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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For years Chicago’s celebrated architectural boat tour has started its journey at 111 W. Wacker, a 28-story symbol of the great recession and stalled real estate development. Now they are one step closer to a launch more fit for neck-craning. Construction workers broke ground Thursday on the dormant project once again, reviving the high-rise once intended as the first Shangri-La Hotel in the United States. The 950,000-square-foot Waterview Tower will reach 60 stories when completed in the Spring of 2014, housing 504 luxury rental units and more than 400 parking spaces. There will be ground-floor retail and a restaurant. The tower stalled in 2008 and developers Related Midwest scooped it up in July 2011 through a distressed real estate fund. Related has been busy lately, announcing work on projects including 500 North Lake Shore Drive, the Lathrop Homes, and roughly half of the built and unsold condo units in the South Loop. Alderman Brendan Reilly and Commissioner Andrew Mooney of the Chicago Department of Housing and Economic Development joined Related President Curt Bailey for the groundbreaking. Construction will create 900 jobs, something union representative Tom Villanova said came as welcome news to construction workers who had been facing 25 percent unemployment.