400 North Lake Shore Drive

MAPS devised a phased permitting approach and is the liaison with 10+ city, state, and federal regulatory departments.

400 North Lakeshore Drive c SOM 01

400 North Lake Shore Drive stands at the gateway between Lake Michigan, the Chicago River, and the city itself. This prime site has sparked imagination but largely eluded developers. In 2019 Related Midwest announced its plans for a double-tower scheme that would replace the stalled Chicago Spire development that had started construction and left the site with a 8 story deep foundation/ coffer dam that had filled with water.

MAPS joined the construction and design team to devise a phased permitting approach that could stitch together the complex construction and regulatory approvals that would be needed.

400 North Lake Shore Drive c Antonio Perez Chicago Tribune
400 North Lake Shore Drive

Existing conditions

The project’s unique location presented numerous challenges. To the north and south are navigable waterways, to the east is a state-controlled multi-level roadway, and to the west an existing community. This complexity introduced a long list of city, state, and federal departments that had to be engaged throughout the permitting process:

  • U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

  • Illinois Department of Natural Resources

  • Metropolitan Water Reclamation District

  • Chicago Department of Transportation

  • Illinois Department of Transportation

  • Chicago Department of Buildings

  • Chicago Department of Planning and Development

400 North Lake Shore Drive checks the box for every layer of complexity and coordination.

400 North Lakeshore Drive c SOM 03

As with many high-rise building projects, 400 North Lake Shore Drive had a series of below grade challenges that had to be navigated. This included the partial re-use of existing caissons, modifying and removal of foundation structures, negotiating around an abandoned freight tunnel, and coordinating elements in close proximity to a stormwater drop shaft, to name a few. This project checks the box for every layer of complexity and coordination.

Chicago, Illinois
Related Midwest
New Construction Residential
Accessibility Consulting Permit Management
In Progress

High-rise residential development


75 stories, 1,100 condominiums and 634 rental units


SOM, SpaceCo, Stantec

Image Credits

SOM, Antonio Perez/ Chicago Tribune