Caisson work is underway at Twelve01West

1201 West Lake

1201 West Lake caisson work is underway, as seen from the Green Line.

We’re still in the West Loop, and we’re still watching the goings-on along Lake Street.

Caissons are in the works for Twelve01West, the new seven-story office building at 1201 West Lake Street from McCaffery Interests. (You know them from The Lincoln Common project.) Revcon is on site as we speak, drilling holes into the earth just two blocks from another gig of theirs over at 180 North Ada. This time, they’re working with W.E. O’Neil, the general contractor on 1201 West Lake. This is familiar territory for W.E. O’Neil; their Chicago office is just a couple blocks away on Washington Blvd.

Designed by Antunovich Associates, Twelve01West got a foundation permit back in October, and a tower crane permit in January. The building will include 135,000 square feet of office space, and 11,000 square feet of ground-floor retail space, plus parking for 45 vehicles. McCaffery plans an early 2019 opening.


Sterling Bay’s 210 North Carpenter office building hits double digits

210 North Carpenter February 2018

From the Ashland L platform, 210 North Carpenter rises against the Chicago skyline.

Construction progress has reached the tenth floor of Sterling Bay’s 12-story office building, 210 North Carpenter, in the West Loop. Those responsible for the progress, Leopardo Companies, get to choose from the most prime of spaces within the new digs, as Leopardo will be moving their headquarters here upon completion. The 200,000-square-foot, SCB-designed facility is slated for opening late this year.

History demolished and discovered at the J.L. Higgie Building

J.L. Higgie Building demolition

One of the highly-coveted plaques, on the Harrison elevation, of the J.L. Higgie Building.

The J.L. Higgie Building at 1909 West Ogden Avenue in the Illinois Medical District is history, having been demolished over the past couple weeks by Heneghan Wrecking. The triangular building bounded by Ogden, Harrison, and Wolcott, built in the 1880s, was built by Higgie to be the offices of his tugboat company.

But speaking of history, demolition unearthed a treasure of it, as Heneghan discovered stacks of old newspapers where Mr. Higgie kept his offices. I got a good look at a couple of them, including a front page from February 5, 1930 (Chicago was having gang problems in those days) and a sports page from January 25, 1930 (the Chicago Blackhawks were playing the Pittsburgh Pirates in Atlantic City.)

J.L. Higgie Building demolition

January 25, 1930: The Pittsburgh Pirates moved their game against the Blackhawks 400 miles east because “Smoky City” fans weren’t showing up. Ouch.

The Best of Brisbane, Nighttime Edition: 111 Eagle Street

111 Eagle Street Brisbane Queensland Australia

111 Eagle Street stands out from the rest on the Brisbane skyline.

If you wander the streets of Brisbane during the light of day, but head indoors when the sun disappears, you’ll miss out some of the greatest views I’ve ever experienced, in any city.

Story Bridge Brisbane

Story Bridge from the Brisbane Riverwalk.

Here’s what you should do: When it gets dark, head down to the riverwalk along the Brisbane River, and keep going until you see the pretty blue lights framing Story Bridge. Then walk to the bridge itself and begin crossing the river. Now, stop. And just look.

From this vantage point, you’ll find Brisbane’s most spectacular piece of after-dark architecture, 111 Eagle Street. Designed by Cox Architecture (we saw their work at Conservatory Melbourne), developed by GPT Funds Management, and built by CIMIC Group111 Eagle Street opened in 2012. During the day, the 54-story tower doesn’t make the same impression. But just wait until you see it light up.


Australian Unity’s new offices begin to rise at 271 Spring Street in Melbourne

271 Spring Street Melbourne

Probuild’s tower crane has started construction on ISPT’s 271 Spring Street in Melbourne.

A noticeable trend in Australia is incorporating the old into the new. Saving facades, adding additions atop existing buildings, and developing around historic structures. 271 Spring Street is Melbourne is one such project.

Designed by John Wardle Architects, 271 Spring Street will be a 16-story office tower developed by ISPT. It will — literally — tower over the facades of the old Elms Hotel and the Mission Building along Spring Street. Probuild is the builder, which is why they get to have their name on the tower crane. (Side note: Getting my name on a tower crane is now a life goal.)

271 Spring Street looks like a cool building, right? Great location? Close to transportation? Want to lease some office space? Sorry. Every centimeter of the 15,600 square meters of space is spoken for by Australian Unity. They’ll move into the new digs in mid-2019.

271 Spring Street Melbourne

This on-site rendering poster shows how 271 Spring Street will loom over, and behind, two historic buildings.


Watch via EarthCam as work begins on Milwaukee’s BMO Tower

BMO Tower Milwaukee

Google Maps image of the doomed parking garage, being demolished to make room for BMO Tower in Milwaukee.

November 16 saw groundbreaking ceremonies for BMO Tower in Milwaukee, a 25-story office building that will serve as the new home for BMO Harris Bank. Designed by Kahler Slater (Westin Milwaukee), the tower will feature 380,000 rentable square feet, and 647 parking spaces through the 8th floor. The ground floor will contain a BMO Harris bank branch. Along with BMO Harris, the law firm of Michael Best & Friedrich LLP is also signed on as a tenant.

As you can see below, our friend Curtis Waltz at Aerialscapes flew over the site this weekend. BMO’s current offices are in the building on the right. To the left, you can see the demolition equipment staged atop the roof of the soon-to-be-leveled parking garage.

BMO Tower Milwaukee

Aerial view courtesy of Curtis Waltz at Aerialscapes.

The new BMO Tower is being developed by Irgens, which will also renovate BMO Harris’ current space next door once they move into the new building. J.H. Findorff and Son (Marquette and The Couture) is the general contractor.

Of course, with Milwaukee being a far far far north suburb of Chicago, it’s a little out of my coverage radius. Thankfully, EarthCam sent over a link to its webcam for the BMO Tower project, so you can watch progress, starting with the demolition of the existing seven-story parking garage, live. You’ll find “View 3” is already zoomed in on the rooftop of that garage for you to get a close-up look.

BMO Tower Milwaukee

BMO Tower rendering from Kahler Slater.

BMO Tower Milwaukee

Another Google Maps image of the parking garage being demolished at Broadway and Wells.

145 South Wells scores a foundation permit

145 South Wells foundation permit

The Foundation Permit for 145 South Wells, issued 11/22/17.

145 South Wells can begin drilling caissons in its Loop lot. A permit issued by the City of Chicago Wednesday says so. That means we’ll see Case Foundation on site any minute now.

The 20-story office tower is being built by Moceri + RoszakThomas Roszak Architecture handled the design for 145 South Wells, which will deliver more than 200,000 square feet of luxury loft offices.

The Loop is presently without a single tower crane, so 145 South Wells figures to be our next opportunity to have one erected. Beyond this project, 130 North Franklin and redevelopment of the General Growth building at 110 North Wacker are the most likely tower cranes on the horizon.

Demolition of the parking garage in March of this year.

Demolition of the parking garage in March of this year.

145 South Wells rendering from Thomas Roszak Architects.

145 South Wells rendering from Thomas Roszak Architects.