aLoft Chicago Mag Mile adds some glass as it rises in Streeterville

aLoft Chicago Mag Mile

Fresh glass at the aLoft Chicago Mag Mile in Streeterville.

Don’t look now (you can look when we get to the photo gallery) but Tishman has the *aLoft Chicago Mag Mile nearing the top (on or about the 15th floor, I’d say) of its 18-story goal at 243 East Ontario in Streeterville. And as if that wouldn’t be enough of a milestone, they’ve also started installing glass, on level 3 of the Valerio Dewalt Train-designed hotel.

When completed next winter, the aLoft Chicago Mag Mile will open 336 new guest rooms to Chicago’s most vibrant shopping neighborhood.

*Looks like I’ve been spelling it wrong all this time. “aLoft” – little ‘a’ big ‘L’



More hotel progress, as Aloft Chicago Mag Mile grows in Streeterville

Aloft Chicago Mag Mile

Aloft Chicago Mag Mile grows toward 18 stories ate 243 East Ontario Street in Streeterville.

On a very busy block for hospitality, the Aloft Chicago Mag Mile is beginning to push skyward where the former Museum of Contemporary Art once stood in Streeterville. The 18-story, 336-room Valerio Dewalt Train-designed hotel will join the brand-new Hotel EMC2 and Marriott Fairfield Inn just across Ontario Street, plus the Ivy Boutique next door.

Tishman, which recently completed the Kenect project in River West, is the general contractor for the Aloft Chicago Mag Mile. This is their lone tower crane on the Chicago count. Completion is expected in Winter 2018.

With lofty expectations of 18 stories, the Aloft Chicago Mag Mile goes vertical

Aloft Chicago Mag Mile hotel

The first of 18 floors is rising at the Aloft Chicago Mag Mile hotel in Streeterville.

The Aloft Chicago Mag Mile hotel has started poking up from the ground at 243 East Ontario Street in Streeterville. Tishman, the developer and general contractor, has work on the elevator core rising just above street level. The 18-story, 336-room hotel got rolling in January, with a demolition permit for the former Museum of Contemporary Art building.

Demo occurred in February, after which Tishman broke ground and began work on the new project. Foundation and tower-crane permits followed in March, with the full-build permit coming through in June. Tishman hopes to have the Aloft Chicago Mag Mile open in Winter 2018, which could be just over, or just under, one year from the start of demolition. That will depend on the actual opening date.

Chicago’s three newest tower cranes boost total to 35

Chicago’s tower crane count stands at 35 this morning, thanks to three new rigs dotting the skyline.

Aloft Chicago Mag Mile

The tower crane at 243 East Ontario Street in Streeterville isn’t quite operational yet. A delay thanks to some stubborn counterweights held up assembly on Sunday; work will continue to finish up the crane Monday. The stub had been planted back in May.

No. 508

The crane at 508 West Diversey Parkway in Lake View went up to open June.


Assembly of the crane at 675 North Wells Street in River North began Tuesday of last week.

Quick Look: Aloft Chicago Mag Mile plants a tower crane stub

Streeterville has a new tower-crane stub, thanks to the lovely new seedling sprouting up at the Aloft Chicago Mag Mile at 243 East Ontario Street. Just a little more sand left to dig out of the lot, and Tishman’s 18-story hotel can start going vertical.

Aloft Chicago Mag Mile keeps digging while we wait for a tower crane

Aloft Chicago Mag Mile

Stalworth Underground drives piles into the Streeterville sand, as foundation work for the Aloft Chicago Mag Mile continues.

The tower crane was permitted for the Aloft Chicago Mag Mile on March 31, but we’ll have to continue to be patient. But that doesn’t mean there isn’t a lot going on where the newest Streeterville hotel will be planted. You see, there are still piles to drive and sand to dig. LOTS of sand.

I still can’t get my head around the idea that much of Chicago as I know it was beach. But start digging, and you’ll find it. They’ve certainly found it at 243 East Ontario. I bet sand is easier to drive piles through than rock, though. But you’ll have to check with Stalworth Underground about that.

As you may recall, Tishman is building the 18-story, 336-room Aloft Chicago Mag Mile here, designed by Valerio Dewalt Train Associates.

Updating the tower crane updates

Wicker Park Connection tower crane

The brand new crane at the Wicker Park Connection Monday evening.

Turns out, tracking tower cranes in Chicago can be exhausting.

Optima II tower crane

Tuesday, the crane was coming down from Optima II.

We were at 31 Sunday with the loss of 1001 West Chicago’s crane, but then 1101 South Wabash had its crane in the air, but under (my) radar, and the Wicker Park Connection, which had planted a stub, finished its crane. That made 33. For, like, an hour. Because yesterday I noticed the luffing crane coming down from atop Optima II in Streeterville. (That crane seemed to be there for about 9 years, didn’t it?)

Long story longer, I believe there are now 32 active tower cranes in Chicago. *This is an unscientific poll.

Remember, there are stubs planted at One South Halsted and the Cook County Central Campus Health Center that should be up and running soon. Essex On The Park, Aloft Chicago Mag Mile, and Nobu have been issued crane permits. But 3Eleven, the Landmark West Loop, and (I think?) 171 Aberdeen have topped out, so we could lose those cranes any day now.

Maybe in the next few days, we can speculate about which just-underway or soon-to-be-started projects will require tower cranes. You know, McDonald’s “vendor village”, Hoxton Hotel, 808 West Van Buren, and the like. What about 508 West Diversey? That’s 12 stories. Yeah, this seems like a conversation for another day.