Trump International Hotel and Tower (Chicago): All You Need to Know

Trump International Hotel and Tower

Trump International Hotel and Tower is a 92-story mixed-use skyscraper located in downtown Chicago, Illinois. The tower was designed by architect Adrian Smith of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP (SOM) with structural engineering provided by Fazlur Rahman Khan Associates, who was inspired to create extended thin structural members that would be immensely strong. Later, this would be known as the “Chicago Tube” system, a concept that is now standard practice in modern skyscrapers. The building stands at 1,389 feet (423 m), making it the second tallest building in both Chicago and Illinois.

The tower is the site of a nearly two-story glass-walled hotel lobby on its first five floors, occupying a space from 680 N. Wabash to 644 N Wabash. The hotel opened for business with overnight accommodations on January 30, 2008, with a grand opening celebration following February 21, 2008. In December 2009, Trump International Hotel & Tower Chicago was named the number one destination to stay in the city for North American travel by Travel + Leisure magazine.

This Skyscraper is located at 401 North Wabash Avenue in downtown Chicago’s Magnificent Mile area within The Loop community area and has a height of 1,389 feet (423 m) and contains 92 stories. The design has been compared to that of New York City’s Chrysler Building and the early works of Philip Johnson, such as 420 Lexington Avenue, which makes sense as Adrian Smith was an apprentice under Philip Johnson, who designed those two buildings for his mentor.

Amenities-Trump International Hotel and Tower

The building is home to many high-end shops, including Nike, Lego, and Apple Store. There are several restaurants and clubs in the building, including Mercadito Cantina, Joe’s Seafood, Prime Steak & Stone Crab, and Noyane Asian Bistro. This Skyscraper’s base is a shopping mall with luxury stores such as Armani Exchange and Burberry; the SoHo House Chicago private club occupies part of the building’s lower floors.

An observation deck named the “Tempo,” designed by Bruno Zacchini, is located on the 62nd floor and overlooks 360° views of Chicago from a glass-enclosed promenade. From this vantage point, visitors see Navy Pier to the east, Michigan Avenue Bridge to the south, Grant Park and Millennium Park to the west and north, and an aerial view of downtown, including nearby Trump Tower and other neighboring skyscrapers. The location has been host to several scenes in films such as:

This building uses thermal energy storage; it is estimated that this system can provide up to 10 hours of cooling. This system takes advantage of cold lake water which enters a heat exchanger at the bottom of the lake and causes a second heat exchanger located in a 65-foot (20 m) tall tower to operate a refrigeration cycle that absorbs heat from the building’s interior space. There is also a chiller plant on site which has enough capacity for 1,000 tons of CO2 refrigerant and can produce approximately 27 tons of ice per day or 2,400 cubic feet per minute.

Self Sustaining Design

This Skyscraper is one of several buildings designed by Adrian Smith while at SOM incorporating wind turbines into their design. This feature got initially included in the original 2003 design but was later abandoned due to concerns about noise pollution. However, Trump International Hotel and Tower Chicago decided to reinstate this feature as part of its commitment to becoming the first building of its self-sustaining size.

This Skyscraper will be outfitted with three wind turbines, each measuring 137 feet (42 m) high and 9½ feet (2.9 m) wide, which are expected to generate approximately 350,000 kWh per year depending on wind speed. The design of the Trump tower incorporates “passive” energy-saving design features such as adequate insulation, which will allow it to use 10% less energy than a typical office building. When combined with wind turbines, this tower should consume much less power than an equivalent nonrenewable powered skyscraper in Chicago.

The redevelopment of this site would add 200 permanent jobs to downtown Chicago’s business community and increase the city’s hotel occupancy tax revenues by approximately $50 million per year.

Ownership -Trump International Hotel and Tower Chicago

The building is currently owned by 401 North Wabash Venture, LLC, which bought it from The Trump Organization in a transaction closed on August 4, 2009; Trump continues to lease office space in this Skyscraper and holds the upper half of the building’s retail space.

This structure was designed with modern architectural principles such as a massive tapered “tube” that reduces wind resistance and a shiny glass exterior reflecting sunlight, making it more energy-efficient than its taller but less slender counterparts. Some critics have described it as a black monolith due to its dark reflective nature at street level and appear nearly windowless on lower floors facing north and east. However, other critics describe this Skyscraper as aesthetically appealing to Chicago’s iconic standards.

On-site parking is provided for 443 vehicles below the lower ground level (nearly four underground levels). They are accessible through entrances on Wabash Avenue and State Street; retail space totaling 1,000,000 square feet (93,000 m 2) occupies the first two floors of the tower, with the rest used by The Trump Organization for residential amenities. Other notable tenants include Gucci’s flagship store in North America located on Wabash Avenue at Superior Street.

Name Change?

