There are piles of piles to drive at Embry

Piles o’ plies at Embry

Caissons are done, but foundation work continues for Embry at 21 North May in the West Loop. A 270-degree tour around the site last week shows piles have been driven into the ground, and a bunch more sat at the ready for their turn in the soil. That’s the firm of McHugh & McHugh (Construction & Concrete) on the job out there, getting this 16-story, 58-unit condo building from Sulo Development ready to go vertical. And remember, they’ll be getting a shiny yellow Liebherr tower crane soon, too.

732 West Randolph plants yet another tower crane along Randolph Street

The base section of a tower crane was set in pace Thursday at 732 West Randolph.

What an embarrassment of tower-crane riches we’ve along Randolph Street in the West Loop. Even though recent rigs at 609, 1371, 1400 and 1454 are gone, we have cranes operating at the corners of Randolph and Peoria (900 Randolph), Randolph and Aberdeen (166 North Aberdeen), and Randolph and Elizabeth (160 North Elizabeth.)

And now, 732 West Randolph has entered the chat. Thursday, general contractor Maris Construction and concrete contractor Pepper Construction planted the base for a tower crane that will build an eight-story (plus basement) office building. Designed by Hirsch MPG, 732 will connect on its first six floors with 730 West Randolph next door, and will include a rooftop deck and basement fitness center.

732 West Randolph got its first construction permit way back on March 03, 2020, as a renovation/alteration permit to add the eight-story building to the aforementioned six-story building at 730 West. A revised New Construction permit was issued September 23 of 2022. Both of those permits were reinstated in August of last year, and the tower crane was permitted February 1 of this year.

As you can see, work is in progress. All that rebar around the base of the crane will be smothered in concrete for the crane foundation on Monday.

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Progress Update: 166 North Aberdeen

166 North Aberdeen

166 North Aberdeen is:
A 21-story, 224-unit apartment tower
A development from MCZ Development
A design by SCB
A build by Lendlease
A concrete project of Pepper Construction

It looks like progress is close to, if not at, level 10. Yep, right around the halfway mark. Math.

160 North Elizabeth hits the 15th floor

A Linkedin post late last week from Thomas Roszak tells us concrete at 160 North Elizabeth has reached the 15th floor. This is a 27-story tower, so that’s more than halfway up. Because math. And I’m good at it. Clark and Adjustable are good at things too, because this building is flying upwards.

If you happened to make it outside Thursday, you noticed it was a sunny, gorgeous day. And sunny days are ideal for construction progress photos. So I took a few:

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1044 West Van Buren joins Chicago’s latest tower crane parade

The stub is in at 1044 West Van Buren

The 18-story, 196-unit apartment tower by developer and general contractor Tandem took a big step forward this week, planting a tower crane stub in the ground at 1044 West Van Buren in the West Loop. The crane will be erected early next week, I’m told, in what looks to be nice weather.

My first visit here was April 7; I went back May 1 and saw some digging had been done. The kind of digging you expect *after* caisson work is done; the kind of digging that makes you think “hole up; did I miss caissons?” Yep. Somehow, I completely missed caisson work, which must have been done with lightning speed. Oh well. You snooze, you miss out. Or something.

Here are more stub pics, and a few shots of foundation work from the May 1 visit:

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Progress Update: 900 Randolph (164 N Peoria)

If you’re looking for the permits, 164 North Peoria is the address you’ll want. If you’re looking for details on the soaring new West Loop apartment Tower, 900 Randolph is the name you need.

Okay, it might not quite be soaring yet. But at 43 stories, 900 Randolph will soon be the tallest building in Chicago west of Halsted Street (not the Kennedy; I think that designation stays with 727 West Madison), as the West Loop and Fulton Market neighborhoods continue to grow upwards and outwards. And it’s making its way up, as the core appears to have reached the 14th or 15th floor.

Let’s catch you up on the latest progress, photographed Sunday, May 1.

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Proof of caisson work abounds at Embry

Sure, if you’re a neighbor along the first block of North May Street, you can feel the progress (to which one friend has attested.) For the rest of us, the best way to find out if caisson work on Embry (21 N May St) has begun in the West Loop is to go take a look. We went. We saw. We photographed.

McHugh Construction and McHugh Concrete, general and concrete contractors, respectively, got the full permit to build on April 5. A demolition permit to get 25 North May out of the way was issued January 28. We’re hoping to see a tower crane permit any day now.

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The glass is more than half full at 345 North Morgan

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A tower crane permit dies at 320 South Clinton

Welp.

Unsurprisingly, it looks like all bets are off at what was supposed to be the Toyoko Inn at 320 South Clinton in the West Loop. Long before the parking garage across the street had been demolished for the nearly-completed Union Station Tower, crews buried caissons in the ground for the would-be 24-story hotel. There was word a local alderman wasn’t happy at all that work had gotten started, and he put a stop to it. Now, almost four years later, there’s a For Sale sign up on the property, the gaping foundation hole that sat full of water for months and months has been filled in, and the lot smoothed over.

The now-moot tower crane permit was issued April 10, 2020. In May of last year, a permit was issued to “restore and secure the site while construction is suspended.” Hence the new fence and infill.

So if you’re interested in a developable plot of land with caissons already installed, you might want to look into this one.

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160 North Elizabeth taking big leaps skyward

Impressive progress at 160 North Elizabeth

Progress at 160 North Elizabeth has doubled since our last visit, though the change seemed much more dramatic on first glance. This morning, Adjustable Concrete shared on its Linkedin page that they’re working on Level 9. They’re the concrete contractor for GC Clark Construction, so they would know.

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