CHICAGO Ivanhoé Cambridge plans to invest $300 million to build a 45-story office tower in the West Loop in downtown Chicago. The tower, River Point, is being developed by co-investor and international real estate firm Hines, on land co-owned by local business leader Larry Levy. The transaction is expected to close by the end of May 2012 (upon finalization of documentation and subject to usual conditions) with construction to commence before year-end, and tenant occupancy to begin in early 2016.

River Point was designed by architectural firm Pickard Chilton and will be built at 444 West Lake Street on the western bank of the Chicago River near two rail hubs in the West Loop, overlooking Lake Michigan. Containing approximately 900,000 sq. ft. of leasable space, the project also calls for construction of a 1.5-acre public park atop the existing rail infrastructure that will connect the tower and its 450-linear feet of newly landscaped walkway to the Chicago Riverwalk. The tower is pre-certified LEED Gold.

According to Mayor Rahm Emanuel, River Point will be the largest real estate project to be launched in the past five years in Chicago, where no other office tower construction projects are currently underway.

"River Point is a vote of confidence for our city, welcome news for the local economy, and a signal that Chicago is leading the nation in job creation and economic development,” Emanuel said in a statement. "The investors and developers are starting this project because they see that Chicago is a city on the move, shaping its own future, and attracting the best and brightest."

“This project not only represents welcome economic news, it also responds to increasing corporate demand for the highest quality real estate,” Ivanhoe Cambridge Chairman and CEO Daniel Fournier said in a statement. “River Point also offers us the chance to strengthen our strategic partnership with Hines, a flagship player in high-end real estate in the U.S. and around the globe.”

Hines and Ivanhoé Cambridge previously collaborated on two other construction projects: Eighth Avenue Place in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, and the T1 tower in the La Défense business district of Paris.

In addition, Ivanhoé Cambridge, with Hines as its partner developer, recently won a Paris competition among architects, developers and investors for construction of a twin-tower complex in the city’s 13th arrondissement. The project, called “Duo,” was selected over projects from three competing teams and has been declared the winner of the Paris Mayor’s Office Premier Immeuble de Grande Hauteur competition.