The Skyscraper was originally named Trump Tower Chicago when it got announced in 2001. Yet, during construction, its name got changed to reflect its developer and owner; in 2006, it got told that it would be renamed again when it got revealed its current occupant moved into the building.

In 2005, Donald Trump reported that he had only invested $13 million (USD) of his own money into the deal while divulging that he received a construction loan for $640 million (USD). It is factored by several large lenders, including German Deutsche Bank and Hong Kong-based UBS AG. This massive loan necessitated property sale below market value to ensure its completion and made up nearly all of the $600 million paid for this property.

The lower levels of this structure contain 486,900 square feet (45,000 m 2) of retail space consisting primarily of luxury boutiques and include fine dining restaurants and shops. The upper levels house 433 luxury condominiums with an average size of 2,100 square feet (195 m 2) each; the superstructure contains 200,000 square feet (19,000 m 2) of space for offices within its first five stories leased by The Trump Organization.

Interesting Facts-Trump International Hotel and Tower Chicago

The building is tied with One Magnificent Mile as the seven the -tallest building in Chicago based on roof height. This property is one of two completed buildings that bear Donald Trump’s name; the other property is Trump International Hotel & Tower, made famous by NBC’s reality show “The Apprentice. “

Trump International Hotel & Tower (Chicago) facts:

  • Site area: 19,255 square feet (1,776 m 2) [Wabash & Wacker Drive]
  • Building height: 927 feet (283 meters) [87 floors – Trump’s name removed from the Skyscraper in late August of 2009 by its new owner 401 North Wabash Venture LLC.]
  • Roof height: 1,171 feet (357 meters) [Skyscraper sits on a 4-story base with a parking garage and retail space].
  • Elevators: 58 passengers and 12 service elevators.
  • Heated outdoor swimming pool on site
  • Observatory Deck is located on the 16 floors at 860 ft (262 m). It is an indoor/outdoor observation area offering panoramic views of the city.

Layout and Floor Plan

Trump International Hotel & Tower (Chicago) was designed by architect Adrian Smith of Skidmore, Owings, and Merrill, who also co-designed Burj Khalifa. A notable feature of this Skyscraper is its stainless-steel sheathing on the exterior that surrounds it, along with dark reflective glass windows on lower levels designed to blend into the Chicago River behind this structure. The shape of this tower is a square pyramid with four setback perspectives reflected in setbacks on lower floors around areas of entranceways. This building reaches its pinnacle height for 1,388 ft (423 m) at its north end before leveling off for the next seven floors, then drops towards the south end of this man-made structure at 1,197 ft (365 m).

Floor plan: Three sides are fairly symmetrical with three setbacks; one setback begins on floor 50 (430 m), where mechanical penthouse equipment resides. The second setback begins on floor 92 (324 m), and the last setback begins on floor 108/109 (294/295 m).

The spire rises from a cubic base to a 125-foot pinnacle over an 8th of a mile. Trump International Hotel & Tower’s tower was built as part of a mixed-use complex that includes condominiums, apartments, retail space, and parking facilities. Wanda Vista, the other surrounding building which shares this block of land with Trump International Hotel & Tower (Chicago), has also experienced several construction issues due to the sinking of its foundation.

Selling of Condominiums

On January 17, 2008, The Chicago Sun-Times reported that Donald Trump received $69 million (USD) for selling his condominiums in this structure after purchasing them six months before this transaction for $12 million (USD). According to Forbes, it was made known that the buyer was a Russian billionaire named Dmitry Rybolovlev, who is estimated to be worth 10.2 billion USD. It was confirmed by representatives of both parties involved in this deal that it closed at an all-cash amount further by the documentation filed with Cook County through its Recorder of Deeds office.

The Chicago Sun-Times reported on August 20, 2009, that this building’s current owners removed the Trump name from the top two floors facing southward after receiving approval to do so by city officials. The request got made due to concern over confusion between the building and one in New York City while some were still under Trump ownership. According to several published reports, mayor Richard M. Daley legislation signed on October 2, 2009, permitted the removal of all signage bearing Donald Trump’s name on both residential and commercial spaces within this structure.

Controversies-Trump International Hotel and Tower Chicago

Trump International Hotel & Tower (Chicago) has been controversial for more reasons than just its namesake change in late August 2009. On September 11, 2001, this structure was the site of a large fire when construction workers were grinding steel and accidentally sparked one of the material containers. The result started a small blaze on an adjacent rooftop at this man-made island between Lake Michigan and the Chicago River, which burned out in about two hours.

On February 7, 2009, it was reported by the Chicago Tribune News Service that Trump International Hotel & Tower (Chicago) had filed a lawsuit against contractor Lend Lease for unspecified damages related to construction mistakes that occurred at the building site. The firm has already been fined more than once by city officials for violating safety regulations during 2008 and early 2009. It is believed that this legal battle will reach several months before final judgment is rendered. 

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