Walsh Construction Builds Ultimate Parkour Course at Wolf Point East
Feb16

Walsh Construction Builds Ultimate Parkour Course at Wolf Point East

When I was a kid, we would have called what’s going on over at Wolf Point East a “jungle gym.”  And my sister would promptly fall off of it, break her arm, and drive her lower teeth through her bottom lip because it was the 1970’s and soft hadn’t been invented yet. But this is the new millennium, and those millennium Millennials would probably call the weave of metal struts, risers, and other things I...

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GEMS Upper School Gets More Permits
Feb12

GEMS Upper School Gets More Permits

The second GEMS World Academy (355 East Wacker Drive) school building in Lakeshore East has been given the green light to start another round of construction.  The City of Chicago has issued permits to start work on the part of the bKL Architecture project that you might actually see. FOUNDATION AND SUPERSTRUCTURE FROM LOWER WACKER TO UPPER WACKER TO INCLUDE UNDERSLAB PLUMBING FOR PROPOSED 13-STORY GRADE 8 – 12 SCHOOL.  CAISSON...

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This Map Shows Just How Crazy West Town Real Estate Is
Feb07

This Map Shows Just How Crazy West Town Real Estate Is

For more than a decade, we’ve been chronicling the transformation of Chicago’s Loop-adjacent neighborhoods from quiet, if a little rough, urban enclaves into full-fledged extensions of the downtown skyscraper forest. One of the areas that ate up the “build early, build often” mantra was Greektown, West Town, and the Near West Side.  Together they’re known to real estate agents as the “West...

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One Grand Photo Set of One Grant Park
Feb06

One Grand Photo Set of One Grant Park

It must be a marvelous thing to be a tourist who only visits Chicago once a year.  Whether for Lollapalooza, or Christmas shopping, or just to bring grandma a blue tin of butter cookies, when you’ve been away for a while, the city startles with the way its skyline grows and grows. Those Lollapaloosers are in for a treat when they return this summer, with all of the new skyscraper construction along the edges of Grant Park.  And...

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No More Arches; New Downtown Flagship McDonald’s Embraces the Modern Aesthetic
Jan31

No More Arches; New Downtown Flagship McDonald’s Embraces the Modern Aesthetic

For the second time since we started this publication, the flagship McDonald’s restaurant at Clark and Ontario in Near North is being torn down and replaced by a better, shinier McDonald’s. The last time this happened was back in 2005, when the Rock-n-Roll McDonald’s was razed to make way for the current massively be-arched hamburger joint.  In spite of the musical memorabilia being relegated to a kiosk in the...

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Goodbye, Riverside Shed; Hello 51-Story Skyscraper
Jan24

Goodbye, Riverside Shed; Hello 51-Story Skyscraper

It’s been a while since we’ve seen a skyscraper go from proposal to paper to approval to demolition this quickly, but here we are.  110 North Wacker, the 51-story Geottsch Partners-designed skyscraper, is about to replace 110 North Wacker, the low-slung Midcentury office building that was formerly the home of General Growth Properties. Loop Spy Justin sent in pictures of demolition crews getting ready to do their thing at...

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One Bennett Park Tops Out and Towers Over Streeterville
Jan23

One Bennett Park Tops Out and Towers Over Streeterville

The tallest building in Streeterville has topped out.  One Bennett Park is anticipated to be the tallest all-residential building in Chicago when it’s completed later this year.  It will also soar 836 feet high right on the edge of Lake Michigan, ensuring it will be a landmark for anyone who admires the city from the water. One Bennett Park is a project of River North’s Related Midwest and Australia’s Lendlease.  The...

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Work Begins on Combo Live/Learn Building at UIC
Jan23

Work Begins on Combo Live/Learn Building at UIC

Construction is underway on a new building at the University of Illinois at Chicago that combines both learning space, and living space. the $100 million building designed by SCB features a circular two-story classroom wing, and a 10-story residential tower.  According to the renderings, the building features an auditorium that embraces the building’s form with a lecture hall that curves around the proctor.  But instead of rows...

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A Crane Hatches at Wolf Point East
Jan18

A Crane Hatches at Wolf Point East

It was just a couple of days ago that River North Spy Chris sent us photos of crane parts being delivered to Wolf Point.  Now… Bam!  We have achieved crane! Chris has sent in a new set of photos showing a legitimate, if diminutive, tower crane at the heart of the construction for the 628,500-square-foot Wolf Point East. It won’t remain small for long.  Wolf Point East is expected to rise 668 feet over the Chicago River,...

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Design of bKL’s Second GEMS Academy Building Gets Refined
Jan17

Design of bKL’s Second GEMS Academy Building Gets Refined

It looks like it’s full steam ahead for the second GEMS Academy school in Lakeshore East.  As soon as Old Man Winter gives us a break. The building planned for 355 East Wacker Drive, now going by the name GEMS World Academy Chicago Middle-Upper School, already has its caissons in place under the lakefront loam.  Word is that foundation permits are expected to be issued within the next two weeks.  Then, once winter abates a...

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