A quick look around The Reed at Southbank Monday showed an awful lot of piles driven into the South Loop soil, with lots more stacked up waiting their turn. I only saw one caisson above ground, and that was there on my most recent trip June 21 (part of the “vertical access shaft” work, I think). I thought to myself, Self? Are they doing piles before caissons? Are the caissons done already? Are there only piles and no caissons? In the June photo, you’ll notice there were already piles of piles to be driven.
My conclusion? I don’t know. But I have some photos to show you.
FOUNDATIONS ONLY PERMIT FOR THE NEW CONSTRUCTION OF A HIGH RISE RESIDENTIAL BUILDING
And with those words, issued by the City of Chicago Monday, The Reed at Southbank may begin construction. Lendlease is the general contractor, with McHugh Concrete doing the concrete work. (Note: in “official” contractor-speak, the tower crane “belongs” to the concrete contractor. But around here, we aren’t diligent enough to find and name all the sub-contractors on construction projects, so the general contractor is credited for the tower crane. We don’t mean to slight anyone; it’s just how we do it.)
The Reed at Southbank will be the second tower at Lendlease’s Southbank development. Its first, The Cooper, opened in 2018. The Reed, also designed by Perkins + Will, will be a 41-story mix of apartments and condominiums
They’ve been out there tearing up the ground for while now, prepping the site and doing that vertical shaft thing we mentioned before. But now it’s time for the real fun to start.
“Vertical access shafts” are a thing. Which explains why crews are at the future home of The Reed at Southbank are tearing up the yard and digging in the dirt. For-real construction is expected to begin by the time summer months arrive in Chicago. Lendlease will, of course, be their own general contractor, in addition to their developer duties.
The Reed at Southbank will be the second tower at Lendlease’s Southbank development. Its first, The Cooper, opened in 2018. The Reed will be a 41-story mix of apartments and condominiums. This is how Lendlease describes it:
THE REED AT SOUTHBANK
Developed and constructed by Lendlease, The Reed is a 41-story luxury residential high-rise located at 234 W. Polk Street, as the next phase of its Southbank neighborhood development in Chicagos South Loop. The new building, which will offer 216 luxury condominiums on its upper floors and 224 rental apartments located on floors 9 through 22, marks the second residential tower in Southbank, a 7-acre master plan centered around 2 acres of public green space, known as Southbank Park, along the South Branch of the Chicago River.
The Reed boasts two well-appointed amenity suites for residents to enjoy, including a 12,000-square-foot outdoor amenity deck on the eighth floor overlooking Southbank Park. Residents will share access to an indoor amenity space on the eighth floor and owners will have exclusive use of an additional amenity space on the second floor, which is at grade with Southbank Park. The intentional placement of the second-floor amenities and use of full-height windows is intended to establish continuity between the park and tower, according to project architect Perkins+Will, which also designed The Cooper and the broader Southbank master plan.
Condo layouts include one, two- and three-bedroom plans priced from the $390,000s and ranging in size from 630 to 1,670 square feet. Occupying floors 23 to 41 of the tower, The Reeds condominiums celebrate the buildings idyllic location with floor-to-ceiling windows that showcase stunning views of the skyline, Lake Michigan and Chicago River, as well as Southbank Park, which borders the northern side of the building. The towers interiors pay homage to the surrounding neighborhood with an industrial-chic aesthetic that is realized through concrete ceilings and metal finishing throughout residences.
Metra and CTA rides, Zipcars, Divvy Bikes, camera lenses, and comfortable walking shoes add up. You can help offset expenses by making a greatly-appreciated donation to Building Up Chicago.
The Cooper at Southbank is fast approaching its Fall 2018 opening. Last week we told you about the new name for the apartment tower in Lendlease’s also-newly-named Southbank development. We took another walk around the site Wednesday to see the tower, as well as continued work on the grounds that will become Southbank Park.
It’s been so long since I’ve visited this development, it’s changed names. Twice.
Southbank is the new moniker for the Lendlease’s multi-phase project along the South Bank of the Chicago River. Formerly Riverline, the name was changed when co-developer CMK Companies split off, and the development was divided into north and south portions. (The Chicago Architecture Blog explained it here.)
The first tower of Southbank began with the name Ancora, and as we suspected would happen, that tower has been renamed as well, now officially going by The Cooper. (You can see the entire press release from Lendlease following the photo gallery of life as it currently exists at Southbank.)
The Cooper is topped out, glassed up, and having major interior work done. And while it gets ready for residents, site work is being done on the ground around it, so when folks start moving in, they’ll have more than just a dirt lot surrounding them. In April, a permit was issued allowing for “NEW CONCRETE RETAINING WALLS, ELEVATED WOOD WALKWAY ON WOOD PILES, DRINKING FOUNTAINS, WATER FEATURE, PLAYGROUND EQUIPMENT, 4FT HIGH METAL FENCE, GUARDRAILS & LANDSCAPING.” (The city always uses CAPS for permits. Sorry.)
Hopefully soon we’ll see a permit to get the second tower started.
Lendlease Announces First Multi-Family Development
in Chicago – The Cooper at Southbank
The Cooper is the first of five high-rise residential buildings opening
Fall 2018 at Southbank.
