- A Lendlease-led joint venture broke ground Monday on the $1.5 billion Chicago Riverline project, a 3,600-residential-unit development located in the city's South Loop district and along the Chicago River, according to The Wall Street Journal.
- The downtown complex, which Lendlease and co-developer CMK Companies Ltd. said will take approximately a decade to complete and feature eight high-rises, will include for-sale condominiums and townhouses, as well as rental apartments, a 3-and-a-half acre park and a river walk.
- The Chicago riverfront has seen recent commercial and residential development, spurred on in part by the in-migration of young professionals to the city's urban cores.
The possibility for an open, green space that the community could enjoy was a primary driver behind the developers' decision to build on that specific location on the riverfront, Tom Weeks, Lendlease general manager of development, told The Journal. The first phase of the project will include the entire planned townhouse portion of the project, as well as an 18-story condominium building and a 29-story, rental-unit tower.
In an interview with Construction Dive in August, Jeff Arfsten, managing director and chief operating officer of Lendlease Construction US, said that major cities like Chicago are his favorite places to build because the relatively large local economies are able to support business activity, even in "down times."
Related Cos.' Midwest division also has plans to revitalize another riverfront site in Chicago, a 62-acre abandoned rail yard that The Chicago Tribune called a "hole in the center of Chicago." Related will head up the multibillion-dollar, 15-year project, which the developer said will include thousands of new homes and millions of square feet of office and retail space. The site reportedly has been a magnet for the area's homeless population.
Related is also the developer of the 28-acre, $25 billion Hudson Yards development on the west side of Manhattan. Certainly, Chicago officials are hoping that Related's undertaking in their city will bring a similar financial benefit to the one New York City has seen — a projected economic impact of $18.9 billion over the entire construction phase of the development. The latest news from Hudson Yards is that Related and co-developer Oxford Properties have negotiated the $1.2 billion in financing necessary to build the $2-billion, mixed-use 35 Hudson Yards tower, the tallest residential building planned for the development.