Renovation Plans for the Chicago Main Post Office Building Call for the Tallest U.S. Tower

By Veronica Grecu, Associate Editor Bill Davies, a British developer who owns the currently vacant Chicago Main Post Office Building, has announced his plans to renovate the building and the surrounding area to transform the site into an “urban mecca” that [...]

Bill Davies, a British developer who owns the currently vacant Chicago Main Post Office Building, has announced his plans to renovate the building and the surrounding area to transform the site into an “urban mecca” that includes residences, offices and hotel towers. The plan also calls for a 2,000-foot skyscraper that, once completed, would become the tallest building in the country. As reported by the Chicago Tribune, the three-phase project will take 10years to complete.

The 2.5 million-square-foot, nine-story building at 433 W. Van Buren St. was designed in 1921 by Graham, Anderson, Probst & White and completed in 1932. It was known as the largest post office in the world until 1995, when it remained vacant as the post office operations moved to a new facility. In 2009, Davies purchased the property for $24.8 million. The $3.5 billion redevelopment plan will result in 6.2 million square feet of leisure, retail and entertainment space, 4.1 million square feet of hotels, 2 million square feet of office space and 3.8 million square feet of residential space. Reportedly, each phase of the development will take around three years to complete. During the first phase, the building’s interior will be converted into shops and hotel rooms. The second phase will include a 60-story hotel on the current site of the Holiday Inn and adjacent parking space; the plan also calls for a 120-story skyscraper that will be built at the site of the Sugar House and will include office, hotel and residential space.  The vacant site along the Chicago River will be redeveloped in the third phase; the facility will house 10 floors of retail space with parking space for 12,000 cars.

According to the Chicago Tribune, the 120-story tower will be 500 feet taller than the 1,776-foot-tall Willis Tower, which is currently the tallest building in North America.