Friday, May 22, 2020

Checking in on Chicago Mega-Developments Amid Covid-19

A conceptual rendering from Related Midwest depicts the Discovery Partners Institute in The 78.(Related Midwest)
Oof (via
More than a decade of aggressive building in Chicago has altered the skyline and emboldened developers to draw up some of the most ambitious real estate plans ever seen in the city.
Now the coronavirus pandemic leaves in doubt whether megaprojects like The 78 and Lincoln Yards can continue, if they’ll be pushed into the next construction cycle, or worse, go the way of the never-built Chicago Spire and Miglin-Beitler Skyneedle.
Among the obstacles developers face: a wrecked economy, companies cutting back their office space needs and fewer financing sources. Projects that move forward will have to weigh which design changes are here to stay and which are short-term concerns that will pass when the pandemic does.

If you're interested in the state of big developments in Chicago amid the Covid-19 pandemic this is a good read.

To go deeper on The 78 the article states:
The crisis “definitely has hit the pause button" on presales of condos, Carlins said in an email. He said the developers are confident sales will pick up once residents move in. The hotel is expected to open next spring, Carlins said.
North and south of the central business district, four multibillion-dollar, mixed-use projects are at various stages of development. Two of those, The 78 and Lincoln Yards, are at an advantage because the developers already own the sites and have city zoning approval.
Related Midwest’s The 78 is a $7 billion plan zoned for 13 million square feet of similar uses on the river between the South Loop and Chinatown. Construction is underway on a road through the property but no building construction has begun.

It is super interesting to see how this plays out.  This development seemed to be moving along at a pace that surprised us (although we've been talking about this land for 10+ years!).  That said, it seems like there will be some bumps in the (unfinished) road for Related on this project.

We'll be watching with interest.

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