Chicago’s Nobu Hotel continues to struggle

Nobu Chicago hotel

The Nobu Chicago site has been secured, and it sits idle, waiting for construction to resume.

By now, you probably already know that things aren’t going well at Chicago’s Nobu Hotel in the West Loop. Last week, Crain’s reported that work had stopped on the 11-story, 119-room Midwest iteration of the hotel/restaurant brand.

Seems it’s been one delay after another for this thing. Ground was broken back in June (OF 2016!) then sat idle. Some caisson equipment was delivered to the site in September of 2016, the same month the hotel was officially approved by the Chicago Plan Commission, but that same equipment was packed up and hauled away without any holes being drilled.

A foundation permit was issued in December of 2016, but still, no action. Finally, in March of this year, the soil at 854 West Randolph began to turn. The earth-moving machines were followed by a pile driver, which began driving sheeting into the ground for a foundation. Caisson equipment arrived again, but for real this time, in May, and foundation work was underway in earnest. Finally, Centaur Construction had control of the site, and work started to go vertical.

But here’s the thing: If you want work to be done on your hotel, you have to pay the folks doing said work. And according to Crain’s (and one little birdie I heard from recently) that hasn’t been happening.

So once again, Nobu sits idle. 18 months after an 11-story hotel breaks ground, tourists should be sleeping in the beds. Stay tuned.


Heneghan Wrecking is tearing out concrete slabs at the old Finkl Steel site

Sterling Bay Finkl Steel site

Heneghan Wrecking is tearing up and hauling off the concrete slabs that remain at the old Finkl Steel site.

This blog has no inside information on what exactly Sterling Bay has in store for its recently-purchased* Finkl Steel site. But we’re heartened by activity, as Heneghan Wrecking is back on site, removing the concrete slabs from the empty lots, virtually all that remains of the once-mighty steel yard.

DNAInfo? That’s another story. They *do* have some inkling of what could be coming, and they posted about it back in July here.

*While still at Crain’s, Ryan Ori reported on the Finkl site deal late in 2016. And then the Chicago Tribune’s Ryan Ori reported in July about Sterling Bay adding even more land to its portfolio.

Whatever is coming, it can’t get started without wiping the slate clean of the Finkl remnants. That’s what Heneghan is up to. Does it mean new construction is imminent? That remains to be seen. But we can hope.


Our robot demolition overlords are tearing apart 1450 North Dayton

The robots are on their way, and they’re coming after our infrastructure.

Along the emerging Clybourn Corridor in the Goose Island neighborhood, Alpine Demolition ( — I like it) is knocking down the 3-story brick building at 1450 North Dayton Street. Curbed had the story back in August about the planned demolition.

In its place will be a mixed-use building of office and retail space called, for now, the Big Deahl at Kingsbury and Blackhawk. If that name doesn’t make immediate sense, know that Kingsbury runs past the rear of the site, and to its north. Danny Ecker at Crain’s had the story about the new development last month.

1450 North Dayton demolition



But I want to talk about that demolition robot. Those two bright eyes look like they could pierce masonry, let alone the built-in jackhammer. If these aren’t readily available to the public, maybe Alpine will let me control theirs for awhile.

The Earth is Moving for Massive River North Home

455 West Superior

They’re scraping and digging at 455 West Superior Street.

I don’t normally pay mind to single-family development. I like the big stuff. The tall stuff. The expensive stuff.

The Permit.

The Permit.

Well, here’s a single-family home that fits into all three categories. Back in March, Dennis Rodkin at Crain’s was all over the news of a permit being filed for a home to be built at 455 West Superior Street in River North. What makes this home so unusual? Let’s have a look at that permit, filed by the City of Chicago on March 1, 2016.

  • It’s a five-story, single-family home. That’s a tall home.
  • The permit estimates construction costs at just under $10,000,000.00!
  • THERE WILL BE CAISSONS! This is gonna be one *heavy* home. (Yeah, no basement. I guess the game room will have to be on one of the five above-ground floors.)
  • Power Construction is the general contractor. That’s a heavy hitter for your home building.

Not much has been done since March, until now. When I walked past on Thursday, I saw the first signs of active construction since the permit. Scraping and digging. Just like they do for skyscrapers. This will be an interesting home to watch go up.

455 West Superior

The actual permit, displayed on site at 455 West Superior Street.

455 West Superior

Another view of the lot, which, according to Dennis Rodkin’s article, is really *three* lots.

455 West Superior

455 West Superior on March 2, the day after the permit was filed.