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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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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If Everyone in Chicagoland Chips in $100, We Can Buy The Vista Tower
Feb01

If Everyone in Chicagoland Chips in $100, We Can Buy The Vista Tower

It’s been said that you should always trust your gut.  Well, we didn’t.  And that’s why we’re bringing you this story on Thursday instead of last Friday. Last Friday we wrote a story laying out the dots for readers to connect.  It was a speculation piece about whether China’s now-fourth-richest man would start shopping around Chicago’s Vista Tower development.  But we shelved the piece because...

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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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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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Another Historic Loop Office Building Goes Residential
Jan17

Another Historic Loop Office Building Goes Residential

Seven months after announcing that it wanted to sell its headquarters building, the City Colleges of Chicago has picked a buyer.  The 14-story office building at 226 West Jackson Boulevard will go to Zidan Management Group for $34.5 million.  It was one of 14 bids received for the mid-rise, designed by Frost and Granger, and completed in 1904. The Indianapolis apartment management company plans to add the building to its portfolio of...

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Another Residential Tower Coming to the Loop
Jan11

Another Residential Tower Coming to the Loop

Yet another residential tower is going to dip its beak into the stream of people coming to live in The Loop. This latest proposal, reported in Crain’s Chicago Business, would see a parking garage on the northeast corner of Randolph Street and Wabash Avenue razed to make way for a 27-story skyscraper. The project at 50 East Randolph Street by Thomas Roszak is on the same block where another parking garage bit the dust to make way...

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Mixed Messages at the New GEMS School in Lakeshore East
Dec18

Mixed Messages at the New GEMS School in Lakeshore East

What’s going on at the GEMS World Academy in Lakeshore East? It was just last week that the school held a dedication for its “Upper School.”  The Upper School, to be located at 355 East Wacker Drive, is the second of two buildings in the complex.  It is designed to serve students in fifth through 12th grades. You’ll remember the bKL-designed GEMS “Lower School” building opened amid much hoopla in...

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Proposed Wacker Drive Tower Beefs Up Before It’s Built
Dec18

Proposed Wacker Drive Tower Beefs Up Before It’s Built

As the nation’s obesity crisis afflicts more and more of our young people, a new victim has been identified as suffering from unexpected, premature girth:  The proposed skyscraper at 110 North Wacker Drive. This once svelte shaft of glass and steel that is intended to replace the old General Growth Properties headquarters building has unexpectedly bulked out, adding 100,000 square feet to the 50-something-story tower, while...

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Alderman Sends Three-Tower Lakeshore East Plan Back to the Drawing Board
Dec13

Alderman Sends Three-Tower Lakeshore East Plan Back to the Drawing Board

Remember that sultry, silvery sliver of a skyscraper that you lusted after during the summer?  Well, the gales of December have blown in, and you can just forget about her. 42nd Ward Alderman Brendan Reilly has informed Magellan Development and LendLease that their proposed three-tower plan for completing the northeast corner of Lakeshore East is a non-starter. Mr. Reilly says he received hundreds of comments from his constituents...

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