The 1000M residential tower in Chicago’s South Loop, what is likely the last design by the late architect Helmut Jahn, has cleared a hurdle to resuming construction under revised plans approved by the Chicago Plan Commission.

The commission gave the go-ahead on June 17 for the reconfigured tower at 1000 S. Michigan Ave. The design now calls for apartments instead of the original condos, but that change still must be approved by the city council.

The architecture firm, JAHN, whose namesake principal recently died, reduced the building's height by 27 ft, and changed it to 738 apartments rather than the 521 condominiums it was originally planned to have. Under the new design, the building would still be Jahn’s tallest in Chicago, at 805 ft, rather than 832 ft in the original plans.

Construction by contractor James McHugh Construction Co. began in 2019 but was halted a year ago during the pandemic. Construction financier Goldman-Sachs had finished paying for the foundation work on the $470-million structure but declined to finance it further due to concerns about the city's changing real estate market.

Francis A. Greenburger, chairman of New York City-based Time Equities, one of three developers on the project, along with JK Equities and Oak Capitals, said that apartments rather than condos would be the right way to move forward.

“Market experts have told us that comparable high-amenity luxury buildings are in demand and renting briskly,” he said.

He said the pandemic has affected the real estate and construction industries in many ways and is a prime reason for making the changes.

“The pandemic period has been challenging for everyone,” he said. “We have dealt with these challenges and changes in market conditions by adjusting our development plan in a responsible way so as to have the best final result.”

Greenburger predicts financing will be finalized and construction will begin later this year or early 2022.  

“We hope to close financing and start construction in the fall but if not then, it would be in the spring,” he said.

He said Time Equities is looking forward to advancing the project despite one of the biggest hurdles faced in the last year, which was the loss of Jahn, 81, who was killed in a bicycle accident in May.  

“He will be greatly missed,” Greenburger said. “But we look forward to carrying his legacy forward with the completion of 1000M.”