Walsh Construction and Case Foundation keep doing stuff at Wolf Point East

Wolf Point East

Chicago Water Taxi cruises past Wolf Point East on Tuesday.

I thought the caissons were done. I guess they’re not quite. Sheeting might be done, because the pile driver is folded up like it’s driving away soon. But maybe not. I don’t know.

The Big Green W and Case Foundation are doing work at Wolf Point East, and I have no idea what it is. But they have cool toys, and they all seem to know what they’re doing. So I took some photos and now you can see them too.

The end.



With caissons done, Walsh Construction drives piles at Wolf Point East.

Wolf Point East pile driving

Walsh Construction drives piles at Wolf Point East, as seen (humble brag) from the 35th floor of 150 North Riverside.

If you’re in Chicago’s Loop, you don’t need to be told that Walsh Construction is driving piles deep into the ground at Wolf Point East. It creates quite a ruckus. But it also creates quite a foundation. And 60-story towers need good foundations. So please forgive the noise for a little while longer, and be thankful the city doesn’t allow work to be done around the clock on a regular basis. The weather just got to where we can keep the windows open at night; pile-driving isn’t particularly conducive to that.

Here’s some video; turn up the volume and enjoy.

If you don’t already know, or if the din has clouded your memory, Walsh is building the 700-unit apartment tower for the joint effort of Hines and the Kennedy Family, which owns the land. Also a joint effort is the design, handled by architect-of-record Pappageorge Haymes Architects and designer Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects. It is the second of three towers planned for the confluence of the Chicago River, with Wolf Point West already inhabited, and Wolf Point South slated for future construction.



Wolf Point East presents Caisson Theater

Wolf Point East

Across the Chicago River, Case Foundation continues caisson work for Wolf Point East.

It’s Air & Water Show weekend in Chicago. Thousands of people will flock to the Lake Michigan waterfront to watch the boats and fighter jets do their thing. But if you’re looking for entertainment while still being able to move from side-to-side, get thee over to Wacker Drive and the Franklin Street bridge, from where you’ll get a great view of Case Foundation’s caisson work on Wolf Point East.

Case had 50 bell caissons to do (those are almost done) and 14 rock caissons to drill (seven of those are done.) Once foundation work is complete, The Big Green W can set about the task of sending the 60-story, 700-unit apartment tower skyward.

1326 South Michigan construction ramps up

1326 South Michigan

Someday, this gate will open, leading you up the ramp to the parking podium at 1326 South Michigan.

Standard joke. When you see the beginnings of the ramp that will lead to a parking podium, you make the pun. It’s the law.

1326 South Michigan, the shiny new 47-story apartment tower underway in the South Loop, is in that phase. As support columns start rising from the ground, the parking ramp is taking form off the alley at the back of the site. It will provide access to the 180 indoor parking spaces allocated for the 500 or so apartments being built at the SCB-designed tower.

Walsh Construction, who just erected a tower crane here to make up for the one they took down at Alta Roosevelt, is efforting to meet Murphy Development Group’s (along with CIM Group) goal of a Fall 2018 opening for 1326.

1326 South Michigan scores its full-build permit

1326 South Michigan

Column forms are starting to protrude from the ground at 1326 South Michigan.

1326 South Michigan full-build permit

The full-build permit, issued July 24, 2017.

On Monday of this week, 1326 South Michigan received its full-build permit from the city of Chicago. That means crews from Walsh Construction can keep right on working at a frantic pace and start sending this one vertical. To the tune of 46 stories, to be exact. And within those 46 stories? 500 apartments, developed in tandem by Murphy Development Group with CIM Group, and designed by SCB.

Twitter user @ChrisAHorney, who works as MDG and last month clued us in to the tower crane being erected on this site, tells us today we can expect a name change for 1326 South Michigan in the coming weeks. And we always look forward to that kind of news.

As for that permit, The Big Green W didn’t seem to take much time celebrating its arrival; 1326 South Michigan is frantic with activity today, as you’ll see in the time-lapse video and photos below.

Caisson work is underway at Wolf Point East

Wolf Point East caisson work

Kayakers get a close-up look at Wolf Point East caisson work.

Wolf Point East caisson work

Rendering of Wolf Point East from Hines.

Who’s ready for Wolf Point East? That’s rhetorical, because ready or not, it’s here.

Skyscraper nerds had already left the fork in the Chicago River for sites like Vista Tower and One Bennett Park, what with Wolf Point West, River Point, and 150 North Riverside all completed and open. But now, time will once again be split, and attention divided, as the next phase begins.

Hines is developing the 60-story, 700-unit apartment tower here, along with land-owners the Kennedy family. A collaboration between architect-of-record Pappageorge Haymes Architects and designer Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects, Wolf Point East is the second of the three towers slated for this corner of the river. There will be about 3,500 square feet of retail space as well, plus a whole bunch of parking spots. But don’t worry about eyesores; that parking will be located underground.

Case Foundation is there as we speak, drilling caissons into the ground. Walsh Construction is the general contractor. When their tower crane goes up (soon, please?) it’ll be Walsh’s second in Chicago, having just erected one at 1326 South Michigan, and removing one at Alta Roosevelt over the weekend.




Alta Roosevelt drops the tower crane

Alta Roosevelt

This was the scene Saturday morning, as the Alta Roosevelt tower crane was turned parallel to Financial Place one final time, before beginning its descent to earth.

Always the saddest of positive milestones, Saturday marked the beginning of the end for the tower crane at Alta Roosevelt at 801 South Financial Place in the South Loop. Twitter user @GNWIII3 alerted us Friday to the pending dismantle. Then well into the evening hours, general contractor Walsh Construction, along with Morrow Equipment Company and Central Contractors Service, were pooling their talents to assure a smooth transition from towering crane to crane parts on trucks.

What’s next for the Pappageorge Haymes-designed apartment tower to achieve? Let’s guess the completion of cladding installation, as glass has moved within three levels of the top. Then it’s just a matter of finishing a mere 496 individual units, and folks can start moving in before winter hits Chicago.