Checking up on 900 Randolph with CBS Chicago

900 Randolph

Someone from this blog made their television debut last week. You can check out the video from CBS Chicago here:

https://www.cbsnews.com/chicago/news/photographer-catches-images-tracks-progress-of-projects-under-construction-around-chicago/?fbclid=IwAR1Z_dsUqL6L1Q8m2eLkq9hshGj1tSHhr9IGmuCjI770PMwT28TYOF4m82A

You can see the photos I took Thursday of last week while Lauren and Allen (they’re probably tired of hearing this by now, but thank you SO MUCH for doing this with me) watched me (along with a few others I took later in the day) of 900 Randolph here:

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Solar Junkyard wins approval for 33-story West Loop apartment tower

Solar Junkyard can build their 33-story, 204-unit apartment tower in the West Loop/Fulton Market area. So says the Chicago Plan Commission, which approved the Hartshorne Plunkard Architecture-designed proposal during Thursday’s meeting. What’s significant about this is that Solar Junkyard might be the best name ever used by a local development firm, which in this case is Newcastle Limited. You know that name form Gild at State and Division. I mean yes, it’s also significant that we get to bulldoze another parking lot while adding another cool tower to the West Loop. But I love Solar Junkyard.

I took a couple photos of the proposed site at 210 North Morgan last week, where (for now) a single-story Maria Pinto store stands next to a surface parking lot. Since this blog is about photos, I needed to be sure I had a photo or two of my own to post, along with a couple of Hartshorne Plunkard’s renderings.. But really, this particular post is about the name “Solar Junkyard.” I wonder if there’s swag I could get. More importantly, where did the name come from?

Rendering of Solar Junkyard’s 210 North Morgan from Hartshorne Plunkard Architects
Rendering of Solar Junkyard’s 210 North Morgan from Hartshorne Plunkard Architects

The glass is more than half full at 345 North Morgan

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160 North Morgan digs into the West Loop, snags a tower crane permit

Gone, but not forgotten. In a burned-into-my-retinas sort of way.

The hits keep coming for Sterling Bay, who just landed a tower crane permit for their tower development at 160 North Morgan in the West Loop. (Yes, that little {temporarily} purple building is gone now.)

160 North Morgan is going to be a 30-story residential tower. Designed by bKL Architecture, 160 will consist of 282 rental apartments, 89 parking spots, and about 2,600 square feet of retail space.

The Big Green W is the general contractor on 160 North Morgan. They have received:
a tower crane permit on March 30
and a caisson permit the following day, March 31.

I love this neighborhood.

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Glass climbs the topped-out and craneless 345 North Morgan

345 North Morgan, viewed from Halsted Street.

The tower crane is gone, but work hasn’t skipped a beat at 345 North Morgan in the Fulton Market District.

Sterling Bay’s latest boutique office building is installing windows on what is shaping up to be my favorite new building for nighttime views. And I say that having only been there on sunny days. But mark my words; this is one of those sites you’ll want to get to just as it gets dark at night with the interior lights shining brightly.

345 North Morgan is a ten-story, 200,000-square-foot office building designed by Chicago’s own Eckenhoff Saunders Skender is the general contractor. Their task, along with Adjustable Concrete Construction on concrete, is to have this office building ready for tenants before we close the door on 2022.

The old 345 North Morgan, taken from the original B.U.C. HQ in the West Loop.
Demolition wrapping up, December 16, 2019.
Stalworth Underground doing caisson work, 08/31/2021

It wasn’t until I looked up the permit history that I remembered 345 having a little trouble getting started. Of course, over the past 24 months, who among us *hasn’t* had a little trouble getting started. The old paint store at 345 North Morgan got a demolition permit on December 5 of 2019. (I still have an unfinished draft that I started in January of 2020.) The foundation permit for the new building was next, issued March 12, 2020. But then things went idle for awhile before caisson work began in August of last summer. The full build permit was issued in June of 2021, and the tower crane was permitted on September 3. And here we are.

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1200 West Carroll is a blank canvas

Speaking of Carroll Avenue demos . . .

With demolition all but wrapped up, the northwest corner of Carroll and Racine in the West Loop is ready for redevelopment at the hands of Sterling Bay. Here’s our May story about the demolitions, and the new office building on the way, 1200 West Carroll.

Here’s the progression of demolition from late May into July.

1043 Fulton brings the pane

Power Construction is installing windows at 1043 Fulton, and a lot of them, on the north and west façades. Still waiting on glass for the south façade, while that east-facing masonry wall probably won’t need them.

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A tower crane, by many other names, comes down from Fulton Market.

See over there? That used to be a tower crane.

Remove 1043 Fulton form Chicago’s active tower crane list. You can also remove 1025 West Fulton, 237 North Aberdeen, 1045 West Fulton, and 1045 On Fulton, since all those monikers have been used for this property. (Not this property, though.)

No matter the name, Power Construction topped out the 12-story building in May, and now the tower crane is being disassembled and removed from the site. Still waiting on the first signs of curtain-wall glass.

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345 North Morgan lands its full-build permit

Eckenhoff Saunders rendering

It’s been almost 15 months since foundation and tower crane permits were issued for Sterling Bay’s 345 North Morgan, an 11-story, 230,000-square-foot office building in the nearly-impossible-to-keep-up-with Fulton Market District. That’s a looong time to wait on a tower crane.

But Monday, the full building permit was issued for this one, so we’re keeping crossed fingers that Three Four Five will get started soon.

Located next door to Sterling Bay’s Ace Hotel, and across the street from their Google offices at 1KFulton, 345 North Morgan will include ground-floor retail space and parking spots for 34 cars, according to that aforementioned permit.

Eckenhoff Saunders Architects is the design architect on 345. Skender Construction is designated as the general contractor.

End-of-May update of what remains at ADM mill and silos

I admit to a morbid fascination in watching demolition. And a little bit of guilt, as if I’m violating personal space by seeing, and photographing, anything so laid open and exposed.

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