With the Windy City leading the nation when it comes to the number of residential construction cranes in the air, it’s perhaps no surprise that the list of active Chicago high-rise projects continues to grow. Since January, several significant new developments broke ground including Essex on the Park, One South Halsted, and Wicker Park Connection. The recent crop of new high-rise projects was large enough to offset removal of completed skyscrapers like 150 N. Riverside, The Hudson, and the Shirley Ryan AbilityLab.

It’s worth noting that the current level of construction in Chicago rivals—if not exceeds—the peak levels experienced at the tail end of the pre-recession building boom. This list represents thousands of new apartments and hotel rooms, and even some new downtown office space. The condo market is still thawing out from the deep freeze of the Great Recession, but we are seeing a gradual increase in new condo construction—most notably No. 9 Walton in Chicago’s Gold Coast and the supertall Vista Tower underway in Lakeshore East.

Credit: Chicago Curbed

Vista Tower

Foundation work started late last year on the 93-story Studio Gang-designed Vista Tower. The 1,186-foot luxury hotel/condo tower from Chicago-based Magellan Development and China’s Dalian Wanda Group will eventually climb its way to the title of Chicago’s third tallest building when it is completed in 2020.

One Grant Park

Easily 2017’s biggest construction start so far, Rafael Viñoly’s One Grant Park recently kicked-off foundation work. Developed by Crescent Heights, the 76-story rental tower will deliver 792 new apartments and become Chicago’s tallest skyscraper south of the Willis (Sears) Tower when it opens in 2019.

One Bennett Park

At 843 feet, this new tower from Related Midwest will certainly be noticeable in the Chicago skyline. Designed by New York’s Robert A.M. Stern Architects, the tower will feature both rental apartments and condominiums. In addition, the 1.7 acre park at the base of the tower is being reworked by noted landscape architect Michael Van Valkenburgh.

Essex on the Park

Situated directly across from Chicago’s Grant Park, this 56-story South Loop apartment tower will rise over 600 feet. When completed in 2019, Essex on the Park will deliver 479 high-end rental units. Developer Oxford Capital will renovate the existing Essex Inn hotel next door and incorporate the midcentury modern building into the new HPA-designed high-rise.

Optima Signature

Located just off the Mag Mile, this green and red tower will bring 498 rental units to a site just east of its shorter 42-story Optima Center sibling. At 587 feet, the recently topped-off Optima Signature is one of the taller residential buildings currently under construction in Chicago.

465 N. Park

Designed by Pappageorge Haymes, this curvy 535-foot skyscraper rising in the heart of Streeterville will contain 444 luxury rental units, 11,650 square feet of retail/commercial space, and 181 decently-concealed parking spaces. Plans also include a complete revamp of Ogden Plaza Park — a less-than-optimized strip of open space between Park Drive and Columbus Drive.

One South Halsted

Stretching 472 feet to the top of its highest residential floor and 495 to its architectural pinnacle, One South Halsted will be Chicago’s tallest building west of the Kennedy Expressway. Replacing a surface parking lot, the cylindrical tower will contain 492 rental apartment units, 9,500 square feet of ground floor retail, and a 375-stall parking garage. The project is a joint venture between Fifield Companies and F&F Realty with design work headed by FitzGerald Associates Architects.

Marriott Marquis

The 444-foot Marriott Marquis hotel is part of a larger effort to build an entertainment district around Chicago’s iconic McCormick Place convention space. The tower will contain a staggering 1,205 guest rooms and is located just east of the yet-to-open Wintrust Arena.


This glassy 47-story high-rise proposed for the parking lot at 1326 S. Michigan Avenue is just getting started. Designed by SCB, SoMi will replace a parking lot with 500 rental units, 190 parking spaces, and new retail space. The South Loop project comes from Chicago-based Murphy Development Group and California’s CIM Group.

The Sinclair

After a lengthy multi-year approval process, Fifield Companies’ 390-unit Gold Coast apartment tower replaces an old Jewel grocery store and parking lot. Designed by SCB, The Sinclair rises 35 stories and shares the site with a new flagship Jewel. The topped-off tower is expected to open later this year.

