Home2 Suites by Hilton gets a caisson workout in River North

Home2 Suites by Hilton 110 West Huron

The 17-story Home2 Suites by Hilton will stand atop caissons Stalworth Underground is drilling and filling now.

The Home2 Suites by Hilton coming to River North at 110 West Huron Street is in full-blown caisson phase these days. Stalworth Underground is doing the caisson work for general contractor M.A. Mortenson Company, and has their big blue machines hard at work on the corner of Clark and Huron. Akara Partners is developing the hotel, a design by NORR Inc., which will bring 185 rooms across the 17-story tower.

A ripped up lot signals the start of Akara Partners’ River North hotel

110 West Huron hotel

Bye bye parking lot, hello hotel, as work begins at 110 West Huron Street in River North.

Piles of rubble and dirt have replaced the surface parking lot at Huron and Clark Streets in River North. That means work is officially underway for the 17-story, 185-room hotel at 110 West Huron from Akara Partners.

Akara received a foundation permit from the City of Chicago back on August 24. Curiously, they already have a tower crane permit as well, and it was issued more than two weeks before the foundation permit, on August 11. And to make things just a tad more confusing, the permit doesn’t actually say “tower crane” on it:

FOUNDATION DESIGN FOR THE INSTALLATION AN OPERATION OF LIEBHERR 316 EC-H12 LITRONIC

So unless you were paying ridiculously close attention, you may have missed it. I, for one, was indeed paying ridiculously close attention. But I missed it too. Anyway, I’m over that now. Pretty much.

The hotel is a design by Chicago’s NORR Inc on North LaSalle, and will include, according to the permit, ground-level retail space and a rooftop restaurant.

The general contractor is M.A. Mortenson Company of Wisconsin. You remember them from their work on the Wisconsin Entertainment and Sports Center in Milwaukee we visited in July.

Sometimes the tower cranes we miss are the tower cranes we miss the most

Wisconsin Entertainment and Sports Center

Curtis Waltz at Aerialscapes sent over this photo of the WESC from June, just as the second tower crane was coming down.

We love tower cranes at Building Up Chicago. That’s no secret. We’re especially fond of scenes like Vista Tower, The Simpson-Querrey Center, McDonald’s Headquarters, and One Bennett Park, each of which have two tower cranes on site. And don’t even get us started about the two projects we saw in London that had 10 apiece.

But we can’t get to them all.

We found out today, courtesy of Curtis Waltz at Aerialscapes, that the tower crane we wandered to at the Wisconsin Entertainment and Sports Center had a sibling. Up until a couple weeks before we stopped by, the parking garage being constructed next to the Milwaukee Bucks’ new arena had a second tower crane.

Hey! Why not keep a tower crane on a parking garage? Do you have any idea how helpful (and fun) it would be to use it to get cars up to and off the top level?

Curtis said neither tower crane remains on site now, so it looks like we got there just in time. Maybe one trip a year to Milwaukee isn’t often enough?

Wisconsin Entertainment and Sports Center

Only one tower crane remained when we visited the WESC in July.

Wisconsin Entertainment and Sports Center

Don’t get me wrong; there were still multiple cranes. Just not multiple tower cranes.

Wandering Milwaukee: Revisiting the Bucks’ new arena, vicariously, from the air

Milwaukee Bucks new arena

An eagle-eye view of the Milwaukee Bucks’ new arena from pilot/photographer Curtis Waltz at Aerialscapes.

Milwaukee Bucks new arena

Photo via Curtis Waltz at Aerialscapes.

You’ve already seen my visit from the first weekend in July to the Milwaukee Bucks’ new arena. Dozens and dozens of photos. Yet there were still two angles of the construction site I wasn’t able to see: from the inside, and from overhead. The former I won’t likely see until I buy a basketball ticket. But the latter? Someone else has that covered for us.

Click this link to see the Milwaukee Business Journal story from July 6 that featured photos from aerial photographer Curtis Waltz. Not satisfied with drone footage, Mr. Waltz goes one step further. Or higher, as the case may be: he flies his own plane to get his shots.

You can see all of Curtis Waltz’s work at Aerialscapes.

The Bucks’ Twitter account tweeted the following drone video, which does include some inside footage:

Not enough for ya? Well, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel has a drone video for you to check out as well.

http://www.jsonline.com/videos/sports/nba/bucks/2017/07/11/video-aerial-view-drone-future-milwaukee-bucks-arena/103568966/

There’s more to see at the Wisconsin Entertainment and Sports Center News page here. They update it frequently, so check in early and often.

Wandering Milwaukee: The Wisconsin Entertainment and Sports Center

Milwaukee Bucks new arena

The new of of the Milwaukee Bucks rises as part of the Wisconsin Entertainment and Sports Center.

Another Summerfest has come and gone from Milwaukee. I like Summerfest. It gives me a chance to sample the unhealthiest of delicious festival foods, walk around downtown, and see a concert. Last year, it was Sting. This year, Paul Simon. And once a year, I get to check in on Milwaukee construction.

A rendering of the new Milwaukee Bucks arena.

Hands down, the most watchable construction site in Milwaukee right now is the Wisconsin Entertainment and Sports Center. Including the future home of the NBA’s Milwaukee Bucks, the WESC is a design by Populous, the Kansas City-based architecture firm known in Chicago for its work on Guaranteed Rate Field and the United Center, with assistance from Eppstein Uhen Architects and HNTB Corporation. Populous has also done design work for features of the Wrigley Field renovation. Chances are, if you’ve been to more than two sporing events in your life, you probably watched them in a Populous facility. The M.A. Mortenson Company is the general contractor.

While the WESC will eventually be a 30-acre entertainment district, the center piece is the new 714,000-square-foot arena. That, along with a multi-level parking garage, are under construction now. The $524 million arena is scheduled for completion in time for the 2018-2019 NBA season.

You can learn *tons* more about the new arena from ICON Venue Group.

You can keep up with the WESC on Twitter here.

Follow M.A. Mortenson here.

 

 

 

 

A Sunny Day At: The Phoenix Hampton Inn and Suites

Hampton Inn and Suites Phoenix

The Hampton Inn and Suites by The M.A. Mortenson Company, at Polk and 1st Streets in downtown Phoenix.

I hear sunny days are fairly common around these parts. So far, I concur.

Out in the far west suburb of Phoenix, Arizona, the M.A. Mortenson Company has just started construction on an 11-story Hampton Inn and Suites at the intersection of Polk and 1st Streets in the heart of downtown. Designed by PK Architects, the $33-million hotel will provide 210 guest rooms, and include amenities including a fitness center, meeting rooms, a business center, and a bar/lounge.

Here’s an OxBlue construction webcam

You can read more about the Hampton Inn and Suites at AZ Big Media