Downstate farmers finished planting their crops months ago. But in downtown Chicago, every season is skyscraper season. And it was Greektown Spy Ryan who dropped a dime on our Tip Line when he saw the special crews required to plant skyscraper seeds were busy at work at 1 South Halsted yesterday.
Of course, there are no such thing as skyscraper seeds. And what Ryan shared with us is a picture of soil sampling crews getting an idea of what’s going on below the surface of the parking lot just to the north of the Crowne Plaza Chicago Metro Hotel. It’s a necessary first physical step in the process of building a new tower, and almost always a sign that full blown construction is imminent.
And it had better be. The developer of One South Halsted, F&F Realty, has just one month to start construction on the 44-story residential building designed by friends-of-the-blog FitzGerald Associates. When the project was approved back in 2012, it had six years to get off the ground. But in June of last year the developers asked the city if it could make some changes to the tower’s already-approved design. The city said “yes,” but on the condition that construction begin by June 19, 2016. That’s just 31 days away.
While the changes were deemed by the city to be “minor,” to skyscraper fans they’ll seem more significant:
- Building height reduced from 490 feet to 472 feet (maximum height of 504′ 10″ to 490 feet)
- Floors reduced from 46 to 44
- Parking spaces reduced from 520 to 376
How did this happen? A large ballroom was removed from the building plan, and some meeting rooms were shrunk. Both were to be shared with the Crowne Plaza next door. The total hotel amenity space was reduced from 47,000 square feet to just 15, 000 square feet.
Though the total number of apartments in the building remains 492. a number of homes inside the tower were downsized. 33 convertibles were turned into studios. And 66 two bedroom units became “one bedroom+” residences.