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Chicago Construction Projects Rolling Forward

Salesforce Tower Chicago

Major construction projects continue to roll forward in Chicago. The city of Chicago just issued a building permit for 1926 West Harrison St., a 306-unit apartment tower near the old Cook County Hospital building in the Illinois Medical District, according to Chicago Cityscape. Focus Construction is the general contractor for the $45M interior and exterior renovation.

The 560-acre slice of the Near West Side has been attracting a lot of interest from investors. The nonprofit Chicago Dwellings Association developed the 18-story property in 1964, and sold it to a private investor in 2019 for $28M.

Other major construction projects were also recently approved. The city granted a building permit last week to the Salesforce Tower, a planned 1.2M SF skyscraper at Wolf Point in River North.     

The activity helps sustain portions of the Chicago region’s economy as business has seized up in many sectors, according to this week’s Beige Book, an economic survey and analysis put out eight times a year by the U.S. Federal Reserve Board.

“Nonresidential construction activity was little changed,” according to the report. “Contacts indicated that, as with residential construction, most projects were continuing.”

Residential real estate activity did decline, largely because shelter-in-place orders throughout the region limit showings, and only sales under contract before the onset of the crisis are being completed.

Those surveyed also said commercial building could see an eventual slowdown.  

“Contacts indicated that only a small share of projects had been delayed, though they expected a large decrease in building when active projects are completed,” the Federal Reserve reported.