Onni Group plants a tower crane at 354 North Union

Tuesday, right here in this very space, I pointed out the verticality Onni Group was achieving at 354 North Union despite not having the tower crane in place yet. Perhaps I could have waited two more days . . .

This will be the 11th tower crane in Chicago if it’s fully erected before any of the topped-out projects (Parq Fulton, Evo Union Park, One Chicago, UI Health) take theirs down.

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As 354 North Union begins going vertical, the full-build permit is issued

Whatever that is, it looks pretty darn solid.

That warm ink you smell is coming from the fresh full-build permit issued yesterday for 354 North Union. With it in hand, Onni Group now has the official in-writing permission to go skyward on their 32-story, 373-unit apartment tower in the Fulton River District. (Don’t try to find the Fulton River on a map.)

Designed by Pappageorge Haymes Partners, 354 North Union will also deliver 143 parking spaces between the basement and second floor.

There’s no tower crane yet, not even a stub, on site. But that hasn’t stopped Onni from getting things done. There’s a cool-looking concrete structure rising toward the northwest corner of the lot, which I suspect might be a connection to Halsted Street. Keep in mind, though, I just take pictures. I could be way off base on that.

This is a great construction site for spectating.

Enjoying the photos? Metra and CTA rides (and Amtrak trains to Milwaukee), Zipcars, Divvy Bikes, camera lenses, and comfortable walking shoes are adding up. You can help offset expenses by making a greatly-appreciated donation to Building Up Chicago.

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Caissons — BIG caissons — continue at 354 North Union

Stalworth Underground and Onni Group are still on caisson duty at 354 North Union. They even brought in more equipment this week, so while most of the caissons have been drilled and filled, there’s still work left to be done.

Enjoying the photos? Metra and CTA rides, Zipcars, Divvy Bikes, camera lenses, and comfortable walking shoes are adding up. You can help offset expenses by making a greatly-appreciated donation to Building Up Chicago.

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Caisson work goes full bore at 354 North Union

There are few things construction nerds look forward to more than caisson work. It marks the unofficial “official start” of skyscraper construction, people are digging in the dirt, heavy machinery dances around each other, and loud noises bounce off neighboring buildings. You might not think it’d be fun to watch, but it’s mesmerizing. Which is why some of us stand there and take dozens of photos.

Last week marked the beginning of caisson work at 354 North Union. Big shout-outs to Stalworth Underground and Onni Group for providing the entertainment. Here are dozens of photos:


CTA and Metra rides, Zipcars, Divvy bikes, camera lenses, and solid walking shoes add up. You can help offset expenses with a greatly-appreciated donation to Building Up Chicago.

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If your Greyhound is in the shop, better pick it up soon

Looking north across the Chicago River to Goose Island, the future site of Halsted Point.

If you haven’t heard by now, you haven’t been paying attention. To everyone.

All of Chicago is talking about Halsted Point, the new development from Onni Group planned for Goose Island.

Alby Gallun in Crain’s Chicago Business (heh. bus-iness. Greyhound. Well played.)

Ryan Ori in the Chicago Tribune

David Roeder in the Chicago Sun-Times

Jay Koziarz in Urbanize Chicago

The Real Deal

Matt Hickman at The Architect’s Newspaper

You should be able to find all you need to know about Halsted Point from those sources.

In the meantime, this is what will be replaced. I don’t think we’ll miss these buildings:

The stage is set for Caisson Theater at 354 North Union

Caisson setup at Onni Group’s 354 North Union

The actors know their lines, the set is decorated, and the curtain is about to go up at 354 North Union. The Stalworth Underground Drill Team has been standing by patiently waiting for their moment to shine. That moment is now. Let the caissons begin!

354 North Union is a go

Site prep, 4/12/2021

Site preparation is underway for/at 354 North Union, a 32-story, 373-unit apartment tower in the Fulton River District of West Town.

354 North Union got its first permit way back on March 16 of 2020, giving developer and general contractor Onni Group the all-clear to start building the foundation up to the “underside of level 3.” The Pappageorge Haymes Partners-designed tower will also include 143 parking spaces, if that building permit is to be believed.

Check out the two Stalworth Underground big blue rigs sitting off in the corner, champing at the bit waiting to drill caissons deep into the earth. Bit. Drill. Heh.

This was 352 North Union at the community meeting six or so years ago. I think it went up a couple ticks because it’s taken so long to get it started. But we’re here, that’s what counts. A forthcoming new name wouldn’t surprise me though.

Darn Near Done: Old Town Park Phase III

All that remains of Atrium Village stands in front of Old Town Park Phases I, II, and III.

Exterior work is nearing completion at the final phase of the Old Town Park re-development in Chicago’s Near North neighborhood.

Old Town Park Phase III, at 228 West Hill Street got its full-build permit on New Years Eve 2019. That permit authorized construction of a 41-story, 456-unit apartment tower.

Old Town Park Phase II, the 39-dtory, 425-unit tower at 202 West Hill Street, got its first permit in December 2017.

The baby of the group, Phase I, got its first permit in February 2016. It has 405 apartments across 32 stories.

That puts developer and general contractor Onni Group in construction mode here just over five years. They also lit up all three tower cranes over the course of this development, so kudos for that, Onni! You’ll always hold a special place in the B.U.C. heart for that alone.

Hartshorne Plunkard Architecture is the design architect on Old Town Park.

Darn Near Done: 369 West Grand

369 West Grand March 2021

The 369 Grand Opening is fast approaching. See what I did there?

369 Grand, the 41-story, 365-unit apartment building developed by Onni Group in River North, is on the verge of welcoming tenants. Designed by Brininstool + Lynch, the tower will also provide parking for 250 cars, and include ground-floor retail space.

For more on the opening, let’s welcome Urbanize Chicago to the city, and check out their story before we roll the photos of 369 Grand as she stands today, and a few construction shots.

A sunny day at Old Town Park Tower 3

Tower 3 rises at Old Town Park. Immediately to the left is Tower 2. Remember, 3 will be taller.

Yesterday we watched Onni Group and Adjustable Concrete jump the tower crane at Old Town Park. Today, a look at progress on the 41-story Hartshorne Plunkard-designed tower from a pair of sunny afternoons.