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CHICAGO-From the north bank of the Chicago River, a 122-space parking lot at 111 W. Wacker Dr. looks like a missing tooth. The smile would be fixed by a $200-million, 69-story office and condominium tower under a proposal recommended for approval Thursday by the plan commission.

At 811,000 sf, the building would be more than twice what is allowed under current zoning. However, department of planning and development officials recommended approval in part because of the proposal’s green roof, underground parking, arcade and improvements to the river’s edge across Wacker Drive.

At 867 feet, the building would be 200 feet higher than the neighboring R.R. Donnelly Building at 77 W. Wacker Dr. and Leo Burnett Building at 35 W. Wacker Dr. It also would be more than 300 feet higher than 201 N. LaSalle St.

Although it would add 320,000 sf of office space to the Central Loop submarket when it is completed in 2005, about one-third of it would be taken by an architectural engineering firm controlled by the developer, 111 W. Wacker Associates, LLC. The 240 triangular-shaped condominiums would offer east and northeast views.

“Given its location and unique views, we don’t anticipate it will be difficult to fill this building.,” says Richard Wendy, the developers’ attorney.

The site has been vacant for 30 years, city officials say. Plans for a 600,000-sf office building were approved in 1990, according to assistant commissioner of planning and development Jack Swenson, but expired in 2000 when they failed to come to fruition. The developers paid $10 million for the 24,000-sf site at the southwest corner of Wacker Drive and Clark Street in November 2000.

Wendy tells GlobeSt.com the developers, which include general manager Ivan J. Dvorak and principal Donna M. Floerchinger, “are looking at a number of different financing sources” with hopes of beginning construction next fall.

Plans include a 10,000-sf roof garden above the 24th floor, the highest level of office space. At ground level, a winter garden is planned in addition to space for a restaurant.

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