After breaking ground in late 2019, construction on downtown's upcoming 730-foot-tall BMO Tower topped off on Thursday.
Although the 50-story building's steel skeleton and glass curtain wall still need to play catch up, the skyscraper's concrete core has reached its final height. A special beam signed by construction workers was hoisted to the top of the structure to mark the milestone.
To make the official topping-off that much more official, crews from Clark Construction were joined by Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot, who touted the development for the 1,500 union jobs it created and the 6,000 office workers who will eventually call the building home.
BMO Tower (also known as Union Station Tower) is located at 320 S. Canal Street, just south of the Union Station headhouse and transit center. Development partners Riverside Investment & Development and Convexity Properties were selected to revitalize the station and surrounding Amtrak-owned real estate in 2017.
In addition to developing BMO Tower (which replaced an older Amtrak parking garage), the team also has city approval to eventually convert the upper floors of the historic station into 400 hotel rooms.
Chicago-based Goettsch Partners designed the newly topped-off high-rise. It features a glassy facade with vertical striping and large chevron-shaped structural supports at its base. The project also includes a 1.5-acre publicly accessible park atop a 400-car parking garage located just west of the tower.
The finished skyscraper is expected to welcome tenants in January 2022. Canada-based BMO Financial Group is signed on to occupy 500,000 square feet in its new 1.5 million-square-foot namesake Chicago skyscraper.
Like the Salesforce-anchored office building under construction at Wolf Pont, BMO Tower will face a vastly different office market than when it was originally conceived. The rise of the pandemic and remote work has many companies reevaluating their space needs, and BMO Tower could contribute to a potential glut of unleased space.
The project is located kitty-corner from the massive Old Post Office which was renovated into a whopping 2.8 million square feet of office space in 2019.