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.

Glass Update: 300 North Michigan’s still got it goin’ on

Because when you start glazing a skyscraping, you don’t just stop.

300 North Michigan got the first of its curtain wall about a month ago, and it’s getting shinier by the day. It’s also growing more visible above some of its neighbors, with a great view of it from Fulton Street in the West Loop.

Earth is being moved at The Reed at Southbank

Drilling an individual vertical shaft (layman’s term) for The Reed at Southbank.

“Vertical access shafts” are a thing. Which explains why crews are at the future home of The Reed at Southbank are tearing up the yard and digging in the dirt. For-real construction is expected to begin by the time summer months arrive in Chicago. Lendlease will, of course, be their own general contractor, in addition to their developer duties.

The Reed at Southbank will be the second tower at Lendlease’s Southbank development. Its first, The Cooper, opened in 2018. The Reed will be a 41-story mix of apartments and condominiums. This is how Lendlease describes it:

THE REED AT SOUTHBANK

Developed and constructed by Lendlease, The Reed is a 41-story luxury residential high-rise located at 234 W. Polk Street, as the next phase of its Southbank neighborhood development in Chicagos South Loop. The new building, which will offer 216 luxury condominiums on its upper floors and 224 rental apartments located on floors 9 through 22, marks the second residential tower in Southbank, a 7-acre master plan centered around 2 acres of public green space, known as Southbank Park, along the South Branch of the Chicago River.

The Reed boasts two well-appointed amenity suites for residents to enjoy, including a 12,000-square-foot outdoor amenity deck on the eighth floor overlooking Southbank Park. Residents will share access to an indoor amenity space on the eighth floor and owners will have exclusive use of an additional amenity space on the second floor, which is at grade with Southbank Park. The intentional placement of the second-floor amenities and use of full-height windows is intended to establish continuity between the park and tower, according to project architect Perkins+Will, which also designed The Cooper and the broader Southbank master plan.

Condo layouts include one, two- and three-bedroom plans priced from the $390,000s and ranging in size from 630 to 1,670 square feet. Occupying floors 23 to 41 of the tower, The Reeds condominiums celebrate the buildings idyllic location with floor-to-ceiling windows that showcase stunning views of the skyline, Lake Michigan and Chicago River, as well as Southbank Park, which borders the northern side of the building. The towers interiors pay homage to the surrounding neighborhood with an industrial-chic aesthetic that is realized through concrete ceilings and metal finishing throughout residences.

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Glass is in session at 300 North Michigan

300 North Michigan, May 5, 2021

The rumors are true; there’s a fresh, shiny row of glass on 300 North Michigan in The Loop. Plus a little bit installed out back along MacChesney Court. Chalk up another Milestone Achieved for Sterling Bay, Magellan Development, bKL Architecture, and Linn-Mathes.



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Checking up on 300 North Michigan

300 North Michigan

A quick spin around 300 North Michigan as construction continues on the joint development effort from Sterling Bay and Magellan Development Group. Hotel rooms and apartments smack dab in the middle of the Cultural Mile and Magnificent Mile? Yes, please.

Below you’ll find photographic proof of progress. (The dude on the corner with the tape measure though? No, thanks. You’re job is safe from me.)

Darn Near Done: Old Town Park Phase III

All that remains of Atrium Village stands in front of Old Town Park Phases I, II, and III.

Exterior work is nearing completion at the final phase of the Old Town Park re-development in Chicago’s Near North neighborhood.

Old Town Park Phase III, at 228 West Hill Street got its full-build permit on New Years Eve 2019. That permit authorized construction of a 41-story, 456-unit apartment tower.

Old Town Park Phase II, the 39-dtory, 425-unit tower at 202 West Hill Street, got its first permit in December 2017.

The baby of the group, Phase I, got its first permit in February 2016. It has 405 apartments across 32 stories.

That puts developer and general contractor Onni Group in construction mode here just over five years. They also lit up all three tower cranes over the course of this development, so kudos for that, Onni! You’ll always hold a special place in the B.U.C. heart for that alone.

Hartshorne Plunkard Architecture is the design architect on Old Town Park.

One Chicago inches ever-closer to full height

One Chicago takes the entire city block bounded by Chicago Avenue, Dearborn, Superior, and State Streets in River North.

One Chicago is coming.

The residential (condos and apartments,) office, and retail block from JDL Development is making its mark on Chicago’s skyline.

The 49-story western tower topped out back in January, while the 76-story condo tower should be really darn close to following suit, if it hasn’t already.

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

Want to see a whole bunch o’ photos from Monday? I knew you would.

Darn Near Done: 369 West Grand

369 West Grand March 2021

The 369 Grand Opening is fast approaching. See what I did there?

369 Grand, the 41-story, 365-unit apartment building developed by Onni Group in River North, is on the verge of welcoming tenants. Designed by Brininstool + Lynch, the tower will also provide parking for 250 cars, and include ground-floor retail space.

For more on the opening, let’s welcome Urbanize Chicago to the city, and check out their story before we roll the photos of 369 Grand as she stands today, and a few construction shots.

Progress Update: 300 North Michigan

300 North Michigan

300 North Michigan between the Magnificent and Cultural Miles of Chicago’s Michigan Avenue.

There aren’t many projects happening in Chicago that this blog considers “mixed-use.” Since everything includes retail these days, an office tower or residential building with ground-floor commercial space doesn’t split the vote.

300 North Michigan qualifies as mixed-use. The bKL Archtecture-designed tower will deliver 289 residential units and 280 hotel rooms across its 47 stories. A joint venture between Sterling Bay and Magellan Group, 300 North Michigan got its tower crane permit back in August 2020, and its foundation permit (with an assigned address of 88 E Wacker Pl) about three weeks prior. The full-build permit arrived in late September.

Linn-Mathes is the general contractor.