The first of many North Union tower cranes is up at 920 North Wells

Not only is the tower crane up at 920 North Wells, but there’s construction fencing up in the next block south on Wells Street. Call it 868 North Wells or 210 West Chestnut, but you better call it soon, because that fence means demolition is imminent for the former Irwin A Moon building on the Moody Bible Institute campus. Demolishing it will make room for 878 North Wells, the 25-story, 428-unit second tower on JDL Development’s North Union agenda. All we need do now is watch for the demo permit.

Tower crane enthusiasts are salivating.

Today’s gallery is a two-fer. You get to see 920’s brand-spankin’-new tower crane, and you get a few shots thrown in of 868 before its demise. Sorry I wasn’t patient enough to wait for the sun to show up. Enjoy.


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920 North Wells, in serious Not Messing Around mode, plants a tower crane

The way 920 North Wells keeps crashing through milestones, I’m worried if I blink, it’ll be done. It’s latest trick is planting the tower crane stub, which was permitted May 17. Keep an eye out, as it’s likely, the way things are going, for the tower crane to be completely erected by the end of this week.

In the meantime, have a whole mess o’ photos of a tower crane base at a construction site. (iPhones come in handy for peeking over fences)

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OOPS! I missed the lighted tower crane at Big Deahl

How cool is this crane at The Seng/Common Lincoln Park?!

I should have known this sooner so I could make a Big Deahl out of it.

This is my apology to Power Construction, Structured Development, GREC Architects, and everyone else affiliated with construction on The Seng and Common Lincoln Park. While I was bemoaning only having one lighted tower crane in Chicago, we actually had two of them. This one at 853 West Blackhawk being the second one.

I’ll get more photos of it ASAP, but in the meantime, I’m sorry, all. This sucker is cool, and I missed it. Once I’m forgiven, I’ll ask about lighting up the other Big Deahl crane at 1475 North Kingsbury… (too soon? pushing my luck?)

One of you up there in those existing towers should have turned me on to this. Shame. Shout-out to Jimmy Freer for clueing me in on Facebook.

The second tower crane is up at Big Deahl

Power Construction and Central Contractors Service were out in the elements (it was a beautiful day) Thursday erecting the second tower crane at the Big Deahl development. While the first crane builds The Seng and Common Lincoln Park, this second rig will handle the taller task of 1475 North Kingsbury.

Dedicated crane chaser that I am, I stopped by here twice on Thursday to supervise things. As an added bonus, I have a few progress shots of The Seng and Common Lincoln Park too.


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920 North Wells scores North Union’s first tower crane permit as caissons wrap up

It took <check’s sun dial> less than two weeks for Power Construction and Stalworth Underground to get caissons drilled at 920 North Wells. I’ve left dirty dishes in the sink for longer than that. Regularly. But there’s no time to be wasted on JDL Development’s latest endeavor, the North Union mega project, so it’s out with caisson equipment, and in with the earth movers. They’ve got a foundation to dig out, not just for the building, but also for the tower crane, and Manitowoc MD485 to be precise, which received a foundation permit of its own on Tuesday, May 17.

Since I once again fell asleep on the job, the following gallery includes photos of caisson work taken May 12, and post-caisson work taken May 19.


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Checking back on The 808 Cleveland

First and foremost, a special thanks to the team of Focus Construction and Pepper Construction for using their tower crane to pluck The Spirit of Progress from atop One River Place Condominiums and setting on top of The 808 Cleveland construction site so I could get the above photo op. The statue was returned to its proper place without anyone knowing she was missing.

And here are a bunch more photos I took of progress at Pappageorge Haymes Partners-designed, 22-story apartment building for DAC Developments that didn’t require me stealing a Chicago icon.

