Checking up on 900 Randolph with CBS Chicago

900 Randolph

Someone from this blog made their television debut last week. You can check out the video from CBS Chicago here:

https://www.cbsnews.com/chicago/news/photographer-catches-images-tracks-progress-of-projects-under-construction-around-chicago/?fbclid=IwAR1Z_dsUqL6L1Q8m2eLkq9hshGj1tSHhr9IGmuCjI770PMwT28TYOF4m82A

You can see the photos I took Thursday of last week while Lauren and Allen (they’re probably tired of hearing this by now, but thank you SO MUCH for doing this with me) watched me (along with a few others I took later in the day) of 900 Randolph here:

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You Got This. (It’s glass; The Reed’s got glass)

Lendlease has got this, indeed.

The first two levels of glass are being installed on The Reed, the second residential tower at Southbank, Lendlease’s neighborhood development on the South Branch of the Chicago River. You’re probably familiar with The Reed because of the tower crane in the South Loop that looks like a red hammerhead shark. If you squint and are slightly dehydrated. Whatever. It’s a cool crane.

First glass is always a favorite milestone of mine when it comes to construction. So this was fun to see, which resulted in lots of photos. (And these don’t even include my two previous visits to The Reed that I didn’t get around to posting.) I know; you’re shocked.


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Progress Update: 900 Randolph (164 N Peoria)

If you’re looking for the permits, 164 North Peoria is the address you’ll want. If you’re looking for details on the soaring new West Loop apartment Tower, 900 Randolph is the name you need.

Okay, it might not quite be soaring yet. But at 43 stories, 900 Randolph will soon be the tallest building in Chicago west of Halsted Street (not the Kennedy; I think that designation stays with 727 West Madison), as the West Loop and Fulton Market neighborhoods continue to grow upwards and outwards. And it’s making its way up, as the core appears to have reached the 14th or 15th floor.

Let’s catch you up on the latest progress, photographed Sunday, May 1.

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Progress Update: The Reed at Southbank grows along the South Branch

View of The Reed at Southbank from Franklin & Washington in The Loop.

The Reed at Southbank, the second tower in Lendlease’s mega development in the South Loop, continues to rise along the Chicago River. For those of you counting, and even those who aren’t, the core looks to be about 11-12 stories above the parking podium, with full floors rising 10 stories or so.

You already know tons about The Reed, right? You don’t need to hear me banter about details. I’ll just share progress photos from Monday the 21st.

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900 Randolph has gone 3D in the West Loop

Morris Adjmi Architects rendering of 900 Randolph

You’d think by now I’d be prepared to walk into the West Loop and not be stunned by development activity, even when it’s months between visits. Yet here we are in 2022, and I’m still in awe of everything going on in Chicago’s best neighborhood. (Yes, that’s a hill I chose to die on.)

Speaking of “months between visits” here are a couple friendly reminders for me before venturing out again:

  1. Make sure the camera mirror and lenses are cleaned thoroughly before heading out to take photos.
  2. See Rule #1

Now, having spent the last few days editing out the dirt marks from every picture I took, I can start showing you what I saw. And we’ll start with 900 Randolph.

900 Randolph is a development from Related Companies. This soon-to-be 43-story tower will bring 300 new residential units to the West Loop. The construction arm of Related Companies, LR Contracting, is the general contractor, with a helping hand from BOWA Construction. Morris Adjmi Architects (think Landmark West Loop) is the design architect.

900 Randolph received its:

  • demolition permit for 160 North Peoria on 6/25/2021
  • first building permit, (all addressed at 164 North Peoria) for foundations on 7/30/2021
  • tower crane permit on 8/10/2021
  • full-build permit on 8/27/2021

Some progress photos taken Monday, March 21. Sunny and 70 degrees. In other words, a prefect day.

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They grow up so fast, One Chicago Edition

I remember you when you were little.

It doesn’t seem that long ago, when the parking lot across State Street from Holy Name Cathedral was being torn up, and foundation digging began.

Now, One Chicago is almost to that point where, if you want to see what’s happening with construction, you have to go inside.

