Hines/Levy JV to develop 50-story office tower in Chicago (US)

Hines in a joint venture with Chicago entrepreneur and real estate investor, Larry Levy, has announced plans for a new 50-story, 1.1 million-ft² office tower in downtown Chicago. The state-of-the-art building will be constructed in the West Loop on a prime 2.5-acre site along the Chicago River at Lake and Canal streets. Construction on the building is expected to begin in late 2008 with a projected delivery date of June 2011.

Artist impression of the new
50-story office tower in Chicago.

The anchor tenant is expected to be Chicago investment firm William Blair & Company, which has signed a letter of intent to lease 325,000 ft². William Blair, which would occupy three low-rise floors and 10 high-rise floors, has been located at 222 West Adams Street since 1994. The Staubach Company represented William Blair & Company in the letter of intent negotiations.

"This building will be an iconic landmark marking the intersection of the three branches of the Chicago River. This corridor has become the preferred corporate and headquarters location for premier professional firms," said Greg Van Schaack, a senior vice president at Hines' Chicago regional office. "There is also the popularity of the West Loop submarket due to proximity to public transportation, retail, restaurants and housing. Hines is honored to have the opportunity to develop this tower for William Blair & Company, one of Chicago's most prestigious firms."

The office tower was designed by New Haven, Conn.-based Pickard Chilton Architects. The curved glass and metal clad tower will offer extraordinary views down the main branch of the Chicago River to Lake Michigan. In addition to advanced building systems, it will feature elliptical 25,000-ft² floorplates, efficiently configured for maximum space planning flexibility for larger users. The key feature of the development is a 1.5-acre public park that will cover the existing rail tracks and offer a dramatic transition to a new river walk along the site.

"Hines has worked with us to customize a great headquarters solution for William Blair & Company in what will become a cornerstone of architecture and design along the Chicago River," commented Steve Stratton, president of The Staubach Company's Chicago office.

Hines' development team will pursue LEED-CS (Core & Shell) certification from the U.S. Green Building Council, with the aim of achieving Gold status, which would establish the building as a major high-performance sustainable design development. Another Hines downtown Chicago office development currently under construction at 300 N. La Salle St. has achieved LEED-CS Gold pre-certification.

Hines entered the Chicago real estate market in 1981 with the development of Three First National Plaza. Its Chicago-area office portfolio of owned and managed properties currently exceeds 12 million ft².

Source: Hines

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