Onni lights up a tower crane over Old Town Park

“Onni” is Vancouverian for “It’s lit”

You never tell your children one of them is your favorite. That’s Parenting 101. It’s equally dangerous to announce personal affection for any one particular tower crane. But in a city where lighting tower cranes doesn’t really seem to be a thing, Onni Group once again shines through with their workhorse high overhead at Old Town Park Tower III. Watch for it next time you ride a Purple or Brown Line train between Chicago Avenue and Sedgwick. It’s pretty darn close to the tracks, so look up, or better yet, ride in the rear car and watch out the back window.

Onni’s put on this show before, not only at previous phases of Old Town Park, but also a few blocks away at The Hudson. They’re also working at 369 West Grand, but I forgot to look west from the train to see if that tower crane was glowing as well. Someone let me know, please?

Old Town Park Onni Group glowing crane

Atrium Village’s Phase 2 is going three-dimensional

AVP2-3D, you might say.

Who else could use a quick walk-around out at Atrium Village? That’s where Onni Group is erecting the second tower of the redevelopment for this Near North mainstay. The first tower, Old Town Park, should be opening any day now.

Progress Update: Atrium Village Phase II (Old Town Park 2?)

Atrium Village Phase II? Old Town Park 2? 202 Hill Street? The second tower Onni Group is constructing in Near North doesn’t have an official name yet, but it does have a tower crane and a building permit. And those are the important things.¬†That permit calls for a Hartshorne Plunkard Architecture-designed 39-story tower, including a 6-level parking podium, with 428 apartments. Onni Group is once again the developer and general contractor, just as they are next door at Old Town Park, and The Hudson a few blocks away.

Act II at Atrium Village is in full caisson mode

Atrium Village Phase Two caissons

Case Foundation is at work in Near North, drilling caissons for Atrium Village Phase Two.

The tower crane is gone from Old Town Park in the Near North neighborhood, but it will be replaced on the same block very soon. Onni Group is doing foundation work on the next phase of the Atrium Village redo, with Case Foundation on site drilling caissons at this very moment.

There isn’t much I can tell you about Phase Two besides what we find in the building permit, which the City of Chicago issued for 202 West Hill Street back on December 8, 2017. That permit calls for a Hartshorne Plunkard Architecture-designed 39-story tower, including a 6-level parking podium, with 428 apartments. Onni Group will act once again as their own builder. Someday soon, this tower is likely to get a fancy new name. We hope.

Atrium Village gets a permit for Tower #2

Atrium Village 202 Hill Street permit

The permit, issued Friday, for 39 stories at 202 West Hill Street.

We don’t know much, but we do know there’s a brand-spankin’-new permit for the second tower at Atrium Village in the Near North neighborhood. Just as Onni Group appears ready to take down the tower crane at Old Town Park, the City of Chicago granted a permit on Friday to begin foundation work on the second tower, at 202 West Hill Street, of the Atrium overhaul.

This one will be 39 stories high, with 428 units above a six-story podium, and some ground-floor retail space. As with Old Town Park, Onni Group will be their own general contractor, and Hartshorne Plunkard is the design architect.

Sure, we look forward to another tall building, but we’re more anxious to see Onni light up another tower crane!

Onni Group lights up the Old Town Park tower crane. Again.

Onni Group glow crane

The moon and the glow crane were out Sunday evening at Old Town Park.

For the second year in a row, Onni Group has strung some serious lights on the tower crane hovering above Old Town Park in the near North neighborhood. Of course, it was still Atrium Village at this time last year. Not to mention construction had barely risen above street level. But now, Old Town Park is topped out at a full 31 stories, and glass has reached the 25th floor, or thereabouts.

Folks, let me just tell you that glow-in-the-dark tower cranes are THE. BOMB. Chicago needs more of them. I would love to see this become a trend here. But at least Onni gets it right. Two years ago, they also lit up the tower crane at The Hudson for the holidays. So kudos to them for their three-year streak. Will we see another this time next year when the next Atrium Village phase is underway?

Old Town Park is topped out; is the second Atrium Village tower about to rise?

Old Town Park

The topped-out top of Old Town Park in Near North.

With the 32-story, 405-unit Old Town Park at 1140 North Wells Street in Near North topped out, ground work is going deep to its south, and it looks like the start of the Phase 2 tower is imminent. No permits exist for that building yet, but the lot has been cleared and leveled, tress along Hill Street have been chopped down, and there are deep excavations where Atrium Village foundations once stood. Or sat.

Onni Group is developing and building the Hartshorne Plunkard-designed redo of Atrium Village. We’ll keep an eye out for a permit, which will also include a new tower crane, as the second tower isn’t close enough to the first one for the current crane to reach.