- The architecture team responsible for Chicago's iconic Willis (formerly Sears) Tower has revealed new details about its plan for a 60-story, 725-foot-tall, mixed-use city skyscraper, according to Curbed Chicago.
- The Skidmore Owings & Merrill (SOM) skyscraper, dubbed The Carillon, will offer up 30,000 square feet of retail, a 325-car parking garage, 246 high-end condominiums and a hotel component that would include 216 rooms and 120 timeshare units. If approved, the entire project would take almost three years to complete.
- In order to gain approval for additional floor area, SOM has proposed paying $8 million into Chicago's Neighborhood Opportunity Fund, which awards grants for development in depressed areas of the city.
Despite estimates that the project will create 1,000 temporary construction jobs, 372 permanent ones and generate significant tax revenue, some local residents and businesses have pushed back against the project over fears that it will create more congestion in an area already plagued with traffic problems.
The Carillon is the latest line of mixed-use skyscrapers either underway or in the planning stages in Chicago at a time when many companies are looking to the Midwest metro area as a lower-priced alternative to the coasts for their headquarters.
Corporate giants like Caterpillar, McDonald's, Kraft Heinz and ConAgra have all made their devotion to the Windy City clear by investing in new headquarters or division offices there in order to take advantage of the international access provided by O'Hare International Airport, as well as to be able to tap into the region's talent pool.
The city's vibrant, walkable and affordable neighborhoods are drawing younger people from around the Midwest and keeping those who are graduating from the area's many universities and colleges, experts say. This available group of skilled workers is a big draw to companies that are trying to develop staffing strategies for the next several years. The city has even drawn in Caterpillar's global headquarters, which has been based in Peoria, IL, for nearly 100 years.