Related Midwest’s redesign of 400 Lake Shore Drive—a two-tower residential development that would replace the hole left by the abandoned Chicago Spire project—has passed review by the Chicago Zoning Committee. The project will go before the full City Council for a vote today, which it is expected to achieve.
The developer instituted a number of design changes to win over Streeterville residents and Alderman Brendan Reilly (42nd). These included a height chop, exclusion of the hotel component, eliminating the podium and other concessions.
The project was first unveiled in May 2018 and would install two towers, designed by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill’s David M. Childs. The new design maintains the sister towers’ soaring setbacks reminiscent of waterfalls, “Chicago window” bays and the use of terra cotta cladding.
The scaled-back design now calls for a 765-foot, 500-unit South Tower and an 875-foot North Tower containing 600 units. It remained unclear how the programming of these 1,100 units will shake out; Related Midwest is still contemplating what percentage will be rental and how many will be condos.
One massive change was the elimination of the 175-key hotel called for in the original plan. The redesign also eliminates a multi-story podium linking the two towers that, according to area residents, blocked light and views. According to Curt Bailey, Related Midwest president, the project will have no commercial component aside from a small coffee shop or similar use.
Other design amendments address safer and more walkable pedestrian paths, as well as traffic impacts on North Water Street, including measures to eliminate a connection between that thoroughfare and Lake Shore Drive. Residents using the property’s underground, 300-stall parking garage will be able to enter and exit from either street, but other drivers will not have a direct path between the two.
Related Midwest is committing $10 million to the completion of the 3.3-acre DuSable Park, just east of Lake Shore Drive. The new plan will ensure that the park can only be accessed from the Riverwalk, not from a path along Ogden Slip. That park will serve as a staging area for construction of the first tower, after which it will be open to the public.