Otto Mation

  • Content count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

  • Days Won


Otto Mation last won the day on February 21

Otto Mation had the most liked content!

Community Reputation

3 Neutral

About Otto Mation

  • Rank
    Advanced Member
  1. The newest million-dollar project to get the stamp of approval from Chicago City Hall isn’t a two-flat walk-up in Wrigleyville, or a condo renovation in the Gold Coast. It’s something else entirely. NEW CONSTRUCTION. HORSE RIDING ARENA. ONE STORY, 15,800SF PRE-ENGINEERED METAL BUILDING. NO HEATING/COOLING, NO FINISHED FLOOR. The last horse riding arena in downtown Chicago was demolished in 2009. It was the 1929 Chicago Riding Club building, designed by Rebori, Wentworth, Dewey & McCormick. Most people knew it by its last vocation: The home of CBS Radio and Television’s Chicago operations. Not an MS Paint depiction of the new horse arena This new riding arena is being built at 3857 West 111th Street. Most people know it by its current vocation: The Chicago High School for Agricultural Sciences. While the conventional wisdom is that the only farming activity in Chicago is in hipster Bridgeport warehouses, or at the Lincoln Park Zoo. But as long as you and I (and especially I) keep eating, we’re going to need people like the kids who graduate from this school in the city’s Mount Greenwood neighborhood. It’s good that the building now has a construction permit, considering that Mayor Rahm Emanuel participated in a groundbreaking ceremony for it more than three months ago. The high school out standing in its field. (That joke never gets old. Via Apple Maps) The arena designed by River North’s Woodhouse Tinucci Architects will be 25-feet tall, with two rings inside. But this is a working structure, so there won’t be any grandstands. You’ll have to get your rodeo fix elsewhere. The total cost of the project is about $1.1 million. $100,000 of that came from the school winning an online contest sponsored by… wait for it… Farmers Insurance. The rest came from internal cost-saving measures over several years, according to DNAInfo Chicago. Click to view the full article
  2. People who live in West Town will get a chance to sound off on a plan to build a 19-story hotel across the street from McDonald’s new corporate headquarters. Diagram of 113 North May The proposal from Sterling Bay will be vetted publicly at a meeting organized by 27th Ward Alderman Walter Burnett, Jr. tonight at 6:00pm at Catalyst Ranch (656 West Randolph Street). The hotel was designed by the Loop’s Eckenhoff Saunders Architects. You may remember that firm from such hits as the Bank of America tower in Dallas, and the Dana Hotel on State Street. The area has seen a major beneficiary of both the recent influx of corporate headquarters into the greater West Loop area, and the flood of new residents into downtown Chicago. But along with that growth has come growing pains, mainly voiced by long-time residents who remember the area as a Bohemian enclave of urban pioneers, artists, and other eccentrics living in and among brick warehouses and abattoirs. The nearby West Loop is known for having the fiercest NIMBYs in Chicago, but their ferocity has become tempered by the loss of strength in numbers. We’ll find out tonight if they can be out-shouted by the new economy workers who are the rising demographic in the neighborhood. Until then, open wide for the firehose. Address: 101 North May Street Address: 113 North May Street Address: 118 North Aberdeen Avenue Address: 1112 West Washington Street Developer: 113 May, LLC For realsies: Sterling Bay Architecture firm: Eckenhoff Saunders Architects Net site area: 41,701 square feet Floors: 19 Maximum height: 199 feet Rood height: 187 feet, 10 inches Width: 100 feet, three inches Length: 126 feet, one inch Floor area ratio: 5.0 Zoning: DX-3 → DX-5 → Business PD Automobile parking spaces: 41 Loading docks: 1 Retail space: 5,184 square feet Green roof alert: 3,587 square feet Click to view the full article
