With caissons in the ground, it’s pile-driving time at RIU Plaza Hotel

Yes, caissons are done, but not foundation work, on the RIU Plaza Hotel site at 150 East Ontario in Streeterville. W.E. O’Neil and crew are driving piles into the soil to help support the weight of the 28-story, Lucien Lagrange-designed hotel.

Hey, you know what we should be seeing soon here? Yep. Tower crane permit.

Finally! RIU Plaza Hotel construction has begun at long-vacant Streeterville lot

RIU Plaza Hotel rendering from Lucien Lagrange Studio.

The lot that sat empty at 150 East Ontario for what seemed like an eternity is finally seeing action. Big action.

The RIU Plaza Hotel construction has begun in Streeterville. The City of Chicago issued a permit for caissons and foundation on July 19 for a 28-story, 390-room hotel. W.E. O’Neil is the general contractor. Lucien Lagrange Studio is the design architect. And that’s a big yellow Keller North America rig drilling caissons.

We stopped by in late July to have a first look at site prep, then headed back over this week to see the caisson action. And action we got. Very happy to see work started on this site.

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.

Make a one-time donation

Choose an amount

$1.50
$5.00
$10.00

Or enter a custom amount

$

Your contribution is appreciated.

Donate

1020 West Randolph has topped out in Chicago’s West Loop

The W.E. O’Neil drone (top left) and I at 1020 West Randolph last week.

W.E. O’Neil announced last week they have topped out 1020 West Randolph, the five-story boutique office building in the West Loop. Developed by L3 Capital and RL Edward Partners, and designed by Hartshorne Plunkard Architects, 1020 West Randolph will include 23,000 square feet of office space and 5,000 square feet of retail space. By the looks of the rooftop terrace rendering, I’m going to need to finesse an invite up there once the space is open.

I last (and first) posted about 1020 back in April. And I would understand if you’d assumed I hadn’t stopped by since. But I have, and I humbly apologize to the 1020 West Randolph team for letting photos grow stale on my laptop. So I’ll post them all now, from the old bank building that was demolished, to a visit last week when a drone and I (*a* drone, not *my* drone) were around to see the structure rise to full height. But with newer photos first.

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.

Make a one-time donation

Choose an amount

$5.00
$10.20
$15.00

Or enter a custom amount

$

Your contribution is appreciated.

Donate

1020 West Randolph bringing boutique office space to Fulton Market

With apologies to anyone sad about the loss of that weird little bank at the corner of Randolph and Carpenter in the West Loop, I say good riddance to drive-thru banking (do that on your iSmartphonebookpad, ya dinosaur) and hello to boutique office buildings.

1020 West Randolph is currently in foundation mode now. A development by L3 Capital and RL Edward Partners, the five-story brick-façade building is a design by Hartshorne Plunkard Architecture, who’ve created a look that would be just as well suited for Fulton Market’s disappearing meat-packing history as it does in today’s modern phase. The 37,000sf building will include 23,000sf of office space, 5,000sf of retail space, and an amenity roof deck.

W.E. O’Neil is the general contractor. Their goal is to have the building open for tenants early in 2023. They got a building permit (addressed at 155 North Carpenter) on August 13 of last year. The demolition permit for the old bank was issued May 28 and was handled by Precision Excavation. If the below galley includes any demo pics, it’s because I dug through the back pages of my hard drive until I found them. New construction photos were taken 03/21/22 and 04/03/22.

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.

Make a one-time donation

Choose an amount

$1.00
$5.00
$10.00

Or enter a custom amount

$

Your contribution is appreciated.

Donate

Three tower cranes permitted for Obama Presidential Center

The tower crane x3 permit.

Chicago construction, and the enthusiasts who enthuse it, needed this bit of news.

Saturday, the City of Chicago issued a permit to drill caissons for three tower cranes in Jackson Park at the Obama Presidential Center.

With only seven in the air now, three on one site, not only a rare feat in Chicago, would give us a nice jolt in the crane count.

