Can Chicago Real Estate Be Far Behind Worldwide ‘Ultimate High-Rise’ Trend?

An ultimate high-rise would add another showstopping element to Chicago's skyline (image via Jolyn Hecht)

If there’s something every Chicago real estate buyer loves, it’s finding a place with a view. Whether it’s a vista over Lake Michigan or a panorama of the enviable skyline, a property that towers above the city is something many buyers pine for.But it’s not just Chicago that is literally moving on up. The Wall St. Journal recently wrote about this worldwide trend in luxury real estate: cities are building skyscrapers at record-setting heights, adding a show-stopping element to the skylines in cities like New York, London and Dallas. Even though skyscrapers started out as a place to house office space and businesses, these buildings are becoming highly sought after to become the home of some of the finest luxury real estate in the world.

A Future Trend in Chicago Real Estate

While Chicago is a little more conservative than some of these destinations, I believe that in the next 10 years, Chicago will have an “ultimate high-rise” of its own, one with unbelievable views unsurpassed by any building currently standing in Chicago.

Mayor Emanuel has shown in his short tenure that he thinks outside of the box, and such a project certainly fits in with his vision for Chicago. He has taken care of the city and gotten it great exposure, bringing in major organizations and businesses to hold their conferences and conventions here (including the American Bar Association, the National Restaurant Association and many international health and medical groups). This brings people from all over the world to our great city, and having another showpiece like an ultimate high-rise would add to that appeal.

But the great thing about Chicago is, even as a global destination, the city continues to be a very affordable place to live, especially when compared to cities like New York, Toronto or London, where real estate can easily go for $3,000 a square foot. In Chicago real estate, a home in a brand-new, first-class building can be had for about $1,200 or less.

The High Life in Chicago

You might remember that Chicago has already has its sights set on one of these ultimate buildings. The Chicago Spire was initially slated to be a 115-story, 2,000-foot-tall residential building in Streeterville, but the project fell through in 2008 because of financing issues. But the fact that this building was so readily embraced by luxury real estate buyers and the city of Chicago leads me to believe that our city will indeed ultimately have a world-class building as well.

A luxury building like this would also offer the sky’s-the-limit services that are found in these exquisite properties around the globe. Existing buildings in other major cities boast things like:

– Glass-walled showrooms next to living rooms and car elevators to take you right up to your home (in Miami’s upcoming Porsche Design Tower, about 57 stories high)
– A full-floor of resident-only amenities, including a library with 24-foot-long aquarium (One57 in New York, 90 stories high)
– A tween lounge, golf simulators, screening room and a pool with an outdoor sun deck (in the 76-story New York by Gehry in New York)
– A turkish hammam spa, breakfast bar and poolside attendants (in the Mansions at Acqualina in Sunny Isles, Florida, about 57 stories high)

Of course, Chicago has several luxury buildings already that rank among the finest properties in the sky: Trump Tower at 92 stories, the John Hancock Building at 100 stories, Aqua at 82 stories, and the Legacy at 72 stories, among several others. But considering the lifestyle that comes with being a resident in these buildings, I can only imagine what an ultimate high-rise would have to offer the Chicago real estate buyer.

If a Chicago home with a view is up your alley, I’d love to tell you more about what Chicago’s luxury high-rises have to offer today. Contact me at 312-264-5853 or email me at