A December update at Vista Tower

Wanda Vista Tower at night

Night time is the right time to see Vista Tower.

This thing is gonna be HUGE.

Vista Tower continues its climb along East Wacker Drive and the Chicago River. And the more it grows, the more it’s visible from new vantage points. For instance, you can now stand on the Chicago Riverwalk and look straight up and see construction. It may be a little too cold to stand there for long, though.

aLoft Chicago Mag Mile adds some glass as it rises in Streeterville

aLoft Chicago Mag Mile

Fresh glass at the aLoft Chicago Mag Mile in Streeterville.

Don’t look now (you can look when we get to the photo gallery) but Tishman has the *aLoft Chicago Mag Mile nearing the top (on or about the 15th floor, I’d say) of its 18-story goal at 243 East Ontario in Streeterville. And as if that wouldn’t be enough of a milestone, they’ve also started installing glass, on level 3 of the Valerio Dewalt Train-designed hotel.

When completed next winter, the aLoft Chicago Mag Mile will open 336 new guest rooms to Chicago’s most vibrant shopping neighborhood.

*Looks like I’ve been spelling it wrong all this time. “aLoft” – little ‘a’ big ‘L’

 

 

With all three Hiltons topped out, the tower crane comes down at 123 East Cermak

Triple-branded Hilton tower crane removal

A tower crane below the roof line is doomed. Such is the circle of life at the triple-branded Hilton Hotels at McCormick Place.

All by its lonesome, McHugh Construction’s shiny yellow Liebherr tower crane built a Hilton Garden Inn Chicago McCormick CenterHampton Inn by Hilton Chicago McCormick Center, and Home2 Suites by Hilton Chicago McCormick Center in the Prairie District of the South Loop. And now, that crane’s work is complete, and it’s on the way to the ground.

We walked around the site at 123 East Cermak Road to pay our last respects as the crane started coming down. But fear not; Chicago’s construction boom has slowed just yet, so expect that same crane to be back on the build again very soon.

Hey neighbor! Pappageorge Haymes hangs a shingle at the South Loop Hilton Homewood Suites

Hilton Garden Inn Hilton Homewood Suites South Loop

Pappageorge has designed new space at 1101 South Wabash for a Hilton Garden Inn.

This was a surprise.

Well into construction of the Hilton Homewood Suites just around the corner from the B.U.C. HQ at 1101 South Wabash in the South Loop, Pappageorge Haymes has gotten involved in the project, as evidenced by their new banner hanging on the construction barrier.

Pappageorge Haymes tells us they came on board to design a new portion of the project for a Hilton Garden Inn component, which will now be co-branded with Hilton Homewood Suites. While the tower is still slated to rise to 30 stories, there may have been an increase in the room count, which has now grown to 342 per PH, up from 281 which we had previously reported.

In the meantime, Lendlease continues upward progress on the hotel tower at the corner of 11th and Wabash. The seventh floor is poured, and the eight floor deck is approaching the halfway point.

Shout-out to Michael and Jason at Columbia College, who arranged for me to go upstairs at 1104 South Wabash to get the overhead shots you see in the gallery.

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.