Gallery on Wells

Magellan Development is transforming 167 West Erie—the former site of River North’s kitschy Planet Hollywood turned Gino’s East Pizzeria—into a 39-story, 442-unit rental tower. Designed by Loewenberg Architects, the project features an amenities deck atop the neighboring “Effen Vodka” office building at 620 North LaSalle.

151 North Franklin

CNA Financial will be leaving its “Big Red” HQ at 333 South Wabash Avenue for this new John Ronan-designed tower on the western end of the Loop. The glassy tower will stand at 35 stories when completed in 2018.

No. 9 Walton

JDL Development’s ultra-lux No. 9 Walton tower is another example of the condo market’s gradual return to the Windy City. The 37 story tower will contain 71 units ranging from $1.95 million all the way up to $12.5 million.

Alta Roosevelt

Atlanta-based developer Wood Partners is hard at work on this 33-story South Loop apartment tower. Rising to 354 feet and containing 496 units and 348 parking spaces, the project will transform the previously vacant lot at 801 S. Financial Place. The design comes from the architects at Chicago’s Pappageorge Haymes Partners.

Old Town Park

This new 31-story tower is one part of the massive plan to remake the Atrium Village development that is located near the former Cabrini-Green public housing project. The HPA-designed tower will feature a whopping 400 residential units when it is completed. Future phases call for additional mixed-income high-rises and the adaptive reuse of one of the existing Atrium Village buildings.

Landmark West Loop

Landmark West Loop will rise 30 stories and deliver 300 apartments when it is completed this summer. Developer Related Midwest scooped up the stalled condo project early last year and reintroduced a new design from New York’s Morris Adjmi and a change in programming from condos to rentals.

The Aurélien

The North Side sees 373 more residential units with the addition of 833 N. Clark, a 31-story tower designed by Ryan A+E. The soon-to-open apartment building replaced a bank parking lot.

1101 S. Wabash

The 30-story hotel project comes from architect Lothan Van Hook DeStefano and Hinsdale-based developer/operator S.B. Yen Management Group. It will contain a 196-room Homewood Hilton, a separate 85-room extended-stay Wabash Suites hotel, 3,500 square feet of retail, and a 57-car garage.


The first of several high-rises planned for the South Loop’s ambitious 14-acre Riverline project, Ancora is a 29-story tower and will contain 420 rental units. The multi-phase Riverline development comes from partners CMK Companies and Lendlease and is designed by Perkins+Will.

Eight Eleven Uptown

As crews continue to demolish and cart away what’s left of Uptown’s old Cuneo Hospital, work has already started on its replacement—a 27-story tower known as Eight Eleven Uptown. Designed by HPA, the project comes from developer JDL and will include 373 rental units plus nearly 30,000 square feet of retail space.

Solstice on the Park

After nearly a decade languishing on the drawing board, Hyde Park’s 26-story Solstice on the Park project is finally underway. Expected to be completed by late spring of 2018, the 26-story, 250-unit apartment tower comes from developer MAC Properties and Chicago-based design firm Studio Gang.

625 W. Adams

Replacing a surface lot previously used by neighboring Old St. Patrick’s church, this 20-story office tower in West Loop Gate is being built on spec with no anchor tenants yet to be announced. Designed by Solomon Cordwell Buenz, the 432,000-square-foot building will feature a two-story lobby, ground floor retail, five levels of parking, and an outdoor terrace for tenants. Developers White Oak Realty and CA Ventures expect 625 W. Adams to be open for business by the first quarter of 2018.

1136 S. Wabash

A joint venture between CA Residential and developer Keith Giles, this 26-story glassy high-rise replaces a surface parking lot near the Roosevelt Red Line station. The Solomon Cordwell Buenz-designed tower will feature 320 rental units, 141 parking spaces, and a rooftop pool.

8 E. Huron

This glassy 26-story luxury rental tower has nearly reached its final height at the northeast corner of State and Huron in River North. Designed by Valerio Dewalt Train Associates and developed by CA Ventures, the project will contain 102 rental units, ground floor retail, and 31 parking stalls.