  3. Rendering of 1101 South Wabash (via SB Yen Management Group) The newest hotel project to plant roots in Chicago’s South Loop has been given the green light to go full-throttle. 1101 South Wabash Avenue was once the home of one of those weird one-story, pee-stained, hoboriffic parking garages leftover from yesteryear that still dot downtown Chicago. Demolition of that garage was completed in February of 2016, and then in December of that year, ground was broken on a new Hilton Homewood Suites, designed by Near North’s Lothan Van Hook DeStefano Architecture for west suburban SB Yen Management Group. A few days ago, the project was given city approval to rise to its full 30-story height, which is good because otherwise in 2018 the 30th-floor fitness center would just be hovering there in the air, all awkward and stuff. NEW CONSTRUCTION OF 30 – STORY MIXED-USE BUILDING WITH GROUND FLOOR RETAIL, PARKING ON LEVELS 1 THROUGH 7, 8TH & 30TH FLOOR AMENITIES AND 196 DWELLING UNITS ON LEVELS 9-29.FOUNDATION ISSUED ON 100683627. In between the fitness center and the lobby will be seven floors of parking, 196 standard hotel rooms on floors nine through 23, and another 85 corporate suites on floors 24 through 29. The general contractor on this project is Lendlease, which amusingly listed “hot tub” as one of the eighth floor business center amenities. I guess it all depends on what business you’re in. Click to view the full article
  4. It’s not uncommon for a major construction project to change after it’s already started. Look at Wolf Point West, which had its 43rd and 45th floor setbacks moved to the 45th and 46th floors, creating two more residences. Or the Skinner West Elementary School addition which is gaining a floor, long after just three were approved by the city. In the case of Jeanne Gang’s spectacular 95-story Vista Tower going up at 363 East Wacker Drive, even a minor change is of major interest. So you know our Spidey Sense went on red alert when we heard that the 83rd floor is going to be sacrificed in the name of health and safety. Location of the Vista Tower blow-through floor It’s a victim of the Windy City’s… wind. The 83rd floor is going to become a two-story high “void space” known as a blow-through floor that will “disrupt and reduce the wind effects on the building.” Visually, it’s right about where the top segment of the tallest tower bows most outward. Rendering of the Vista Tower blow-through floor According to city documents, the blow-through floor won’t just lessen the force of wind at the 83rd floor. “The interruption of the regular wind flow along the building will serve to disrupt the wind pressure for many stories above and below the blow-through level.” And lest you think that we’re hyping up the whole “safety” angle to generate clicks — the way petty much every internet publication does these days — those are the words of the Chicago Department of Planning and Development, not ours: Prior to the addition of the blow-through floor, acceleration limits, as defined by the International Organization for Standardization, were predicted to be significantly exceeded, indicating performance that would be unacceptable. According to a letter from Magnusson Klemencic Structural and Civil Engineers, this would result in building occupants feeling ill and possibly afraid for their safety. That’s in a letter from the city to the lawyers for the project, giving the green light for the blow-through floor, as well as reducing the complexity of the glass in some other parts of the skyscraper. 42nd Ward Alderman Brendan Reilly was notified, and gave it the nod. The hue and cry you hear in the distance is the sound of several hundred architecture students on 35th street shouting, “What about mass dampers?” That was considered. Tuned Liquid Sloshing Dampers, to be exact. And wind tunnel tests show that the blow-through floor is going to need help from multiple TLSDs to keep Vista rock steady. What about simply changing the design of the building? Surprisingly, that was considered, too. But the changes didn’t mitigate the wind load enough to make it worthwhile. Though, that’s not to say that Vista isn’t changing. “I see a dead floor, and I want to paint it black” — Random T. Bureaucrat The rolling stones at city hall see the dead floor and they want to paint it black. All of it. The walls, the core, the ceiling, slow pigeons — everything in the double-height 83rd floor will be black. And, by law, the space cannot be illuminated. So when Vista twinkles in the Chicago skyline at night, she will have a black choker across her neck. And she’s also getting a little taller. Maximum height is now 1,198 feet, five inches above the Chicago City Datum — just 19 inches short of the maximum allowed by city ordinance. The height of the ceiling on the highest occupied floor gains a little over seven feet, moving to 1,171 feet, 11 inches. Click to view the full article
