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The South Loop Skyline is Set to Change: Here’s Why

Chicago Skyline

While the South Loop skyline in Chicago is a familiar sight to thousands of Chicago’s residents, it will soon be undergoing some major changes. Three new additions are set to go up in the next two years and these towering skyscrapers will add some major height to the already existing profile of Chicago’s South Loop Skyline.

Rafael Viñoly’s One Grant Park

The first new addition to the South Loop skyline is Rafael Viñoly’s One Grant Park. The One Grant Park Tower will have 76 occupied stories as well as 4 additional mechanical floors. The structure’s planned design also includes a decorative pinnacle. This residential building will be over 800 feet tall once it is completed – some estimates have it reaching a height of 892 feet including the tower’s pinnacle.

Experts agree that adding some height to Chicago’s South Loop skyline will help to balance out the jam packed profile of downtown Chicago’s skyline. This building is already under construction on the corner of Indiana and Roosevelt and developers are hoping that it will be move in ready in 2019.

The designers of One Grant Park, architect Rafael Viñoly and his employer Crescent Heights, have already began discussing a possible, even taller twin that could be built on the west side of One Grant Park sometime in the near future.

Hartshorne Plunkard’s Essex on the Park

This design project includes the renovation of an existing Chicago skyscraper as well as the construction of a brand new tower of luxury apartments. The newly built 56 story building will tower over Lake Michigan and Grant Park. Reaching a height of 620 feet, Essex on the Park will be the shortest of the South Loop’s new skyscrapers, but that does not mean that it will not be an impressive building.

The Essex Inn, located next to the site of the new skyscraper, will also be renovated as part of the project. It will grow in size from 254 guest rooms to 271 rooms with additional upgrades to the restaurant, pool, and spa. It’s name will also be changed to “Hotel Essex” to better suit its new look.

Helmut Jahn’s 1000M

Unlike One Grant Park and Essex on the Park, work on 1000M is not slated to begin until 2018. This 73 story building will reach a height of 832 feet and developers hope to have the residential building completed in 2021. The buildings sleek profile has attracted the attention of Chicago’s residents as well as architects from around the country.

This project is a joint effort between Time Equities, a New York based firm, and its partner JK Equities. Architect Helmut Jahn has been an integral part of the design process, coming up with several drafts of the building’s design before gaining the support of Chicago’s residents and local officials.

These three new additions will provide hundreds of luxury residential units for Chicago’s South Loop residents, with more information becoming available as the projects near completion.

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