The site of the Tribune Tower will include nearly 300 condominiums and what would be one of Chicago’s tallest skyscrapers under a new redevelopment proposal developers believe will both revitalize and preserve the international landmark.
Building developers Golub & Co. and CIM unveiled plans Monday evening for the long-discussed redevelopment in a two-hour presentation and Q&A with a few hundred onlookers during a Streeterville Organization of Active Residents (SOAR) meeting.
“We are revitalizing an iconic international landmark, the Tribune Tower,” developer Lee Golub said Monday, “and in so doing, with our adaptive re-use, we are preserving essentially 90 percent of the existing (pieces) on the site.”
If approved by the city, a new 1,422-foot mixed-use tower would take the place of an existing surface parking lot on the east side of the site. At that height it would be the second-tallest building in Chicago, trailing only the Willis Tower by about 30 feet.
That new, currently unnamed building would include retail space, 430 parking spots and 200 five-star boutique hotel rooms on lower levels. Those will sit beneath 439 rental units and 125 condos. The existing Tribune Tower would also add another 163 condo units and nearly 50,000 feet of retail space. The full site would include more than 700 parking spaces, including 280 underground spots reserved for Tribune Tower residents.
Included in that 90 percent of the existing building developers hope to preserve is the “Stones of the World” display on the street-level façade and the iconic Tribune sign on the front of the building. But that sign is a point of contention that has landed the developers in court with the Chicago Tribune's parent company Tronc, which plans to take the sign when it moves to its new site in the Prudential Plaza later this year.
Some residents raised concerns over retail usage, parking availability and population density on nearby streets and sidewalks, but many speakers complimented the design proposal.
“This looks really sharp,” Streeterville resident Charlie Thompson said. “I think it’s a really insightful use of the space.”
The Tribune Tower has a 20-month redevelopment schedule with work getting underway fully in August, according to Golub. The new tower has a three-year schedule with actual construction expected to begin either late next year or early in 2020.
Golub & Co. and CIM purchased the nearly century-old building in late 2016 for $240 million, a process that took almost a full calendar year to complete. They say the redevelopment would create 5,500 construction jobs along with 400 permanent jobs.
The Chicago Tribune reported similar plans earlier this year. Those included a 1,388-foot skyscraper and 165 condominiums to be constructed inside the Tribune Tower itself.
Ald. Brendan Reilly, whose 42nd ward encompasses the Tribune Tower site, said Monday’s announcement is only the beginning of the redevelopment process, saying a public review process will follow.
Note: This story was originally published April 16, 2018.