  5. No one ever said that construction was a quiet trade. And having spent too many years living next door to Chicago skyscrapers being constructed, I can say the king of all noisemakers is the caisson drill (no, not that caisson drill). People in Lincoln Park are going to get an earful starting this week, as the big Lincoln Commons project starts caisson work on the main triangle of what used to be the Children’s Memorial Hospital campus. Rendering of The Lincoln Common (Courtesy of McCaffery Interests) Once caisson work on the triangle is done, then it’s over to Building D for more drill-a-palooza action. According to Hines and McCaffery Interests, it should all wrap up before the end of August. Building D was originally supposed to be a complete five stories of retail space. But a few months ago the developers asked, and were granted, city permission to change it to retail on the ground floor, and four stories of offices up top. 2016: Building B is retail. March, 2017: Building B is gone. Which is a better fate than poor Building B. This past March the 10,000 square foot retail structure found itself out of a job when it was completely erased from the Lincoln Common plans and replaced with a landscaped courtyard. The artwork that was supposed to be on Building B will instead be a monument in a garden. Click to view the full article
  6. As downtown Chicago ads more and more residents, the ratio of people to greenspace grows increasingly lopsided. That’s part of the reason so many people were happy to see River North’s newest public park open late last week. The park is on the north side of Exhibit on Superior (165 West Superior Street), the 35-story residential tower designed by the Loop’s bKL Architecture for Magellan Development and Mac Management. The tower opened earlier this year sporting 298 homes and 109 parking spaces. It’s also supposed to be one of the downtown Chicago buildings with the fewest obstructed views. Who doesn’t love oversized novelty scissors? (Courtesy of bKL Architecture) The park, designed by Kettlecamp & Kettlecamp, came to fruition at least partially through the prodding of 42nd Ward Alderman Brendan Reilly, who was on hand to witness the giant ceremonial novelty scissors slice through the lime green celebratory banner. Pål Svensson (Courtesy of bKL Architecture) Also there was Pål Svensson, the Swedish sculptor of the park’s focal point, Turning Triangle. Mr. Svensson has produced dozens of pieces of public art since the 80’s and many are on display from mountain tops to freeway tunnels, mostly in Europe. Another artist present was Jeremy Gentry, who in addition to being a musician, is actually an amenity at Exhibit, along with the fire pits and quartz countertops. Unlike the countertops, Mr. Gentry makes pleasant music in the building’s public spaces for the benefit of the building’s residents. The last time we saw an “artist in residence” as a building amenity, it was in Houston where an elderly woman filled the hallways with giant oil paintings of her feet, alligators, and her feet chasing alligators. Mr. Gentry is a much better amenity. bKL principal Tom Kerwin and sculptor Pål Svensson (Courtesy of bKL Architecture) 720 North LaSalle rendering (Courtesy of bKL Architecture) Click to view the full article
  7. Construction crews are wasting no time turning a dusty patch of River North into downtown Chicago’s newest enclave-in-the-sky. Bulldozers snapped into action just days after the initial construction permits for Wolf Point East were approved late last month. Now, two weeks into earth moving, the first segments of what looks like a crane have been delivered to the site in front of River North Point, the home of the Sun-Times and Holiday Inn. Wolf Point East under construction (Courtesy of River North Spy Chris) River North Spy Chris caught the action on camera and tipped our line. It’s not clear if the crane segments are part of a tower crane, or a caisson drilling rig, a crane-like apparatus for building a tower crane, or some other mischief. The 60-story Pelli Clarke Pelli residential tower will eventually bring just short of 700 new homes to the point of the wolf, joining bKL’s Wolf Point West, the pioneer in this corner of the city. Click to view the full article
