Pictorial> OneEleven, Chicago’s ritzy Loop residential with a rocky history

Architecture Development Interiors Midwest News Pictorial
OneEleven, at 111 W. Wacker Dr. in Chicago. (Kevin Zolkiewicz via Flickr)

OneEleven, at 111 W. Wacker Dr. in Chicago. (Kevin Zolkiewicz via Flickr)

Developers Related completed its resurrection of 111 West Wacker Drive earlier this year, opening a luxury rental tower on the Chicago River where for years stood a ghostly concrete frame left over from a previous owner’s attempt to build.

The site was originally intended to house the first Shangri-La Hotel in the U.S. Four years after the recession halted construction with just 28 stories of structural skeleton complete, Related broke “ground” again, this time planning about 60 stories and about 500 luxury apartments.

That redevelopment finished up this summer, opening in July. About 60 percent of the units have since been rented, said Related spokeswoman Tricia Van Horn. Renting is the only option for the 504 units, which range from 575-square-foot studios to three-bedroom, three-bath residences of 2,400 square feet. They cost anywhere from $2,395 to $11,500 a month for one of the four penthouses.

OneEleven’s segmented construction led to some interesting design adaptations. Having scaled back from pre-recession ambitions, the new owners stacked a smaller building on top of the 28-story base, bifurcating the floorplate and creating some interesting outdoor spaces where the Shangri-La plan juts out at the 28th floor. A recessed zig-zag in the facade references datum lines of nearby buildings and alludes to the unusual construction history while shielding the transition between its disjointed floorplans.

Views from outdoor “Club OneEleven” down Clark Street are spectacular, if marred a bit by the building’s neighbor to the south. But rather than cram lower south-facing floors with low-light apartments, Related conceded that space to back-of-house, building systems and some amenities.

The luxury rentals are targeted to “people who are really interested in having an urban life,” Van Horn said, underscoring the building’s singular position in this section of the Loop not typically known for residential developments.

Take a look inside OneEleven with these photos by Scott Frances.

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