Essex on the Park gets ready for a tower crane jump, begins cladding installation

Essex on the Park

If you pretend all those supports are trees, you can envision the winter garden taking shape on the 7th floor of Essex on the Park.

Big milestones in the life of Essex on the Park, the 56-story, 476-unit apartment tower at 808 South Michigan Avenue in the South Loop. After receiving a permit from the City of Chicago on November 8 to jump the tower crane, Power Construction will do just that this weekend.

Also appearing on site are the first few panels of cladding on the exterior. Most of it is hidden at the north, rear corner of the tower, but there are a few small panels installed right out in front. You can also see the extra-tall 7th floor taking shape. That’s where Hartshorne Plunkard Architecture included the infinity pool and winter garden in the design. Hence, the extra space.

Oxford Capital Group is developing Essex on the Park, along with renovations of its namesake hotel next door, the Essex Inn. Work is expected to conclude in 2019.

Essex On The Park is becoming Noticeable In The Skyline

Essex On The Park

See it over there? Essex On The Park is starting to show through the trees of Grant Park.

From the east side of Grant Park, looking west, you can see Essex On The Park beginning its slow creep into the Chicago skyline. That’s what going vertical can do for a 56-story tower.

The giant, shiny, 476-unit project by Hartshorne Plunkard Architects will add 476 apartments to the Michigan Avenue streetwall. Oxford Capital Group, Essex On The Park’s developer, plans to have the residences open for move-ins in 2019. Remember that this project also includes the upgrading of the Essex Inn next door, expanding its capacity to 281 guest rooms.

That short red stubby tower crane Power Construction is using to build the apartment tower is fast becoming one of Chicago’s most photogenic. Take a walk around Grant Park, by by changing your location, you can use different buildings as a backdrop. Or, walk through the South Loop to the west, on Wabash or State Street, and get clear blue skies behind the tower crane. I know, I sound obsessed, but try it. You’ll see.


Essex On The Park is a Tower On The Rise in the South Loop

Essex On The Park

Essex On The Park is starting to rise alongside its mother ship, the Essex Inn.

One floor at a time, Essex On The Park is starting to show itself along the Michigan Avenue Streetwall in the South Loop. Of course, we ain’t seen nothing yet. What’s pictured is merely a fraction of the eventual 56 stories that will house 476 new apartments. And that’s a good thing. It means we have lots of progress still to come, lots of watching still to do.

Caissons roll along at Essex On The Park

Essex On The Park caissons

Like a 4th-line forward in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, Case Foundation goes to work in the corners at Essex On The Park.

Two weeks ago, Case Foundation started moving equipment onto the lot at 808 South Michigan Avenue, next to the Essex Inn. And now, they’re deep into full-blown caisson work for the new Essex On The Park apartment tower from Oxford Capital Group. Soon, the 56-story, 476-unit project by Hartshorne Plunkard Architecture will have footing to stand on, allowing Power Construction to get about the task of sending it vertical.


Permit in hand, Case Foundation takes over Essex On The Park

Essex On The Park

Case Foundation assembles a caisson rig at Essex On The Park, 808 South Michigan Avenue.

The pool, garage, and everything else that was next door to the Essex Inn is gone now, and work is revving up to replace it with Essex On The Park, the latest Chicago project from Oxford Capital Group.

The City of Chicago issued a foundation permit on Monday, and Case Foundation is now on the scene (you thought I was gonna say “on the case, didn’t you?) setting up caisson equipment. Power Construction is the general contractor here, tasked with stacking 56 stories atop one another. Hartshorne Plunkard Architecture did the design work on the 476-unit apartment tower.

The South Loop is a very busy place. Essex On The Park joins One Grant Park, 1411 South Michigan, and 1101 South Wabash as already-in-progress joints, while 1326 South Michigan just received a foundation permit as well this week, and there’s lots of buzz about 1000 South Michigan (1000M) firing up soon. Get the lawn chairs and coolers ready, SLoopers. It’s going to be a fun summer!

Old parking garage is more Ex than Ess, clearing space for Essex On The Park

Essex On The Park demo

The parking deck, including a pool, next to the Essex Inn is coming down to make room for Essex On The Park. So please, NO DIVING.

While the Essex Inn at 800 North Michigan Avenue gets a complete upgrade, its parking deck, pool, and ground-floor restaurant next door are being obliterated by Heneghan Wrecking, making space for Essex On The Park, the giant 56-story apartment tower from Oxford Capital Group. The shiny, 476-unit project by Hartshorne Plunkard Architects will be some kind of addition to the Michigan Avenue streetwall, what with its short, stocky hotels. Power Construction is the general contractor, tasked with having the apartments ready for habitation next year.

Essex Inn looks under all the mattresses, comes up with money to begin demolition

Essex on the Park demolition

It’s demo time! Goodbye parking garage and swimming pool, hello 475 apartments.

As Crain’s Chicago Business reported on Tuesday, Essex Inn at 800 South Michigan Avenue has secured the funding necessary to upgrade the hotel, and add a new a 56-story apartment tower as its new next-door neighbor.

Essex on the Park demolition

The Demolition Permit.

And no sooner had the ink on the check dried, crews were out on Michigan Avenue, setting up barriers and scaffolding for the temporary sidewalk that will keep pedestrians safe during demolition of the 5-story garage next to the hotel, while also making sure bloggers and skyscraper nerds can’t get too close to the goings-on.

None other than Heneghan Wrecking (we need t-shirts with Heneghan Again on them) will be making space for the new tower, with a demolition permit having been filed way back on October 27.

The Chicago Plan Commission approved the development back in May of 2016, and I quote:

The Applicant intends to create two subareas within the overall 28,744 square foot site. Subarea A, located at 800 South Michigan Avenue consists of an existing 160’ hotel building and will be rehabbed to include a maximum of 290 hotel keys. Subarea B, located at approximately 812 South Michigan Avenue, will be redeveloped with an approximately 620’ residential building including a maximum of 476 dwelling units, 100 hotel keys as well as 100 parking spaces and commercial space.

Essex on The Park, the name of the Hartshorne Plunkard Architecture-designed tower according to Crain’s, should be complete in 2018, and coincide with completion of the hotel renovation.

Essex on the Park demolition

This rendering, from the Crain’s story,  is from Hartshorne Plunkard Architects. Too pretty not to include.