Construction is imminent on the first new building of the massive 55-acre Lincoln Yards megaproject along the north branch of the Chicago River. Dubbed "ALLY at 1229 W. Concord Place," the eight-story building will provide 280,000 square feet of Class A medical research labs, creative office space, tenant amenities, and underground parking for 55 cars.

Lincoln Yards developer Sterling Bay with partners Harrison Street and J.P. Morgan Asset Management announced on Thursday that it had closed on a $125 million construction loan for the project from Bank OZK. Pre-development construction work at the riverfront parcel is underway, and an official groundbreaking ceremony for the Gensler-designed building will take place sometime in October, according to Sterling Bay.

The city has already issued both foundation and tower crane permits for the site at 1229 W. Concord. Phase one of Lincoln Yards also includes an extension of the Concord Place roadway and an improved river wall and landscaped riverwalk along the north branch. The upcoming building is expected to take approximately 24 months to complete, and Power Construction will serve as general contractor. 


"Chicago is an emerging market for biotechnology, supported by world-class academic institutions and a reputation for advanced medical research, but the city's current inventory of superior lab space prevents the industry from reaching its highest potential here," said Andy Gloor, CEO of Sterling Bay, in a statement.

"ALLY at 1229 W. Concord Place—and the forthcoming innovation district at Lincoln Yards—will meet the needs of today's most exciting and rapidly expanding life sciences companies, create a new home for scientific research in Chicago, and help the city continue to build its reputation as a major player in this critically important sector," Gloor added.


The phase-one building is located at the southeastern-most parcel of the estimated $6 billion Lincoln Yards project. Spanning both sides of the river, the phased plan will eventually include multiple mixed-use high-rises totaling more than 14 million square feet as well as new bridges, roads, and 21 acres of open space. When complete, Lincoln Yards will support more than 23,000 on-site jobs, according to Sterling Bay.

Earlier this year, the developer finished a $9 million, three-year-plus environmental remediation of the entire site, which was previously home to heavy industry. The process involved removing underground storage tanks, timber foundations, and old sub-basements as well as treating the soil for harmful contaminants such as petroleum compounds, hazardous PCBs, chlorinated solvents, and lead.

Gensler, courtesy Sterling Bay