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Unveiled> 451 East Grand Avenue
A new tower by Robert AM Stern and a park by Michael Van Valkenburgh in Chicago.
Courtesy RAMSA

451 East Grand Avenue
Architect: Robert A.M. Stern Architects
Client: Related Midwest
Location: Chicago, IL
Completion Date: TBD

Building on a flurry of new projects announced for downtown Chicago’s lakefront neighborhoods, developer Related Midwest announced in July that they plan to build a 67-story residential tower designed by Robert A.M. Stern Architects at 451 East Grand Avenue.

The project will also include a 70,000-square-foot park area designed by Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates. GREC Architects is the architect of record and Darcy Bonner & Associates will handle interior design.

Stern’s firm is well-known in New York City for its limestone and masonry clad high-rises, including pricy condos like 30 Park Place and 220 Central Park South. But his first Chicago skyscraper will likely be wrapped in less expensive precast concrete instead of limestone. The building’s base is to be stone.

Courtesy MVVA

The still-unnamed project is a hybrid of residential spaces, composed of 400 apartments and 100 condo units. It is across the street from 500 Lake Shore Drive, another luxury apartment highrise from Related that was completed last year and is 99-percent occupied.

A 1.7-acre park adjacent to the tower is to be redesigned to include a lawn “bowl,” hilltop tree grove, and dog run. The existing park is underused and has been called a “failure” by Alderman Brendan Reilly. According to a statement from Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates, the new park “will be a distinctive new open space that welcomes and accommodates the daily activity of urban life.”

Chris Bentley