Say the word, and 311 West Huron will start tearing up the parking lot

An overhead view of 311 West Huron. (The Brown Line is my drone.)

There’s a new office building coming soon to the River North neighborhood, and equipment stands at the ready to dispense of the current surface parking lot and start construction on 311 West Huron.

311 West Huron is a joint venture between North Wells Capital and Urban Innovations. The 15-story building, designed by NORR, will include about 145,000 rentable square feet, and have 130 indoor parking spaces. Chicago Yimby has lots of details. And Crain’s reported in February that there’s already an anchor tenant lined up.

There are ground-breakers from Quality Excavation standing at the ready as we speak, with construction fencing all around the parking lot. It sure looks like they’re expecting to get started soon. Site prep and the first building permit seem imminent.

732 West Randolph plants yet another tower crane along Randolph Street

The base section of a tower crane was set in pace Thursday at 732 West Randolph.

What an embarrassment of tower-crane riches we’ve along Randolph Street in the West Loop. Even though recent rigs at 609, 1371, 1400 and 1454 are gone, we have cranes operating at the corners of Randolph and Peoria (900 Randolph), Randolph and Aberdeen (166 North Aberdeen), and Randolph and Elizabeth (160 North Elizabeth.)

And now, 732 West Randolph has entered the chat. Thursday, general contractor Maris Construction and concrete contractor Pepper Construction planted the base for a tower crane that will build an eight-story (plus basement) office building. Designed by Hirsch MPG, 732 will connect on its first six floors with 730 West Randolph next door, and will include a rooftop deck and basement fitness center.

732 West Randolph got its first construction permit way back on March 03, 2020, as a renovation/alteration permit to add the eight-story building to the aforementioned six-story building at 730 West. A revised New Construction permit was issued September 23 of 2022. Both of those permits were reinstated in August of last year, and the tower crane was permitted February 1 of this year.

As you can see, work is in progress. All that rebar around the base of the crane will be smothered in concrete for the crane foundation on Monday.

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The glass is more than half full at 345 North Morgan

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1020 West Randolph bringing boutique office space to Fulton Market

With apologies to anyone sad about the loss of that weird little bank at the corner of Randolph and Carpenter in the West Loop, I say good riddance to drive-thru banking (do that on your iSmartphonebookpad, ya dinosaur) and hello to boutique office buildings.

1020 West Randolph is currently in foundation mode now. A development by L3 Capital and RL Edward Partners, the five-story brick-façade building is a design by Hartshorne Plunkard Architecture, who’ve created a look that would be just as well suited for Fulton Market’s disappearing meat-packing history as it does in today’s modern phase. The 37,000sf building will include 23,000sf of office space, 5,000sf of retail space, and an amenity roof deck.

W.E. O’Neil is the general contractor. Their goal is to have the building open for tenants early in 2023. They got a building permit (addressed at 155 North Carpenter) on August 13 of last year. The demolition permit for the old bank was issued May 28 and was handled by Precision Excavation. If the below galley includes any demo pics, it’s because I dug through the back pages of my hard drive until I found them. New construction photos were taken 03/21/22 and 04/03/22.

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Glass climbs the topped-out and craneless 345 North Morgan

345 North Morgan, viewed from Halsted Street.

The tower crane is gone, but work hasn’t skipped a beat at 345 North Morgan in the Fulton Market District.

Sterling Bay’s latest boutique office building is installing windows on what is shaping up to be my favorite new building for nighttime views. And I say that having only been there on sunny days. But mark my words; this is one of those sites you’ll want to get to just as it gets dark at night with the interior lights shining brightly.

345 North Morgan is a ten-story, 200,000-square-foot office building designed by Chicago’s own Eckenhoff Saunders Skender is the general contractor. Their task, along with Adjustable Concrete Construction on concrete, is to have this office building ready for tenants before we close the door on 2022.

The old 345 North Morgan, taken from the original B.U.C. HQ in the West Loop.
Demolition wrapping up, December 16, 2019.
Stalworth Underground doing caisson work, 08/31/2021

It wasn’t until I looked up the permit history that I remembered 345 having a little trouble getting started. Of course, over the past 24 months, who among us *hasn’t* had a little trouble getting started. The old paint store at 345 North Morgan got a demolition permit on December 5 of 2019. (I still have an unfinished draft that I started in January of 2020.) The foundation permit for the new building was next, issued March 12, 2020. But then things went idle for awhile before caisson work began in August of last summer. The full build permit was issued in June of 2021, and the tower crane was permitted on September 3. And here we are.

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Yes, of course I took more Salesforce Tower pics

An office in Salesforce Tower, and an apartment next door in Wolf Point East, is still the dream. For me, at least.

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A Salesforce Tower over(mostly)view

This past weekend, Open House Chicago gave the public access to the 55th floor of 110 North Wacker. That’s a vantage point most of us rarely see without ponying up the dough to visit an observation deck.

Very few of you will be surprised to learn I took advantage of that vantage by snapping a ton of pics of Salesforce Tower. (I took a few from the ground too.) Hey you go.

Glass update at Salesforce Tower

This update on Salesforce Tower is simple: Walsh Construction continues their curtain wall installation at Hines’ 60-story office tower at Wolf Point on the Chicago River, all while the tower keeps shooting skyward. I see about 30 levels of steel, and 36 levels of core. (Not a scientific poll.)

And now, photos:

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1043 Fulton brings the pane

Power Construction is installing windows at 1043 Fulton, and a lot of them, on the north and west façades. Still waiting on glass for the south façade, while that east-facing masonry wall probably won’t need them.

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