Chicago with several new supertall building proposals

In a city known for its architecture, several proposals for new skyscrapers stand out:

Not only is Helmut Jahn the architect behind a new tower planned for 1000 S. Michigan Avenue in the South Loop, but this new building is expected to stand at a whopping 86 stories — a height that would make this one of the tallest buildings in Chicago. Of course, the news comes literally just hours after a 76-story tower proposal designed by architect Rafael Viñoly made its public debut. According to drawings uncovered by the development watchers at Skyscraper Page, the tower would stand at a height of 1030′, which would make it the fifth tallest tower in Chicago, or sixth if the 93-story Wanda Vista is completed before it. The tower would stand two hundred feet over the 76-story Viñoly-designed tower for 113 E. Roosevelt Road and would consist of 506 residential units, 598 parking spaces and retail offerings.

Several thoughts regarding these plans:

  1. Big cities like skyscrapers for the image they project and the commercial and residential space they can provide in a small footprint. Chicago has always liked tall buildings – this is a place that may be near having three high observation decks – and the quest to add more continues.
  2. Who exactly can buy or lease all the new space? Chicago is an attractive city but given its population plateau/decline, these are probably more evidence for an ongoing divided housing market where wealthier residents can afford such things but the majority couldn’t dream of such buildings.
  3. With the recent anniversary of 9/11, I remember some of the predictions that there wouldn’t be as much interest in supertall buildings after the events of that day. This does not seem to be much of an issue today.

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