South Loop Essex Hotel Groundbreaking

Thursday, January 19, 2017

The City broke ground on the Essex Hotel at 800 South Michigan Avenue on January 19, 2017. The $240 million, mixed-use project includes construction of a new, 57-story residential building and the rehabilitation of the adjacent Essex Inn, which is planned to be upgraded as a four-star hotel. 

The LEED-certified complex will contain up to 476 residential units and 290 hotel rooms. It will also create 130 permanent jobs and 275 construction jobs. The project is expected to be completed by 2019.

The 15-story Essex Inn was recently recommended for landmark status by the Commission on Chicago Landmarks. To be considered by City Council later this year, the designation would protect the building’s elevations, rooflines and rooftop sign. 

As part of the project’s zoning approval, the developer will contribute $2.02 million into the City’s Affordable Housing Opportunity Fund, which is used to finance affordable housing construction and help mitigate homelessness throughout Chicago. Ald. Sophia King (4th) also worked with the developer to include 10 affordable housing units on site.

In addition to 800 South Michigan, notable high-rises anticipated to break ground nearby in the near future include the 73-story, Helmut Jahn-designed 1000 S. Michigan and 76-story Rafael Viñoly-designed 1200 S. Indiana. 

During 2016, there were a record 51 tower cranes across the City of Chicago – that’s 17 more than all of 2015, a post-recession record.