(CHICAGO, IL, May 29, 2018) — Lendlease, a leading international property and infrastructure
group, is proud to announce The Cooper as the developer’s first of five residential high-rises to
open at Southbank in Chicago’s South Loop.
Southbank, which was unveiled earlier this month, is a new neighborhood spanning more than
seven acres in the South Loop of Chicago, which is zoned to offer as many as 2,700 units
across five high-rises surrounding a two-acre park. Construction is well underway, and The
Cooper will begin pre-leasing this Summer.
Residents at The Cooper will benefit from a robust amenity package including over 11,000 square
feet of communal activity space equipped with a personal training gym with Peloton bikes, a
maker space, a high-end rooftop demonstration kitchen, a fully equipped music listening and jam
room and a separate virtual sports simulation room. The Cooper features a must have, spacious
exterior rooftop pool deck complete with private cabanas, a bocce ball court, and an outdoor
screening room. At 29-stories tall, The Cooper offers stunning panoramic views of the lake and
“The unique and best-in-class amenities at The Cooper provide residents with endless
opportunities for inspiration,” said Justin Patwin, Project Director – Southbank, Lendlease. “The
addition of Southbank Park will be another amenity to the entire community that will further
demonstrate Lendlease’s commitment to delivering the best places.”
The Cooper, which is managed by Bozzuto, is composed of 452 rental units, including 26 townhomes,
parking and retail space. The units range from a mix of studio, one-, two-, and threebedrooms,
townhome and penthouse living options. The 26 townhomes line the base of the
building and have direct access from the park.
The Cooper at Southbank will be adjacent to the new Southbank Park. Southbank Park will
include open green space with recreational amenities and a continuous Riverwalk along the
South Branch of the Chicago River. A new water taxi stop at the south end of the property will
connect the property to Chinatown and The Loop. Southbank is within walking distance from The
Loop, lakefront, and several CTA stops, offering easy access to the city’s parks, trails and
Not only do The Cooper residents have easy access to Southbank’s blossoming landscape to
support their mental health and promote physical activity, but their wellbeing is also supported by
the sustainability measures inside their residence.
Consistent with Lendlease’s commitment to sustainable development, The Cooper is targeting
LEED Gold Certification. Lendlease’s extensive sustainable construction best practices in
material procurement, construction waste management, environmental safeguards and indoor air
quality protection also contribute to the project’s validation of the delivery of a healthy, highperforming
For more information on The Cooper, please visit the newly launched website:
For additional information, contact:
Director of Public Relations
212 592 6895
Skirt Public Relations
773 661 0700
Lendlease is a leading international property and infrastructure group with operations in
Australia, Asia, Europe and the Americas. Our vision is to create the best places; places that
inspire and enrich the lives of people around the world.
Headquartered in Sydney, Australia, and listed on the Australian Securities Exchange,
Lendlease has approximately 12,350 employees internationally.
Our core capabilities are reflected in our operating segments of Development, Construction and
Investments. The combination of these three segments provides us with a sustainable
competitive advantage and allows us to provide innovative integrated solutions for our
The Bozzuto Group is an experience-focused real estate company that is continually celebrated
for its developments, customer service and workplace culture. With an expertise in
homebuilding, multifamily development, construction and management for itself and its clients,
Bozzuto is devoted to crafting extraordinary experiences.
Founded in 1988, Bozzuto has developed, acquired and built more than 42,000 homes and
apartments. Currently, it manages more than 70,000 apartments and 2.2 million square feet of
retail space along the East Coast between Miami and Boston, in the Northeast and
My apologies in advance for not making it here in nicer weather. This curvy-on-one-side glass beauty deserves to be viewed under blue skies.
Gone are the two tower cranes that held court atop the Simpson Querrey Biomedical Research Center that Northwestern University is building in Streeterville. Power Construction has been hard at work on this one since ground was broken back in May 2015. Designed by Perkins+Will, the exterior looks nearly complete, while interior work continues, with the goal of a late-2018 opening.
The skies over Chicago weren’t very cooperative last Thursday, as we made the pilgrimage down to Riverline to bid a fond farewell to the tower crane that has topped out Ancora, the 29-story apartment tower representing Phase One of CMK Companies’ and Lendlease’s South Loop community. We shouldn’t have to wait too long for another crane to show up on site; there’s already quite a bit of earth moving to prep the site for more development, which may or may not be a tower named “Current.”
Ancora, the Phase One tower of CMK Companies‘ Riverline development in the South Loop, has reached another milestone, as the first level of glass stretches around the exterior. That would be the 7th floor of Perkins+Will’s 29-story, 452-unit design. Overall, co-developer and general contractor Lendlease has the tower at or near the 23rd floor. It’s hard to tell with all that orange wrapping and yellow formwork, but those materials are worth the obstructed view when the setting sunlight hits it.
The Phase Two tower was initially reported to be called “Current,” an 18-story tower with 251 condominiums and 28 townhomes. But the Riverline website no longer includes information about that building.
There’s more glass happening at the Simpson Querrey Biomedical Research Center in Streeterville. Lots more glass. Once a feature exclusive to the north elevation, the south side’s getting cladding now as well.
Power Construction tells us not to fret about losing tower cranes just yet. One crane will come down soon, probably in early November, but the second crane could finish out the year still before it’s taken down. They must know how painful it would be to say goodbye to both at once.