One of Chicago's most recognizable and historically important buildings has been sold for redevelopment. The neo-Gothic Tribune Tower, home to the titular media conglomerate and the Chicago Tribune's publishing company tronc, has proudly stood at 435 N. Michigan Avenue since 1925. To maximize the site's potential, Los Angeles-based developer CIM Group is planning to transform the building into a mixed-use destination that could include residences, office space, a hotel, and a healthy offering of retail. 

The Tribune Tower as viewed from the south, image by Flickr user Boris Kasimov via Creative Commons

As it is a designated historic building, a status which confers additional legal protections against demolition and significant alterations, CIM Group has committed to working with the City to maintain the structure's landmark aesthetic. The same three-acre property also includes a surface parking lot that will be eliminated in favour of new construction. The existing 737,000-square-foot building only represents a fraction of the site's current zoning permissions of 2.4 million square feet. 

The Tribune Tower, image retrieved from Google Street View

The surrounding structures, which include the printing plant to the east and the WGN Radio and WGN-TV buildings, would likely be incorporated into the design. Whether that manifests itself in a wholesale preservation or a facadism is yet to be decided. Chicago's Golub & Company is a partner in the $240 million deal.

The Wrigley Building and Tribune Tower, image by Marcus Mitanis

CIM has yet to select an architect but hopes to have preliminary plans in the next six to nine months. Construction could then begin in the fall of 2018. In a city known for its elegant stock of historic buildings, Chicagoans will undoubtedly take a keen interest in the redevelopment plans as they unfold. And with direct sight lines from the Chicago River, any additional structures on the site will permanently alter this highly popularized urban vista. 

Tribune Tower from Upper Wacker Drive along the Chicago River, image retrieved from Google Street View

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