FOX 32 NEWS - Got a million bucks for new digs? That’s the price of entry for the new Vista Tower on East Wacker.
On Wednesday, groundbreaking ceremonies were held for the massive new development that will top out as Chicago’s third tallest skyscraper. It’s also the biggest Chinese real estate investment in the United States.
Classical music and a red carpet greeted the glitterati attending groundbreaking ceremonies for Vista Tower, although construction has already been underway for weeks.
The 98 story, 1186 foot tower will rise just west of Lake Shore Drive and just south of Wacker, and will include 406 luxury condo's starting at a million bucks apiece. Plus, 192 pricey hotel rooms.
The building's wavy design is the signature of renowned Chicago architect Jeanne Gang, and the Vista will be the tallest building ever designed by a woman.
"I'm really most proud about how the base comes down to the ground and it makes a connection, so people will be able to connect between the park and the Riverwalk. So it's gonna be a public connection on the ground level and also upper Wacker. People can walk right through the building, and that's rare in tall architecture,” said architect Jeanne Gang.
The billion dollar project is being financed by a Chinese development company and will create two thousand construction jobs and 500 permanent jobs.
And while critics may question why there's not more development in Chicago’s poorest neighborhoods, Mayor Rahm Emanuel points out that the 20-million dollars in new property taxes will benefit everyone.
"That's just a piece of dirt. Pays zero property taxes. When this building's up it's gonna contribute property taxes and income so we can make a series of investments around the city of Chicago,” Emanuel said.
Many attending the groundbreaking have already plunked down deposits for condos, including attorney Michael LoVallo, who’s an empty nester returning from the suburbs.
"This building's gonna be iconic. The amenities are gonna be great. And it's gonna be the opportunity to live like we're in a hotel and in our own home at the same time,” LoVallo said.
The luxury in the sky will be ready for occupancy by early 2020.
Once Vista Tower is completed, the only taller buildings in Chicago will be Trump Tower and the Willis Tower.