Curbed Chicago | September 06, 2017
By Jay Koziarz
A long-rumored plan to redevelop seven acres of Chicago Tribune-owned riverfront land moved closer to becoming a reality as developers have officially filed their zoning paperwork with the City of Chicago. According to the documents, a joint venture comprising of Tribune Media and Riverside Investment & Development envisions four new towers at 700 W. Chicago Avenue, just south of Goose Island. As with other recent projects from Riverside, Chicago architecture firm Goettsch Partners will take the lead with design duties.
Representing a total investment of $600 million, the phased redevelopment of 700 W. Chicago into a so-called “Connected Campus” would start with the construction of the easternmost building dubbed Office Tower 1. Expected to rise no higher than 220 feet, phase one will feature approximately 435,000 square feet of loft-style offices with outdoor terraces facing Chicago’s skyline. Provided city approvals, demolition, and construction go ahead as planned, this first building could be delivered to tenants as early as mid 2019.
Future phases of the project call for two more office towers as well as a residential high-rise with around 300 dwelling units. The four buildings would be tied together via a central plaza featuring vehicular drop-off areas and a smaller plaza reserved for food truck parking. Roughly 4.5 acres of the project would consist of publicly accessible open space and a riverwalk with boat launches including a water taxi stop.
The site at 700 W. Chicago is not to be confused with the much larger 30-acre Tribune parcel to the immediate south. Though a prime candidate for future mixed-use redevelopment in its own right, the current home of the 850,000-square-foot Freedom Center printing facility has yet to change hands nor has the Tribune publicly announced a redevelopment partner.