rumored potential new home of the Chicago White Sox.