Obama Presidential Center Hits Paper. Here’s The Details and Diagrams
Jan22

Obama Presidential Center Hits Paper. Here’s The Details and Diagrams

The Obama Presidential Center, planned for a sunny stretch of Jackson Park, has been making headlines around the world for the last few weeks.  But not in a good way. Publications from British tabloids to glossy Asian design mags to conspiracy web sites have been carrying stories about what appears to be growing opposition to the project’s scale, impact, location, and sometimes even its existence. (link link link link link link...

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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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New Part of Chicago’s Flood Protection System Gets Its First Workout
Jan18

New Part of Chicago’s Flood Protection System Gets Its First Workout

Remember when it rained last week and all the snow began to melt?  You can thank a new bit of Chicago’s deep tunnel system for keeping that mess out of your basement. For the first time, the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District used its McCook Reservoir in southwest suburban Hodgkins to slurp up excess runoff until it could be treated and flushed down Saint Lous way. When fully complete, McCook will have a total capacity of...

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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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Wolf Point: Here Comes the Crane Again
Jan17

Wolf Point: Here Comes the Crane Again

It’s still the dead of winter in Chicago, but the next thing you know, daffodils will be shoving their yellow heads out of the dirt in Lincoln Park. Before that happens, a big yellow crane is going to rise from the dirt at Wolf Point. River North Spy Chris slid the photo above into our tip line.  It shows a piece of a tower crane being delivered to the site of what will soon be Wolf Point East (313 West Wolf Point Plaza/326...

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Can’t Get Enough Wolf Point? bKL’s Got You Covered
Jan16

Can’t Get Enough Wolf Point? bKL’s Got You Covered

One of Chicago’s most exciting ongoing developments is the decades-delayed kitting out of Wolf Point.  Skyscraper nerds from the West Loop to Waukegan have been watching Wolf in wonder as it slowly transforms from a surface parking lot into the residential and office hub of River North. While work is underway on Pelli Clark Pelli’s Wolf Point East, bKL’s Wolf Point West is the only tower of the three that has...

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Change Brewing on North Michigan Avenue
Jan16

Change Brewing on North Michigan Avenue

Permits have been issued for the nearly $10 million transformation of the former Crate and Barrel flagship store on the Magnificent Mile into a new mega Starbucks. INTERIOR & EXTERIOR ALTERATIONS (GROUND THROUGH 5TH FLOOR) FOR SHELL & CORE ONLY TO INCLUDE NEW ROOF DECK OF AN EXISTING FIVE (5) STORY MERCANTILE BUILDING AS PER PLANS. The four-story building at 646 North Michigan Avenue opened in 1990, and it shaped like a (wait...

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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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Park Pals Prevail, Plaisance Presidential Parking Peril Passes
Jan09

Park Pals Prevail, Plaisance Presidential Parking Peril Passes

The proposal to turn a city block’s worth of public park over to a private organization to build a parking garage is dead. It was announced late last night that the Barack Obama Presidential Center has decided not to build its controversial parking garage and transit center on the Midway Plaisance. The parking deck and bus idling area were met with scorn and disbelief by neighbors and fans of public space when it surfaced last...

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