Turner Construction is the general contractor on the Obama Center. W.E. O’Neil is the concrete contractor. Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects — Partners is the design architect.

A groundbreaking ceremony was held on the site September 28.

UIC provides hope for another Chicago tower crane

Does this humble parking lot hold the key to Chicago’s next tower crane?

I That humble parking lot is at 900 West Taylor Street in University Village. The University of Illinois at Chicago broke ground here July 15 on its 135,000-square-foot Computer Design Research and Learning Center. That’s big news for the school, its students, and the faculty.

It may also come in handy for Chicago’s tower crane counters. Since this is UIC’s project, it’s under the authority of the State of Illinois, not the City of Chicago. So permits won’t show up on the City Building Permits site I check every Tuesday thru Saturday once the coffee has kicked in. But I’m not gonna let this one get by me, like the UI Health tower crane did. And like the Harrison Hall crane would have if it hadn’t been bright yellow and right up against the Eisenhower Expressway. I have questions out all over town asking if this project will require a tower crane. Answers soon, I hope.

LMN Architects and Booth Hansen handled the architecture on the UIC CDRLC. W.E. O’Neil would appear to be the general contractor, based on their LinkedIn post about the groundbreaking. It’s the only reason I know about this development. So a shout-out to them for the heads-up.

Lots of fantastic renderings from the groundbreaking announcement linked above:

W.E. O’Neil raises the tower crane at 1371 West Randolph

Chicago made it back to double digits Thursday, as W.E. O’Neil finished erecting the city’s 10th active tower crane at 1371 West Randolph Street in the West Loop. That crane will build the seven-story parking garage for the Plumbers Local 130, on what used to be a portion of their surface parking lot.

I would once again like to point out that those guys up there, especially out on the jib, are in no danger of losing their jobs to me.

Make a one-time donation

Choose an amount

$1.00
$5.00
$10.00

Or enter a custom amount

$

Your contribution is appreciated.

Donate

W.E. O’Neil plants a tower crane stub at 1371 West Randolph

This week-old stub at 1371 West Randolph will build a parking garage.

As one Randolph Street tower crane goes, so comes another.

The Plumbers Union 130 parking garage has a tower crane stub in the ground as of last Monday, according to the kind folks on site from W.E. O’Neil. The rest of the crane should be up by the end of this week, allowing Chicago to crawl back into double digits.

Not sure why double digits is such a big deal to me, other than indicating some sort of threshold for where we “should” or “shouldn’t” be, tower-cranewise. It means nothing substantial, really. However, I scored in double digits exactly once in my high school basketball career, and that IS important.

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

Make a one-time donation

Choose an amount

$1.00
$3.00
$5.00

Or enter a custom amount

$

Your contribution is appreciated.

Donate

Caisson work has begun at the Plumbers Union 130 parking garage

W.E. O’Neil Construction and Michels Corporation are sending caissons into the West Loop soil for the seven-story parking garage at the Plumbers Local 130 facility. The permit to begin was issued May 14.

Now I know some of you aren’t huge parking garage fans, but this one is requiring a tower crane, so there’s a nice trade-off here. (I’m told not to expect said tower crane until July.)

Enjoying the photos? Metra and CTA rides, Zipcars, Divvy Bikes, camera lenses, and comfortable walking shoes are adding up. You can help offset expenses by making a greatly-appreciated donation to Building Up Chicago.

Make a one-time donation

Choose an amount

$1.00
$3.00
$5.00

Or enter a custom amount

$

Your contribution is appreciated.

Donate

Hines announces topping out of One Oak Brook Commons

One Oak Brook Commons, April 2021

You remember One Oak Brook Commons, right? I rode my battery-powered rolling suitcase out there last month to take a look at construction progress on the 17-story apartment building, the first project built in the Oak Brook Commons development.

Yesterday, Hines announced One Oak Brook Commons has topped out. That means congratulations are in order for W.E. O’Neil and Antunovich Associates, as well as Hines. There may be no more *upward* for this one, but there’s more *onward* to come.

You can read the full Hines announcement here