171 Aberdeen drops the tower crane

171 Aberdeen tower crane removal

A street crane prepares to take down the tower crane at 171 Aberdeen in the West Loop Friday morning.

The last Friday of May was also the last day the tower crane at 171 Aberdeen stood above the West Loop. A crew started bright and early in the morning bringing the crane down, making the West Loop American Flag, Tower Crane, and Water Tank photo opp much more difficult.

171 Aberdeen (165 N Aberdeen now?) is a mixed-use building from MCZ Development, delivering 90 residential units, with 40,000 square feet of office space and 15,000 square feet of retail space, plus 130 parking spots, to the neighborhood. Novak Construction is the GC. Hartshorne Plunkard Architecture the designer.

Is 171 North Aberdeen now 165 North Aberdeen? Either way, it’s halfway high

165 North Aberdeen

165 North Aberdeen from the Morgan Street CTA platform.

There’s a new twist on the mixed-use project in the West Loop from MCZ Development. Nothing earth-shattering, like having to move any more caissons in order to properly support a tower crane. No, this change is about the address, which formerly had been 171 North Aberdeen Street (that’s what the City of Chicago lists on the permits) but MCZ’s own website now shows the project as 165 North Aberdeen.

What hasn’t changed is that Novak Construction continues to make progress on the Hartshorne Plunkard Architecture-designed building, reaching the sixth floor of what will be 11 levels when complete. Expect 90 residential units, with 40,000 square feet of office space and 15,000 square feet of retail space as well. Throw in about 130 parking spots for good measure.

Tower crane assembly is underway at 171 Aberdeen

171 Aberdeen tower crane

The forst section of tower crane is added to the stub at 171 Aberdeen.

Two tower crane permits. An additional foundation permit to add more caissons. Both scenarios conspiring to delay the assembly of a tower crane for 171 Aberdeen, the 11-story mixed-use apartment project in the West Loop.

But that’s all in the past. Tuesday, Central Crane Service was on site putting the crane together at long last. By the end of the day, the main shaft was up, with the cab sitting atop it. Expect the boom Wednesday, and an operational crane no later than week’s end.

Videos and photos follow:

Quick Look: The 171 Aberdeen tower crane foundation is poured

171 Aberdeen

The tower crane foundation at 171 Aberdeen is poured and set.

When last we checked on 171 Aberdeen, there was a freshly planted tower crane stub. So freshly, in fact, that there was no foundation around it. But not to worry. A quick perusal Tuesday shows a completed foundation, and I expect full assembly is still on schedule for Monday the 10th. I’ll miss it; I hope one of you can stop by and capture a few photos.

171 Aberdeen tower crane

Last week’s tower crane, in the buff.

171 Aberdeen tower crane

171 Aberdeen appeases whining blogger, plants tower crane


171 Aberdeen tower crane


Apparently I am a man who can get things done. My squeaky wheels attract much grease. Something along those lines.

It was only Monday that I lamented a second tower crane permit for 171 Aberdeen, the mixed-use project in the West Loop from MCZ Development, yet still there was no tower crane to be seen. Then Tuesday, for no better reason but to appease my insatiable curiosity, I wandered by the site again, despite having been there just two days earlier. And lo and behold, what to my wondering eyes should appear, but a brand-spankin’-new stub sticking up out of the ground.

I also found the reason for the delay. That permit I told you about Monday for “RELOCATION OF CAISSONS AND GRADE BEAMS” was necessitated by a bit of miscommunication, and the new caissons were required directly underneath the new tower crane, as the original caissons were insufficient for supporting the weight of the crane. That means there are four additional caissons planted under what is now a slightly smaller crane pad than was initially planned.

A quick reminder about 171 Aberdeen before I let you enjoy a few pics of that glorious crane stub: it will have 75 luxury apartments, 15,000 square feet of retail, and 40,000 square feet of office space, and about 130 parking spots.

171 Aberdeen: Now two tower crane permits, but still no tower crane

171 Aberdeen tower crane 2

This permit supersedes the first permit, both of which are superseded by NOT HAVING A TOWER CRANE YET

It’s been since May 10 that we’ve been waiting for a tower crane at 171 Aberdeen in the West Loop. That was the day the City of Chicago filed a permit, allowing the general contractor on the MCZ Development project, Novak Construction, to start building the foundation for a Peiner SK415 temporary tower crane (that’s industry talk.)

Now, there’s a second tower crane permit. I have no idea why. Do tower crane permits expire? Whatever the case may be, they’re still getting things done at Lake and Aberdeen, though progress does appear to have slowed. It’s just that all the work is being done by a yellow street crane, and those simply aren’t as cool to look at. Nor probably as efficient.

171 Aberdeen

Filed September 14, this permit called for “caisson relocation” among other changes.

Curiously, there was another permit issued for 171 Aberdeen back on September 14 that may denote a change on the fly in the program. This being well after caisson work had been finished, that permit called for “RELOCATION OF CAISSONS AND GRADE BEAMS.” Now, I don’t know much about how construction works, but I *do* know that it sounds like a major hassle to relocate a caisson. It makes me wonder if some were added, and it might be the logical explanation for why Revcon equipment was seen on-site within the past few weeks.

Still no tower crane, but 171 Aberdeen making foundation progress

171 Aberdeen

It is, admittedly, a cool yellow crane. But it is no tower crane.

