Demolition at 1415 South Wabash setting the stage for CMK Companies’ latest

1415 South Wabash demolition

Construction fencing and Clark banners went up around the surface parking lot at 14th and Wabash in April.

CMK Companies has something big happening at the corner of 14th Street and Wabash Avenue in the South Loop. Maybe not Riverline big, but still big. And kinda mysterious.

Back in April, on the 19th and 20th, two separate foundation permits were issued by the City of Chicago for this site. The first called for H-Piles to be pounded into the earth to support a 10-story, 62-unit building at 1419 South Wabash. Then another permit was issued calling for more H-Piles at 51 East 14th Street, but these would be for a 14-story, 199-unit building. The permits show both structures to be Pappageorge Haymes Partners designs, and Clark Construction is named as the general contractor for both.

On May 16, a demolition permit was issued to wreck and remove the single-story mural-covered building at 1415 South Wabash that used to belong to Columbia College. (CMK bought that building back in October. Crain’s reported on it here.) And that work has indeed begun, courtesy of American Demolition.

Lendlease drops the tower crane at 1101 South Wabash

1101 South Wabash crane removal

The tower crane sinks below the top of the 2 Hiltons in the South Loop. You know that means doom.

The Hilton Homewood Suites and Hilton Garden Inn aren’t finished yet, but the tower crane is. We got word last week that the tower crane would be removed any day now, and sure enough, crews from Central Contractors Service, Lendlease, and Pepper Construction (as the concrete contractor, it’s technically their crane) were out there Sunday, taking sections down and hauling them off the site.

There remains quite a bit of work to do to make this tower a hotel. Or two. But now the heavy lifting will be up to the skip hoist.

Essex on the Park approaches 40 stories in the South Loop

Essex on the Park May 2018

Essex on the Park rises above the South Loop.

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: If you want a magnificent mile, you might be too far north.

While tourists are shopping, walk down to Grant Park and take a look west at how the skyline is changing in the South Loop, as skyscraper after skyscraper goes up. And on a sunny day, there are none better to gaze upon than Essex on the Park.

It appears Power Construction is on or near the 36th floor, while the curtain wall has risen a full 20 stories above that wonderful 7th-floor winter garden.

Foundation work is in full swing at the Columbia College Student Center

The Columbia College Student Center at 8th Street and Wabash Avenue in the South Loop is a reality, as crews from Pepper Construction continue to work on the foundation. The Gensler design, when finished will provide 114,000 square feet of space for students over five levels.

One Grant Park gets a new name (NEMA Chicago) and new glass (finally!)

NEMA Chicago glass

NEMA Chicago grows in the South Loop, despite being obscured by the Canal Street Railroad Bridge.

One Grant Park was a fine name for the new tower at 1200 South Indiana Avenue in the South Loop. It paid homage to the park whose south end the tower would anchor. Alas, the moniker wasn’t meant to last, and now One Grant Park has a new name: NEMA Chicago. This is according to the website of developer Crescent Heights. And if it’s on their website, it has to be real.

Something else One Grant Park just–oops…NEMA Chicago–just picked up, and this took longer than expected: cladding. Curtain wall. Windows. Glass. Glorious glass. Some up high, some down low. But it’s there, at last.

The Paragon Chicago continues its gain of height, glass

The Paragon Chicago April 2018

The glassy, sunny Paragon Chicago is growing into its lot at 1326 South Michigan Avenue in the South Loop.

Few of the city’s construction sites bask in the sunlight quite like The Paragon Chicago.

Walsh Construction continues to make upward progress on the future 47-story apartment tower by Solomon Cordwell Buenz. The joint effort by Murphy Development Group and CIM Group will deliver 500 new units to the South Loop upon its opening next spring.

Essex on the Park taking over the skyline on Michigan Avenue

Essex on the Park April 2018

Essex on the Park, and the Plane.

Not North Michigan Avenue, where the sidewalks are narrow and choked with pedestrians. This is South Michigan Avenue, in the South Loop. Where one can actually stop on the sidewalk and take in the sights without getting in anyone else’s way. The Other Mile. The cool Michigan Avenue.

Essex on the Park keeps rising higher and higher at 808 South Michigan Avenue, on its way to 56 stories in height. Credit Power Construction for the progress; Hartshorne Plunkard Associates for the design; Oxford Capital Group for the development.