Reflecting on 2023, Urbanize Chicago wrote over 600 articles about commercial real estate, architecture, construction, and urbanism in our city. Despite a tumultuous economy, many developments rose and wrapped up construction this year and numerous projects were approved throughout the year. While new starts were fewer than previous years, we recently got to share a rare groundbreaking in 2023 at 919 W. Fulton after the developers secured financing.

Before we begin 2024, we thought we’d share the stories that you all read the most. Here is Urbanize Wrapped: Chicago’s Top Ten Articles of 2023:

10. Tribune East Tower may still happen

Almost three years after the tower was originally approved, Urbanize reported that developer CIM Group has publicized a bidding opportunity for the development on their website. Shortly after our reporting and other outlets shared the news, the bidding opportunity disappeared from the site with no official comments from the developer.

Tribune East TowerAdrian Smith & Gordon Gill Architecture

Designed by Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture, the supertall skyscraper will stand 1,442 feet, just 8 feet shy of Willis Tower’s 1,450 feet. Rising 102 floors, the structure will taper as it rises, clad in a glass curtain wall with gold-colored vertical fins that preserves views of the original Tribune Tower from the Ogden Slip. The 1.3 million square-foot building will have 250 hotel keys, 125 condominiums, 439 rentals, and 426 parking spaces.


9. Details emerge for mixed-use development at 700 W. Chicago

Halsted Landing at 700 W. ChicagoGoettsch Partners/Confluence

With the original zoning application filed at the end of July, this article shared more details of the mixed-use development’s scope per building and of its riverfront design. Dubbed Halsted Landing, the development is being proposed by Onni Group with Goettsch Partners serving as the architect. Set to total 2,451 residential units, the project will support the housing with ground-floor retail space, 1,950 parking spaces located underground, 2,451 bike parking spaces and extensive exterior landscaping along the Chicago River. 


8. One Chicago Voted Chicago’s Best Skyscraper

One ChicagoGoettsch Partners

After thousands of votes across the tournament, readers voted One Chicago as Urbanize Chicago’s 2023 Best Skyscraper! Beating the John Hancock Center in the Championship Round, the heated vote generated lots of interest and views by all of you! Stay tuned for 2024’s upcoming March Madness themed tournament!


7. 450-foot-tall slender tower proposed at 1565 N. Clybourn

1565 N. ClybournbKL Architecture

Just announced at the beginning of December, this new proposal comes from New York-based developer The Georgetown Company. Designed by bKL Architecture, the 37-story, 450-foot-tall structure will include 396 apartments and 2,500 square feet of retail. The slender tower will have no new parking of its own, but the developer will use a parking garage they own behind the future tower.


6. Next phase of Lincoln Yards will break ground this year

The Steelyard at Lincoln YardsSterling Bay

While this story was very popular amongst our readers, developer Sterling Bay ended up missing their goal of breaking ground on the next phase of Lincoln Yards in 2023. While site plan approval was secured and permits are pending for the next two buildings, Sterling Bay has struggled to piece together financing for Lincoln Yards, putting the future of the megadevelopment in question. 


5. Google releases renderings of Thompson Center redevelopment

Thompson Center RedevelopmentJahn/

Recently announced this month, Google shared new renderings of their planned redevelopment of the Thompson Center downtown. The Prime Group and Capri Investment Group are leading the redevelopment with Jahn/ serving as the architect. With the first permits already issued for the construction, work is expected to begin early in 2024.


4. 400 Lake Shore Drive shows signs of life

400 Lake Shore DriveSOM

This summer we broke news that 400 Lake Shore Drive was actively working its ways towards starting construction. The pending foundation permit showed that the northern tower planned by Related Midwest and designed by Skidmore Owings Merrill would be first to rise. The 72-story skyscraper will reach 875 feet tall with 635 rental units inside. 


3. Halsted Pointe set to break ground this year

Originally Approved Halsted Pointe Master PlanHartshorne Plunkard Architecture

While developer Onni Group missed their goal of breaking ground in 2023, our reporting in April came before we learned of the redesign to the first phase that was approved in June 2023. While permits are in the works for the redesigned tower by Hartshorne Plunkard Architecture, the new groundbreaking is planned for some time in 2024. Overall, Onni Group is planning four phases of development that are expected to deliver up to 2,650 residential units, retail space, a hotel, and 1,470 parking spaces. 


2. New renderings released for Redefine the Drive 

Redefine the DriveIDOT

Earlier in 2023 we shared a series of before and after renderings from IDOT and CDOT that showed off the potential future conditions of an expanded North Jean-Baptiste Pointe DuSable Lake Shore Drive between Grand Ave and Hollywood Ave. The series of renderings garnered a huge turnout of readers and activity that extended onto social media and beyond. Stay tuned in 2024 for the decision of their preferred design plan for the redevelopment.


1. 400 Lake Shore Drive will begin construction in 45 days

400 Lake Shore DriveSOM

In October, Related Midwest hosted a construction logistics community meeting, in which they outlined their timeline for construction, which they said would begin 45 days after the occurrence of that meeting. As we wrap up the year, crews have begun clearing the site and mobilizing equipment. Crews will begin below-grade work, including caissons, sheeting, and the cofferdam. Work below-grade is expected to begin in Q1 of 2024 and run through Q2 2025. Once underground work is done, crews will transition to vertical construction, including concrete pours, the building enclosure, and interiors. Above-grade work will start in Q1 2025 and continue through Q2 2027. Landscaping and the final completion of the tower is expected for Q3 2027. 

400 Lake Shore DriveSkidmore, Owings and Merrill

As the most-read article of the year, it is clear readers are very interested and eagerly awaiting more construction progress on this site, as are we! The article was also the third-highest viewed article across all of the Urbanize city pages.