Red At Night, Mary Lane Delights

Mary Lane Brisbane 111 Mary Street

Watpac’s two red tower cranes at Mary Lane, flanked by the blue crane of Skytower and the moon.

Mary Lane Brisbane is a 37-story mixed-use tower being built in the heart of Brisbane’s Central Business District by GMP Management. The Woods Bagot design incorporates 184 luxury residences atop a 286-room Westin Brisbane Hotel. The apartments will be included in levels 17-36; the hotel will rise to the 16th floor. Completion is slated for late in 2018.

The renderings you’ll see in the gallery below are striking, but this project already looks amazing in the Brisbane skyline, thanks to builder Watpac’s pair of lighted-up tower cranes. And as you know, the direct route to my heart is always through lighting tower cranes at night.

Video Update: A core rises out of foundation work at Hoxton Chicago

There’s no better place to stare down into the abyss of Hoxton Chicago foundation work than from inside an L train. And now, the core is starting to shoot up from the concrete hole in the ground.

Shapack Partners is building the boutique Hoxton Chicago with hotel developer Ennismore in the West Loop.  GREC Architects designed the 12-story, 175-room hotel along with New York City firm Morris Adjmi Architects (Landmark West Loop.)

The former Grant Park Packaging Company building, at 832 West Lake Street, and Vaia Auto, at 850 West Lake, were demolished so Power Construction could begin work. The foundation permit was issued in June; we’re still waiting on the full-build permit.

The Hoxton Chicago is expected to open in 2019.

Chicago’s Nobu Hotel continues to struggle

Nobu Chicago hotel

The Nobu Chicago site has been secured, and it sits idle, waiting for construction to resume.

By now, you probably already know that things aren’t going well at Chicago’s Nobu Hotel in the West Loop. Last week, Crain’s reported that work had stopped on the 11-story, 119-room Midwest iteration of the hotel/restaurant brand.

Seems it’s been one delay after another for this thing. Ground was broken back in June (OF 2016!) then sat idle. Some caisson equipment was delivered to the site in September of 2016, the same month the hotel was officially approved by the Chicago Plan Commission, but that same equipment was packed up and hauled away without any holes being drilled.

A foundation permit was issued in December of 2016, but still, no action. Finally, in March of this year, the soil at 854 West Randolph began to turn. The earth-moving machines were followed by a pile driver, which began driving sheeting into the ground for a foundation. Caisson equipment arrived again, but for real this time, in May, and foundation work was underway in earnest. Finally, Centaur Construction had control of the site, and work started to go vertical.

But here’s the thing: If you want work to be done on your hotel, you have to pay the folks doing said work. And according to Crain’s (and one little birdie I heard from recently) that hasn’t been happening.

So once again, Nobu sits idle. 18 months after an 11-story hotel breaks ground, tourists should be sleeping in the beds. Stay tuned.

 

The Star Gold Coast antes up for a new hotel and casino tower in Broadbeach

The Star Gold Coast

A 17-story, luxury all-suite hotel has risen at The Star Gold Coast.

The Star Entertainment Group is rolling the dice on The Star Gold Coast, believing it’s time to do a massive upgrade on the former Jupiters Casino, situated on its own tiny island in Broadbeach. Along with upgrading the existing facility, they are currently constructing a new 17-story, all-suite hotel.

Probuild, who we’ve also seen on projects in Sydney and Melbourne, is the builder on The Star. Sure looks from here like they had it topped out when we stopped by in October.

Steelman Partners, headquartered in Las Vegas, is the design architect. DBI Design is also involved in the project. Completion is scheduled for first First Quarter 2018.

This isn’t the end of new development for The Star. Also in the works is a 53-story residential tower featuring 423 apartments and 300 hotel rooms atop a 7-level podium with parking, restaurants, and retail space.

Triple-Branded Hilton McCormick Place missed milestones: Topping out, glassing up

Triple branded Hilton McCormick Place

McHugh Constructions Hilton, Hilton & Hilton has grown to 22 stories at 123 East Cermak Road.

It’s been longer than I realized since we’ve walked around the Triple-Branded Hilton Hotels that McHugh Construction and UJAMAA is building at McCormick Place. Not only are there seven floors all glassed in, but the tower appears to have reached the 22nd floor. And it looks topped out. The permit called for 22 stories, but other specifications show 21 and 23 floors. Guess what? If this is a future 22-story hotel, and construction has indeed reached the 22nd floor, then by golly, she’s topped out.

Triple branded Hilton Hotels

Expect a skybridge to shoot out of here soon.

One thing not added is the skybridge over Indiana Avenue that will connect the hotel to McCormick Place, but you can see where it will attach on the south corner of the east elevation.

Antunovich Associates designed the 466-room hotel, situated on Cermak between Michigan and Indiana Avenues. It is expected to open late in 2018.

Home2 Suites is Home2 Chicago’s newest tower crane

Home2 Suites River North

Over there, in the trees! It’s Chicago’s 33rd tower crane!

As expected, and despite some sketchy weather, the tower crane went up this past weekend at 110 West Huron in River North. That’s the site of the new Home2 Suites Akara Partners is building, and it marks the entry into the Chicago Tower Crane count for M.A. Mortensen.

This is the 33rd tower crane now active in Chicago, though #34 is also up — the derrick crane at Simpson Querrey — which we got a sneak peek at yesterday, thanks to a little birdie. We’ll get a better look at it today, and share. But remember, that derrick’s sole purpose is to remove cranes. So don’t call it a hero.

An end-of-October update at Vista Tower

Vista Tower Chicago October

Vista Theater is fading; the best views of Vista Tower are no on the north side of the Chicago River.

I saw construction on three Wanda Vista Tower projects during October: the one you’re most familiar with, Vista Tower here in Chicago, plus two in Australia: one in the demolition phase in Sydney, New South Wales, and the three-tower Jewel Residences project on the beach in Gold Coast, Queensland. I managed to get to Chicago’s site on the last day of the month to make sure McHugh Construction crews hadn’t finished up while we were gone. Thankfully, they had not.