This time around, it’s a sunny South Loop

Last week, we posted several updates on construction progress in the South Loop. Sadly for us and our cameras, we picked a foggy, miserable day to be out and about. Well, Tuesday was no such day. And with bright sunshine beaming all morning and afternoon, we headed back down to the South Loop for brighter, happier photos of the goings-on.


The Paragon Chicago

Essex on the Park

One Grant Park


Hilton Homewood Suites/Hilton Garden Inn

Essex on the Park enters the Roaring Twenties

Essex on the Park February 2018

Floor markings on the skip show Essex on the Park progress has reached beyond the 20th floor.

Stories, that is. The 20s of the eventual 56 stories to which Essex on the Park will rise.

Power Construction has the new apartment tower at 808 South Michigan Avenue up to the 26th-or-so floor. We know this because level numbers can be seen on the “skip” hoist at the front of the site. That’s an ideal way for us looky-lous to track height progress. It also means Power is dangerously close to the half-way point of Hartshorne Plunkard Associates’ 56-story design.


A cold-night South Loop update

South Loop Chicago

Chicago’s magnificent skyline, viewed from the South Loop.

The good thing about the approach of winter is that you don’t have to wait until 9:30 to get night shots of construction. The bad thing, of course, is it’s dang cold out there.

We took a quick walk through the neighborhood on a brisk evening to catch up on the South Loop after dark. This is what my iPhone saw:

One Grant Park

One Grant Park is the best of the South Loop after dark crowd.

Hilton Homewood Suites/Garden Inn


Essex on the Park

1326 South Michigan

1407 On Michigan

There isn’t much light on this one. That must mean it’s almost done.


Eleven40 has also gone dark



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.

Night time along the Wabash Avenue Tower Crane Corridor

The Wabash Arts Corridor gets the bulk of the attention, but hovering over Wabash Avenue like superheroes are a number of Chicago’s working tower cranes. Yes, the South Loop is booming with development. Just like every other section of the downtown area.

There are only two good times to view construction: when there’s daylight, and when it’s dark. Here are some night shots of South Loop construction along and near Wabash Avenue.

Essex On The Park

Essex On The Park will be a 56-story, 476-unit apartment tower to the immediate south of the existing Essex Inn hotel. Power Construction is the general contractor. Hartshorne Plunkard Architecture is the design architect, with Oxford Capital Group the developer.

Homewood Hilton Suites

The Homewood Hilton Suites will be a 30-story, 281-room hotel. Lendlease is the general contractor. Lothan Van Hook DeStefano Architecture is the design architect. S.B. Yen Management Group is the developer.


Eleven40 will be a 26-story, 320-unit apartment tower, which may or may not be topped out now. Work has for sure reached the 26th floor. Lendlease is the general contractor. Solomon Cordwell Buenz is the design architect. CA Ventures and Keith Giles are the co-developers.

One Grant Park

East of Michigan Avenue but too close to exclude, One Grant Park will be a 76-story, 792-unit apartment behemoth with a possible future tower next door. James McHugh Construction is the general contractor. Rafael Viñoly Architects is the design architect. Crescent Heights is the developer.

1326 South Michigan

1326 South Michigan is the New Kid On The Corridor, and there isn’t much to see yet of this future 47-story, 500-unit apartment tower. Walsh Construction is the general contractor. Solomon Cordwell Buenz is the design architect. CIM Group and Murphy Development Group are the developers.

1407 On Michigan

1407 On Michigan will be a 15-story, 199-unit apartment building, with a Rush Primary Aid Specialty Care center on the ground floor. Lendlease (they’re really busy down here) is the general contractor. BKV Group is the design architect; Russland Capital Group is the developer. It, too, is very close to topping out.