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Chicago’s long-vacant Spire site will be home to a two-tower residential development

MFPRO+ New Projects

Chicago’s long-vacant Spire site will be home to a two-tower residential development

Designed by SOM, 400 Lake Shore will offer luxury living options, while 20% of the 635 rental apartments in phase one will be designated as affordable.


By Novid Parsi, Contributing Editor  | June 27, 2024
Chicago’s long-vacant Spire site will be home to the two-tower 400 Lake Shore residential development, by Related Midwest and SOM - Rendering courtesy Related Midwest, Skidmore Owings Merrill
Rendering courtesy Related Midwest, Skidmore Owings Merrill

In downtown Chicago, the site of the planned Chicago Spire, at the confluence of Lake Michigan and the Chicago River, has sat vacant since construction ceased in the wake of the Great Recession. In the next few years, the site will be home to a new two-tower residential development, 400 Lake Shore.

The 400 Lake Shore development will offer both luxury and affordable living options at the waterfront site in the Streeterville neighborhood—the last undeveloped parcel where Lake Michigan meets the Chicago River.

The project’s first phase, which broke ground in mid-June, includes a 72-story, 858-foot tower on the north side of the site. The tower will provide 635 rental apartments, including studio, one-, two-, and three-bedroom units. One-fifth of the apartments, or 127 units, will be designated as affordable housing.

Building owner Related Midwest also will deliver DuSable Park, a 3.3-acre park east of Lake Shore Drive and accessible via Founder’s Way—a planned extension of the Chicago Riverwalk that will be completed as part of the project’s first phase. Including the park, 400 Lake Shore will provide 4.5 acres of publicly available space.

Chicago’s long-vacant Spire site will be home to the two-tower 400 Lake Shore residential development, by Related Midwest and SOM - Rendering courtesy Related Midwest, Skidmore Owings Merrill
Photo: DroneHub / Related Midwest

“After a robust community review process, this development will deliver infrastructure, traffic and public safety improvements, entirely funded by Related Midwest, in addition to the highly anticipated improvements to DuSable Park,” 42nd Ward Ald. Brendan Reilly said in a statement. 

The towers’ waterfall profile features outdoor terraces along a series of setbacks. Set at an angle to each other, the towers will preserve residents’ sightlines. The two high-rises are designed by the Chicago office of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM) with David Childs, the architect behind One World Trade Center and Related’s 35 Hudson Yards in New York City.

“The tower’s tapered profile acknowledges the historical context and environmental conditions of its site, creating vital connections to cherished public spaces,” Childs said in the statement.

The design incorporates the site’s cofferdam, a relic of the Spire. The cofferdam will be filled by August 2024, with vertical construction of the concrete superstructure finished by October 2025. The first phase of 400 Lake Shore is scheduled for delivery in 2027.

On the Building Team: 
Owner/developer: Related Midwest 
Design architect: Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM) 
Architect of record: Stantec 
Interior designer: MAWD 
MEP engineer: Salas O’Brien  
Structural engineer: SOM 
General contractor: LR Contracting Company and BOWA Construction Group

Chicago’s long-vacant Spire site will be home to the two-tower 400 Lake Shore residential development, by Related Midwest and SOM - Rendering courtesy Related Midwest, Skidmore Owings Merrill
Rendering courtesy Related Midwest, Skidmore Owings Merrill
Chicago’s long-vacant Spire site will be home to the two-tower 400 Lake Shore residential development, by Related Midwest and SOM - Rendering courtesy Related Midwest, Skidmore Owings Merrill
Rendering courtesy Related Midwest, Skidmore Owings Merrill
Chicago’s long-vacant Spire site will be home to the two-tower 400 Lake Shore residential development, by Related Midwest and SOM - Rendering courtesy Related Midwest, Skidmore Owings Merrill
Rendering courtesy Related Midwest, Skidmore Owings Merrill
Chicago’s long-vacant Spire site will be home to the two-tower 400 Lake Shore residential development, by Related Midwest and SOM - Rendering courtesy Related Midwest, Skidmore Owings Merrill
Rendering courtesy Related Midwest, Skidmore Owings Merrill
Chicago’s long-vacant Spire site will be home to the two-tower 400 Lake Shore residential development, by Related Midwest and SOM - Rendering courtesy Related Midwest, Skidmore Owings Merrill
Photo: DroneHub / Related Midwest
Chicago’s long-vacant Spire site will be home to the two-tower 400 Lake Shore residential development, by Related Midwest and SOM - Rendering courtesy Related Midwest, Skidmore Owings Merrill
Photo: DroneHub / Related Midwest
Chicago’s long-vacant Spire site will be home to the two-tower 400 Lake Shore residential development, by Related Midwest and SOM - Rendering courtesy Related Midwest, Skidmore Owings Merrill
Photo: DroneHub / Related Midwest
Chicago’s long-vacant Spire site will be home to the two-tower 400 Lake Shore residential development, by Related Midwest and SOM - Rendering courtesy Related Midwest, Skidmore Owings Merrill
Photo: DroneHub / Related Midwest
Chicago’s long-vacant Spire site will be home to the two-tower 400 Lake Shore residential development, by Related Midwest and SOM - Rendering courtesy Related Midwest, Skidmore Owings Merrill
Photo: DroneHub / Related Midwest
Chicago’s long-vacant Spire site will be home to the two-tower 400 Lake Shore residential development, by Related Midwest and SOM - Rendering courtesy Related Midwest, Skidmore Owings Merrill
Photo: DroneHub / Related Midwest

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