Thursday, September 02, 2004

Block 37, Phase 20

Crain's Chicago Business reports on the latest in a long string of proposals for Block 37. Previous schemes by Helmut Jahn, KPF and Solomon Cordwell Buenz have faded away, but that's not stopping Perkins & Will (according to ArchNewsNow) from taking a crack at it.

The multi-purpose development would be made up of retail, restaurants, office, hotel, and residential, within a podium (with green roof) and three towers. The scheme relates directly to significant uses across each street, so retail is across from Marshall Field's on State, restaurants are across from the Oriental Theater on Randolph, an indoor space would extend Daley Plaza, etc.

View of State and Randolph intersection

This should all sound (and look) familiar, as the basic formula of a mixed-use development on the site with towers has been a consistency with each scheme over the years. The major differences tend to be the developer, the main tenant, and that "special something." In the latest scheme, by Virginia-based Mills Corp., Channel 2 may be the main tenant (the previous attempt had Harrod's). But my favorite element would be the CTA's planned "super station" underneath the whole development, the "special something". It would provide high-speed access to O'hare and (I believe) Midway, a long overdue convenience for both the business traveler and locals.

From the Crain's article:
Now that City Hall has had a chance to see the renderings, the planning department will take a look. By the end of the year, the planning commission and zoning department are expected to vote on the plans. City Council will have the final say...If all goes well, Mills hopes to break ground early next year.

Update 09.03:

From the Chicago Sun-Times:


  • 400,000 square feet of retail, dining and entertainment space.
  • 400,000 square feet of office space in a high-rise.
  • Additional high-rises for a hotel and 300-unit condominium tower.
  • CTA hub for express trains to O'Hare and Midway.
  • Five-story open-air atrium for shows and community events.
  • Digital art shown on a display that wraps around the complex.
  • "Giant obelisk'' projecting news and travel information.


  • Confirmed tenants.
  • Assured financing.
  • Developers for high-rises.


Source: Mills Corp.

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