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Vista Tower Construction Begins Wednesday

CHICAGO (CBS) – Mayor Rahm Emanuel helped break ground Wednesday for Chicago's newest building, Vista Tower in the Lakeshore East neighborhood.

Vista Tower is set to be the third tallest building in Chicago, standing 95 stories tall and reaching 1,200 feet once complete. The Willis Tower stands as Chicago's tallest tower, reaching 1,729 feet and Trump International Hotel and Tower following by standing at 1,362 feet.

The building will be located on East Wacker Drive, offering a 5-star hotel with approximately 200 hotel rooms, luxury condominiums and 9,000 square feet of retail space. The project is said to create more than 2,000 construction jobs and more than 500 permanent jobs.

"The Vista Tower will not only enhance our city's great skyline, but it will stand strong as a testament to Chicago's status as a global destination for investment, commerce and tourism," Mayor Emanuel said in a statement. "This multi-year project will create thousands of jobs and bring many opportunities for Chicagoans everywhere. And breaking ground on this project today shows our commitment to collaboration, and doubling down on every investment to benefit every neighborhood in the City of Chicago."

The project is a joint effort between Magellan Development Group and Beijing-based Dalian Wanda Group. The tower was designed by award-winning architect Jeanne Gang of Chicago's Studio Gang Architects. Vista Tower will be China's largest real estate investment in Chicago.

"A little over three years ago we embarked on a global expansion program to develop iconic, luxury residential and hotel projects in leading cities around the world," said Chen Guocai, Vice President of Dalian Wanda Group, in a statement. "As we looked for suitable sites in the US, we quickly recognized the wonderful opportunities that exist in Chicago and are extremely honored that our first U.S Dalian Wanda Hotel project will be in your great city."

Improvements for pedestrians and automobiles are also a part of the construction. The developers plan to extend East Upper Wacker Drive, connecting it to Waterside Drive.

"I believe that Vista will be a powerful beacon in Chicago, changing the way people view and think about skyscrapers and their relationship to the waterfront," said Jeanne Gang, Founding Principal of Studio Gang. "While Vista is unique in Chicago's skyline, this building will create a powerful dialogue with the city and the lake, providing a much-needed connection between Lakeshore East and downtown Chicago."

The construction is said to be completed by 2019.

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