Shoulda, woulda, coulda: Canyon Ranch Living

Canyon Ranch Living, 680 N Rush St, ChicagoOf all the high-rise proposals that have come and gone in recent years, only a few can still send Realtors drifting into wistful thoughts of what could have been (and may someday come to pass). You sometimes see that look in their eyes when they talk about the Chicago Spire, or Waterview Tower, or Lincoln Park 2520. Occasionally, I’ll come across someone who had high hopes for this project, a tall River North tower with a terribly clunky name.

Related Midwest and Canyon Ranch Spa‘s 67-story Canyon Ranch Living – Chicago at 680 N Rush St would have consisted of 257 one- to three-bedroom condos, 126 hotel condos, and a 75,000 square-foot “Wellness Center” with fitness equipment, spa treatments, and a pool, making it a natural competitor with condo / hotel hybrids like Trump, The Elysian, and the never-built Waterview and Mandarin Oriental towers. The glassy, oval-shaped tower was designed by Destefano & Partners and Robert D. Henry Architects.

Related started marketing the tower in early 2007 with hopes of breaking ground later that year or in early 2008 and completing construction in 2011. Pre-construction prices for its luxury condos ranged from the low $800s for a 1,032 square-foot one-bedroom to more than $4 million for 3,400 square-foot penthouses, while hotel suites with 625 to 1,310 square feet ranged from the mid-$700s to the high $900s.

Remember how I said that some Realtors really loved the idea of Canyon Ranch Living? Apparently buyers didn’t match their enthusiasm. By October 2007 only 20 units were under contract, and in March 2008 Related finally pulled the plug on the project.

Canyon Ranch Living, 680 N Rush St, Chicago


  • the urban politician 10 years

    Why would they have that “look in their eyes” when Lincoln Park 2520 is mentioned? Isn’t it under construction?

  • tup:

    According to the project’s community outreach blog, the foundation work that started earlier this year will continue on through much of 2010, but the developers don’t seem to have offered a timetable for anything past that.

  • the urban politician 10 years

    Joe, I visited the link but nowhere did I see any evidence that work was somehow going to stop after foundation work began.

    Can you point to something more definitive? If not, I think it’s quite presumptuous to group this in with Waterview and Chicago Spire, which have clearly hit dead ends

  • tup:

    I’ve yet to see a report of LP2520 receiving its construction loans, and none of our regular contacts who keep track of such things have heard anything to that end, either. (I couldn’t get anyone with the development to discuss it at the moment.) Remember that it’s extremely difficult to get financing right now, even with sales of 70 percent or more, and just because the developers reduced the size of the project doesn’t mean they automatically received their necessary loans. The issuing of a construction loan would be the kind of news that Ricker-Murphy and Rubloff would be promoting at every opportunity, and not only have I NOT heard that news, I couldn’t find any announcement that I could have possibly missed.

    In the meantime, they’re still marketing homes well over $800 a square foot, and if there’s any trend we’ve notice lately, it’s that sales are extremely tough at that price point.

    I’m making an assumption here (again, one made by more than one real estate pro I’ve talked to recently), but I’d guess that the work going on right now is coming out of the developer’s pocket, and isn’t a sign of full-blown construction. I could be wrong, but I’ve found no evidence to the contrary.

    So while I’m not writing off the possibility that work will shift directly from foundation work to tower construction next summer, I don’t think it’s unreasonable to be somewhat skeptical, especially given the long and drawn-out history of this project.