Related Breaks Ground on Downtown Chicago Tower

A state agency issued upward of $500 million in bonds for this project.

Rendering of 400 Lake Shore Drive, Chicago.
Once completed, the first phase (pictured on the right) will feature a glass and aluminum window wall with a decorative accent panel. Rendering by SOM, courtesy of Related Midwest

Related Midwest has broken ground on 400 Lake Shore’s first phase, a 635-unit, 72-story luxury community in Chicago. Upon its expected completion in 2027, the highrise will be the 13th tallest building in Chicago. Phase two will include another residential tower.

The Illinois Housing Development Authority, with Bank of New York Mellon as trustee, issued $501.3 million in bonds, Yardi Matrix data shows. Other sources of financing include PNC Real Estate, Wells Fargo and Bank of America.

Stantec was the project’s architect of record, with interiors designed by MAWD. Skidmore, Owings & Merrill’s Chicago office and David Childs, the architect behind One World Trade Center, also joined in the design efforts. Related’s subsidiary, LR Contracting Company, will join BOWA Construction in overseeing the project’s assembly.

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To rise 858 feet, the tower will encompass studio and one- to three-bedroom floorplans totaling more than 1 million gross square feet. Out of the 635 units, 20 percent—127 units—will be designated as affordable. Related will also debut 3.3-acre DuSable Park as part of phase one’s development efforts. Proximate to the project, the park will contribute to 400 Lake Shore’s publicly available space and will include a plaza, a two-story podium and public art.

The development site is in downtown Chicago at 400 N. Lake Shore Drive, bordering the confluence of Lake Michigan and the Chicago River. Multiple restaurants, retail outlets and transit stops are within walking distance.

Big shoes to fill

In 2014, Related acquired the Fordham Spire’s development site—now the site of 400 Lake Shore—through bankruptcy court. The unfinished Fordham Co. project was meant to rise 150 floors, but was canceled due to lack of funds, leaving behind a 70-foot-deep cofferdam.

Initial site work began in January and culminated in March with Related setting up some 622,000 pounds of reinforced steel and planning to fill up the cofferdam with more than 2,300 cubic yards of concrete, according to Urbanize Chicago. The entire hole is slated to be filled by August.

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