Caisson work at 920 North Wells gets the North Union party started

Stalworth Underground drills caisson at 920 North Wells

Holes are being drilled into the earth at 920 North Wells, as construction gets underway for the North Union megadevelopment from JDL Development. The gettin’-our-boots-dirty team of Power Construction, Stalworth Underground, and Adjustable Concrete Construction are all on hand to make rebar cages and pour some concrete.

JDL announced via Instagram Stories Wednesday evening that a caisson permit had been issued that day (along with word that One Chicago had reached full occupancy, so big CONGRATS on that) and here we are Thursday morning, with the city’s permit site showing the permit for caissons under a 21-story tower, and the first two caissons being bored.

920 North Wells, a design by Hartshorne Plunkard Architecture, was approved by the Chicago Plan Commission as part of North Union project in May of 2021.

We’re going to enjoy 920 North Wells for now, but North Union will be overstimulating construction nerds for a long, long time. So get the lawn chair and cooler out of the garage, pack some snacks, and let’s go!

Oh, I almost forgot….I took pictures!

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

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Glass climbs the topped-out and craneless 345 North Morgan

345 North Morgan, viewed from Halsted Street.

The tower crane is gone, but work hasn’t skipped a beat at 345 North Morgan in the Fulton Market District.

Sterling Bay’s latest boutique office building is installing windows on what is shaping up to be my favorite new building for nighttime views. And I say that having only been there on sunny days. But mark my words; this is one of those sites you’ll want to get to just as it gets dark at night with the interior lights shining brightly.

345 North Morgan is a ten-story, 200,000-square-foot office building designed by Chicago’s own Eckenhoff Saunders Skender is the general contractor. Their task, along with Adjustable Concrete Construction on concrete, is to have this office building ready for tenants before we close the door on 2022.

The old 345 North Morgan, taken from the original B.U.C. HQ in the West Loop.
Demolition wrapping up, December 16, 2019.
Stalworth Underground doing caisson work, 08/31/2021

It wasn’t until I looked up the permit history that I remembered 345 having a little trouble getting started. Of course, over the past 24 months, who among us *hasn’t* had a little trouble getting started. The old paint store at 345 North Morgan got a demolition permit on December 5 of 2019. (I still have an unfinished draft that I started in January of 2020.) The foundation permit for the new building was next, issued March 12, 2020. But then things went idle for awhile before caisson work began in August of last summer. The full build permit was issued in June of 2021, and the tower crane was permitted on September 3. And here we are.

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

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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.

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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.

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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:


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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.