Patience is a virtue. But Saturday will mark the four-month mark since a tower crane permit was filed for 171 Aberdeen, the mixed-use project from MCZ Development now underway in the West Loop. Not that foundation work isn’t fun to watch too, but nothing beats a tower crane. Nothing.

The Hartshorne Plunkard Architecture-designed 171 Aberdeen will have 75 luxury apartments, 15,000 square feet of retail, and 40,000 square feet of office space, plus about 130 parking spots. Novak Construction is doing the dirty work.

171 Aberdeen

The Tower Crane Permit.
MAY 10!


Construction Update: 171 Aberdeen builds a foundation

171 Aberdeen

The non-tower crane (for now) at 171 Aberdeen casts a long shadow as morning work gets underway.

The Hartshorne Plunkard Architecture-designed 171 Aberdeen is having some foundation work done courtesy of Novak Construction, even without the benefit (yet) of the almighty tower crane. The new mixed-use project from MCZ Development (click that link. MCZ has a wonderful video introducing their building) will have 75 luxury apartments, 15,000 square feet of retail, and 40,000 square feet of office space. Plus 130 or so parking spaces to accommodate residents, shoppers, diners, and commuters.


171 North Aberdeen Begins Foundation Work Under Clueless Blogger’s Nose

171 North Aberdeen

The foundation permit, issued June 6th, I didn’t know existed. My bad.

I tried to pay attention to this one. Honest I did.

I told you over a month ago caisson equipment was standing at the ready at 171 North Aberdeen Street in the West Loop, eager to tear into the soil of the empty lot. But Novak Construction, the general contractor for the project, couldn’t. Not yet. That was June 10th, and the City of Chicago had yet to file a foundation permit.


In fact, that permit had been filed on June 6th. But, as sometimes happens in the data entry process, a key line had been left blank on the city’s permit site: no permit date. So when I was looking at the most recent permits for Aberdeen Street, I should have been scrolling all the way to the end, where permits without dates fall.

So as I wandered by the site Tuesday, I was merely checking to see if equipment was still there. And not only was it there, it was drilling holes into the earth. Knowing nobody in Chicago work start work without the proper permits being in place, I walked the perimeter until I found what I needed to see. Namely, the site bulletin board. And on it, the permit approving foundation work. And all is right with the world.

That permit means the Hartshorne Plunkard Architecture-designed 171 North Aberdeen is about to be a real thing. The new mixed-use project from MCZ Development (click that link. MCZ has a wonderful video introducing their building) will have 75 luxury apartments, 15,000 square feet of retail, and 40,000 square feet of office space. Plus 130 or so parking spaces to accommodate residents, shoppers, diners, and commuters.

The Tower Crane Pipeline Still Runneth Over [Updated]

Last week, I got pretty excited (okay, way excited — overstimulated even) about the three tower crane stubs being set in the ground around Chicago. One was for the DePaul School of Music, one for the new Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ meetinghouse at 822 North Clark Street, and the third at 8 East Huron Street in River North. But lest you think that puts a wrap on what to watch for, think again.

We still have half a dozen projects out there with tower crane permits itching to climb into the sky. They are:

Atrium Village

Atrium Village

Atrium Village received a tower crane permit last week to erect a 31-story apartment building.

Atrium Village, which I also posted about last week, will rise soon in the Near North. The 31-story rental tower, which is Phase One of the multi-phase project by Onni Group to rebuild the entire Atrium Village development, got its tower crane permit July 5th.

625 West Adams

625 West Adams

625 West Adams is a busy lot again this morning, following a slow weekend after wrapping up caisson work.

625 West Adams in the West Loop got its tower crane permit on June 28th. The 20-story office tower from CA Ventures and White Oak Realty Partners is happening right outside the buildingupchicago office.

165 North Desplaines

165 North Desplaines

Caisson work is ongoing at 165 North Desplaines in the West Loop.

Also in the West Loop, Gerding Edlen’s 165 North Desplaines continues caisson work, while waiting to install its tower crane. The permit was filed on June 28th, the same day as 625 West Adams. Two brand-spankin’ new tower cranes four blocks apart. Nice. 165 North Desplaines will be a 14-story apartment building with 199 units.



3Eleven still looks like that movie “Holes”

In the early stages of construction, 3Eleven still looks like just a random series of holes. Soon, it will be a 23-story apartment tower from the John Buck Company at 311 West Illinois Street in River North, in what, up until a couple weeks ago, was the parking lot for Assumption Roman Catholic Church.

Apple Store

Apple Store

The new Apple Store at 401 North Michigan Avenue, both upper and lower.

Does Chicago need a new Apple Store? Or just an Apple Store with more space for people to camp out overnight for each new iPhone? Well, Chicago is getting both. At 401 North Michigan Avenue, in Pioneer Court. And it’s getting a tower crane as well, permitted on May 23rd.

171 North Aberdeen

171 North Aberdeen

171 North Aberdeen in the West Loop.

The West Loop is a busy place. But you knew that.  171 North Aberdeen is another project in the early stages. They’ve done some scraping, but it may be a while yet until it gets the tower crane it was permitted to have back on May 10th. 171 North Aberdeen, from MCZ Development, will be a mid-rise, mixed-use building combining luxury apartments, retail space, office space, and parking.

[Curiously, the tower permit is the only permit on file so far. No foundation permit has been issued as yet.]

That sentence from the original story is completely, thoroughly wrong. 171 North Aberdeen received a foundation permit on June 6th. I missed it. Sorry for my mistake.