Tribune Tower Redevelopment Proposal Unveiled

April 17, 2018
A new 1,422 foot skyscraper may be built on what is now a parking lot on the east side of Trib Tower

Since 1925, Chicago's Tribune Tower's neo-Gothic design has influenced architecture in the city while housing media giants including the Chicago Tribune Newspaper and WGN radio.

Building developers Golub & Co. and the CIM Group unveiled plans Monday evening for the for the third chapter of the landmark building's impact on Chicago's skyline. The original Trib Tower was built in 1868 but was destroyed in the Great Chicago Fire in 1871. The replacement building was finished in 1925 after the newspaper conducted a interior and exterior design competition to build "the most beautiful and distinctive office building in the world".

If approved, a new as yet unnamed 1,422-foot skyscraper will be built on what is now a parking lot on the east side of Trib Tower.

Developer Lee Golub calls the redevelopment plans 'adaptive re-use'. “We are revitalizing an iconic international landmark, the Tribune Tower,” Golub, “and in so doing, with our adaptive re-use, we are preserving essentially 90 percent of the existing (pieces) on the site.”

Golub said the year and a half revitalizing of the Trib Tower is set to begin in August, when all of the building's office space will be converted into condo units and 47,000 feet of retail space will be created in the existing building.

The new neighboring skyscraper, scheduled to start construction late 2019, will be a mixed use building with 439 residential rental units, 125 condos, a 200-room boutique hotel , and 50,000 feet of retail space. The skyscraper is estimated to take three years to complete at which time the structure will be the second tallest in the city, just 30 feet shorter than the Willis Tower.

Historical features of the Trib Tower, including the Stones of the World display on the tower's south side are to be preserved, but the famous 'Chicago Tribune' sign has become the focus of a recently filed lawsuit.

The Los Angeles-based CIM Group and Chicago's Golub & Company want to keep the sign on the original tower, but the Chicago Tribune Newspaper's owner, Tronc, wants to take the sign to the paper's new corporate offices when Tronc moves to Prudential Plaza at the end of June.

The newspaper feels the sign is part of their brand, thus considered intellectual property, while the developer maintains the sign came with the property when it was purchased.

image: CIM Group and Golub & Co.