Los Angeles-based CIM Group and Chicago’s Golub & Co. unveiled plans last month to redevelop Chicago’s neo-gothic Tribune Tower and the land surrounding it to include an adjacent 1,422-ft-tall structure that, if built, would become the city’s second tallest buildng behind Willis Tower at 1,450 ft. The soon-to-be-former home of the Chicago Tribune, a landmarked building built in 1923, would be converted to 165 residential units and new retail space. The entire development is projected to cost $1 billion and start construction in 2019.
Design Partner Gordon Gill of architect Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture said that the reflective glass of the new tower was designed to look different from Tribune Tower while its vertical fins clad in bronze-colored metal would complement the historic tower’s Indiana limestone facade. The new tower is planned to house a 200-room luxury hotel, 439 rental apartments, 125 condominiums and parking.
The renovation of Tribune Tower was designed by Chicago’s Solomon Cordwell Buenz in collaboration with historic preservation consultant Vinci Hamp Architects. While it would leave the Chicago landmark’s exterior intact, other buildings in the complex—including structures that once housed the paper’s printing plant as well as radio and TV studios for cable network and radio broadcaster WGN—would see major modifications including a four-story addition to the broadcast building.
Demolition of the interior spaces of Tribune Tower has already begun and the newspaper’s staff is set to move to nearby Prudential Plaza in two months. However, the Stones of the World taken by Tribune correspondents from famous buildings around the world, would mostly stay embedded in the building’s exterior façade. Some stones would be moved to other locations onsite while the building’s landmarked lobby would stay and continue to be open to the public.
The biggest fight over the project may be what happens to the Chicago Tribune sign adorning it. CIM Group and Golub have filed a lawsuit to keep the newspaper from taking the letters that spell “Chicago Tribune” from the front of the building when they leave.
“We are doing everything we can to keep the sign. Like the Stones of the World, we feel it’s part of the fabric of the building,” explained Lee Golub , Partner and EVP at Golub & Co. “The tenant claims it’s intellectual property. We believe it’s real estate that we lawfully acquired.”
Developers are still seeking city approval, which would require a zoning change.