City planning officials gave initial approval for the construction of the 1,422-foot Tribune East, which developers said could break ground as early as fall 2021.

The Chicago Plan Commission approved a $700 million proposal on Friday to reshape the city’s skyline by building Tribune East, a hotel and residential tower that would be the second tallest in the city next to Willis Tower.  

Architect Gordon Gill described the design of the 1,422-foot tower, proposed by developers CIM Group and Golub & Company, as “monolithic” and quiet, but we hope represents a kind of strength and power representative of Chicago.” Multiple members of the commission, including Ald. Walter Burnett (27) and affordable housing developer Guacolda Reyes, challenged the plan to cling to the city’s minimum requirement for affordable housing by including just 11 affordable units in the 726-unit proposal. Developer Lee Golub said, “the economics of this deal just doesn’t warrant for all that affordable to be on site.” Reyes was the only member of the commission to vote against the proposal.

The commission also voted to defer adoption of the Woodlawn Plan Consolidation Report, which combines nearly a dozen neighborhood plans published since 2005 into a single guiding document for development and the sale of city-owned land in Woodlawn. Commissioners decided to hold the proposal after Ald. Jeanette Taylor (20), whose ward includes most of Woodlawn, said she felt the proposal was “rushed” and requested more time to review it with her constituents. Taylor and city planning Comm. Maurice Cox both said they would aim to strike an agreement on the proposal in time for it to be considered during the commission’s next meeting on May 21.

Commissioners approved all other items included in The Daily Line’s preview of the meeting, including a proposal to expand the campus of DePaul College Prep High School and a request by Riverside Investment & Development to slightly raise the planned height of BMO Tower at 320 S. Canal St. All approved proposals must still be considered by the City Council Committee on Zoning, Landmarks and Building Standards.