A tower crane permit dies at 320 South Clinton


Unsurprisingly, it looks like all bets are off at what was supposed to be the Toyoko Inn at 320 South Clinton in the West Loop. Long before the parking garage across the street had been demolished for the nearly-completed Union Station Tower, crews buried caissons in the ground for the would-be 24-story hotel. There was word a local alderman wasn’t happy at all that work had gotten started, and he put a stop to it. Now, almost four years later, there’s a For Sale sign up on the property, the gaping foundation hole that sat full of water for months and months has been filled in, and the lot smoothed over.

The now-moot tower crane permit was issued April 10, 2020. In May of last year, a permit was issued to “restore and secure the site while construction is suspended.” Hence the new fence and infill.

So if you’re interested in a developable plot of land with caissons already installed, you might want to look into this one.

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Stuff That’s Done: The Woodlawn Residential and Dining Commons at the University of Chicago

The Woodlawn Residential and Dining Commons at the University of Chicago

The new Woodlawn Residential and Dining Commons is open on the University of Chicago campus. The Commons is a joint development between the University and Capstone Development Partners. It was designed by Boston’s Elkus Manfredi Architects, and was built by Turner Construction. The 16- and 7-story buildings contain almost 900 rooms and 1,300 beds.

Stuff That’s Done That I Kept Forgetting To Take Photos Of: University of Chicago Campus North Residential Commons

Jeanne Gang’s Aqua

There was a time when the only building I took photos of was Aqua. It was the first tower I really fell in love with, and it gave me an immediate appreciation of Jeanne Gang’s work at Studio Gang.

As you may know, I’ve taken a few of The Residences at the St. Regis (formerly Vista Tower) too. And Solstice on the Park down in Hyde Park. But as many times as I went down to Hyde Park for Solstice, I kept forgetting to swing by the University of Chicago Campus North Residential Commons. Until now.

Something about the coloring of this development. Standing in front of it, it looks like a rendering.

Studio Gang towers in San Francisco, Brooklyn, and St. Louis are next on my visiting agenda.

Stuff That’s Done: The David M. Rubenstein Forum at the University of Chicago

The David M. Rubenstein Forum at the University of Chicago.

14 months ago, I called this the most unique construction project in the city. No one told me I was wrong.

The David M. Rubenstein Forum on the University of Chicago campus is done and open and really darn cool.

Congrats to the whole team on this one: The University of Chicago; architects Diller Scofidio + Renfro out of NYC and Chicago’s own Brininstool + Lynch, and general contractor Turner Construction.

Stuff That’s Done (and renamed): The Residences at the St. Regis Chicago

St Regis Chicago

Oh, the photos I’ve taken during this build.

I haven’t been inside yet (there’s a good chance I never will be) but what is no longer Wanda nor Vista is open.

The Residences at the St. Regis Chicago is all glassy and glorious over in Lakeshore East. The hotel portion is still a work in progress; that will bring nearly 200 guest rooms when open later this year. But the condos are move-in ready (and have been for awhile.)  And, as luck would have it, I’m an experienced mover. (Wink wink. HMU.)

Congratulations to all involved, including architecture firms Studio Gang and bKL Architecture, developer Magellan Development Group, and General Contractor James McHugh Construction. You’ve done Chicago and its skyline proud.

I was tempted to fill a gallery with construction-progress shots from the last — wow, fur years. But you can find those on your own, if interested, but checking out the Vista Tower link. Instead, a whole bunch of photos from this past weekend, from a whole bunch of different vantage points.


Stuff That’s Done: The Residences at the Eagle Building

The Residences at the Eagle Building

The Residences at the Eagle Building at 3833 North Broadway.

The Residences at the Eagle Building are open and lived in at 3833 North Broadway in Lake View. This Jonathan Splitt Architects-designed, 8-story, 134-unit apartment development from DLG Management is notable for its dismantling and reassembling of the terra cotta eagles adorning the façade. The building began welcoming tenants in 2019.

Stuff That’s Done: 210 North Carpenter

210 North Carpenter is 12-story, 200,000-square-foot office building in the West Loop. Developed by Sterling Bay, it is a design by Solomon Cordwell Buenz. 210’s most important tenant is Leopardo Companies; they were the general contractor, and moved their Chicago offices here upon the building’s completion in March of 2019.

Stuff That’s Done (And Already Changing): The Mason

The Mason is a 13-story, 263-unit apartment building in the West Loop that began its life known as 180 North Ada. The L-shaped structure was designed by Brininstool + Lynch for Marquette Companies, with Power Construction on the build. The Mason opened to residents in Spring 2019.

Last week, the Chicago Plan Commission unanimously approved a zoning change for The Mason:

The Applicant is proposing to rezone the property from the current Planned Development #1384 to Planned Development #1384, as amended, to allow for a restaurant and tavern use to be established on the ground floor.

Helping move Restaurant Row further west in the West Loop is a good thing for hungry Chicagoans.

Stuff That’s Done: Twelve01West

Twelve01West is a new office building at 1201 West Lake Street in the West Loop. It’s a favorite around here ever since developer McCaffery Interests lit up the tower crane back in the winter of 2018. Its ground floor also offers Chicago’s best spot to get your coffee fix and your bicycle fixed, Heritage Bikes & Coffee.

Twelve01West is a seven-story building designed by Antunovich Associates. It has 135,000 square feet of rentable office space, almost 12,000 square feet of retail space, counting the aforementioned Heritage location, and 45 parking spaces. It opened in March 2019.

W.E. O’Neil was the builder. Their link includes a cool shot of that purple tower crane.