News

10.03.19
A new Wacker Drive skyscraper — the tallest office tower to be built in Chicago in the last three decades — is about to reach its full height

As seen Chicago Tribune

Construction of Chicago’s tallest office tower in 30 years is about to top out, providing another milestone in the city’s decadelong construction boom.

Bank of America Tower, a 55-story building under construction along the Chicago River at 110 N. Wacker Drive, is scheduled to reach its full height later this month, developers Howard Hughes Corp. and Riverside Investment & Development said.

It’s unclear how much longer the economy will continue to sustain a construction cycle that has filled Chicago’s skyline with a wave of new high-rises, including several along the river.

But Dallas-based Howard Hughes and Chicago-based Riverside already have capitalized on demand for new riverfront offices, with almost 70% of the 1.5 million-square-foot building’s space leased well ahead of its planned opening in fall 2020. Executives from the Charlotte, N.C.-based bank and the development firms on Tuesday held a topping out ceremony, just ahead of the completion of concrete and steel atop the building.

The Wacker Drive tower will be 815 feet tall, making it the tallest office building in the city completed since 1990 — when the 64-story Two Prudential Plaza (995 feet) and the 65-story tower at 311 S. Wacker Drive (961 feet) opened.

The building will cost $798 million, backed by $559 million in construction debt led by Bank of America and J.P. Morgan Chase, according to the developers.

Bank of America will occupy 523,000 square feet and move about 2,000 employees there from other Chicago buildings where it currently leases space.

Law firms Jones Day; Perkins Coie; Morgan, Lewis & Bockius; and King & Spalding also have signed leases, along with investment bank Lincoln International and luxury co-working space provider No18.

The Goettsch Partners-designed tower is on the site of the former GGP headquarters building, a squat structure the developers demolished. The new tower will include a half-acre park along the river.

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