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Jan. 18, 2013

Construction Begins on 45-Story West Loop Office Tower

By Veronica Grecu, Associate Editor

Chicago’s largest commercial real estate project in five years kicked off on January 15 in a $400 million joint venture between Canada-based Ivanhoé Cambridge—the real estate arm of Quebec pension fund manager Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec, developer Hines of Houston and local business leader Larry Levy. An earlier report on the story by PERE News revealed that the Canadian real estate investment company secured 75 percent of the capital, while Hines covered the remaining $100 million.

The 45-story River Point tower is under development at 444 West Lake Street in the West Loop, Chicago’s financial district, on a parcel owned by Larry Levy. Designed by prominent architectural firm Pickard Chilton, the Class A office tower will include 900,000 square feet of leasable office space ready for delivery in 2016. According to a press release from Ivanhoé Cambridge, the building is pre-certified LEED Gold by the U.S. Green Building Council.

Additionally, the project includes a 1.5-acre public park that will be developed on top of the existing rail infrastructure to encourage pedestrian activity along the Chicago River.

“River Point will be a striking addition to Chicago’s skyline and the first in a new generation of office buildings.  There is significant interest from major corporate tenants,” said C. Kevin Shannahan, CEO of Hines’ Midwest and Southeast regions, at the groundbreaking ceremony.

According to Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s press office, the project will create around 1,000 construction jobs and house 3,400 permanent office jobs.

Two days after groundbreaking, River Point landed an anchor tenant, Crain’s Chicago Business reports. While developer Hine is still on the hunt for tenants, law firm McDermott Will & Emery LLP—the fifth-largest firm in Chicago—signed a letter of intent to lease 225,000 square feet of space in the tower. If the deal is closed, McDermott is expected to relocate its offices at 227 West Monroe St. in 2017, when its current lease expires.

Renderings of River Point via Pickard Chilton Architecture

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