110 North Wacker Rises, Bringing Scads and Oodles Along the River
Jul16

110 North Wacker Rises, Bringing Scads and Oodles Along the River

Birds, monkeys, and lumberjacks know the best way to see the forest is from the trees.  That’s why people have been flocking to Chicago’s observation decks for at least 70 years to look down, out, and around at the city’s architecture. Other people who get to see the city from up on high include white color business executives, construction workers, and web site owners like Joe Zekas from YoChicago!.  He...

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The Best Skyscraper Next To The Kennedy Is Now Open
Jul03

The Best Skyscraper Next To The Kennedy Is Now Open

There are some fine skyscrapers lining the Kennedy Expressway these days. Some people are fond of Arkadia and it’s vaguely Olympic parking podium. Others are partial to Skybridge and its deconstructionist whimsy.  There are even those who like Presidential Towers, if only for its pioneering ability to transform a neighborhood.  But the star of the I-90/94 runway show is now 727 West Madison. 727 West Madison (Courtesy...

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Digging In For One Chicago’s Two New Towers
Jun24

Digging In For One Chicago’s Two New Towers

One Chicago (the buildings, not the futures exchange) is one of the projects we’re watching more closely these days.  Which is why we’re happy to report that progress is… progressing. The city block across the street from Holy Name Cathedral has been denuded of the three brick buildings which once nestled together along the Dearborn Street side, and three surface parking lots have also been scraped away, leaving...

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Pretty Much the Last Thing You Want to See at Top of Willis Tower
Jun12

Pretty Much the Last Thing You Want to See at Top of Willis Tower

There’s a reason thrill rides are called “thrill” rides. People engage in them for the thrill of cheating death. Even if the chance that something life-shortening might happen is 0.000001%, it’s still a thrill to ride a roller coaster, parachute from a plane, or mention Aunt Margie’s mole at Thanksgiving dinner. What a fully-functioning floor at The Ledge is supposed to look like (File) Huggies were...

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Planned Loop Tower Two Stories Shorter, and 40% Closer to Reality
May20

Planned Loop Tower Two Stories Shorter, and 40% Closer to Reality

It’s been a year and a half since Crain’s Chicago Business let the cat out of the bag about 50 East Randolph Street. Back then, the Thomas Roszak proposal was expected to replace a grungy parking garage with what was speculated to be a 27-story residential tower. Our guess was 35 to 40 stories, and we were totally wrong. May 2019 rendering of 50 East Randolph (Courtesy of the Office of Alderman Brendan Reilly) Forty-second...

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New Residential Tower Targets a Different Loop Dweller
May09

New Residential Tower Targets a Different Loop Dweller

For much of The Loop’s recent renaissance, the people moving downtown were college students and young urban professionals in search of the excitement of the big city. Sure, there were pockets of older urban pioneers along Randolph Street and a few other crannies, but they were pretty much a statistical rounding error. May 2019 rendering of 424 South Wabash Now a Florida company wants to bring the older set to the neighborhood in...

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There’s a New #3 in Town: Chicago’s Latest Supertall Skyscraper Tops Out
Apr29

There’s a New #3 in Town: Chicago’s Latest Supertall Skyscraper Tops Out

Magellan Development’s Vista Tower has cemented its place as Chicago’s third-tallest building with a topping out (Out? Off? Whatever) ceremony on the 101st floor of the Lakeshore East building. Vista topping out ceremony (Courtesy of Joe Zekas/YoChicago!) The Studio Gang tower is the seventh-tallest building in America, but will fall to 11th place within two years as four new supertalls are completed in Manhattan. You may...

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Holy Foods: World’s Best Supermarket Breaks Ground in Downtown Chicago
Apr29

Holy Foods: World’s Best Supermarket Breaks Ground in Downtown Chicago

Why are we so excited about a groundbreaking for a new supermarket in downtown Chicago? It’s not like it’s a pre-Kroger Mariano’s. It’s just Whole Foods: the hallmark of pre-recession soccer mom conspicuous consumption that jumped the shark long before it was munched up by Amazon.com in a cloud of Escalade yoga pants and free range kale chip sippy cups. April 2019 rendering of One Chicago (Courtesy of Goettsch...

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Another Skyscraper Ready to Rise on Lake Michigan
Apr22

Another Skyscraper Ready to Rise on Lake Michigan

With all its shiny skyscraper goodness, it’s sometimes hard to remember that Lakeshore East is half a century old this year. Illinois Central Railroad’s 1969 plan for Lakeshore East It was in 1969 that the Illinois Central Railroad decided that its riverfront rail yard might be more profitable as a bunch of residential, office, and hotel towers. Fifty years later, that plan is inching toward completion with the coming of...

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Less Height, More Parking: 352 North Union Moving Ahead
Apr09

Less Height, More Parking: 352 North Union Moving Ahead

It’s been a couple of years since we last heard a peep out of 352 North Union. But it appears that Vancouver’s Onni Group is ready to get busy on the 450-foot residential tower in Chicago’s Fulton River District. 2015 rendering of 352 North Union (on the right) Except that it’s not going to be 450 feet tall anymore. The City of Chicago recently approved the developer’s request to shorten the building down...

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