New Skyscraper Planned for Chicago Could be City’s Third-Tallest

New details on a planned 88-story skyscraper along the Chicago River show the proposed building could become the city’s third-tallest skyscraper.

Developers at Studio Gang Architects, Chicago architect Jeanne Gang’s firm, said the mixed-use “Wanda Vista Tower,” a trio of high-rises set to be built by 2019, would be about 1,100 feet in height and 1.8 million square feet, placing it among the city’s tallest.

The building, which will house a hotel, retail shops and condo, could also reportedly become the world’s tallest building designed by a woman-owned firm.

But the new tower’s entrance could impact how its height is measured.

The Chicago Tribune reports the ground-floor entrance would sit at the same level as Lower Wacker Drive. If measured from there, the building would reportedly measure around 1,144 feet, making it the third-tallest skyscraper in Chicago. 

The Aon Center is 1,136 feet, Trump International Hotel and Tower stands 1,362 feet, including the spire, and the Willis Tower is 1,729 feet tall to the tip.

According to the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat, known as the arbiter of criteria for measuring tall building height, a building’s height is measured from “the level of the lowest, significant, open-air pedestrian entrance.”

If the council determines the building must be measured from its Upper Wacker Drive entrance, the Tribune reports it would be just 1,094 feet tall, ranking it below the Hancock Center as the city’s fifth-tallest.

New renderings of the tower removed previously planned balconies and added a light-reflecting blue-green to the exterior.

 
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Chinese company Wanda Group plans to break ground on the East Wacker Drive skyscraper in 2016. The building project is expected to create about 2,000 jobs. About 500 jobs would be permanent, city officials said.

At a cost of $900 million, the project is China's largest real estate investment in The Windy City. 

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