Stuff That’s Done: The Green at 320 [Updated]

A rendering of The Green at 320 from Goettsch Partners.

This post has been updated to recognize the work by Confluence, designer of The Green at 320.

The Green at 320, the public plaza below the just-completed office tower 320 South Canal, opened quietly last week, ahead of its official opening Friday the 24th. The dreaded day job will keep me away from the big ceremony, so I headed down to the West Loop (Gate) Sunday to check out the park. It was worth the trip.

The “main” entrance to the park is a stairway on the corner of Clinton and Van Buren Streets. There are accessible ramps at both ends of the park: one off Clinton Street next to the Union Station Transit Center, and one of Van Buren Street. There is also a street-level entrance on Canal Street.

Here’s a press release from Biederman Redevelopment Ventures regarding the park and the programming plans to come:

CHICAGO, (April  27, 2020) – – Dan Biederman, one of the country’s leading  urban redevelopment experts and public space management consultants has partnered with Riverside Investment & Development Company and Convexity Properties to design free programming for The Park @ 320 at the entryway of 320 South Canal Street in downtown Chicago. The building serves as the new US headquarters for BMO Financial Group.

Biederman and his firm Biederman Redevelopment Ventures  ( www.brvcorp.com ), will provide a detailed programming plan for the public park, including a tentative schedule for programs, amenities, events, budgets, and a procurement list related to supplies and equipment.

BRV will also participate in the recruitment, interviewing, and selection of the Program Coordinator for the public space and will be responsible for training the successful candidate as  the programs start-up and continue working with that person throughout the spring, summer, and fall.

320 South Canal, also known as the BMO Tower, is a new 50-story commercial office building adjacent to Union Station in Chicago.  The building will feature a selection of restaurants, world class amenities and a spectacular 1.5-acre urban park with year-round programming, which will be one of the largest privately owned public parks in the City of Chicago. The website: https://320southcanal.com/

“Riverside and Convexity are seeking to provide their tenants and their employees and visitors and citizens of Chicago with an actively programmed public space,” said Dan Biederman. “With their building manager CBRE, they deserve a lot of credit. And we are proud to be part of this team.”

Dan Biederman gained national prominence when he privatized and transformed New York City’s Bryant Park from a neglected, crime-ridden, drug-filled, dangerous midtown Manhattan space into one of America’s grandest urban parks and Manhattan’s “Town Square.” Bryant Park is  privately operated and totally supported by private sources of funds.

BRV specializes in creating programming, self-sustaining budgets and building management teams for urban parks and public spaces in 32 states and six countries. BRV has worked with some of the most successful public spaces in the country, including Klyde Warren Park and Fair Park in Dallas, Titletown District in Green Bay, WI., Levy Park in Houston and Salesforce Park in San Francisco, Hudson Yards, and Baltimore’s Inner Harbor district.

In addition to overseeing BRV Corp. and serving as the Executive Director of the Bryant Park Corporation, Biederman is also the president of the 34th Street Partnership, an ambitious business improvement district. He was also a co-founder of The Grand Central Partnership, which helped renovate the neighborhood of a NYC landmark from a deteriorating, dreaded and sometimes dangerous transportation hub to today’s mecca for tourism, food, and a safe destination for commuters.

About Riverside Investment and Development

Riverside Investment and Development Company is a multi-faceted real estate firm based in Chicago, Illinois. Founded in 2010 by John O’Donnell, a longtime Chicago real estate veteran with more than 30 years and 40 million square feet of investment, development, and redevelopment experience, Riverside is focused pursuing of complex development and redevelopment opportunities. We aggressively manage risk via detailed front-end evaluation and planning, selective locational focus, and a willingness to form strategic relationships where appropriate for a particular transaction. Our relationships have been carefully cultivated over years of experience with local and national consultants, brokers, and other stakeholders. For additional information, visit www.RiversideID.com  

About Biederman Redevelopment Ventures:

Biederman Redevelopment Ventures Corporation is the private consulting firm of Daniel Biederman, co-founder of the Bryant Park Corporation and 34th Street Partnership. BRV Corp. is a nationally recognized leader in the creation and revitalization of parks, public spaces, streetscapes, and business improvement districts. BRV designs free programming and events, creates self-sustaining budgets, and builds management teams for urban parks and public spaces in 32 states and six countries. BRV works with real estate developers, government agencies, and non-profits to reinvent public spaces and has worked with some of the most successful urban parks and spaces in the country, including Bryant Park in New York, Klyde Warren Park and Fair Park in Dallas, Titletown District in Green Bay, WI., Levy Park in Houston and Salesforce Park in San Francisco. More detailed information is at www.brvcorp.com

Enjoy the photos, then get down to 320 South Canal and enjoy the public space!

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160 North Elizabeth brings the pane

160 North Elizabeth on May 28. Don’t know if it had glass on it yet, but I love me some night photos.

Let’s recap some particulars on 160 North Elizabeth before we get to the pics.
Moceri + Roszak is the developer.
Thomas Roszak Architecture is the design architect
Clark Construction is the general contractor
Adjustable Concrete Construction is the concrete contractor
It will be a 27-story, 375-unit apartment tower
There will be 144 parking spaces across the first three levels

A demolition permit was issued 11/05/2021 to make space
A pile and foundation permit was issued 11/24/2021
A permit to build through the third floor was also issued on 11/24/2021
A tower crane permit was issued 11/30/2021
A full permit for 27 stories was issued 02/04/2022
A hoist permit was issued 02/09/2022

And now, lots of photos of a little bit of glass. But it’s not just any glass; it’s the first glass.

