Sent back to the drawing table by resident feedback, the developers behind a new expansion in Chicago’s Lakeshore East development offered an updated vision at a community meeting last night. The new scheme keeps the original building heights unchanged, but excises a planned hotel in lieu of additional residential units. Other modifications address security, landscaping and sight lines.
The proposal by Lendlease Development, in partnership with Magellan Development Group, calls for three towers at the key juncture of Lake Michigan and the Chicago River. The buildings are known by the empty lots— I, J and KL—that they would inhabit within the 28-acre master-planned development.
“The revised proposal for Buildings I, J and KL comes after more than a year of thoughtful dialogue with Ald. Reilly, neighboring residents and other community stakeholders,” said Tom Weeks, executive general manager of development, Lendlease. “Through this collaborative process, we believe we have identified the highest and best use for one of the final phases of the Lakeshore East master plan, building on its reputation as a model for urban regeneration.”
The plan includes up to 1,700 residential units across the three towers, with a mix of luxury apartments and condominiums. The buildings will share a five-story podium containing a large, resort-style amenity space, as well as retail and up to 1,250 parking spaces.
Just outside the three towers would be 134,308 square feet of open space with publicly accessible green space that provides an activated connection to the lakefront and Riverwalk, meandering pathways, outdoor living rooms for recreational use and a public dog park.
“With the proposal for Lakeshore East parcels I, J, K and L, we are working toward the exciting completion of the Lakeshore East Master Plan. As designed, the towers will serve as an important cornerstone for the neighborhood, adding numerous public amenities including green space and access to the adjacent lakefront,” said Sean Linnane, executive vice president, Magellan Development Group.
Since the last community meeting, the development team has taken great care to incorporate numerous project-enhancing requirements from Alderman Brendan Reilly and the community into a new revised proposal. These modifications include improved green space and pedestrian access, additional security features and the realignment of Building J on the site to open up light and views for neighbors.
If approved, the project will be completed in two phases. Phase I will include Building J, a 50-story building with 500 luxury condos, and Building KL, slightly shorter at 40 stories but with 600 luxury apartments. Phase II would see the erection of Building I, the tallest of the three buildings at 80 stories with up to 600 luxury condominium units.
The buildings, which are anticipated to achieve LEED Gold certification, were designed by bKL Architecture, with structural engineering input by Thornton Tomasetti. Claude Cormier + Associés is the landscape architect.
“This pivotal site completes a symbolic gateway to the downtown core and, perhaps more importantly, adds vibrant new open space and connectivity to the waterfront for the city and neighboring community,” said Tom Kerwin, founding principal of bKL Architecture.
The three buildings feature curvilinear designs with faceted façades of metal and glass, with the towers maintaining distinct identities while creating continuity through their use and treatment of materials. If approved, the towers would be completed in five to seven years from the start of construction.