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.

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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.

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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.

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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

The Plumbers Union parking garage is underway in the West Loop

It didn’t take long after the permit was issued to get work started on the Plumbers Local 130 parking garage at 1371 West Randolph in the West Loop. Crews have begun tearing up the surface parking lot, and a protective tunnel now covers the Randolph sidewalk.

With the building permit coming through Friday, which followed the tower crane permit received May 6, we should start seeing caisson work (and a tower crane stub!) very soon.

Once again, W.E. O’Neil is handling the heavy lifting. OKW Architects is the design firm.

Metra and CTA rides, Zipcars, Divvy Bikes, camera lenses, 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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Parking garage for Plumbers Local 130 scores a tower crane permit

Goodbye surface parking lot, hello stack of parking lots.

Chicago’s newest tower crane permit has been issued to erect a parking facility the Plumbers Local 130 has planned for the West Loop. The garage will replace what is now a surface parking lot adjacent to the union’s recently-completing training center at 1400 West Washington. W.E. O’Neil will be the general contractor.

The parking garage itself will float in the middle of the existing surface lot; it won’t extend to the east edge of the block along Ada Street. There are other plans for that space.

You can follow this link to the Chicago Plan Commission’s presentation for a whole boatload of specs and info. They approved the six-story, 500-space facility, with ground-level retail, in December 2020. No word yet on when construction is expected to begin.

If you’re hungry for more info, see:

Danny Ecker in Crain’s Chicago Business

Mauricio Peña in Block Club Chicago

W.E. O’Neil’s One Oak Brook Commons drone videos show off construction progress

Screengrab of W.E. O’Neil’s drone video at One Oak Brook Commons.

I don’t have a drone. Don’t feel bad for me though. Feel bad for me because I also lack a small airplane, a helicopter, and a dirigible. But you know who *does* have a drone?

W.E. O’Neil, that’s who. And they’ve put it to good use recently, flying up and over One Oak Brook Commons for a look at construction progress. They shared it on their social media platforms, so you might want to follow them so you don’t miss the next one.

Here are some links to the video. Choose your favorite platform. Choices are good. While you watch these, I’m gonna tie a bunch of balloons to my house and go for a ride.

Facebook – https://fb.watch/5ao6pQhv_Y/

Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/p/COBJl2LBnoC/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link

Linkedin – https://www.linkedin.com/posts/weoneil_construction-progress-at-oak-brook-commons-activity-6791425917089566720-hG5l

Youtube (this one is from March) – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TW_524OaHdY

Suburban Adventures: One Oak Brook Commons

One Oak Brook Commons in Oak Brook, Illinois

On what used to be the McDonald’s HQ (which now stands proudly in Chicago’s very own West Loop neighborhood) in Oak Brook, One Oak Brook Commons has risen out of the demolition rubble on its way to being the first phase of Oak Brook Commons.

One Oak Brook Commons will be a 17-story, 250-unit apartment tower next to what suburbanites know as the Oakbrook Center shopping mall. A design by Chicago firm Antunovich Associates, OOBC (the cool kids call it that) will also include a whopping 420 parking spaces. (It’s the suburbs; relax.) W.E. O’Neil is on the build.

Future phases of Oak Brook Commons will include condominiums, a hotel, “creative” office space, medical office space, and a public park. Yep, there’ll be activity on this site for quite some time.

I borrowed my nephew’s self-balancing electric skateboard and headed to the western burbs for a look-see, as proven by the following photo gallery:

Here are Hines’ words on Oak Brook Commons:

Hines is developing Oak Brook Commons, a premier mixed-use community of retail, residential, office and hospitality centered around a half-acre public park in Oak Brook, Illinois.

Located on the former McDonald’s world headquarters site, the development will be directly adjacent to Oakbrook Center shopping mall. Hines and Antunovich Associates have prepared a master plan for the site, and Hines will be responsible for developing the multifamily and office components of the project.

At completion, Oak Brook Commons will consist of 250 Class A residential rental units, 210,000 square feet of creative office, 80,000 square feet of medical office, 52 residential condos, a 250-key hotel, and five retail/restaurant pads.

And this is what Antunovich has to say:

One Oak Brook Commons will be a 17-story, Class-A high-rise building with 250 luxury apartment homes and 420 parking stalls within a secured private parking deck. The community is located at the epicenter of the 16.5-acre Oak Brook Commons mixed-use master plan also being developed by Antunovich Associates and Hines. The community will sit directly adjacent to a new public park named The Pitch.

The residences will average a gracious 1,055-square-feet and will offer upscale finishes and fixtures that will set a new standard for quality in suburban Chicago. The project will also offer an elevated resort-style amenity deck, featuring a heated pool, cabanas, outdoor kitchens and public lawn, as well as a high-end private fitness center, club room, library, expansive dog run, modern package facilities and significant bicycle storage.



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