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Related Midwest Unveils Its $1B, Two-Tower Plan For The Chicago Spire Site

A rendering of Related Midwest's plans at 400 North Lake Shore Drive

For 11 years a hole in the ground at the former Chicago Spire site has stood as the most vivid reminder of the pre-2008 real estate cycle's overreach. The Spire site's owner, Related Midwest, unveiled its $1B plans for the 2-acre tract at a public meeting Tuesday night.

Related Midwest wants to build two skyscrapers on the site, dubbed 400 Lake Shore Drive. The smaller building on the site's north end would rise 800 feet and consist of 550 luxury apartments. The south building would rise 1,100 feet and house 300 luxury condominiums and a 175-room hotel. The towers would be built 450 feet apart, on top of four levels of parking and an outdoor amenities podium.

Both towers, designed by Skidmore Owings & Merrill Chairman Emeritus and One World Trade Center architect David Childs, features glass and terra cotta facades with multiple terraces as the structures rise. Related Midwest President Curt Bailey said Childs' designs are not as futuristic as Santiago Calatrava's original designs for the Spire, but would still push the boundaries of what architecture means to Chicago.

Related Midwest's plans for 400 Lake Shore Drive include an extension of the riverwalk extending underneath the Lake Shore Drive bridge and connecting pedestrians to the lakefront and a rehabbed DuSable Park.

Related Midwest's plans for 400 Lake Shore Drive include significant public benefits. The project would add nearly 5 acres of public green space. The linchpin of this is a completion of DuSable Park. Situated on a 3.3-acre peninsula, the site has undergone extensive remediation, but still needs more for the Chicago Park District to reposition it as parkland.

Related Midwest is donating $10M to the Park District toward remediation efforts, and will work with the Park District, city officials and Alderman Brendan Reilly (42nd) to complete the work.

Other plans include an extension of the riverwalk, called DuSable Founders Way, connecting pedestrians from Michigan Avenue to the lakefront. This would pass by the 400 Lake Shore Drive site and underneath the Lake Shore Drive bridge.

Related Midwest estimates the total cost for 400 Lake Shore Drive at $1B, with a four-and-a-half year construction timetable. Related seized the site in bankruptcy court in 2014, and will use some of the Spire's structural underground elements for the project.