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OneEleven, Chicago, Illinois

OneEleven, Chicago

When the economy halted in 2008 so too did work on what was to be "Shangri-La". The 28-story concrete shell sat along one of the most visible stretches of the Chicago River. Gathering dust, it became anything but the paradise the original development team envisioned.

Numerous development teams with grand plans failed to woo investors and thereby erase the recession induced "black eye" from Chicago's skyline. Related Midwest and its design team devised an economic and efficient solution to turn the incomplete structure into a 60-story high-end apartment tower and the highlight of the Architecture Boat Cruise it was always meant to become.

Having done a peer review of the original structural design, WSP USA, formerly Halvorson and Partners, understood the challenges and possibilities in reusing the existing structure. Bringing high-rise expertise, in-depth analysis and a culture of collaborative scheming, WSP USA helped OneEleven Wacker come alive at last, ensuring its place of prominence on the Chicago River.

Scarcely six months after opening, this 504-unit luxury apartment tower was sold for over $300 million. The $650,000 price per unit set a record for apartment buildings in Chicago.

Key Structural Facts:

  • An optimal concrete structural addition including 7 1/2" post-tensioned slabs and a column grid that is coordinated with the owners desired apartment unit layouts.

  • A new optimized concrete core above level 30, and reuse of the existing core below by updating it with numerous new openings and infill's to accommodate the new architectural design.

  • A 60" deep post-tensioned slab, integrated at the amenities floor (level 30), transfers the new column grid, and core walls, of the upper levels to the original existing core and column grid below.

  • Reinforcement of two existing columns, originally designed to only support 30 floors and would ultimately support 60 floors.

  • Verification of the original structure: although the original structure was to be taller, the original structural footprint above level 30 is quite different from the new footprint. Much of the existing structure below level 30 could not support additional floors of the new tower.


  • Distinguished Building Award, AIA Chicago
  • Merit Award, New Construction, Chicago Building Congress
  • Vision Award in Urban Residential, ULI Chicago
  • Development of the year, Chicago Commercial Real Estate Awards