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:


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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.

Foundation work is underway at 1000M in the South Loop

1000M Foundation work

Foundation work has begun on the Helmut Jahn’s 74-story 1000M in the South Loop.

1000M did an unusual thing for its groundbreaking celebration: it broke ground before ground was actually broken. You know, like an actual breaking-of-the-ground party to kick off construction. And now stuff’s getting done.

The JAHN-designed tower for Chicago’s South Loop neighborhood is getting its foundation on, thanks to the labors of Stalworth Underground and general contractor McHugh Construction. When all the work is complete, some time in 2022, 1000M will have risen to 74 stories and 832 feet. That’s 11.24324 feet per story, which is way more math than was at all necessary. Or relevant. I just like numbers. The building permit to start foundation work was issued November 29, so crews haven’t been wasting time. We’re waiting patiently for a tower crane permit.

Wanna see some iPhone photos of what’s going on? Here ya go:

 

 

 

 

With caisson work complete, it’s time for Toyoko Inn Chicago to begin construction

Toyoko Inn Chicago June 2018

There’s a kind of hush over the Toyoko Inn Chicago site, now that caisson work has wrapped up.

Things have gone eerily silent at 320 South Clinton in the South Loop. But that’s a good thing. It means caissons are complete for the Toyoko Inn Chicago, and now we’re just waiting for the next wave of construction equipment to take over the lot.

We got a few more shots of Stalworth Underground’s caisson work at the end of May, before returning to the site this week to find the barren lot. Soon, the Toyoko Inn Chicago can start shooting up toward its 24-story goal.

Milieu plants a tower crane stub amidst caisson work

Milieu June 2018

That’s a fresh tower crane stub at Milieu in the West Loop.

Even as Stalworth Underground continues caisson work at Milieu (205 South Peoria) in the West Loop, something even more exciting has taken over the lot: Power Construction has evened out their tower-crane count after taking down the rig at the Hoxton Chicago by planting a stub on this site.

The Power Crane permit was issued Tuesday the 5th; they wasted no time getting that stub in place. Now, progress on the FitzGerald-designed 19-story, 275-unit apartment building can start going vertical immediately after caisson works wraps up. Yes, the West Loop is going to remain a very busy construction hub for quite some time.

Milieu has a clean West Loop slate to begin construction

Milieu West Loop

Demolition is complete at the corner of Adams and Peoria Streets in the West Loop, leaving just a silky-smooth lot with which to begin Milieu, the 275-unit apartment project from co-developers White Oak Realty Partners and Crayton Advisors.

It looks like Stalworth Underground will hit the site first, as they’re equipment is already on the lot. They’ll help take care of foundation work for GC Power Construction, tasked with sending Milieu up to its desired 19-story height. Designed by the West Loop’s own FitzGerald, Milieu brings 13,000 square fete of retail space, as well as parking spots for nearly 200 cars.

For now, Power has a permit to build up to the 5th floor. Soon they’ll get a tower crane permit as well, then the full-build will follow. Milieu is expecting a Summer 2019 opening.

Foundation work for the Toyoko Inn Chicago is underway

Toyoko Inn Chicago

320 South Clinton is officially no longer a parking lot, as foundation work begins for the Toyoko Inn Chicago.

Stalworth Underground is on site at 320 South Clinton Street in the West Loop, drilling caissons upon which will stand the Toyoko Inn Chicago. A foundation permit was issued by the City of Chicago April 11. That permit shows the general contractor to be Denken USA, Inc., located in the Civic Opera Building at 20 North Wacker Drive, which also happens to be the address of the hotel’s ownership, again according to the permit.

The permit calls for a 24-story hotel, so of course there will be a tower crane. Not unusual lately for the West Loop, but a bit of an oddball in that it will be east of the Kennedy Expressway. We haven’t seen one of those since EMME at 165 North Desplaines, and 625 West Adams.

Work continues below the surface at 3833 Broadway

Hard to believe it’s been close to a year since we first stopped by the 3833 North Broadway construction site to see have a look at the 8-story, 134-unit residential project DLG Management is building up in up in Lake View. As our friends at Stalworth Underground continue to shore up the foundation, DLG itself (they’re also the GC) is getting ready to go vertical on the Jonathan Splitt Architects design.

Caisson equipment arrives as site prep is underway at 61 East Banks

61 East Banks Gold Coast

Back those caissons right on in here! It’s go time at 61 East Banks.

The 8-story, 60-unit apartment building at 61 East Banks is in site-prep mode, and caisson equipment is starting to pour into the lot. The Booth Hansen design is parking itself on the former surface parking lot at Banks Street and Lake Shore Drive, assuring spectacular Lake Michigan views for some lucky tenants.

According to Booth Hansen, expect two-story townhomes on the first two floors, with one, tow, and three-bedroom apartments on the levels above. A shared amenity terrace will adorn the green roof, and parking will be added below grade.

Draper & Kramer is the developer of 61 East Banks; Leopardo Companies is handling general contractor duties. Expect to see Stalworth Underground out there in the cold starting caisson work very early in 2018.