That time I went to Pennsylvania and learned what a cracker plant is

 

A quick trip to Pittsburgh and back gave me a chance to check out (sadly, not at night though) the Royal Dutch Shell (they’re spelling that name wrong, imho) cracker plant along the Ohio River in Monaca, PA.

Until yesterday, I had no idea what a cracker plant was, outside of baking snacks. Luckily for all of us, The Times is on it. I’ll do the easy part and share a few photos from across the river. And then you can read the article in the New York Times to learn more.

FYI: Near as I can tell, there’s only one tower crane on this site. And then a whole bunch of varied, humongous others.

 

Alta Grand Central nears its debut in the South Loop

It’s been more than 18 months since we’ve checked in on Alta Grand Central in the South Loop. That was in June of 2018, just after Alta Grand Central had been announced on Instagram. Not surprisingly, it has gone from dirt lot to near-completion in that amount of time. 

The two 14-story, Pappageorge Haymes Partners-designed apartment towers contain 346 units. Wood Partners is the developer and Walsh Construction the general contractor, just like they were around the corner at Alta Roosevelt.

Alta Grand Central looks move-in ready from the outside, but we still need to wait a bit for the opening.

The Alta Grand Central construction site during our last visit, June 2018.

 

One Chicago Square: Just the tower cranes

Tower cranes should be cherished. Two tower cranes should be cherished and celebrated. Three tower cranes should be cherished, celebrated, and should get their own post.

One Chicago Square has three tower cranes. This is their own post.

318 North Carpenter will add another 100,000 square feet to the Fulton Market office explosion

318 North Carpenter render from Murphy Development Group

Office space large and small is all the rage in the Fulton Market District these days, along with restaurant space, retail space, residential space, and space for leaving your motorized scooter on the sidewalk. One of those smaller office projects is 318 North Carpenter. This one is just seven stories, bringing about 100,000 square feet of rentable office space, along with 10,000 square feet of retail, and parking for 27 cars.

318 North Carpenter is brought to you by Murphy Development Group, most notable recently for opening The Paragon in the South Loop. Hartshorne Plunkard Architecture is the design architect, and Walsh Construction is on the build. They are tasked with having 318 open this summer.

 

Fulton East is a first-glass act at 215 North Peoria

Fulton East January 2020

New glass adorns Fulton East, at 215 North Peoria in the West Loop.

The glass has arrived at the topped-out Fulton East in the West Loop. (That’s right, east is west.) Fulton East is a 12-story office building being built by Clayco, and designed by Lamar Johnson Collaborative.

The developer, according to the permit issued by the City of Chicago and the construction banner on site, is “Peoria Green Owner, LLC.” That entity, according to Crain’s, appears to be Parkside Realty.

 

369 West Grand progressing in River North

369 West Grand is a 41-story, 365-unit apartment building going up on the site of the former Clark & Barlow Hardware store and Grand Avenue and Orleans Street in River North. It is being developed by Onni Group, the Canadian developer also currently working on the Old Town Park project. Onni also built The Hudson, a residential tower about six blocks north of 369 West Grand. Designed by Brininstool + Lynch, the tower’s podium will provide parking for 250 cars, and include ground-floor retail space.

It’s a whole new block for 800 Fulton

This building though.

If memory serves correctly, this is the first construction site I’ve covered for Thor Equities. But they must have gotten word that I’d be around, because 800 Fulton is really tough to get a good look at so far. Could be I’m just paranoid, but the fences seem too high, the foundation too deep, and heck, they’ve even gotten the weather to conspire against me with gloomy, overcast days.

Well, January brought some sunshine, so I’ve done the best I can. 800 Fulton is a 19-story office building designed by SOM. If this thing turns out the way renderings look, it will be nothing short of a spectacular addition to the still-booming Fulton Market area of the West Loop. Seriously, this one’s fantastic. This one occupies a full Fulton block, bounded by Fulton Market, Green Street, Wayman Street, and Halsted Street. It’s between the Fulton Market District sign and what used to be The Mid nightclub, if that helps you get oriented.

When an office building looks like a place you’d want to live, that’s a good sign. Living there would be a great idea anyway. You won’t want to drive to work at 800 Fulton. There will only be parking for 34 cars. There will, however, be 150 bicycle-parking spots. And we all need the exercise.

Expect me to move into 800 Fulton in 2021.