The city of Chicago has granted a building permit for the Salesforce Tower. This is a planned 1.2 million square foot skyscraper at Wolf Point in RiverNorth. The developer has secured a $500 million-plus construction loan that is one of the largest in Chicago history according to the Chicago Tribune.
Salesforce Tower has many deep-pocketed investors and a 500,000 square foot lease from Salesforce which helped get things moving forward during a major economic slowdown.
The loan was finalized and work on the skyscraper's foundation began a day or two later at Orleans Street and the Chicago River.
Hines is developing the site with the Kennedy family, who have owned the land for decades. Besides the Kennedy family, Larry Levy and the AFL-CIO Building Investment Trust are also involved in developing the site.
The loan is for more than $500 million and the exact amount was not revealed and has not yet been recorded with Cook County. Lenders include JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo and US Bank among others.
Construction loans bigger than half a billion dollars are extremely rare in Chicago. This is the largest loan since 2017. That was for $700 million for the 101 story Vista Tower condominium and hotel project which is expected to be open later this year and also a $500 million loan for the Old Post Office redevelopment that opened in late 2019.
In November 2018, Salesforce confirmed plans to anchor the riverfront tower. It had leased floor five through 23 and 55 through 57 in a consolidation of spaces in several River North and Loop office buildings it occupies now.
Salesforce expects to pay $475 million in rent over 17 years in the new tower. The building is expected to cost more than $800 million to build.
Architecture firm Pelli Clarke Pelli designed the 820 foot tall tower. It is expected to be completed in the fall of 2022. About 700,000 square feet of office space is still available.
The Wolf Point site is near the Merchandise Mart on the north banks of the river. It is the third and final tower to be built on the Wolf Point site.
Wolf Point East is the 60 story apartment tower and is still undergoing construction. Wolf Point West opened in January of 2016.
The tower's foundation work will take six months to complete.
"Short term, I think things are going to be very bumpy, with tenants reassessing their needs. But, this building won't be ready for two to three years, and I think by then things will be back to normal."
Senior Managing Director at Hines | Greg Van Schaack
Per Chicago Curbed, the glass and metal tower designed by Pelli Clarke Pelli will also have below-ground parking and a publicly accessible riverwalk.
It will feature the following amenities:
- Club-quality fitness center with locker rooms and showers
- Conference center
- Tenant Lounge
- 25,000 square feet of commercial retail space
The Salesforce deal includes naming rights to the building as well as a 1,000 square foot company logo on the east side of the building's crown. The top level of the tower is an Ohana Floor which means "family" in Hawaiian and will be used as a semi public space for local nonprofits and educational groups on nights and weekends.
Salesforce Tower Chicago is the fourth major office skyscraper to go up near the junction of the three branches of the Chicago River in recent years. It joins the 55 story Bank of America Tower (which will open later this year), the 54 story high-rise at 150 N. Riverside, and the 52 story River Point tower.
Posted by Judy Lamelza