The University of Illinois at Chicago has its own tower crane

UIC tower crane

Central Contractors Service was on the UIC campus Tuesday, schooling the masses on proper tower-crane assembly procedures.

What a teaching tool it could be, that big yellow tower crane across the street from the University of Illinois at Chicago. Higher learning, or something like that.

Anyway, tower-crane assembly at the academic/residential complex UIC is building on West Harrison Street between Peoria and Morgan began Monday, and Tuesday saw the jib lifted into place. A few gears and cables will be attended to Wednesday, and it should be ready to go as we enter March.

This marks Pepper Construction’s first tower crane in town since they removed the self-erecting crane form the Moxy Hotel job in River North.

Normally, the photo gallery below would include the building permit for that shiny yellow crane. However, this project isn’t being built on city land. Therefore, the City of Chicago doesn’t issue any permits at all for it. UIC is responsible for making sure the tower crane is erected properly and safely.


The Columbia College Student Center is underway

Columbia College Student Center

Pepper Construction began site prep last week at the new Columbia College Student Center in the South Loop.

A permit issued Friday sets the stage for work to begin on the Columbia College Student Center at Wabash Avenue and 8th Street in the South Loop. That would explain why a crew from Pepper Construction was on site last week, installing sidewalk protection and getting the lot prepped for activity.

Monday, Case Foundation posted on its Facebook page that they would begin drilling 57 rock caissons in March. With a little cooperative weather, Columbia plans to open the Gensler-designed student center late this year.

Despite the relatively wide footprint, at five stories, it’s not likely the new facility will require use of a tower crane, but we’ve reached out to Pepper to find out for sure. We should know soon.

University of Illinois at Chicago plants a tower crane for its new Academic/Residential Complex

UIC tower crane stub

The University of Illinois at Chicago is building a 10-story academic and residential complex, and this tower crane will help.

There’s no substitute for walking the streets of Chicago on a regular basis. Otherwise, you’re going to miss things. For example, the new 10-story residential & academic complex being built by the University of Illinois at Chicago. It looks, according to the Chicago Tribune, like construction started way back in December. But darned if I can find any building permits for it. But sure enough, the surface parking lot is gone, Revcon is on site drilling caissons, and there’s a bright yellow tower crane stub planted in the middle of the site, at Harrison and Morgan Streets.

Solomon Cordwell Buenz designed the complex, which marks the first new dorm facility for UIC since 2007. Included in the residential hall will be 550 student beds, with 16,000 square feet of community space for scholars to share, a top-floor sky lounge, and 1,600 square feet of retail space. Pepper Construction is the general contractor, and that tower crane will be their first in the Chicago sky since the removal of the crane at the Moxy Hotel in River North. Construction is expected to extend into Fall 2019.

The 8-story Moxy Hotel is 8 stories high

Moxy Hotel Chicago

River North’s Moxy Hotel shouldn’t grow much taller than this.

Look, I’m not saying the Moxy Hotel in River North has topped out. I’m also not saying it hasn’t. But it has for sure reached the eighth floor of what we’re told is to be an eight-story boutique hotel. There are also a couple rows of glass installed now, to nicely compliment the yellow siding.

That’s Pepper Construction out there doing the dirty work. You know them for being a prominent concrete contractor, and they also recently completed the Hotel EMC2 in Streeterville.

We (Read: I) still don’t know much about the Moxy Chicago. It’ll be eight stories, because that’s what the permit says. But there hasn’t been any indication of room count, rooftop bars, types of mints on the pillows, nothing like that. The website shows the hotel in Chicago plans a mid-2018 opening. So that’s all we can say for now.

The South Loop loses a tower crane, as 1407 On Michigan comes down

1407 On Michigan tower crane removal

Lendlease, Pepper Construction, and Central Contractor Services are all working the weekend, bringing the 1407 On Michigan tower crane down.

Any more posts about Lendlease, and they’ll have to put me on the payroll. When the B.U.C. HQ moved into the South Loop, we landed right in the middle of four of their construction sites. Maybe this is the Lend Loop now.

Lendlease’s job at 1407 On Michigan is losing its tower crane. Crews from Central Contractors Service and Pepper Construction are all on hand this weekend, as the crane is lowered from the sky. Russland Capital Group’s 15-story apartment building is topped out (you can see Lendlease’s press release here) and getting glassy, and all the heavy lifting is done.

When complete, the BKV design will include 199 studio to 3-bedroom-sized units, an outdoor pool, basketball court, and business center. The ground floor will have Rush Primary and Specialty Care facility. With three-and-a-half months remaining in 2017, meeting the original goal of having 1407 On Michigan open for residents before the end of the year seems like a stretch, but lets sit back and see how it goes. Mild fall months help.

It’s tower crane time at Nobu Hotel

Everybody’s talking about the new crane in town. Even purveyors of fine sandwiches.

As you read these words, Central Contractors Service and Centaur Construction are on the Nobu Hotel Chicago site in the West Loop, assembling the tower crane that will send the 11-story boutique hotel vertical. It’s also the reason you can’t drive on Peoria Street between Randolph and Lake. We’ve waited a long time for this one, so let’s enjoy it while it lasts. If it lasts. Now that Nobu will start going vertical, it won’t take long to stack its 11 floors on top of each other.

*** Centaur CEO Spiro Tsaparas called the B.U.C. to let me know a correction is in order on the Nobu project. I’ve reported that Walsh Construction was assigned the task of concrete work. That information, listed in Nobu’s building permits, is incorrect. Pepper Construction is, in fact, the masonry contractor for the Nobu Hotel.***


Little crane making big progress at the Moxy Hotel

Moxy Hotel Chicago

The Moxy Hotel rises from the corner of LaSalle Street and Grand Avenue in River North.

That little tower crane in River North that I insist on counting, then keep forgetting to count, isn’t letting any statistical oversight keep it down. Pepper Construction is using it to put up the 8-story Moxy Hotel at 530 North LaSalle Street. Issued its full permit back in February, the Moxy has been rising steadily ever since, as it approaches the targeted mid-2018 opening date.

Moxy is opening a Times Square hotel in New York City this month, and you should see the rooftop space. Really. Click this link to see it. Those views!