- Related Midwest's redevelopment of a 62-acre downtown site along the Chicago River will include a $1.2 billion research center, the Discovery Partners Institute, on donated land as part of Related's public-private partnership with the University of Illinois, according to REBusinessOnline.
- The University of Illinois and the University of Chicago also announced they would partner on an expansion of the Polsky Center business incubator, according to Curbed Chicago. Those plans include 280,000 square feet of new office and laboratory space, which will be home to approximately 100 researchers, students and faculty, who will collaborate with the Chicago business community to explore commercial options for new technology, as well as to launch new startups.
- Both projects are part of the Illinois Innovation Network (IIN), which is managed by the Illinois Science & Technology Coalition. The IIN's goal is to help Illinois become a center of innovation by assisting entrepreneurs in building their businesses and by connecting the state's research, business and technology communities.
Chicago has become a magnet for development and corporate relocations in the past few years, spurred on by the growing population of well-educated millennials who want the city's walkable, urban lifestyle at a more attractive cost than West- and East-coast metros offer. And along with corporate development has come mega-residential projects, like local firm JDL's Development's $700 million dual-tower project. One of the buildings will reach 1,011 feet, which will make it Chicago's sixth-tallest building.
Currently under construction is the $1 billion Vista Tower, the tallest building in the world designed by a woman, Jeanne Gang of Studio Gang Architects. Units in the 98-story, 1,144-foot high-rise start at $1 million and top out at $8 million. The Vista will be the third tallest building in Chicago behind the Willis Tower and Trump Tower.
So hot is the Chicago market that the company behind the Vista, Magellan Development Group, has four more towers there in the planning stages. Three would be done with Lendlease, including an 80-story skyscraper with condominiums and a hotel. All four properties would provide a total of 2,040 living units and 569 hotel rooms. The towers are part of Magellan's $4 billion Lakeshore East development, which features more high-rises, a 6-acre park and a school, as well as townhouse and retail components.