A sunny day at: The Gallery On Wells

Today, I present another segment in the A Sunny Day At series. In what has been a relatively drab winter in Chicago, when you get a sunny day, you go outside and take pictures of everything under the sun. Literally. Doesn’t matter if a particular building has just been updated on the blog; if the next day is sunny, then you post more pictures. Period. And so, enjoy a few photos of The Gallery On Wells, at 637 North Wells Street in River North, in good lighting.

Construction Progress: The Gallery On Wells

The Gallery on Wells

The Gallery on Wells.

The Gallery On Wells is taller than its neighbor across the street, 640 North Wells, and it still has a tower crane. So perhaps it really has won the War on Wells. The 39-story apartment tower at 167 West Erie Street (or 637 North Wells, if you prefer) from the Magellan Development Group looks to have reached about the 30-story level or so. Linn-Mathes is doing the honors, putting 442 rental units, 131 parking spots, and 7,500 square feet of retail space into the Loewenberg Architects design.

The Gallery On Wells: No room for amenities? Build them next door.

The Gallery On Wells

The Gallery On Wells will have its amenity deck next door, atop 640 North LaSalle. 

Yes, that’s what 167 West Erie is called now: The Gallery On Wells. It’s one of the more unique construction projects in Chicago at the moment. Not because it’s pretty. Not because it’s racing floor-by-floor with 640 North Wells across the street. No, this one’s interesting because of where the amenities floor will.

Next door.

That’s right, the rooftop amenity deck for The Gallery On Wells will be atop 640 North LaSalle Street, home the huge Effen Vodka sign. (That means there are three street addresses associated with this project: 167 West Erie Street, 637 North Wells Street, and 640 North LaSalle Street.) A skybridge will connect the residential tower to the outdoor space. MAC Management is a co-developer of The Gallery On Wells, along with Magellan Development Group, and they own 640 North LaSalle. And not just any outdoor space: according to Magellan, the “largest outdoor deck in River North featuring lounge seating, cabanas and grills.” You’re going to want to make friends here.

In the War On Wells, 167 West Erie outglasses the competition

167 West Erie

Windows have arrived at 167 West Erie in River North.

Construction milestones. Let’s see, you have your first permit, groundbreaking, tower crane, topping off, and grand opening. And wedged in there between tower crane and topping off would be the first glass. Be it windows, cladding, skin, whatever your blueprints call it.

Up on Wells Street in River North, there’s been a battle brewing on opposite sides of the street. 640 North Wells is the 23-story apartment tower on the west side of the street, and 167 West Erie, which sits at 637 North Wells Street, or thereabouts, competes from the east side with its 39-story endeavor. Both started construction about the same time, both erected tower crane just days apart, and have been racing ever since toward completion. (My money’s on the tower that’s just over half as tall. Duh.)

But we can declare a winner in the battle for window supremacy. (Side note: 167 West Erie won the tower crane race too, per this from the Chicago Architecture Blog) And it ain’t even close. 167 West Erie has installed glass on a few floors, while 640 remains as open to the elements as the day it was born.

Planet Hollywood a distant memory as 167 West Erie rises

167 West Erie

167 West Erie rises in River North.

Planet Hollywood? What, I’m just glossing over the old Gino’s location that occupied 167 West Erie Street most recently? Doesn’t matter. They’re both gone. You know this because the giant slices of pizza no longer litter the east side of the street along the 600 block of North Wells. Besides, Gino’s still exists in Chicago.

Instead, 167 West Erie is being erected on that site. It will be a 39-story, 440-unit apartment tower from Magellan Development. Designed by Chicago’s Loewenberg Architects, the building will also include about 130 parking spots, and some ground-floor retail space.  Linn-Mathes is the general contractor.

I’d be willing to bet small amount of currency that 167 West Erie will have a non-address name in the near future. Considering its full-build permit was issued to the address 637 North Wells Street, there seems to be enough confusion about its location to slap a fancy moniker on it.