61 East Banks is rising along the lakefront

61 East Banks May 2018

As seen from North Avenue Beach, 61 East Banks is making quite an impression along the Lake Michigan and Lake Shore Drive.

Granted, it would be even better with another 40 stories or so. But I can’t stop imagining the views from 61 East Banks, the new apartment building that took over a surface parking lot on Lake Shore Drive in the Gold Coast neighborhood.

At just eight stories, residents of the 60 new units won’t have elevated views of Lake Michigan, but since they’ll be right on the water, they won’t need height. Location is key here.

Draper & Kramer is the developer of 61 East Banks; Leopardo Companies is handling general contractor duties. Designed by Booth Hansen, 61 East Banks has already risen to its 8-story goal. That pretty yellow tower crane along the water will probably come down soon, but you can still marvel at it from the lakefront path for now.

A shiny new tower crane has 61 East Banks rising above grade

61 East Banks April 2018

61 East Banks has begun to rise at Lake Shore Drive and Banks Street.

61 East Banks is no longer a parking lot. Nor is it a ground-level construction site. Nope. Now that Leopardo Companies has a pretty yellow tower crane to rule over the land, 61 East Banks has now risen above street level in the Gold Coast neighborhood, on its way to eight stories and 60 new apartments.

61 East Banks putting its tower crane to good use

One of the new 2018-model tower cranes in Chicago is doing work out at 61 East Banks in the Gold Coast Neighborhood. Which is impressive, considering that the operator of that machine has to be seriously distracted by the views of Lake Michigan, what with the prime location along Lake Shore Drive and all. No matter though. Focus. That’s how structures go vertical.

Draper & Kramer is building this 8-story, 60-unit apartment building, designed by Booth Hansen. This is the second tower crane in Chicago for Leopardo Companies, which also has one in the West Loop at their future HQ, 210 North Carpenter.

61 East Banks puts up Chicago’s newest tower crane

61 East Banks tower crane

This shiny new tower crane recently debuted above 61 East Banks in the Gold Coast neighborhood.

There’s been a lot of activity out at 61 East Banks since we went by the site in December. Caisson work is a distant memory, and Chicago’s newest tower crane looms above the future 8-story, 60-unit apartment development. Pretty sure this is Chicago’s 33rd tower crane of 2018 (remember, we started the year with 30 already in the sky.)

61 East Banks is a project from Draper & Kramer, with designs from Booth Hansen. Leopardo Companies (sure, you know them. They’re building their new offices over at 210 North Carpenter) is the general contractor. You may notice McHugh Construction signage on the tower crane; that’s because McHugh is the concrete subcontractor, and therefore responsible for assembly of the crane.

One of Chicago’s longest-running shows, No. 9 Walton lowers the curtain on its tower crane

No. 9 Walton tower crane

The tower crane at No. 9 Walton is slowly lowering itself to the ground, one segment at a time.

If you thought No. 9 Walton at 9 West Walton Street in the Gold Coast neighborhood topped out months ago, and that it seemed strange how long that hammerhead tower crane remained aloft, you were on to something. While we can’t confirm anything, we’ve got our suspicions that the $58.5 million sale for the top four floors may have had something to do with the longevity of the crane. (Dennis Rodkin over at Crain’s Chicago had the scoop back in January.)

The stub was planted at No. 9 Walton in March of 2016, after getting its permit on the first of February. By my calculations, that’s about two years ago. That’s a long time for a tower crane to be on a job site, especially one that’s “only” 38 stories high.

No. 9 Walton is a project from JDL Develoment. You may recall hearing that JDL’s president and founder, James Letchinger, had set aside a unit in this tower for himself. That’s a pretty good indication he’s paid very close attention to every facet of its construction.

The design was by Hartshorne Plunkard Architecture. Lendlease handled the GC duties.

Expect No. 9 Walton to be open in 2018.

Caisson equipment arrives as site prep is underway at 61 East Banks

61 East Banks Gold Coast

Back those caissons right on in here! It’s go time at 61 East Banks.

The 8-story, 60-unit apartment building at 61 East Banks is in site-prep mode, and caisson equipment is starting to pour into the lot. The Booth Hansen design is parking itself on the former surface parking lot at Banks Street and Lake Shore Drive, assuring spectacular Lake Michigan views for some lucky tenants.

According to Booth Hansen, expect two-story townhomes on the first two floors, with one, tow, and three-bedroom apartments on the levels above. A shared amenity terrace will adorn the green roof, and parking will be added below grade.

Draper & Kramer is the developer of 61 East Banks; Leopardo Companies is handling general contractor duties. Expect to see Stalworth Underground out there in the cold starting caisson work very early in 2018.

No. 9 Walton nears the top

No. 9 Walton

No. 9 Walton grows up behind Harvest Chicago Cathedral.

No. 9 Walton continues its climb toward completion in the Gold Coast. The 37-story uber-luxurious condominium tower from JDL Development will have just 66 units when all is said and done and built, with condos ranging from two to six (SIX!) bedrooms. Designed by Hartshorne Plunkard Architecture, No. 9 Walton is being constructed by Lendlease.