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Work On South Loop’s Futuristic Gateway Towers Will Begin This Year As Part Of A $7 Billion Megadevelopment Plan

By Elliot McGowan

Work On South Loop’s Futuristic Gateway Towers Will Begin This Year As Part Of A $7 Billion Megadevelopment Plan

Work is in motion on Chicago’s “next great neighborhood” and it looks extraordinary.

After quite a while of uncertainty and setbacks, 2021 looks set to see real changes to the makeup of the South Loop and its surroundings. Related Midwest’s 62-acre megadevelopment plan known as ‘The 78’ is underway and this year it will enter its next phase and start work on the flagship connected towers known as the ‘Gateway Towers.’ The 78 project is a $7 billion investment that plans to create “our next great neighborhood”.

According to the 78 Chicago website, the Gateway Towers will be “two striking and complementary skyscrapers that rise to create an iconic profile in the Chicago skyline” and act as “the ‘gateway’ to The 78, welcoming tens of thousands of employees every day.”

The towers will be connected by a curvilinear multi-level skybridge near the base and will be located at the intersection of W Roosevelt Road and S Clark Street near the northeast corner of The 78’s acreage, as seen below.

Image from 78chicago.com

Meanwhile, the seven-acre ‘Crescent Park’ will be developed adjacent to the towers and nestled within the 62-acre development area that plans to revamp a half-mile of riverfront and provide unprecedented waterfront access. Both the duration and the cost of the project are not crystal clear but The 78 website reads that the project will provide thousands of new homes and create 15,000 new construction jobs.

Here are some renderings from Skidmore Owings & Merrill, the design architect for both The 78’s masterplan and its sub-projects, that give us an idea of what the groundbreaking new neighborhood will look like:

78 Chicago Forum
Image of ‘The Forum’ from 78chicago.com
78 Chicago Crescent Park
Image of ‘7-Acre Crescent Park’ from 78chicago.com
The 78 Riverfront
Image of ‘One-Half Mile of Riverfront Access’ from 78chicago.com
Chicago Wells-Wentworth Connector
Image of ‘Wells-Wentworth Connector’ from 78chicago.com
78 Chicago Discovery Partners Institute
Image of ‘Discovery Partners Institute’ from 78chicago.com
78 Project Image
Image of ‘Next Great Neighborhood’ from 78chicago.com

More images and information can be found at www.78chicago.com.

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