Mayor Rahm Emanuel presided over the signing of an architect agreement between Beijing-based Wanda Group and Magellan Development Group to build an 88-story mixed-use hotel, condominium and retail building at Lakeshore East on Upper Wacker Drive in Chicago. This marks one of the final steps to bringing the $900 million Wanda Vista project to Chicago. The project is expected to break ground in 2016 and will create over 2,000 construction jobs and more than 500 permanent jobs. It will be the largest-ever real estate investment by a Chinese company in Chicago, and one of the largest in the United States.
“Wanda’s decision to bring its first U.S. investment to Chicago is a major win for our city,” said Mayor Emanuel. “This $900 million project is an important investment in our city’s future – not only because of its size and scope, but also because of the thousands of jobs it will create and the impact it will have in solidifying Chicago’s place as a destination for international business, tourism and transportation.”
Wanda Vista will be located within Lakeshore East at the intersection of East Wacker Drive and N. Field Blvd., and will house a 5 star hotel with approximately 250 hotel rooms, 390 condominiums, and approximately 9,000 square feet of retail space. The 88-story building spans over Lower Field Drive with views to the river, lake and city. The building will be applying for LEED silver certification.
“The successful establishment of the joint venture with Magellan Development Group is Wanda’s first step into the U.S. real estate market. Furthermore, I sincerely believe that, when complete, the unique design and high quality of the Wanda Tower will provide Chicago skyline with a new landmark befitting the city known worldwide as the birthplace of the modern skyscraper,” said Wanda Group Chairman Wang Jianlin.
“Magellan is honored to be selected by Wanda as their first joint venture partner in the United States. We welcome them into the Lakeshore East neighborhood and Chicago. This is their inaugural project in the city and promises to be of a scale and stature worthy of future land marking. Few projects can make that claim, and we are proud to be a part of it. On behalf of my partners Jim Loewenberg and David Carlins, we appreciate Mayor Emanuel’s support, and look forward to working with Alderman Brendan Reilly, our residents and internal teams and partners as we move toward approval and groundbreaking.”
New renderings of the exterior and interior of the Wanda Vista building were also released today. The building is designed by Chicago-based architect Jeanne Gang of Studio Gang Architects, in collaboration with the architect of record bKL Architecture LLC.
The Wanda Vista project is Wanda Group’s first real estate investment in the United States. The architect agreement was signed today by Sean Muellers, Chief U.S. Representative for the Wanda Group, Joel Carlins, Co-Chief Executive Officer of Magellan Development Company, and Tom Kerwin, Founder and Principal of bKL Architecture LLC. This agreement follows the signing of a development agreement between the two parties on July 2014.
In December 2013, Mayor Emanuel traveled to Beijing where he met with Vice Premier Liu Yandong, Minister Gao Hucheng of the Ministry of Commerce, Chairman Shao Qiwei of the China National Tourism Administration, and President Chen Jining of Tsinghua University. During Mayor Emanuel’s meeting with the Minister of Commerce, the Mayor signed the Gateway Cities Agreement that links Chicago with eight Chinese Cities as gateways for investment into the respective cities – the first of its kind agreement between the Ministry of Commerce and another city anywhere in the world. The Wanda development is the first project that falls within the Gateway Cities MOU.