Located at 311 W. Illinois, this 24-story, 245-unit glassy tower will rise immediately west of Assumption Catholic Church and will reserve a portion of its planned 109 parking spaces for church use. Developed by John Buck Company and designed by FitzGerald Associates, the 298-foot tower will also contain 3,000 square feet of retail and a rooftop amenity level with fitness center, outdoor terrace, and swimming pool.

Centrum Hubbard

The development now under construction at the southwest corner of Wells and Hubbard is actually a two-building combo from Centrum Partners and architect Hirsch Associates. Constrained by overhead ‘L’ tracks, the site will see a curvy, highly-amenitized 9-story office building join a 23-floor residential tower containing 193 units and a rooftop pool. The project will also provide off-street parking for 91 vehicles.

640 North Wells

This 280-foot rental tower by Hartshorne Plunkard Architecture replaces River North’s Ed Debevic’s restaurant at 640 North Wells. The development will bring 251 new apartments to the area when it opens later this year.

123 E. Cermak

This yet-to-be-named development will feature a trio of hotels and comes from architect Antunovich Associates and McHugh, who will serve as both owner/developer and general contractor. The tower will top out at 22 stories and deliver new 466 guest rooms to the “McCormick Square” entertainment district.

Hotel EMC2

Hotel EMC2 is a 21-story, 200-room hotel under construction at the relatively narrow lot located a 224-228 E. Ontario. Designed by architecture firm Koo LLC, the project is nearly ready to open.

2950 North Sheridan

The glassy Lakeview tower containing 82 high-end apartment units is expected to welcome its first tenants very soon. The 19-story project comes from Wirtz Realty Corporation and the architects at Booth Hansen.

Viceroy Hotel

The upscale Viceroy Hotel chain is building its first hotel project for Chicago in the Gold Coast neighborhood. The new hotel will reassemble the old facade of the demolished Cedar Hotel at the base of a glassy 18-story, Goettsch Partners-designed tower.

Aloft Hotel Mag Mile

Replacing Chicago’s former Museum of Contemporary Art building at 237 E. Ontario, this upcoming Streeterville hotel from Tishman Realty Corporation recently started foundation work. Originally slated to rise 24 stories, the project was cut down to 18 floors. It will contain 336 guest rooms and no on-site parking.

Niche 905

Located at 905 N. Orleans near Chicago’s former Cabrini-Green public housing projects, this 18-story, 202-unit apartment high-rise was designed by FitzGerald Associates. It is expected to start accepting its first renters very soon.

400 West Huron

Designed by Berkelhamer Architects, 400 West Huron is a 15-story, 46-unit luxury condominium development with units ranging in price from $1.3M to $2.15M. The building quickly sold out and illustrated to developer Smithfield Properties that there is a demand for downtown condos–especially at the ultra-luxury price point.

30 East

This development penned by SCB will bring 134 apartments and 8,000-square-feet of retail space to the South Loop when it opens this spring. Developed by Gibane Company, the 16-story tower was topped off early last winter and is in the process of receiving its finishing touches.

Wicker Park Connection

Slated to contain 140 residential units and 52 parking spaces, this 15-story transit oriented high-rise at 1640 W. Division is the first component of Centrum Partners’ larger multi-phase Wicker Park Connection project. The rental tower will eventually be joined by 17 townhouses, a seven-story condo building, and new green space connecting Division Street and Milwaukee Avenue.

1001 W. Chicago

Located at the old site of the Gonnella bread factory in River West, this large mixed-use project contains a grocery store and a pair of 13- and 15-story apartment building designed by FitzGerald Associates. In the works for several years, 1001 W. Chicago comes from local developer the Bond Companies who took over the sprawling vacant parcel in 2015.

1411 S. Michigan

Designed by Boarman Kroos Vogel Group, this 15-story project will contain 199 rental residences, parking for 141 vehicles, and new medical offices for Rush University Medical Center.

