UIC provides hope for another Chicago tower crane

Does this humble parking lot hold the key to Chicago’s next tower crane?

That humble parking lot is at 900 West Taylor Street in University Village. The University of Illinois at Chicago broke ground here July 15 on its 135,000-square-foot Computer Design Research and Learning Center. That’s big news for the school, its students, and the faculty.

It may also come in handy for Chicago’s tower crane counters. Since this is UIC’s project, it’s under the authority of the State of Illinois, not the City of Chicago. So permits won’t show up on the City Building Permits site I check every Tuesday thru Saturday once the coffee has kicked in. But I’m not gonna let this one get by me, like the UI Health tower crane did. And like the Harrison Hall crane would have if it hadn’t been bright yellow and right up against the Eisenhower Expressway. I have questions out all over town asking if this project will require a tower crane. Answers soon, I hope.

LMN Architects and Booth Hansen handled the architecture on the UIC CDRLC. W.E. O’Neil would appear to be the general contractor, based on their LinkedIn post about the groundbreaking. It’s the only reason I know about this development. So a shout-out to them for the heads-up.

Lots of fantastic renderings from the groundbreaking announcement linked above:

First Visit (since demolition started): 1400 Monroe

1400 Monroe rising across from Skinner Park. The goal (heh . . . goal) is to fill it with 42 condos.

It’s been a long time since we dropped by 1400 West Monroe out in the West Loop. Demolition of the former Jefferson Park Hospital had just begun in February of 2020, clearing the way for a new condominium building from JK Equities.

1400 Monroe already has its seven stories; still to come are the 42 condos within. Designed by Booth Hansen, the building sits directly across the street from Skinner Park. The general contractor is Summit Design + Build.

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Stuff That’s Done: 61 Banks Street is open on Lake Shore Drive

There aren’t many surface parking lots along the west side of Lake Shore Drive. And at the end of 2017, one of them was torn up to make room for a new apartment building.

61 Banks Street in a 58-unit rental development at 61 East Banks St., obvs. At eight stories, it’s short enough that it doesn’t block many views behind it, but since it sits right on the lakefront, its own views must be amazing.

Draper & Kramer, who we just dropped in on recently at 2111 South Wabash, is 61’s developer. Booth Hansen is the design architect; Leopardo Companies was on the build. The building opened to tenants in June 2019.

Former Jefferson Park Hospital building begins demolition for 1400 Monroe

Demo has begun at 1400 West Monroe, clearing the way for 1400 Monroe.

There’s a new condo building coming to 1400 West Monroe in the West Loop. But first, what used to be Jefferson Park Hospital, among other things, has to go.

Milburn Demolition & Dismantling has begun tearing down the old building. When they’re done, work will begin on 1400 Monroe, a new condominium project developed by JK Equities. The seven-story, Booth Hansen-designed property will deliver 42 luxury 2- and 3-bedroom condos next to Skinner Park.

Hey! There’s no more tower crane at Hayden West Loop

Sometimes we lose track of topped-out buildings. So we rely on your eyes to see what’s slipped our memories. Twitter user @West_Looper let us know on Saturday that the tower crane was coming down at Hayden West Loop, so we headed over there to watch some of the action.

Hayden marked the only crane in the sky for Macon Construction, but its removal means big progress on Sulo Development’s 28-condo project. Hayden’s website shows 80% of the units sold, so you better make your move soon if you’re hoping for new digs in the Booth Hansen-designed building. Sulo plans on having your condo ready for move-in before 2018 comes to a close.

And now, as we’re known to do around here, more photos of a tower-crane disassembly than you’ll ever need:

61 East Banks is rising along the lakefront

61 East Banks May 2018

As seen from North Avenue Beach, 61 East Banks is making quite an impression along the Lake Michigan and Lake Shore Drive.

Granted, it would be even better with another 40 stories or so. But I can’t stop imagining the views from 61 East Banks, the new apartment building that took over a surface parking lot on Lake Shore Drive in the Gold Coast neighborhood.

At just eight stories, residents of the 60 new units won’t have elevated views of Lake Michigan, but since they’ll be right on the water, they won’t need height. Location is key here.

Draper & Kramer is the developer of 61 East Banks; Leopardo Companies is handling general contractor duties. Designed by Booth Hansen, 61 East Banks has already risen to its 8-story goal. That pretty yellow tower crane along the water will probably come down soon, but you can still marvel at it from the lakefront path for now.

Hayden West Loop is approaching the top

Hayden West Loop May 2018

A model of Hayden West Loop sits on display at the sales center on May Street in the West Loop.

The first building of the nine-story Hayden West Loop, a two-part project from Sulo Development, has reached the underside of its 8th level.  Designed by Booth Hansen, it will bring 28 condominiums and 83 parking spaces. The second building is slated for a site around the corner on May Street. Macon Construction is the general contractor utilizing that shiny yellow Liebherr tower crane.

The following photo gallery shows progress from the first week of May, backwards through February.

A shiny new tower crane has 61 East Banks rising above grade

61 East Banks April 2018

61 East Banks has begun to rise at Lake Shore Drive and Banks Street.

61 East Banks is no longer a parking lot. Nor is it a ground-level construction site. Nope. Now that Leopardo Companies has a pretty yellow tower crane to rule over the land, 61 East Banks has now risen above street level in the Gold Coast neighborhood, on its way to eight stories and 60 new apartments.

61 East Banks putting its tower crane to good use

One of the new 2018-model tower cranes in Chicago is doing work out at 61 East Banks in the Gold Coast Neighborhood. Which is impressive, considering that the operator of that machine has to be seriously distracted by the views of Lake Michigan, what with the prime location along Lake Shore Drive and all. No matter though. Focus. That’s how structures go vertical.

Draper & Kramer is building this 8-story, 60-unit apartment building, designed by Booth Hansen. This is the second tower crane in Chicago for Leopardo Companies, which also has one in the West Loop at their future HQ, 210 North Carpenter.

61 East Banks puts up Chicago’s newest tower crane

61 East Banks tower crane

This shiny new tower crane recently debuted above 61 East Banks in the Gold Coast neighborhood.

There’s been a lot of activity out at 61 East Banks since we went by the site in December. Caisson work is a distant memory, and Chicago’s newest tower crane looms above the future 8-story, 60-unit apartment development. Pretty sure this is Chicago’s 33rd tower crane of 2018 (remember, we started the year with 30 already in the sky.)

61 East Banks is a project from Draper & Kramer, with designs from Booth Hansen. Leopardo Companies (sure, you know them. They’re building their new offices over at 210 North Carpenter) is the general contractor. You may notice McHugh Construction signage on the tower crane; that’s because McHugh is the concrete subcontractor, and therefore responsible for assembly of the crane.