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Mayor Announces New Riverfront Office Tower

A model of the new 45-story River Point office tower, to be built at Lake and Canal streets, at the head of the Chicago River. (Credit: CBS)

A model of the new 45-story River Point office tower, to be built at Lake and Canal streets, at the head of the Chicago River. (Credit: CBS)

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CHICAGO (CBS) – On his first anniversary as Chicago’s Mayor, Rahm Emanuel and developers have announced a new office building to be built in the West Loop, the first in several years.

“Chicago’s economic recovery is the reason – I want to emphasize it – the reason we are here today,” said Kevin Shannahan, CEO of Hines Interests LP, the developer of the new skyscraper.

WBBM Newsradio Political editor Craig Dellimore reports Hines and Ivanhoe Cambridge will build a new sleek 45-story office tower at Lake and Canal Streets, where the Chicago River splits into its north and south branches.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio Political Editor Craig Dellimore reports

The mayor said the new River Point tower will create 1,000 construction jobs, followed by 3,400 permanent jobs inside the skyscraper once it’s completed.

“While it’s on my one-year anniversary, I think it’s actually an anniversary for the city, in a sense of the vote of confidence, and the jobs that will be created, the economic opportunity that will be created, and … I think the growth that will become from this investment,” the mayor said.

The city is providing a $29 million tax subsidy to assist in construction of a 1.5 acre riverfront sculpture park that Emanuel said will be open to the public, and built over the Metra tracks just east of the tower.

“This is just for the park, and the riverfront property. The building is separate. That’s their investment,” Emanuel said. “This property will pay, over 15 years, $175 million in taxes.”

Kevin Shannahan, CEO of Hines Interests LP, said the city’s economic recovery under Emanuel is the reason this long-planned project is going forward now.

“We believe that, with his leadership, the job creation engine in Chicago is alive and well, and pushing the economy in general in the modern direction,” Shannahan said.

It will be the largest real estate project in Chicago in the past five years, according to the mayor’s office.