Alta Grand Central nears its debut in the South Loop

It’s been more than 18 months since we’ve checked in on Alta Grand Central in the South Loop. That was in June of 2018, just after Alta Grand Central had been announced on Instagram. Not surprisingly, it has gone from dirt lot to near-completion in that amount of time. 

The two 14-story, Pappageorge Haymes Partners-designed apartment towers contain 346 units. Wood Partners is the developer and Walsh Construction the general contractor, just like they were around the corner at Alta Roosevelt.

Alta Grand Central looks move-in ready from the outside, but we still need to wait a bit for the opening.

The Alta Grand Central construction site during our last visit, June 2018.


I’ve seen it for myself: Alta Grand Central really is a thing

Late last week, we learned from Instagram that Alta Grand Central was a real real estate developing about to begin in the South Loop.

Now, here’s the thing. Instagram is on the internet. And if something’s on the internet, it has to be true. So we had no reason to believe we were just seeing soil pushed around on a farm outside DeKalb. But there’s an old saying in news: “If your mother says she loves you, check the liquor cabinet.” Or something along those lines. What I’m saying is, we needed to see Alta Grand Central for ourselves.

And sure enough, there’s the site. A larger plot of land than we expected to see, at the southwest corner of Wells and Harrison Streets. Soon, all that dirt will be turned into two 14-story, Pappageorge Haymes Partners-designed apartment towers, boasting 346 units. Wood Partners is the developer and Walsh Construction the general contractor, just like they were around the corner at Alta Roosevelt.

Here comes Alta Grand Central

Well now, this is news.

A couple new Instagram accounts popped up in our feed last night. And they announced the same thing: There’s a new development coming to the southwest corner of Harrison and Wells in the South Loop: Alta Grand Central.

Alta Grand Central looks like it will be an apartment development comprised of two 14-story towers, with a total of 346 units. Wood Partners is the developer, Pappageorge Haymes Partners the design architect, and Walsh Construction will be the general contractor. If those names sound familiar, just look around the corner for Alta Roosevelt.

According to that Instagram post, site prep got started Wednesday. No permits as of Tuesday, but we should get a fresh round of those any minute now. Congrats, Alta Team!

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.


Alta Roosevelt fills in its final floor

Like a video-game master, Alta Roosevelt has reached the top level at 801 South Financial Place in the South Loop. The above tweet, from June 12, shows concrete crews pouring the last of Alta’s main floors. There will still be steel added on top for the penthouse, but you won’t see concrete trucks moving in and out of the 33-story apartment tower any longer.

Designed for Wood Partners by Pappageorge Haymes Partners, Alta Roosevelt is delivering 496 rental units with 348 parking spaces to the site immediately north of the new British School, between River City and the Metra rail tracks. Walsh Construction has been on the job since site prep began back in march 2016.

Alta Roosevelt nears the top

Alta Roosevelt April visit

Alta Roosevelt cuts an imposing figure in the South Loop.

If you walk through the South Loop this weekend, stop by Alta Roosevelt at 801 South Financial Place and tell me if you think that is one tall tower. Spoiler Alert: It is. And here’s why: Walsh Construction has stacked a whole bunch of floors atop other floors.

I waited around long enough this week for Alta Roosevelt herself to start whispering secrets, and she tells me the 27th floor of the tower has been poured. She also said structural pours for the garage are complete after recently doing the last deck. She is quite proud of accomplishing that feat.

A reminder to you that Alta Roosevelt is a development from Wood Partners, and a design by Pappageorge Haymes Partners. bringing 496 new apartments to the neighborhood where Financial Place and Polk Street meet, one small block east of South Wells. While there’s no immediate danger of losing its pretty yellow tower crane, topping out is likely by early June.

The Big Green W warns of a tower crane jump in Alta Roosevelt’s future

When the Big Green W talks, people listen. Especially skyscraper nerds and construction junkies. Even more so when they use your photo and give you a shout-out.

Walsh Construction promised a tower crane jump at Alta Roosevelt on their Instagram feed, and since Sunday’s brunch was only a block away (PLUG: I highly suggest you all head to Sociale sooner, instead of later) I stopped by 801 South Financial. I didn’t catch the jump, but they’re certainly prepared for it.

Below, you’ll find a video, and then a photo gallery. The video was intended for you to hear the sounds of the wind howling through the construction site. It was magically musical; alas, all you’re likely to hear is the wind whipping through my phone.