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This is an even Bigger Deahl: 1475 North Kingsbury has a tower crane stub

A tower crane stub juts from the ground at 1475 North Kingsbury

1475 North Kingsbury (Blackhawk?) is doing its part to get Chicago another new tower crane. Thursday morning, we found a brand-spankin’-new stub sticking out of the ground. It sure looked by the efforts at the base of the base that the stub had had just been set, but I was too timid to interrupt a very busy crew to get confirmation on its arrival date. The important thing is, it’s there, and the rest of the crane should soon follow.

As we noted in this very space back in April:

1475 North Kingsbury received a caisson permit and a tower crane permit Wednesday, April 6. Designed by FitzGerald, it will be a 27-story tower with 327 rental apartments. Along with Structured Development, two other developers join the team for this one: White Oak Realty Partners, and Ponsky Capital Partners. Ponsky’s website uses the name “Blackhawk” for this one; we’ll see if that moniker sticks. (Reminder: The Seng and Common Lincoln Park are both addressed on Blackhawk Street.)

Next up, photo. The first gallery is from Thursday’s crane discovery. Then you’ll see a batch taken May 1 of the last remnants of caisson work.

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Caisson work at 920 North Wells gets the North Union party started

Stalworth Underground drills caisson at 920 North Wells

Holes are being drilled into the earth at 920 North Wells, as construction gets underway for the North Union megadevelopment from JDL Development. The gettin’-our-boots-dirty team of Power Construction, Stalworth Underground, and Adjustable Concrete Construction are all on hand to make rebar cages and pour some concrete.

JDL announced via Instagram Stories Wednesday evening that a caisson permit had been issued that day (along with word that One Chicago had reached full occupancy, so big CONGRATS on that) and here we are Thursday morning, with the city’s permit site showing the permit for caissons under a 21-story tower, and the first two caissons being bored.

920 North Wells, a design by Hartshorne Plunkard Architecture, was approved by the Chicago Plan Commission as part of North Union project in May of 2021.

We’re going to enjoy 920 North Wells for now, but North Union will be overstimulating construction nerds for a long, long time. So get the lawn chair and cooler out of the garage, pack some snacks, and let’s go!

Oh, I almost forgot….I took pictures!

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This is another really Big Deahl: 1475 North Kingsbury scores its first two permits

Rendering of 1475 North Kingsbury from FitzGerald.

If it seems like only this morning I shared photos from The Seng and Common Lincoln Park and their early construction progress, that’s be because it was this morning. Then later this morning came the news that The Shops at Big Deahl had two permits to start building another component.

1475 North Kingsbury received a caisson permit and a tower crane permit Wednesday, April 6. Designed by FitzGerald, it will be a 27-story tower with 327 rental apartments. Along with Structured Development, two other developers join the team for this one: White Oak Realty Partners, and Ponsky Capital Partners. Ponsky’s website uses the name “Blackhawk” for this one; we’ll see if that moniker sticks. (Reminder: The Seng and Common Lincoln Park are both addressed on Blackhawk Street.)

As with this morning’s two Big Deahl buildings, Power Construction is the general contractor. Maybe they’ll get started here before the Blackhawk Street tower crane comes down, giving us two tower cranes on the same project. Fingers crossed.

A tower crane and one story of progress? Yes, that’s a Big Deahl

A tower crane and a very good dog at The Shops at Big Deahl

The new tower crane on West Blackhawk Street is pulling double duty. It’s building The Seng, a five-story condo building at 853 W Blackhawk, and Common Lincoln Park, a 10-story, 400-bed co-living building at 869 W Blackhawk. I know this because I read about it in REjournals; they’ve got all the details you could possibly want at that link.

The Shops at Big Deahl is a project by Structured Development. GREC Architects is the design architect; Power Construction is on the build.

With two buildings comes lots of permits, including:
A demo permit to make a fresh canvas on 4/23/2021
A tent permit for groundbreaking ceremonies on 12/2/2021
A permit for foundation piles on 12/16/2021
The full permit for 853 on 1/19/2022
A tower crane permit on 2/10/2022
The full build permit for 869 on 3/25/2022

I stopped by Sunday to take a look at early vertical progress:

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