Development in Chicago, much as in the rest of the nation, has been stagnant over the past couple of years. But now business is picking up. And if the city is any kind of economic gage for the rest of the country, the U.S. could be on the upswing.
Several large projects are currently under way in the Windy City: construction of the Waterview Tower, which regained the funding it lost during the Great Recession; a proposed High Line–type park, which is expected to open in 2012; and a multimillion-dollar redesign of the Navy Pier.
Now the Kennedy family has announced plans to build a large-scale riverfront complex consisting of three towers designed by architect Cesar Pelli, FAIA.
The proposed development would be the largest real estate project since the 2008 financial crisis hit, Blair Kamin reports in the Chicago Tribune. Costing more than $1 billion and totaling nearly 3 million square feet, the development will be made up of two office buildings and an apartment high-rise.
The development would be located slightly southwest of the Merchandise Mart on an area of land called Wolf Point, which, Kamin writes, is “a historic but long-underutilized site along the Chicago River.” But first, he says, the plan must overcome opposition from the neighbors. If built, the towers would block some neighbors’ waterfront views.
Given the scale of the project and the surrounding controversy, there will likely be several meetings about Wolf Point, Kamin reports. But the Kennedy family is the project’s main financial backer—and that’s a family that tends to get its way.