About danieldschell

I'm Daniel Schell, Chicagoan, Twitter fiend, and picture taker. I like sunsets, travel, and long walks through construction sites. If you build it, I will come.

Caisson work goes full bore at 354 North Union

There are few things construction nerds look forward to more than caisson work. It marks the unofficial “official start” of skyscraper construction, people are digging in the dirt, heavy machinery dances around each other, and loud noises bounce off neighboring buildings. You might not think it’d be fun to watch, but it’s mesmerizing. Which is why some of us stand there and take dozens of photos.

Last week marked the beginning of caisson work at 354 North Union. Big shout-outs to Stalworth Underground and Onni Group for providing the entertainment. Here are dozens of photos:


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1400 West Randolph brings the pane

The first row of curtain wall is being installed at 1400 West Randolph in the West Loop. Meanwhile, overall construction looks to have reached the 15th or 16th level. Have a look at at Power Construction’s handiwork:



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Full permit, no tower crane, at 2050 W. Ogden

A stub awaits its tower crane at The Gateway Apartments.

Fellas, you’re gonna want that cowbell.”

To paraphrase Bruce Dickinson (yes, *the* Bruce Dickinson) you’re also gonna want that tower crane.

The Gateway Apartments at 2050 West Ogden in the Illinois Medical District got its full-build permit last week, several weeks after planting a tower crane in the ground. Alas, that tower crane has yet to be erected, but I’m willing to assume Global Builders knows what they’re doing out there. It’s what they do. I just get a little anxious when our tower crane count dips near single digits. We’re gonna want that tower crane.

A design by Avondale’s Piekarz Associates, Gateway Apartments will bring 161 rental units atop ground-floor retail space to its 11 stories.



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More drone video! Adjustable Concrete soars over 609 West Randolph

Screenshot of Adjustable Concrete’s drone video post.

https://www.instagram.com/p/COTQE51hrVU/?igshid=6w19acigdqal

Flying is so much better than walking on the sidewalk, don’t you think?

Shout-out to Adjustable Concrete for sharing the drone video above of their pouring cycle at 609 West Randolph.

A couple long-distance shots of on-going work as well:

🏗 May begins in Chicago with 11 tower cranes in the air 🏗

Remember that era of 30-something tower cranes?

Where are our tower cranes?

  • West Loop – 4
  • River North – 2
  • One each in: The Loop (320 South Canal); West Town (1454 West Randolph); Portage Park (Clarendale Six Corners); Gold Coast (Gild); Illinois Medical District (IL Health)

What are they building?

  • Residential – 6
  • Office – 4
  • Medical – 1 (IL Health)

Who has tower cranes?

  • Power Construction – 6
  • 5 GCs with one each: Ryan Companies (Clarendale Six Corners): Clark Construction (320 South Canal); Skender (609 West Randolph); Walsh Construction (Salesforce Tower); Pepper Construction (UI Health)

We still have a stub only at 2050 West Ogden. 354 North Union has begun caisson work; that should be getting a tower crane permit any day now. 1000M, 320 South Clinton, 345 North Morgan, and 178 West Randolph still have outstanding tower-crane permits.


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W.E. O’Neil’s One Oak Brook Commons drone videos show off construction progress

Screengrab of W.E. O’Neil’s drone video at One Oak Brook Commons.

I don’t have a drone. Don’t feel bad for me though. Feel bad for me because I also lack a small airplane, a helicopter, and a dirigible. But you know who *does* have a drone?

W.E. O’Neil, that’s who. And they’ve put it to good use recently, flying up and over One Oak Brook Commons for a look at construction progress. They shared it on their social media platforms, so you might want to follow them so you don’t miss the next one.

Here are some links to the video. Choose your favorite platform. Choices are good. While you watch these, I’m gonna tie a bunch of balloons to my house and go for a ride.

Facebook – https://fb.watch/5ao6pQhv_Y/

Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/p/COBJl2LBnoC/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link

Linkedin – https://www.linkedin.com/posts/weoneil_construction-progress-at-oak-brook-commons-activity-6791425917089566720-hG5l

Youtube (this one is from March) – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TW_524OaHdY

If your Greyhound is in the shop, better pick it up soon

Looking north across the Chicago River to Goose Island, the future site of Halsted Point.

If you haven’t heard by now, you haven’t been paying attention. To everyone.

All of Chicago is talking about Halsted Point, the new development from Onni Group planned for Goose Island.

Alby Gallun in Crain’s Chicago Business (heh. bus-iness. Greyhound. Well played.)

Ryan Ori in the Chicago Tribune

David Roeder in the Chicago Sun-Times

Jay Koziarz in Urbanize Chicago

The Real Deal

Matt Hickman at The Architect’s Newspaper

You should be able to find all you need to know about Halsted Point from those sources.

In the meantime, this is what will be replaced. I don’t think we’ll miss these buildings:

Honorable Craneless Mention: RH Oak Brook

It doesn’t have a tower crane, but it was right there in the parking lot of Oakbrook Center, so it’s hard to miss.

Graycor is building a new, stand-alone RH (you may remember that as Restoration Hardware) store out in suburban Oak Brook. The Chicago Tribune was all over the story last year. I took a photo. That is all.

Suburban Adventures: One Oak Brook Commons

One Oak Brook Commons in Oak Brook, Illinois

On what used to be the McDonald’s HQ (which now stands proudly in Chicago’s very own West Loop neighborhood) in Oak Brook, One Oak Brook Commons has risen out of the demolition rubble on its way to being the first phase of Oak Brook Commons.

One Oak Brook Commons will be a 17-story, 250-unit apartment tower next to what suburbanites know as the Oakbrook Center shopping mall. A design by Chicago firm Antunovich Associates, OOBC (the cool kids call it that) will also include a whopping 420 parking spaces. (It’s the suburbs; relax.) W.E. O’Neil is on the build.

Future phases of Oak Brook Commons will include condominiums, a hotel, “creative” office space, medical office space, and a public park. Yep, there’ll be activity on this site for quite some time.

I borrowed my nephew’s self-balancing electric skateboard and headed to the western burbs for a look-see, as proven by the following photo gallery:

Here are Hines’ words on Oak Brook Commons:

Hines is developing Oak Brook Commons, a premier mixed-use community of retail, residential, office and hospitality centered around a half-acre public park in Oak Brook, Illinois.

Located on the former McDonald’s world headquarters site, the development will be directly adjacent to Oakbrook Center shopping mall. Hines and Antunovich Associates have prepared a master plan for the site, and Hines will be responsible for developing the multifamily and office components of the project.

At completion, Oak Brook Commons will consist of 250 Class A residential rental units, 210,000 square feet of creative office, 80,000 square feet of medical office, 52 residential condos, a 250-key hotel, and five retail/restaurant pads.

And this is what Antunovich has to say:

One Oak Brook Commons will be a 17-story, Class-A high-rise building with 250 luxury apartment homes and 420 parking stalls within a secured private parking deck. The community is located at the epicenter of the 16.5-acre Oak Brook Commons mixed-use master plan also being developed by Antunovich Associates and Hines. The community will sit directly adjacent to a new public park named The Pitch.

The residences will average a gracious 1,055-square-feet and will offer upscale finishes and fixtures that will set a new standard for quality in suburban Chicago. The project will also offer an elevated resort-style amenity deck, featuring a heated pool, cabanas, outdoor kitchens and public lawn, as well as a high-end private fitness center, club room, library, expansive dog run, modern package facilities and significant bicycle storage.



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