The developers purchased the original Tribune Tower and parking lot from Tribune Media in 2016 for $240 million, and have started work on converting the neo-gothic structure into 162 condominiums, which should be ready for occupancy beginning in 2021. The new super-tall building to occupy the parking lot will have the name Tribune Tower East.
Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture have designed the structure, which will be 1,422 ft. tall, just 30 ft. shorter than the city’s highest building, the Willis (Sears) Tower.
The architects outlined an earlier version of the structure about 18 months ago, and the new renderings don’t show much change — at least in terms of height.
However, Curbed Chicago reports there are practical revisions, “focusing on the building’s lowest levels and how the development will handle vehicle loading, traffic circulation, and pedestrian access.”
“Under the latest plan, pick-up and drop-off for the tower’s residential units remains along N. Cityfront Plaza Drive, while hotel drop-off moves to an internal drive cutting beneath the building between Cityfront Plaza and Upper Illinois Street,” the website reports.
There are also proposed improvements to the nearby riverfront plaza, Pioneer Court. “This space currently serves as a base for various architecture river cruises and is home to an outdoor cafe and Chicago’s glassy Foster-designed Apple Store,” Curbed Chicago reports.
“Here, the developers propose new pavers and landscaping including trees, planters, and publicly accessible lawn areas. A realigned pedestrian promenade dubbed the “Pioneer Path” aims to better bridge Michigan Avenue and Cityfront Plaza.”
As currently planned, the Tribune Tower East skyscraper would have 125 condos, 200 hotel rooms, 439 rental apartments, 10,700 sq. ft. of retail space, and a 430-car parking garage.