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Plans Unveiled for Chicago’s Gang-Designed Supertall Building

by Rachel Mazanec

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Since the tower’s first announcement by a Chinese news outlet in July, the drawing plans for Chinese developer Wanda Group’s new supertall tower with 9,000 sq. ft. of retail space have been unveiled in a public announcement coordinated by Wanda Group, Chicago’s Studio Gang and the city of Chicago.

The design, by Chicago architect Jeanne Gang, calls for three interlocked, zigzagging high-rises that would step up to the tallest of the three along the Chicago River. According to the Tribune’s Blair Kamin, the tallest of the three interlocking towers will actually be on the west side of the trio, versus the original plan of having the tallest tower on the structure’s east side.

Additionally, the tower has been lowered to 88 floors from the originally planned 89. While no answer has been provided, the decision to cut the 89th floor could have something to do with Chinese superstitions about the number eight. So will the new Wanda Vista actually become the city’s third tallest building as first thought? Speculation still stands.

A few new renderings have also been announced, including a couple that offer interior shots of presumably the hotel lobby and dining area. One plan that hasn’t changed however is including the five-star hotel and 390 condos

The Wanda Group and Magellan Development hope to break ground on the project in 2016. With Wanda Group footing $900 million for the project, it’s expected that construction could begin without the need for unit presales. According to the mayor, the project will provide roughly 2,000 construction jobs, becoming one of the biggest projects Chicago has had in quite a while.

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