The 30-story Hilton Homewood Suites at 1101 South Wabash, somewhat slow to get out of the ground, is starting to shoot upwards. Credit Lendlease for the progress on the hotel, which is scheduled to open late next year.
When I got home last night, in the dark, which angers me because I hate winter, I said out loud “Hey, does that crane look too low to you?” None of you answered, which is good, because it would have been creepy if you’d have been here, but sure enough, Lendlease began the task of dismantling the tower crane at Eleven40 yesterday, meaning Chicago’s tower crane count dips to 33.
Work will continue for the next couple days on removal. This morning, a crew is taking apart the upper tie-in. Photos follow:
Dear readers: If you’re reading this, you are a reader. And as I did in May for our trip to London, I’m putting you back on the clock for Chicago Tower Crane Watch while the Mrs. and I travel to Sydney, Melbourne, and Brisbane, Australia.
Chicago has stubs due to be planted, cranes to be assembled atop existing stubs, and cranes that have accomplished what they set out to do and are ready to come down. Please, be the blog’s eyes.
I’ve been taking Google Maps trips down under for a couple weeks now, just to make sure there are tower cranes in Australia, thereby making the trip worth taking. (That’s a joke, of course. I know how to enjoy other aspects of travel besides construction. Heck, I even went to the mountains once, where there wasn’t a crane to be found. And I liked it. Still…yeah, I’ll look for tower cranes.) Granted, there will be no Outback visit on this trip, and no swimming with sharks. Just big cities, for the most part.
Who’s been to Australia recently? Where are they building? (Looking at you, Lendlease. As busy as you are here in Chicago, I’m expecting to see you *everywhere* in Australia.)
The photo below comes from Google Street View. Take a 360-degree look from the Victoria Bridge, and you can spot 20 cranes. I’m going to like Brisbane.
Lots of tall building under construction when Google captured this photo, from the Bolte Bridge in Melbourne. I hope some of them are still there, still hard at work.
I spotted more than a dozen cranes from this spot in Sydney, on the “Western Distributor” near Tumbalong Park.
Once known simply as “808 West Van Buren,” The Van Buren will break ground in an official ceremony Wednesday morning at its Greektown construction site at Halsted and Van Buren Streets.
Representatives from developer Loukas Development, design architect bKL Architecture, and general contractor Lendlease will all be on hand to plunge shovels into the ground to celebrate the new 12-story West Loop tower, according to a press release issued by Loukas Development on Monday.
The Van Buren began with a foundation permit back in April, and has since completed caisson work, done a major amount of foundation digging, and planted a tower crane stub. When complete late in 2018, The Van Buren will deliver 148 rental apartments to the neighborhood.
You can read Loukas Development’s full Press Release below, followed by a few more gorgeous renderings from bKL Architecture:
Groundbreaking Event: Wed. Oct. 4, 2017
Loukas Development Announces Construction Start of The Van Buren, a mixed-use development at 808 West Van Buren Ave., Chicago
WHAT: Loukas Development will host a groundbreaking ceremony at The Van Buren, a 12-story boutique mixed-use development in Chicago’s West Loop neighborhood. The 148-unit building is being developed at 808 West Van Buren Ave.
When: Wed. Oct. 4th — 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
WHO: Representatives from Loukas Development, bKL Architecture, Lendlease and Washington Capital will break ground and discuss the project.
WHERE: 808 West Van Buren Ave., Chicago; on the northwest corner of Halsted St. and Van Buren Ave.
During the event, members of the media will be able to:
- Capture the ground breaking/shovel ceremony in photographs featuring development, architectural, and capital sources
- Meet Loukas Development Managing Director Aristithis Loukas; hear him explain the vision behind The Van Buren
- Meet with and discuss the project design with the architect, bKL Architecture; learn more about how amenities at multifamily new construction continue to evolve
- Learn about this transit-oriented project, which will bring a new luxury rental experience to the southeast section of the West Loop.
- See renderings of the project which will demonstrate how The Van Buren will fulfill a demand for luxury housing and specialized retail offerings
About Loukas Development
Established in 1978, Loukas Development is an innovative commercial real estate development and management firm with a strong focus on infill, transportation-oriented development in dynamic and high growth urban locations. The company has completed the development, renovation, leasing and conversion of over 500 residential units, including several high profile mixed-use developments in the Chicago area.
Loukas Development has an operating and development platform capable of scaling quickly for institutional opportunities while remaining connected to the Chicago neighborhoods we serve. Our mission is to redefine and reshape the urban commercial, residential, and mixed-use experience through a combination of state-of-the-art design and solid construction techniques. For more information, visit www.loukasdevelopment.com.
About Washington Capital Management, Inc.
Loukas Development’s capital partner on the project is a limited liability company managed by Seattle-based Washington Capital Management, Inc. on behalf of its clients.
Washington Capital Management, Inc. (WCM) is an employee owned investment advisory firm founded in 1977. WCM headquarters are located in Seattle, Washington, with branch offices in Portland, Spokane, Anchorage, Southern California, Northern California and Boston. For more information on WCM, please see http://www.wcmadvisors.com.
About bKL Architecture
Founded and led by Thomas Kerwin, bKL Architecture is a Chicago based architectural firm with extensive experience in the design and execution of large scale mixed-use building projects. bKL’s core principles include design excellence, technical acumen and viable solutions to complex problems. Open dialogue within its studio cultivates collaboration, communication and cohesive designs that enrich the sites and cities around the world in which they build.
Hey, who remembers my prediction about where the tower crane would be at 808 West Van Buren in the West Loop? Yeah, forget that. My guess that a concrete pad may have been prepped for the crane at the far north end of the site was off by about 98.8%. The tower crane stub popped up last week (I don’t know which day; I missed another one) near the southwest corner of the lot. The City of Chicago issued a permit for a Peiner SK-415 back on September 6.
There’s still a lot of foundation digging happening at the future 12-story residential building from Loukas Development, but this first sign of a tower crane means Lendlease will start shooting skyward on the bKL Architecture design in the very near future.
808 West Van Buren, the bKL Architecture-designed 12-story apartment building from Loukas Development, keeps setting its feet into Greektown, as Lendlease construction crews continue ground work in advance of the tower crane that will send the 148-unit apartment building vertical.
There’s a concrete pad against the north end of the lot, up against the existing building (314 South Halsted, the former home of The Parthenon, and a building getting some extensive work done in its own right) that looked like it could be a tower-crane pad, but what they’re erecting atop that slab doesn’t look much like a tower crane stub. We’ll keep our eyes out.