Once again, this is your One Chicago team: JDL Development, with a hand from Wanxiang America, is the developer. Hartshorne Plunkard Architecture and Goettsch Partners shared design duties. And Power Construction is the general contractor.

There are only a couple floors of curtain wall left to install on the east tower, but we still have one tower crane to savor here, so let’s make the best of the rest of our time together. (Cue dramatic music)

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300 North Michigan continues to rise, continues to block views of other things. Just like every other building does everywhere

Skip floor markings are visible to 36. My math says the additional 4 floors puts 300 North Michigan at the 40th floor.

Come at me if you want to, but there’s a new brand of NIMBYism out there these days: Instead of just complaining about a building blocking the view from your living room, you now get to complain about a new building blocking your view of something else, but not when you’re at home. No, this pertains to being out and about throughout the city. Or from that one particular spot you like to stand. This is next-level stuff.

Such seems to be the case with 300 North Michigan. Folks are upset that it will block the view of the Carbon and Carbide Building across the street. How about that. The rules are now such that you can’t build anything anywhere that will obstruct the view of anything anywhere. Looks like our next skyscraper will have to be built in DeKalb. (But I can’t see my corn field from the water tower now!)

Anyway, this is what 300 North Michigan looked like Monday, July 26. Using the markings on the skip, it looks like Linn-Mathes has reached the 40th floor, with the elevator core a couple stories higher, on their way to their ultimate 47-story height:

Like the photos? Appreciate the attitude/snark? No? Still, you can help offset expenses with a much-appreciated donation to Building Up Chicago.

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A foundation update from The Reed at Southbank

A quick look around The Reed at Southbank Monday showed an awful lot of piles driven into the South Loop soil, with lots more stacked up waiting their turn. I only saw one caisson above ground, and that was there on my most recent trip June 21 (part of the “vertical access shaft” work, I think). I thought to myself, Self? Are they doing piles before caissons? Are the caissons done already? Are there only piles and no caissons? In the June photo, you’ll notice there were already piles of piles to be driven.

My conclusion? I don’t know. But I have some photos to show you.

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Site prep is underway for The Couture on Milwaukee’s lakefront

Rendering of The Couture from Rinka Chung Architecture.

Four years ago when I last visited Milwaukee, it looked like The Couture was a good bet to be the next tower crane along Lake Michigan.

I was wrong. For the most part. Luckily I didn’t have any money on it.

There’s still no tower crane, but site prep for The Couture has begun, as crews rip out the remnants of the concrete slab that once supported the Milwaukee Transit Center, and get the site ready for foundation work.

The Couture will be a 44-story tower at Clybourn Street, Lincoln Memorial Drive, and Michigan Street. The prime site will offer sweeping views of the lake, the stellar Milwaukee Art Museum, and the annual home of Summerfest, Henry Maier Festival Park.

Early info on The Couture had it including up to 600 units (residents? residences? hmm). Recent features, including this one from Urban Milwaukee, show a much lower number, with 322 apartments and 40,000 square feet of commercial space.

Barrett Lo Visionary Development is The Couture’s developer; Rinka Chung Architecture is the design architect. (They’re hiring! See the website for more info, plus animated renderings.) J.H. Findorff & Son is the general contractor.

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The Reed at Southbank scores its foundation permit

The foundation permit, issued June 7.

FOUNDATIONS ONLY PERMIT FOR THE NEW CONSTRUCTION OF A HIGH RISE RESIDENTIAL BUILDING

And with those words, issued by the City of Chicago Monday, The Reed at Southbank may begin construction. Lendlease is the general contractor, with McHugh Concrete doing the concrete work. (Note: in “official” contractor-speak, the tower crane “belongs” to the concrete contractor. But around here, we aren’t diligent enough to find and name all the sub-contractors on construction projects, so the general contractor is credited for the tower crane. We don’t mean to slight anyone; it’s just how we do it.)

The Reed at Southbank will be the second tower at Lendlease’s Southbank development. Its first, The Cooper, opened in 2018. The Reed, also designed by Perkins + Will, will be a 41-story mix of apartments and condominiums

They’ve been out there tearing up the ground for while now, prepping the site and doing that vertical shaft thing we mentioned before. But now it’s time for the real fun to start.

Rendering from The Reed at Southbank website.