May 02, 2016
Construction to begin on Vista Tower
A model of the Vista tower in the sales center.
The Vista Tower is ready to go.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced today that the developers of the 95-story riverside tower designed by Jeanne Gang will break ground on the project this summer. At nearly 1,200 feet tall, the high-rise in the Lakeshore East development will be the third-tallest in Chicago.
Chicago-based Magellan Development Group is building the tower in a joint venture with Dalian Wanda Group, the largest real estate developer in China. The building at 375 E. Wacker Drive will include 200 hotel rooms and 400 condominiums at prices as high as $1,750 per square foot, which would make it one of the most expensive residential buildings in the city.
Buyers have already signed contracts for about 20 percent, or 80, of the condos, Magellan President David Carlins said after a news conference at the construction site. The city has approved the project, but the developers are still working through the permitting process, he said.
Magellan and Wanda are also putting together their financing for the project, which will cost about $1 billion. They may finance part of the project through the federal EB-5 visa program, which allows non-U.S. citizens to receive residency here if they invest in qualified projects, Carlins said. They are authorized to raise as much as $200 million from EB-5 investors, he said.
EB-5 financing has been popular with real estate developers, but critics of the program say it's vulnerable to fraud and is being used to finance unworthy luxury real estate projects.
The Vista project will create more than 2,000 construction jobs and 500 permanent jobs, according to a statement from the mayor's office. Construction will take four years.