As Wolf Point East digs out from Chicago River flooding, a tower crane permit arrives

Wolf Point East

One big pile of slop, waiting to be heaved into a truck and hauled away from Wolf Point East.

Just before this story went to the presses, a permit came through for a tower crane at Wolf Point East. A Liebherr 420 EC-H 16 to be precise. A SHINY YELLOW TOWER CRANE, to be technical.

Wolf Point east tower crane permit

Wolf Point East got a tower crane permit on Monday.

When I posted an update on foundation work at Wolf Point East at the beginning of November, there was one factor involved I hadn’t been aware of: flooding.

We were away in Australia (you may have noticed some posts from that trip) when torrential rains caused flooding along the Chicago River in October, and the construction pit at Wolf Point East took the brunt of it, filling with water completely. (You can scroll down this photo gallery from Curbed for a look at the deluge) That explains the mud that remains on site. I was back there over the weekend, and noticed just how sloppy things were, but that isn’t stopping work from continuing. You can see how much deeper work has gone, as Walsh Construction oversees progress on the six subterranean levels of the 60-story tower.

Renelle on the River erects Chicago’s 60th tower crane of 2017

Renelle on the River tower crane

Chicago’s 60th tower crane of 2017 is up and lifting at Renelle on the River.

The Big 6-0 is on the board, as Chicago’s 60th tower crane takes to the skies at Renelle on the River, at 403 North Wabash in River North. If you want to count backwards, Home2 Suites, also in River North at 110 West Huron, was #59. The Van Buren, at 808 West Van Buren in the West Loop, came in at #58 last month. And 210 North Carpenter, another West Loop project, was Chicago’s 57th crane of the year when it went up.

*60 cranes. That’s a big year for tower cranes. And with the stub Hayden West Loop planted in the ground at 1109 West Washington, #61 will be added to the count very soon. Two other cranes have permits: 3833 North Broadway, where we expect a stub to be planted around Thanksgiving; and The Bentham, at 146 West Erie, which doesn’t have a construction permit yet.

*I am not counting the derrick crane at Simpson Querrey.

Renelle on the River plants a tower crane on North Wabash

Renelle on the River tower crane stub

A tower crane stub has been planted at Renelle on the River.

One of the city’s tightest construction spaces has planted a shiny yellow tower crane stub. Renelle on the River is the 18-story, bKL Architecture-designed condo tower Belgravia Group is sliding atop the underground parking garage at 403 North Wabash in River North. And a walk-by yesterday reveals McHugh Construction working around the new crane.

Renelle on the River tower crane stub

Rendering of Renelle on the River from bKL Architecture.

Renelle on the River is a curious project. Not only is it the aforementioned tight squeeze where a small plaza once stood, but it will also be angled in such a way as to give all residents a view of the Chicago River. And then there’s the foundation. No caissons were drilled for this one (the building permit went straight to full-build, with no foundation permit), leaving one to assume the existing parking structure was built to support much more weight than a few cars. And that tower crane’s foundation? It appears to be suspended in mid-air, even while being rooted in a huge block of concrete. It’s a mesmerizing set-up, to be sure.

Renelle on the River will bring 50 three- and four-bedroom condominiums to the neighborhood. There’s a sales office right next to the site, if you want to stop in and check them out. We highly suggest taking their virtual tour.

With Van Cleef crushed, 56 West Huron burrows in to River North

56 West Huron caissons

That’s a Revcon rig where Van Cleef salon used to be. 56 West Huron caissons are underway.

56 West Huron is now longer a former beauty salon; it’s now a future condominium building.

A quick check Monday morning to see about demolition progress of the former church building instead showed a Revcon caisson rig drilling into the soil. And that means 56 West Huron is officially underway.

The 13-story, 11-unit condominium tower from Kiferbaum Development Group got a building permit September 29, followed by the demolition permit on October 2.

The Studio Dwell-designed project boasts 10 3-bed/3.5-bath full-floor condos and one 4-bed/4.5-bath duplex penthouse. Each unit will have one parking space apiece. According to the 56 West Huron website (link above) condos begin at $1.375M, with one unit already sold.

Gilbane Building Company is the general contractor, tasked with having the tower open in Summer 2018. That’s coming up pretty quick.

Home2 Suites is Home2 Chicago’s newest tower crane

Home2 Suites River North

Over there, in the trees! It’s Chicago’s 33rd tower crane!

As expected, and despite some sketchy weather, the tower crane went up this past weekend at 110 West Huron in River North. That’s the site of the new Home2 Suites Akara Partners is building, and it marks the entry into the Chicago Tower Crane count for M.A. Mortensen.

This is the 33rd tower crane now active in Chicago, though #34 is also up — the derrick crane at Simpson Querrey — which we got a sneak peek at yesterday, thanks to a little birdie. We’ll get a better look at it today, and share. But remember, that derrick’s sole purpose is to remove cranes. So don’t call it a hero.

Wolf Point East digs in for the long haul

Wolf Point East

Excavation crews work atop the trestle bridge as digging continues at Wolf Point East.

Wolf Point East was one of my first stops upon returning to Chicago. Mostly to see that trestle bridge in action, but also to see how much progress Walsh Construction has made on one of the city’s newest skyscrapers. No surprise that the bridge is being used to help with the deep excavation going on now. Truckload after truckload of dirt and mud and Chicago River muck is being hauled away, while diggers great and small eat away at the earth between the bracing.

We should be keeping an eye out for a tower crane permit at Wolf Point East. It could be coming any day now.

Home2 Suites has a stub; expect the tower crane this weekend

Home2 Suites River North

Home2 Suites River North is getting a pretty yellow tower crane this weekend.

The Home2 Suites at 110 West Huron in River North planted a tower crane stub some time during my absence, and we’re being told here at B.U.C. that crews will begin assembling the full tower crane Friday.

You’ll remember that the Home2 Suites River North will be a 17-story, 185-room hotel being developed by Akara Partners and designed by NORR. Stalworth Underground was out there doing caissons work last time we stopped by, but they’ve completed those and moved on. That means  M.A. Mortenson Company has come down from Wisconsin to take complete control of the build.