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Height: 700 ft
Floor count: 50
Location: 200 North Riverside Plaza
Neighborhood: Fulton River District
Construction end:
Architect: Pickard Chilton Architects
Developer: Hines Interests

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200 North Riverside Plaza is a fifty story, 1.2 million gross square foot project comprising office, retail, restaurants, a boat house and public spaces; a 1.5 acre public plaza; and three levels of below-grade parking. Located on a triangular site bordered by West Lake Street, Canal Street and the broad confluence of the branching North and South Chicago Rivers, 200 North Riverside enhances the character of this prominent river frontage while concealing the existing railroad tracks below. It is Pickard Chilton’s second major project in Chicago for Hines.

The tower’s unique sculptural form creates a striking silhouette from multiple vantage points throughout the city and responds to the wonderful qualities of its important waterfront site. The tower’s sweeping curves capture natural light within the building as well as provide panoramic views outward. A sky terrace perched six hundred feet above the river accentuates the distinct image of the tower’s crown and offers dramatic views of the river, the Loop and Lake Michigan on the horizon.

The riverfront plaza, a welcome public amenity for the West Loop neighborhood, is designed to reshape the urban fabric by creating a lively civic space that encourages pedestrian activity along the waterfront. The open public plaza cascades down to the river walk and the water’s edge through a series of landscaped terraces, water features, seating areas, and arcing pathways. The space enjoys abundant sunlight throughout the day and provides a pleasant respite along on the course of the river.

The public boat house, operated by the Park District of the City of Chicago, accommodates kayaks, canoes, and crew boats. The boat house also provides boat storage, locker rooms, a multipurpose gathering space, staff offices and an elevated, covered observation terrace. The building’s streamlined, sweeping roof design draws its inspiration from the highly refined form of competition oar blades.

As a Class-A office building, 200 North Riverside’s state-of-the-art design will serve as the headquarters for major international corporations. The grand and welcoming lobby features a sixty five foot high expanse of glass that acts as a proscenium arch framing views of the plaza, the river and cityscape beyond. Located above the lobby is a 50,000 square foot double-height conference center with a crescent-shaped exterior terrace that overlooks the river. The tower’s floor plates are configured to accommodate flexibility and efficiency in interior planning. The building’s richly articulated glass and silver metallic curtain wall, a key component in achieving a LEED Silver pre-certification from the U.S. Green Building Council, will minimize solar heat gain, maximize interior day lighting and enable expansive views.
 

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WOW!!! That's incredible! The design is great! Is that a small void near the top (sort of arch shaped.) This is right next to the Riverbend Condos right? If so, it will be a nice complement as that curves inwards and this one outwards.
 

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C.B.P.
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I really wish 200 N. Riverside were taller. It should at least be as tall as it's older brother the Torre Mayor which is Mexico's tallest at 755 feet. By the way, I'm surprised no one yet has noticed the resemblance, which is pretty much a knock-off of it. Not that I care if it is or not. If it is, then we need more knockoff's like these. :)



 

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The riverwalk is an awesome gift to the city.
Required, not a gift.

While this would look nice as a taller building, I think there are some good reasons Hines has chosen this program.

First, it's rare for a condo to be on a ground lease or air rights in Illinois (I'm not sure it's legal), so residential would have to be rental. That's doing OK right now, but is not the business Hines is in, and you get less of a premium for killer views than you do in office or condo.

Second, consider the floor plate efficiency. While you only need one elevator for every 70 or so residential units, you need a lot more in an office building with floor plates this size--probably 12. So there eventually comes a point where it costs you more to go higher than you can recover in rents, and you risk having the usable floorplates too small to attract the big anchor tenants.

Finally, think hard about how an office developer's pro forma works in the current market. He has to have a big user signed up for a quarter of the building, but then has to deliver that space within about 30 months for that client. So there's no time to do enough preleasing to do more than about a million square feet at a time. That's why the 50-story, quarter-block, million-square-foot office building has been the sweet spot in the Chicago market for the last 20 years.

As a postscript, inclusion of this site in the LaSalle TIF actually worries me, because now Hines can ask for a city subsidy to pull a tenant out of another Loop building. The tenant threatens to move to Charlotte or Dallas otherwise, and we end up pissing away the TIF money on churning tenants instead of actual public improvements.
 

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Chicago's #1 Fan
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Required, not a gift.

While this would look nice as a taller building, I think there are some good reasons Hines has chosen this program.

First, it's rare for a condo to be on a ground lease or air rights in Illinois (I'm not sure it's legal), so residential would have to be rental. That's doing OK right now, but is not the business Hines is in, and you get less of a premium for killer views than you do in office or condo.

Second, consider the floor plate efficiency. While you only need one elevator for every 70 or so residential units, you need a lot more in an office building with floor plates this size--probably 12. So there eventually comes a point where it costs you more to go higher than you can recover in rents, and you risk having the usable floorplates too small to attract the big anchor tenants.

Finally, think hard about how an office developer's pro forma works in the current market. He has to have a big user signed up for a quarter of the building, but then has to deliver that space within about 30 months for that client. So there's no time to do enough preleasing to do more than about a million square feet at a time. That's why the 50-story, quarter-block, million-square-foot office building has been the sweet spot in the Chicago market for the last 20 years.

As a postscript, inclusion of this site in the LaSalle TIF actually worries me, because now Hines can ask for a city subsidy to pull a tenant out of another Loop building. The tenant threatens to move to Charlotte or Dallas otherwise, and we end up pissing away the TIF money on churning tenants instead of actual public improvements.

I'm sure it wouldn't be too difficult to ask permission, or to have that changed.

As for them not being in the residential buisness, there's always a first for everything.

If they can pull off a 60-story office tower at 300 N. LaSalle, they can do better than a measly 50 here. Anchor tenants can use larger floor plates at the base while the smaller high-rise floors can be used by smaller tenants.

Sears Tower ring a bell?

As for the elevator situtation---SKYLOBBIES
 

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Urbane observer
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Ahhh, the Procrustean Tower. Make the building whatever shape you think it looks nice, and then change the program until it fits.

As for the elevator situtation---SKYLOBBIES
You do realize that office developers have to attract picky tenants who have other choices, right?

Do you think it's mere coincidence that no office building with skylobbies has been built in Chicago since 1990? Tenants don't like them.
 
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