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$1B Tribune Tower Redevelopment Would Convert Landmark To Condos, Build Chicago's Second-Tallest Building

Golub & Co. and CIM Group want to build a 1,422-foot skyscraper on a parking lot east of Tribune Tower as part of their redevelopment plans for Tribune Tower.

A rendering by architects Adrian Smith and Gordon Gill of the proposed skyscraper to be built next to Tribune Tower
A rendering by architects Adrian Smith and Gordon Gill of the proposed skyscraper to be built next to Tribune Tower.

The plans were unveiled at a public meeting Monday night at the Sheraton Grand Chicago hotel. The $1B redevelopment of the existing landmark building also calls for converting it into a mix of condominiums and retail.

The yet-unnamed skyscraper, designed by architects Adrian Smith and Gordon Gill, would be Chicago's second-tallest building if approved by the city, 29 feet shorter than Willis Tower. Golub Executive Vice President Lee Golub said the tower would be home to a 200-room hotel, 125 condos, 439 apartments, 11K SF of retail and 430 parking spaces.

The design of the glass and steel structure tapers as it climbs, and Gill said it was designed to complement Tribune Tower's Gothic architecture. It is also designed so it would not compromise the Ogden slip corridor and the building would remain visible from Lake Shore Drive. 

A rendering by Solomon Cordwell Buenz showing its planned renovations to Tribune Tower.
Golub & Co. and CIM Group enlisted SCB to redevelop Tribune Tower into a mix of retail and condominiums.

Golub and CIM enlisted SCB to adapt Tribune Tower's interior into 163 luxury condos. Plans call for 2,700 SF and 3K SF footprints, and Golub said he expects to command $1K/SF, meaning many of the condos would fetch prices exceeding $3M.

SCB associate principal Steve Hubbard unveiled plans to build a four-story addition on top of the WGN Television building, its metal and glass facade intended to complement Tribune Tower's existing features. The 25th floor outdoor space would be repurposed into a tenant amenity space.

The lower floors along Pioneer Court, Michigan Avenue and Illinois Street would be converted into 47.5K SF of retail, and Hubbard said this will attract flagship retailers. The Nathan Hale courtyard along Michigan Avenue would be reconfigured, with a new access ramp to make it accessible. The courtyard would lead into the new retail. The redevelopment would add 200 parking spaces below Michigan Avenue, accessible to tenants only, and improve lighting along lower Michigan Avenue and Illinois Street.

The project is currently zoned for 1.6M SF. Golub will seek a zoning change to bring the site to 2M SF and will pay $14.2M for the additional footprint, plus $12.6M to exit the city's affordable housing requirements. Golub said construction of the tower would commence in late 2019, if it can receive all necessary approvals from the city. Golub said he was not concerned about securing financing for the project and that the site's Michigan Avenue location would attract international investors.

Golub said he expects the repositioning of Tribune Tower to begin on Aug. 1. When asked by Preservation Chicago Executive Director Ward Miller about preserving the building's landmark status beyond its existing boundaries, Golub said the firm is working with the city to do so. Golub and CIM are also enlisting Vinci-Hamp Architects to assist them with landmark preservation.