- Developer Sterling Bay and architecture firm Skidmore, Owings & Merrill have revealed the latest renderings for The Porch, a 20-story, 670,000 square-foot office tower that will be built in Chicago's West Loop district, according to Curbed Chicago.
- The cube-shaped high-rise will feature a glass and metal façade; an expansive ground floor with three commercial retail venues and an open lobby; an oversized porch-style balcony area; an amenity floor with an indoor-outdoor bar for tenants, fitness center and paddle ball courts; a rooftop terrace; co-working and event space; onsite parking for 200 cars; and a tenant café, library and maker lounge.
- The Porch is just one of four buildings Sterling Bay plans to develop in the West Loop area, according to Curbed Chicago. The second is a 19-story office tower with a kinetic, undulating wall. The third is a 21-story office tower, and the fourth is a seven-story mixed-use building that will feature a parking garage, movie theater and ground-floor retail. Gensler designed the additional three buildings.
The West Loop area has become a draw for tech companies like Google and is the site of the new McDonald's world headquarters.
Sterling Bay and SOM are also collaborating on another project in Chicago, a $10 billion, mixed-use waterfront development with a 20,000-seat soccer stadium to accommodate a new Soccer League (USL) team. The stadium will have a retractable roof and host a variety of entertainment and sporting events.
Chicago is one of 20 finalists left in the running for Amazon's $5 billion second North American headquarters and submitted the live-work-play project as a potential site, which is part of Sterling Bay's 70-acre Lincoln Yard development. According to Bisnow, an Amazon search committee this week will tour the locations that the city offered up in its proposal.
Washington, D.C., reportedly has the edge over other candidate cities and regions, as Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos owns the Washington Post and is building a home in nearby Montgomery County, Maryland.
But even if the Windy City doesn't win the Amazon HQ2, it still has plenty of development activity to keep construction companies busy, even though the building boom seems to be slowing. Dodge Data & Analytics said 2017 was probably the last year Chicago would see the impressive growth in construction starts that it did beginning in 2011.