Chicago River’s Newest Residential Tower Tops Out
May09

Chicago River’s Newest Residential Tower Tops Out

The latest high rise shouldering in for a view of the Chicago River has topped out. The ceremonial final steel beam for Renelle on the River was recently hoisted into place at the top of the building at 403 North Wabash Avenue. Renelle is slotted ever-so-gently between Trump International Hotel and Tower and River Plaza, giving its residents singular views of the heart of Chicago. It has just 45 condominiums in its 18 stories because...

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Union West to Break Ground Any Minute Now
Mar13

Union West to Break Ground Any Minute Now

ZOM Living is going to break ground on its Union West project this month, according to a recent press release. The Orlando developer plans to build two 15-story residential towers at 933 West Washington Street in Chicago’s Near West side neighborhood. The project was designed by bKL Architecture in The Loop, and includes 357 apartments split between a pair of 196-foot-tall buildings.  There are also 255 parking spaces, and...

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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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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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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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Historic Old Town Triangle Church Has a Future in Dance
Dec26

Historic Old Town Triangle Church Has a Future in Dance

A historic church across the street from Lincoln Park will be saved from demolition, and find new life as a dance studio. Herman Baptist Church was founded in 1888 by Gold Coast domestics so they wouldn’t have to slog all the way to the South Side to go to church (part of the city’s history of segregating certain Christian denominations by race, ethnicity, and nationality).  Two years ago, the building at 1754 North Clark...

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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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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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Renelle on the River Pushes Chicago’s Flock of Cranes to 60
Nov14

Renelle on the River Pushes Chicago’s Flock of Cranes to 60

The city of Chicago reached a milestone today.  With the erection of the tower crane at Belgravia Group’s Renelle on the River, that makes 60 tower cranes in the Chicago sky. Mayor Rahm Emanuel, a noted fan of tower cranes, visited the site of the bKL-designed building person to mark the occasion. While Census Bureau numbers show Chicago’s population dwindling, downtown’s residential, hotel, and office development...

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Chicago’s Newest Riparian Residences Ready to Rise
Oct04

Chicago’s Newest Riparian Residences Ready to Rise

As the Chicago River is transformed from the city’s much-abused industrial toilet into a blue-green floe of aquatic wonder, more and more buildings are muscling in — trying to secure their place next to the shimmering belle of the ball. The newest entrant is Renelle on the River (403 North Wabash Avenue), an unlikely 18-story condominium building peeking out between the Trump International Hotel and Tower and the Wrigley...

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