Top Construction Projects in Chicago

Chicago is the third-largest city in the U.S., with a population of 2,670,406 people. It makes sense that a city that large would need to be continuously expanding to keep up with the growth of the population. In fact, building construction employment in the Chicago metro region reached 28,400 in December 2021. This is an increase of 11% (2,700 jobs) compared to December 2020. Chicago is also rated the 2nd highest city in the U.S. and Canada for project volume according to BuildingConnected data in 2021.

Here, we’ll discover the top five construction projects that are currently taking place in the Chicago metropolitan area.

1 - Hyperloop One/Midwest Connect

The Hyperloop One/Midwest Connect project is a plan to create a high-speed, intercity freight and passenger service. Passengers or cargo would be loaded into the Hyperloop pod vehicle and accelerate gradually through the use of electric propulsion through a low-pressure tube. This will connect four states and three major cities in the Midwest – Chicago on one end, through Indiana, Ohio, and anchoring in Pittsburgh. The project is valued at $59 Billion and will be constructed by the construction firm AECOM.

2 - One Central Project

The One Central Project is a mix-use plan that will include 22.3 million square feet of buildings with as many as 9,050 residential units, 9.45 million square feet of office spaces, 1.5 million feet of hotel use, 350,000 square feet of event spaces, and 3,500 parking stalls. The project will also  include a transit center that will unite four systems. It is placed between the McCormick Place Convention Center and the Museum Campus on the Near South Side. 

Landmark Development is in charge of the $20 billion dollar project and is currently going through the process of getting city and state approval. 

3 - O'Hare Expansion Plan

The plan for expansion to the Chicago O’Hare airport is to make modifications to ten gates and develop and operate ten concession locations. The improvements will take place in terminal 5 as well as in terminal 3. The plan is to help modernize the facility and add more gates, offer new amenities to passengers and more concessions for all guests. 

The concessions’ locations will include more than 10,000 square feet of available space and will make it easier to better serve the increasing passenger traffic. The project will cost about $8.7 billion dollars and construction is currently underway.

4 - Lincoln Yards

Lincoln Yards is a $6 billion plan by Sterling Bay to transform over 55 acres of industrial riverfront real estate into a new and vibrant area for the community. Located between Lincoln Park and Bucktown, the project will include up to 14 million square feet of new commercial and residential construction, 21 acres of public open space, improved infrastructure and transportation, three new bridges and an extension of the 606 trail, and other amenities.

Currently, phase one site work for Lincoln Yards is currently taking place and could take about ten years to fully complete the project. The contractors on the project are Walsh Construction & Riteway-Huggins Construction and the architecture firm is Skidmore, Owings & Merrill. 

5 - The 78

The 78 is a $7 billion project planned by developer Related Midwest to turn 62 acres of former railroad property into a 21st-century neighborhood. Located along the South Branch of the Chicago River in the New South Side community area, the 78 will become the 78th recognized neighborhood in Chicago. The project will include up to 13 million square feet of new residential, commercial, and institutional construction with 12 acres of open space and multiple infrastructure improvements. One of these improvements include a new Red Line subway station.

The 78 is currently under construction and is expected to be fully completed by 2030. The 78 North phase is set to open in 2024. The architecture firm working on the project is Skidmore Owings & Merrill.

Calling All Chicago Professionals

The future of construction is strong in Chicago. As you can see, there are many new projects we can look forward to in the metropolitan area soon. As the city is constantly growing, so are the number of new projects that we’ll continue to see.  If you're interested in learning how you can excel in your team and projects in this growing market, Autodesk Construction Cloud will be hosting an exclusive happy hour for construction professionals May 5. Space is limited but if you're interested in attending, register here.

Alexa De La Parra Ramirez

Content & Communications Coordinator, Autodesk Construction Solutions