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Sterling Bay proposes SOM-designed office tower near Chicago’s newly opened Transit Center at Union Station

The building is one of several projects that are filling this developer’s plate in this city.

September 20, 2016 |

Sterling Bay's proposal for a 958-foot-tall office tower is among an array of development and redevelopment projects it has in the works in Chicago. Image: SOM via

The very active developer Sterling Bay has proposed a 958-foot-tall, 2-million-sf office tower that would be connected to Union Station in Chicago’s West Loop, on real estate owned by Amtrak. The office tower would be one of the tallest in the city.

Crain’s Chicago Business reports that Sterling Bay is already in talks with large tenants for this tower, designed by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill. Sterling Bay, though, has not yet been chosen as Union Station’s master developer. 

Amtrak, Crain’s reports, has been trying to redevelop its 1.3-million-sf Union Station property for years. Last October, it announced plans to upgrade the existing building, and to seek developer partners to add 3 million sf of new structures over and around tracks and land it owns.

Sterling Bay has gained a reputation for redeveloping existing buildings, such as the conversion of the Fulton Market Cold Storage building, known as 1KFulton, to Google’s Midwest headquarters.

Its proposal for the addition to Union Station is one of several projects it has in the works, including two residential towers in Chicago, and a ground-up development for McDonald’s, which is moving its headquarters to the Fulton Market District from Oak Brook, Ill. That deal, says Crain’s, includes plans for a 200-room extended stay hotel just west of those headquarters.

The firm’s redevelopment of the recently acquired Coyne College campus has expanded to 1 million square feet of new office space—up from 400,000 square feet. And Sterling Bay is interested in purchasing the 18-acre Chicago Department of Fleet and Facility’s Management property, which the city has put up for sale. 

The SOM-designed tower would, in all likelihood, replace a parking garage located south of Union Station’s new $41 million Transit Center, which opened on Sept. 11.

Curbed Chicago points out that the design of this tower looks a lot like an unbuilt 40-story proposal for 625 W. Monroe from SMDP Studio in 2013, which eventually evolved into a redesigned 75-story proposal the next year, but has yet to be constructed.

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