Tall & Urban News

Groundbreaking Ceremony for Chicago Waterfront Development

400 Lake Shore Groundbreaking. Image Credit: Cory Dewald + Related Midwest
400 Lake Shore Groundbreaking. Image Credit: Cory Dewald + Related Midwest
18 June 2024 | Chicago, United States

On Monday, 17 June, a groundbreaking ceremony for Chicago's newest residential complex, 400 Lake Shore Drive was held with more than 200 guests, including city and state elected officials, project partners, labor leaders and community stakeholders, to celebrate the groundbreaking of phase one of 400 Lake Shore in downtown Chicago. 

This two high-rise development by Related Midwest sits on the last undeveloped parcel of land, where the Chicago River meets Lake Michigan. Designed by the Chicago office of SOM with David Childs, the skyscrapers will maintain a distinctive waterfall effect through the striation and stepping occurring up the structure’s façade. The dual structure will act as a gateway to the Chicago River using its cascading form and silhouette to merge and redefine the shoreline.

400 Lake Shore Hero - Credit: SOM + Related Midwest

400 Lake Shore Hero. Image credit: SOM + Related Midwest


This ceremony marks the start of the first phase for 400 Lake Shore with construction starting on the first building, 462 East North Water Street. This 72-story residential high-rise will top out at 851 feet (259 meters). It will will comprise 635 rental apartments in a mix of studio, one-, two- and three-bedroom layouts with 20 percent of the apartments, or 127 units, designated as affordable housing.

In conjunction with its development of the first tower, Related will also deliver the highly anticipated DuSable Park, named in honor of Chicago’s first non-native settler, Jean-Baptiste Pointe DuSable. In addition to making a $10 million commitment, Related will lead construction of the 3.3-acre park, located east of Lake Shore Drive and accessible via Founder’s Way—a planned extension of the Chicago Riverwalk that will also be completed as part of phase one. Including the park, 400 Lake Shore will offer 4.5 acres of publicly available space, including a plaza between the towers with amenities, a two-story podium and public art.

400 Lake Shore will reinvigorate a site that has been vacant since the planned Chicago Spire ceased construction in the wake of the Great Recession. During the groundbreaking ceremony for 400 Lake Shore, guests signed a link beam that will be lowered into the site’s infamous cofferdam—a relic of the Spire that is being incorporated into the new design—to become a permanent part of the new structure and connect one side of the foundation to the other.

The first northern tower will be constructed by BOWA Construction in congruency with LR Contracting Company. The 22-meter-deep cofferdam is slated to be filled by August of this year and the concrete structure is scheduled to top out in October of 2025. Completion of this first phase is currently scheduled to happen sometime in 2027.

Brendan Reilly the 42nd Ward Alderman who attended the event stated, “After a robust community review process, this development will deliver infrastructure, traffic, and public safety improvements, entirely funded by Related Midwest, in addition to the highly anticipated improvements to DuSable Park.”

Financing for the construction and public improvements was a collaboration between the Illinois Housing Development Authority, as well as several notable financial institutions.

Learn more about the project at SOM.