165 N. Desplaines

Designed by Chicago’s GREC Architects, this 14-story project from Portland, Oregon-based Gerding Edlen Development will contain 199 dwelling units, ground level retail, loft-style offices, and 99 parking spaces. Construction has seen the bronze memorial to the 1886 Haymarket Massacre temporarily relocated to Union Park. The sculpture will return to the site in a new pocket park once 165 N. Desplaines wraps-up construction in the second half of this year.

No. 508

Located at 508 W. Diversey at the border of Lincoln Park and Lakeview, this 12-story development from Broder Properties is expected to contain 53 rental units, 53 parking spaces, and new retail. Under construction since last summer, the building was penned by the architects at Pappageorge Haymes Partners.

NU Biomedical Research Center

Northwestern University’s new Streeterville biomedical research building, officially dubbed the Simpson Querrey Biomedical Research Center, will initially rise to a height of 14 floors with a further vertical expansion anticipated to take place as a later phase. The Perkins+Will designed facility replaces Bertrand Goldberg’s Prentice Women’s Hospital.

The Aberdeen

This 136-foot masonry and glass structure from MCZ Development and Hartshorne Plunkard Architects replaces an empty lot with 15,000 square feet of ground floor retail topped by 40,000 square feet of new office space and 75 dwelling units. In addition to the building’s extensive green roof, a penthouse amenity level will include a sundeck and private dog run.

210 N. Carpenter

Developer Sterling Bay recently hosted a ceremonial groundbreaking for an upcoming 12-story office building at 210 N. Carpenter. Designed by SCB, the new development is expected to house the various vendors and suppliers anticipated to join McDonald’s corporate headquarters in Chicago’s hot Fulton Market District.

Webster Square

Located in the heart of Lincoln Park, the 12-story Webster Square development calls for 95 condos. Built within the preexisting skeleton of the old Lincoln Park Hospital that closed its doors in 2008, units are expected to start at $459,000 and climb all the way up to a whopping $2.3 million.

Elevate Lincoln Park

This transit-oriented rental project will bring 191 new apartments, 138 parking spaces, and new ground floor retail to Lincoln Park’s Lincoln Avenue. Designed by Solomon Cordwell Buenz, the horseshoe-shaped building will rise 11 stories plus penthouse.

734 W. Sheridan

This 10-story, 100-unit development was recently given the all-clear to begin work at the corner of Sheridan and Broadway in Lakeview. Replacing an abandoned gas station, the 734 W. Sheridan project comes from Vermillion Development and Hirsch Associates.

110 N. Carpenter

At 125 feet tall, 110 N. Carpenter makes up for its relative lack of height with a whopping 600,000 square feet of new office space. Located at the site of Oprah’s former Harpo Studios, the Sterling Bay development designed by Gensler will be the future home of McDonald’s new corporate headquarters.

Fulton West

Designed by Gensler, this West Loop office project from developer Sterling Bay will feature over 290,000 square feet of new office space, 610 parking spaces, and a private roof deck. When complete, the development will be anchored by Glass Door and Dyson.

Cook County Central Campus

Officially known as the Cook County Central Campus Health Center, this glassy outpatient facility broke ground in the heart of the Illinois Medical District in late January. The nine-story project comes from builder/developer Clayco and the design architects at Gensler.


Despite a legal challenge from its immediate neighbors, the new ‘111ume’ condo project at 111 S. Peoria Street is now officially on its way to Chicago’s West Loop. The project comes from LG Development and was first proposed as 205 rental apartments before changing its programming to 79 high-end condo units.

Lakeshore LDS Meetinghouse

While technically only eight stories tall, the upcoming Lakeshore LDS Meetinghouse makes the list due to its high ceilings and modern architectural steeple. Designed by Utah’s Dixon+Associates, the 39,000-square-foot religious building will contain congregation space plus meeting rooms, administrative offices, an elevated outdoor terrace, and four levels of off-street parking.

Moxy Hotel

Being built “as of right” by developer Albert Friedman and partner White Lodging Services, the Chicago branch of the Marriott’s boutique Moxy brand of hotels is rising at the corner of Grand and LaSalle. Designed by Chicago’s DLR Group, the eight-story Chicago Moxy will meet the street with a glassy two-story lobby/ restaurant space.





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