Another new tower crane = more verticality, as 160 North Morgan sprouts from the ground

160 North Morgan is starting to show above the fence line.

160 North Morgan is starting to protrude from the West Loop soil, as GC Walsh Construction begins utilizing that new tower crane they erected at the end of May.

A gentle reminder that 160 North Morgan, a project from Sterling Bay designed by bKL Architecture, will bring 282 apartments and 89 parking spaces in a neat 30-story package. And all of it is happening about half a yard from the Morgan CTA platform. Not to mention the Do-Rite Donuts (apple fritters!) right across the street.

Walsh Construction is on the build. They have received permits for:
– the tower crane on March 30
– the caissons on March 31
– the full build for 30 stories on April 20

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160 North Morgan builds itself a tower crane

Chicago saw three tower cranes erected last week as the city continues to overcome that five-count from a few months back.

One of the new ones is a shiny yellow Liebherr number at Sterling Bay’s 160 North Morgan. I dropped by twice on Thursday to check it out. I would have stayed all day, but tower cranes take a looooong time to go up safely, and there are a lot of lulls in the action. Unless, of course, you’re part of the crews from Walsh Construction and LaGrange Crane. For them, assembly action never slows down.

Bet you’ve never seen this many photos of a tower crane that wasn’t even half built yet. Unless it was another post on this blog… but tower crane builds deserve this much attention.


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ALLY at 1229 W Concord glasses up the joint

That shiny, reflective stuff that’s begun to appear on the skin of ALLY at 1229 W Concord? That’s glass. Curtain wall. Cladding. Call it what you will, but it’s great to see, ain’t it?

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The ALLY tower crane has come down

Chicago’s favorite unofficial tower crane survey has dropped from 16 to 15, as the rig atop ALLY at 1229 W Concord has come down in the Lincoln Yards megadevelopment. The video above was taken from in inbound Metra train Tuesday. If you watch it in reverse, it looks like it was taken from an outbound train. Cool, right?

There’s good crane news on the horizon though, as 1044 West Van Buren, 160 North Morgan, Embry, 3501 North Halsted, and maybe 1475 North Kingsbury(?) all have crane permits, and have all begun construction.

The glass is more than half full at 345 North Morgan

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160 North Morgan digs into the West Loop, snags a tower crane permit

Gone, but not forgotten. In a burned-into-my-retinas sort of way.

The hits keep coming for Sterling Bay, who just landed a tower crane permit for their tower development at 160 North Morgan in the West Loop. (Yes, that little {temporarily} purple building is gone now.)

160 North Morgan is going to be a 30-story residential tower. Designed by bKL Architecture, 160 will consist of 282 rental apartments, 89 parking spots, and about 2,600 square feet of retail space.

The Big Green W is the general contractor on 160 North Morgan. They have received:
a tower crane permit on March 30
and a caisson permit the following day, March 31.

I love this neighborhood.

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ALLY at 1229 W Concord makes its presence known along the Chicago River

ALLY at 1229 W Concord on the rise along the Chicago River

ALLY at 1229 W Concord, Sterling Bay’s life sciences development (it’s at 1229 W Concord, as you may have already figured out) has reached full height. Next milestone is to wrap that bay up in glass and let it shine along the North Branch of the Chicago River.

Sunday wasn’t my first visit to ALLY; I stopped by as they were erecting the tower crane on November 9 of last year, but I’ll be darned if I haven’t lost all the photos from that day, save for a couple of them I tweeted.

ALLY at 1229 W Concord is a design by Gensler, with Power Construction acting as the general contractor and Adjustable Concrete Construction on concrete. It’s the first of lots more to come at Lincoln Yards, which should keep us construction nerds entertained for a long, long time. The nine-story, 280,000-square-foot facility will include seven lab floors and lower-level parking for 55 cars. Expect delivery next year.

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🏗🏗🏗 We have three new tower cranes coming, Chicago 🏗🏗🏗

The City of Chicago has issued three new tower crane permits in the span of six days, the kind of growth spurt that warms hearts here at the B.U.C.

Rendering of 1044 West Van Buren by Antunovich Associates.

Last week, Tandem got a crane permit for 1044 West Van Buren. They’re building an 18-stort, 196-unit apartment tower designed by Antunovich Associates. Tandem will be their own general contractor, just as they were at Avra West Loop across the street.

Rendering of 3501 North Halsted by Eckenhoff Saunders.

Monday, Howard Brown Health got a crane permit for 3501 North Halsted. They’re building a five-story clinic with offices and a pharmacy designed by Eckenhoff Saunders. McHugh Construction is the general contractor.

Rendering of 160 North Morgan by bKL Architecture.

And Wednesday, Sterling Bay got a crane permit for 160 North Morgan. They’re building a 30-story, 282-unit apartment tower where that purple monster was for a few weeks back in 2020. bKL Architecture designed the tower, and Walsh Construction is the general contractor.

So, you know, LET’S GO!

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.

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300 North Michigan continues to rise, continues to block views of other things. Just like every other building does everywhere

Skip floor markings are visible to 36. My math says the additional 4 floors puts 300 North Michigan at the 40th floor.

Come at me if you want to, but there’s a new brand of NIMBYism out there these days: Instead of just complaining about a building blocking the view from your living room, you now get to complain about a new building blocking your view of something else, but not when you’re at home. No, this pertains to being out and about throughout the city. Or from that one particular spot you like to stand. This is next-level stuff.

Such seems to be the case with 300 North Michigan. Folks are upset that it will block the view of the Carbon and Carbide Building across the street. How about that. The rules are now such that you can’t build anything anywhere that will obstruct the view of anything anywhere. Looks like our next skyscraper will have to be built in DeKalb. (But I can’t see my corn field from the water tower now!)

Anyway, this is what 300 North Michigan looked like Monday, July 26. Using the markings on the skip, it looks like Linn-Mathes has reached the 40th floor, with the elevator core a couple stories higher, on their way to their ultimate 47-story height:

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