In April 2017, Riverside Investment and Development completed 150 N. Riverside, building a 1.2-million-sq-ft, $270-million, 54-story office tower on a 47-ft-wide foundation. The tower had a then-unheard-of 20-to-one foundation-to-height aspect ratio. It's the most well-known of many times the 2017 Midwest Owner of the Year built what was previously thought to be impossible.

Riverside is currently working on a $1 billion-plus project with Amtrak and the city to redevelop up to 2 million square feet of office space, 780 apartments and 350 hotel rooms on Chicago's sprawling Union Station site. A project that, again, other developers attempted and abandoned.

The company is also developing 700 at The River District, a joint venture with Tribune Media which owns another parcel on the Chicago River that's planned to receive three office towers, a 300-unit residential high-rise, and a 4.5-acre park with a publicly-accessible riverwalk. The site has been mentioned as part of Chicago's attempt to woo's HQ2, but 700 at The River District is first and foremost part of a city plan to open up parts of the 760-acre North Branch Industrial Corridor from Kinzie Street to Fullerton Avenue to residential, office and other commercial uses. Again, Riverside was the go-to developer to turn unwanted riverfront land into a desirable live and work environment.

Riverside was founded in 2010 by John O’Donnell, a longtime Chicago real estate veteran with more than 30 years and 40 million square feet of investment, development, and redevelopment experience who, before launching his own company, worked on the most complex projects of the John Buck Company. Both of Riverside's first development deals were negotiated by a team of three, working out of a small subleased office space. The company was not even named Riverside yet when the three principals acquired the land for 150 N. Riverside and Chicago and Main in Evanston, Ill.

More about our Owner of the Year's rapid growth story will be told in our March 26th issue along with ENR Midwest's Top Starts. Stay tuned.