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633 South La Salle has the permits to get started. Has it started?

Construction can be confusing when you don’t pay close attention. There’s a world of activity on a site one day, then the next day all the equipment is gone, the dirt’s been smoothed over, and it looks like the lot has been abandoned.

And that’s my segue for the first visit to 633 South LaSalle in the South Loop. 633 got its first permit back in May of 2019, allowing for construction of an 18-story, 117-unit residential tower. Then, crickets. That permit was reinstated in April of 2020, but, pandemic.
Now, two new permits have been issued this spring: the first, for caissons, on March 31. The second, for the full building, on May 10. These two latest permits have a new general contractor: Clark Construction. Berkelhamer and FitzGerald are the architecture firms. The Collective in NYC is the developer.

So that’s the permit sitch. What I can’t speak to is the progress. Like I said, construction can be confusing if you’re not paying attention. The current state of the 633 South LaSalle site looks like the caisson aftermath, when the slate looks clean and ready for foundations to be dug. But I can’t find anyone with caisson photos on the web. (I’m not the only one taking photos of such things, you know.) As a result, I can’t even tell you whether work has begun here.

What I can tell you is where to find more info about this co-living development:
Chicago YIMBY
REJournals
Urbanize Chicago
Real Deal Chicago

Bonus gallery: The buildings on either side of 633 are magnificent.



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160 North Elizabeth hits the 15th floor

A Linkedin post late last week from Thomas Roszak tells us concrete at 160 North Elizabeth has reached the 15th floor. This is a 27-story tower, so that’s more than halfway up. Because math. And I’m good at it. Clark and Adjustable are good at things too, because this building is flying upwards.

If you happened to make it outside Thursday, you noticed it was a sunny, gorgeous day. And sunny days are ideal for construction progress photos. So I took a few:

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University of Chicago’s four-story parking garage on its way up

The University of Chicago’s tower crane at 1306 E 61st

Up until about a week ago, the tower crane building a parking garage for the University of Chicago at 1306 E 61st in Woodlawn was our southernmost and easternmost tower crane. That title vanished when the Obama Presidential Center erected the first of its three rigs. Thankfully for U of C, that designation comes with neither a trophy nor a monetary award, so they didn’t miss out on much more than a mention on B.U.C.

Clark Construction is the CG on the parking structure. They received the full build permit December 8 of last year, the caisson permit on November 18, and the tower crane permit on September 21. No idea how long the crane’s been up, but they’ve gotten a lot done so far.

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160 North Elizabeth taking big leaps skyward

Impressive progress at 160 North Elizabeth

Progress at 160 North Elizabeth has doubled since our last visit, though the change seemed much more dramatic on first glance. This morning, Adjustable Concrete shared on its Linkedin page that they’re working on Level 9. They’re the concrete contractor for GC Clark Construction, so they would know.

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160 North Elizabeth is starting to climb in the West Loop

160 North Elizabeth is a brand-spanking-new 27-story, 375-unit West Loop apartment tower from Moceri + Roszak. You know that name from the office building at 145 South Wells, apartment towers Parkline Chicago and Linea, and other developments.

The former NW corner of Randolph & Elizabeth..

Clark Construction is the general contractor at 160, with a concrete assist from Adjustable Concrete Construction. Thomas Rozsak Architecture is the design architect.

160 North Elizabeth was approved by the Chicago Plan Commission on March 18, 2021. To date, it has received:
a foundation permit on 11/24/2021
a tower crane permit on 11/30/2021
a full build permit on 2/4/2022.

The following photos were taken back on March 21.


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Farewell, 320 South Canal Tower Crane. You served the city well

Parting is always such sweet sorrow, but tower cranes don’t stay in one place forever, so shed no tears for the Potain MR298 Luffing Jib workhorse atop 320 South Canal in the West Loop. Last week, a derrick crane was installed to dismantle and lower the tower crane, and that it did, with removal, from what I could see 52 stories below, wrapping up Monday.

I made it over here in time to see a couple crane sections on the ground, and one loaded up onto a truck to be hauled away. I tried to wait for the truck to pull out of the construction site, for the dramatic grand exit, but I lack patience. I also tried waiting around long enough to see the derrick crane lift a load of steel up to the top. I didn’t last that long. This was interesting though. I’m going to make some assumptions here, but that load of steel looked heavy, and that derrick crane doesn’t have much reach away from the glass cladding on the west face of the tower. There were guy-wires on each end of the load, running on tracks running up the side of the tower, to keep the steel from rotating, which would have sent one end or the other crashing through the façade. Or at least scratching the heck out of the glass. Who knows, maybe these are common, but they’re something I’d never noticed before. The photo in the gallery below with the two red circles shows those attachments.

15 minutes elapsed between the time I took this first photo of the steel lift and the second photo, and it’s only about 3/4 of the way up. Glad that crew has more patience than I.

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Hanging glass at 320 South Canal

Shaky video because I refuse to lug a tripod around with me. Sorry. I hope the guys up there aren’t anywhere near as unsteady.

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American House Oak Park starts to rise in the near west ‘burbs

Clark Construction’s tower crane in Oak Park.

Wednesday was a day to go cranespotting in the ‘burbs again. Not too difficult when you can start with the closest one.

Clark Construction (with assistance from Adjustable Concrete) is currently on the build for American House Oak Park over in Oak Park. The seven-story senior living community is being developed by Redico of Southfield, Michigan. The facility is a design by Myefski Architects

When completed next summer, American House Oak Park will deliver a mix of 174 units, including studio, one-bed and two-bedroom apartments, as well as shared units.



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