Construction Set to Begin on 400 Lake Shore Drive: A New Milestone for Chicago’s Former Spire Site

Related Midwest unveils construction schedule for the highly anticipated development

After years of anticipation, construction is finally set to commence on 400 Lake Shore Drive, the ambitious project that will transform the former Chicago Spire site. Related Midwest, the developer behind the project, recently revealed the construction schedule during a community meeting. This milestone comes after the approval of the development in the summer of 2020, amidst the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

A Towering Vision: The Design and Features of 400 Lake Shore Drive

The construction of 400 Lake Shore Drive will be spearheaded by LR Contracting and BOWA Construction, with work beginning on the northern tower. Designed by renowned architecture firm Skidmore, Owings and Merrill, the 72-story skyscraper will soar to a height of 858 feet. Its facade will feature a stunning combination of glass and aluminum window walls adorned with decorative metal accent panels. The development will offer 635 rental apartments, providing breathtaking views of downtown Chicago and Lake Michigan. Additionally, the building will provide 300 underground parking spaces for its residents.

A Park for the Community: DuSable Park and Other Amenities

As part of the initial phase, the construction of DuSable Park will commence even before the tower reaches full occupancy. However, this is contingent upon the Chicago Park District delivering the necessary construction documents within 16 months of the tower’s caisson permit issuance. Related Midwest is committed to completing the park to obtain the final Certificate of Occupancy for Tower One. The development will also include a riverwalk along the southern edge of the site, as well as a new pedestrian lane connecting the riverwalk to the Ogden Slip.

Navigating Construction Logistics: Traffic and Timeline

During the construction process, the majority of truck traffic will utilize the ramps leading from the site to Intermediate Lake Shore Drive. E. North Water St will only be used in exceptional cases for oversize load deliveries, such as caisson mobilization, tower crane installation, and hoist installation.

In just 45 days, the construction team will begin site clearing and mobilization, followed by below-grade work, including caissons, sheeting, and the cofferdam. This below-grade work is expected to commence in Q1 of 2024 and continue until Q2 2025. Once the underground work is completed, the focus will shift to vertical construction, encompassing concrete pours, the building enclosure, and interior finishes. Above-grade work is scheduled to commence in Q1 2025 and conclude in Q2 2027. The final stages of the project, including landscaping and the overall completion of the tower, are projected for Q3 2027.

Phased Development: The Future of 400 Lake Shore Drive

With the project approved for a total of 1,100 units, Related Midwest plans to construct the 635 units within the northern tower first. After leasing up the building, the developer will then proceed with the construction of the remaining units slated for the southern tower. The decision to develop either condominiums or rentals for the second phase will be based on market conditions at that time.

The commencement of construction on 400 Lake Shore Drive marks a significant milestone for Chicago’s former Spire site. As Related Midwest unveils the construction schedule, anticipation grows for the transformation of this prime location into a vibrant community. With its striking design, unparalleled views, and the promise of a new park and amenities, 400 Lake Shore Drive is poised to become a landmark development in the heart of the city. As the project progresses, Chicagoans eagerly await the realization of this visionary vision, which will undoubtedly shape the city’s skyline and enhance its livability for years to come.