Chicago Place, Chicago, Illinois. Promotional photo, circa 1995. (from Chicago Place directory)
Chicago Place is a mixed-use high-rise at 700 N. Michigan Avenue (between Huron and Superior Streets) in Chicago, Illinois along the Magnificent Mile. The base is an enclosed eight-story shopping mall anchored by Saks Fifth Avenue featuring 45 shops and restaurants; above that is a 49 story tower containing condominiums.
The mall is one of several vertical malls along the Magnificent Mile, which include Water Tower Place, North Bridge and 900 North Michigan.
Though initially successful, Chicago Place has struggled for years, losing large tenants including Room & Board and Ann Taylor and failing earlier this year to lease space to Best Buy.
As a whole, the mall lacks a clear retail identity outside of being the home of Saks, and suffers from its oddly configured vertical layout and dated late-1980s design elements. Still, the mall has its appeal, with a number of smaller shops that specialize in European imports.
Though not for long. Change is afoot at Chicago Place.
To combat the lack of success, the mall’s owners are spending $20 million to $25 million over the next two years to eliminate the eight-story mall's center atrium and fill in the floors. The planned makeover to the mall could eliminate as much as half of the roughly 160,000 square feet of specialty-store space.
Instead of a revolving door leading into a mall, the building's Mag Mile facade will have doors into three separate retailers. Zara, the cheap chic retailer from Spain, plans to open its first Chicago store in part of the street-level space facing Michigan Avenue. Saks Fifth Avenue will remain as anchor on the north corner and could possibly expand.
Another unnamed retailer will take 15,000 to 18,000 square feet in the middle, with a floorplate stretching to the back of the building and into the basement formerly occupied by Bockwinkel's grocery store.
Additionally, the mall owners are in talks to turn 100,000 square feet to 150,000 square feet on the third through seventh floors into a hotel.