It’s caisson time for GEMS World Academy Upper School

GEMS Upper School caissons

Checking out a caisson from above at GEMS World Academy Upper School.

The Upper School at GEMS World Academy Chicago has begun caisson work at 355 East Wacker Drive. Case Foundation is on site digging long, slender holes in the ground and then filling them right back in with rebar and concrete.

Originally issued a foundation permit way back in March of 2015, the GEMS Upper School got a new caisson permit on September 20. Designed by bKL Architecture, as was the first GEMS school, Power Construction will take build the school atop the Case’s caissons.

The Van Buren will break ground Wednesday morning in Greektown

The Van Buren

A rendering of The Van Buren, at 808 West Van Buren  from bKL Architecture.

Once known simply as “808 West Van Buren,” The Van Buren will break ground in an official ceremony Wednesday morning at its Greektown construction site at Halsted and Van Buren Streets.

Representatives from developer Loukas Development, design architect bKL Architecture, and general contractor Lendlease will all be on hand to plunge shovels into the ground to celebrate the new 12-story West Loop tower, according to a press release issued by Loukas Development on Monday.

The Van Buren began with a foundation permit back in April, and has since completed caisson work, done a major amount of foundation digging, and planted a tower crane stub. When complete late in 2018, The Van Buren will deliver 148 rental apartments to the neighborhood.

You can read Loukas Development’s full Press Release below, followed by a few more gorgeous renderings from bKL Architecture:

Groundbreaking Event: Wed. Oct. 4, 2017

 

Loukas Development Announces Construction Start of The Van Buren, a mixed-use development at 808 West Van Buren Ave., Chicago

 

WHAT:            Loukas Development will host a groundbreaking ceremony at The Van Buren, a 12-story boutique mixed-use development in Chicago’s West Loop neighborhood.  The 148-unit building is being developed at 808 West Van Buren Ave.

 

When: Wed. Oct. 4th — 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

 

WHO:  Representatives from Loukas Development, bKL Architecture, Lendlease and Washington Capital will break ground and discuss the project.

 

WHERE:          808 West Van Buren Ave., Chicago; on the northwest corner of Halsted St. and Van Buren Ave.

 

PHOTO OPPS:

During the event, members of the media will be able to:

 

  • Capture the ground breaking/shovel ceremony in photographs featuring development, architectural, and capital sources
  • Meet Loukas Development Managing Director Aristithis Loukas; hear him explain the vision behind The Van Buren
  • Meet with and discuss the project design with the architect, bKL Architecture; learn more about how amenities at multifamily new construction continue to evolve
  • Learn about this transit-oriented project, which will bring a new luxury rental experience to the southeast section of the West Loop.
  • See renderings of the project which will demonstrate how The Van Buren will fulfill a demand for luxury housing and specialized retail offerings

 

About Loukas Development

 

Established in 1978, Loukas Development is an innovative commercial real estate development and management firm with a strong focus on infill, transportation-oriented development in dynamic and high growth urban locations. The company has completed the development, renovation, leasing and conversion of over 500 residential units, including several high profile mixed-use developments in the Chicago area.

 

Loukas Development has an operating and development platform capable of scaling quickly for institutional opportunities while remaining connected to the Chicago neighborhoods we serve. Our mission is to redefine and reshape the urban commercial, residential, and mixed-use experience through a combination of state-of-the-art design and solid construction techniques. For more information, visit www.loukasdevelopment.com.

 

About Washington Capital Management, Inc.

Loukas Development’s capital partner on the project is a limited liability company managed by Seattle-based Washington Capital Management, Inc. on behalf of its clients.

Washington Capital Management, Inc. (WCM) is an employee owned investment advisory firm founded in 1977. WCM headquarters are located in Seattle, Washington, with branch offices in Portland, Spokane, Anchorage, Southern California, Northern California and Boston.  For more information on WCM, please see http://www.wcmadvisors.com.

 

About bKL Architecture

Founded and led by Thomas Kerwin, bKL Architecture is a Chicago based architectural firm with extensive experience in the design and execution of large scale mixed-use building projects. bKL’s core principles include design excellence, technical acumen and viable solutions to complex problems. Open dialogue within its studio cultivates collaboration, communication and cohesive designs that enrich the sites and cities around the world in which they build.

It’s Go Time for Renelle on the River

Renelle on the River

It’s official: Construction may begin on Renelle on the RIver.

A building permit issued yesterday by the City of Chicago signals the official start of Renelle on the River at 403 North Wabash Avenue in River North. The bKL Architecture design is being developed by Belgravia Group, and it will deliver 50 new condominiums to the former plaza next to Trump Hotel and Tower. McHugh Construction will be the general contractor.

We’ve been waiting on this one for awhile. Construction fencing went up around the plaza early this year, but demo didn’t begin until summer. But with permit in hand (and at least 40% of those 50 condos already sold) it’s finally time to get busy and get Renelle on the River on the plaza.

808 West Van Buren plants a tower crane stub

808 West Van Buren tower crane stub

A tower crane stub was planted last week at the 808 West Van Buren construction site.

Hey, who remembers my prediction about where the tower crane would be at 808 West Van Buren in the West Loop? Yeah, forget that. My guess that a concrete pad may have been prepped for the crane at the far north end of the site was off by about 98.8%. The tower crane stub popped up last week (I don’t know which day; I missed another one) near the southwest corner of the lot. The City of Chicago issued a permit for a Peiner SK-415 back on September 6.

There’s still a lot of foundation digging happening at the future 12-story residential building from Loukas Development, but this first sign of a tower crane means Lendlease will start shooting skyward on the bKL Architecture design in the very near future.

808 West Van Buren foundation work continues

808 West Van Buren

Deep down, they’re still getting foundation work done at 808 West Van Buren in Greektown.

808 West Van Buren, the bKL Architecture-designed 12-story apartment building from Loukas Development, keeps setting its feet into Greektown, as Lendlease construction crews continue ground work in advance of the tower crane that will send the 148-unit apartment building vertical.

There’s a concrete pad against the north end of the lot, up against the existing building (314 South Halsted, the former home of The Parthenon, and a building getting some extensive work done in its own right) that looked like it could be a tower-crane pad, but what they’re erecting atop that slab doesn’t look much like a tower crane stub. We’ll keep our eyes out.

808 West Van Buren

10 days ago, looking at what I thought would be the tower-crane pad.

808 West Van Buren

See? That doesn’t look like tower crane space.

Late Night with Vista Tower

Vista Tower at night

Vista Tower glows from across the Chicago River at River Esplanade Park.

Vista Tower has been under construction for just over a year now.  This blog has featured approximately 17,648 posts about progress on the 95-story hotel and residential tower. And yet, I’ve somehow managed to neglect it. How? By not stopping by the site after dark. That situation has been rectified, as of this past weekend.

I know, you just saw a bunch of photos of Vista Tower yesterday. But here we go again.