Lendlease, Magellan Top Off Lakefront Towers in Chicago

Located adjacent to a new park, Cirrus and Cascade are two of three high-rises planned for a prominent parcel in the Lakeshore East neighborhood.
Cascade. Image courtesy of Lendlease and Magellan Development Group

Topping off has taken place at Cirrus and Cascade, two new residential towers by a joint venture between Lendlease and Magellan Development Group that represent one of the final phases in downtown Chicago’s Lakeshore East neighborhood.

Situated at 211 N. Harbor Drive, Cirrus is a 47-story, 350-unit luxury condominium tower. Located at 455 E. Waterside Drive, Cascade is a 37-story, 503-unit luxury apartment tower. Designed by bKL Architecture, Cirrus and Cascade are two of three towers planned for this prominent parcel, situated at the confluence of the Chicago River and Lake Michigan.

Cirrus will feature one-, two-, three- and four-bedroom condominiums ranging from 650 to more than 3,000 square feet in size, and from the mid-$400,000s to more than $4 million in price. All buyers at Cirrus will have access to 48,000 square feet of exclusive amenities. The condominium tower’s first residences are slated for delivery this autumn.

Cascade will offer studio, one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments. Features and finishes include six-inch-wide plank flooring, nine-foot-high ceilings and European cabinets. A suite of amenities will be provided on the tower’s first and 32nd floors. This spring will usher in pre-leasing, with initial move-ins expected in the summer months.

Park connection

Cirrus and Cascade are connected to the lakefront and Chicago Riverwalk by Cascade Park, a 0.8-acre landscaped expanse of greenery designed by landscape architect Claude Cormier + Associates, which is opening ahead of schedule this summer. The towers will also be connected by a podium overlooking Cascade Park. The podium houses amenities that include a fitness center with adjacent yoga/spin studio and HIIT training area.

“It was the right time to develop the four acres at the corner of the lake and river,” Ted Weldon, executive general manager of development for the Chicago office of Lendlease, told Multi-Housing News. “With the (Lakeshore East) neighborhood established, we are completing the development with this entrance to Chicago from the water.” 

Serving neighboring communities as well as the two towers, Cascade Park will forge a link to the lakefront and Chicago Riverwalk via its terraced design sloping from North Harbor Drive to Lower Lake Shore Drive. In addition, it will include a new bike and walking path connecting Lakeshore East Park at the neighborhood’s center to the Lakefront Trail. Four months ago, Lendlease recapitalized communities in Chicago and Boston.

Design changes

The development’s original plan dated to 1998, and included much more parking than was deemed necessary two decades later. Reduced parking turned out to be just one change.

“We really spent a lot of time with bKL and Claude Cormier + Associates, and went from a four-building to a three-building plan,” Weldon said. “That would also allow us to pace the development because you can’t build all three buildings at once. We developed . . . this triangular plan to have the building Cascade look right between the two other buildings and gain spectacular views, with peeks of the river, Millennium Park and the lake.”