  8. After weeks of anticipation, skyscraper nerds, architecture enthusiasts, and the just plain curious got the information they’ve been craving about how the development of Lakeshore East will end. The answer: With an 875-foot-tall bang. At a crowded public meeting at the Hyatt Regency, hosted by 42nd Ward Alderman Brendan Reilly, architects and developers took the wraps off of two major projects: The final three skyscrapers planned for the vacant northeast corner of the neighborhood, and Building O. Rendering of Tower O (Courtesy of bKL Architecture) You’ll remember Building O as a dagwood sandwich of a building proposed a few years ago to include two hotels, and residences, all sharing some common amenities. That project is back, as a pair of towers filling the gap on North Columbus Drive between Aqua and 300 East Randolph Street. In fact, the new Building O will share a driveway with Aqua. The taller of the two O buildings clocks in at 55-stories tall — shorter than either of its neighbors, but nothing to sneeze at. At one time that patch of loam was zoned for an approximately 90-story building, but some of that height was sacrificed to give the Vista Tower across the park a boost. Building O is a project from Magellan Development (natch), and bunkmate bKL Architecture. Building O is bKL’s second tower at Lakeshore East, after the Coast. It also designed the widely-acclaimed GEMS World Academy, also at Lakeshore East. But bKL’s not done yet. Neither is Magellan. The Hardy Boys have brought in Aussie cousin Lendlease to build out the Building I, Building J, Building K/L portion of Lakeshore East. Rendering of Towers J and I (Courtesy of bKL Architecture) That’s the part in the northeast corner, where there was once going to be four good-sized towers. Now that’s become two good-sized towers and one landmark 80-story skyscraper, marking the entrance of the Chicago River from Lake Michigan. All three will be anchored in a park-like setting, open to the public. The 80-story building is expected to rise to 875 feet. Its slender form and proximity to the water will make it seem even taller to passengers gliding by on waterborne architecture cruises. The big question now is how will this monumental edifice relate to Related Midwest’s project just across the river. If Related can put together another 80-story tower, it will create an architectural gateway that will flood social media with photographs for the next century. If not… then it will be the biggest missed opportunity for Chicago since the city’s silent movie industry thought talkies were a fad, and let the motion picture industry move to Hollywood. Altogether, the four new skyscrapers coming to Lakeshore East are a huge deal, sure to keep construction crews and the boffins at bKL busy for years to come. Huge enough that it’s a little surprising that Hizzonor wasn’t there to be part of the announcement. He seems to have no problem showing up to announce one skyscraper here and there, but it’s been since the mid-80’s that four towers were announced simultaneously in a single development. Much to the disappointment of some in the audience, the tallest building of the four — Tower I — will be the last to be built. Rendering of Lake Shore Drive pedestrian underpass (Courtesy of bKL Architecture) Also part of the project is — FINALLY — a real pedestrian connection to the lakefront. Something that has been needed since the 1960’s. These four skyscrapers will bring to a conclusion the multi-decade transformation of docklands and a rail yard into one of Chicago’s most vibrant neighborhoods. Or does it? Overheard before the meeting was Alderman Reilly hinting that there is still a possibility for a public school to be built at Lakeshore East. This is something that was on most of the early plans for the project, but evaporated from revised diagrams in recent years as Chicago Public Schools ran out of money. With more and more people crowding into downtown Chicago, CPS may need to toss the couch cushions for change to meet the needs of Lakeshore East and Streeterville, where parents are already not happy with the distance their children have to commute to school. Click to view the full article
  9. We’re learning more about the various public-private partnerships that City of Chicago agencies are putting together in order to bring private housing and public services to some of the city’s neighborhoods. Roosevelt Square Library (Courtesy of SOM) At 1328 West Taylor Street in what’s left of Little Italy, paperwork recently filed with the city shows the Chicago Housing Authority is working with Related and Bickerdike Redevelopment to put up what’s being called the Roosevelt Square Library. Currently the property is a surface parking lot. Before that it was the C.H.A.’s ABLA Homes. New York architecture firm Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, which received worldwide acclaim for its recently completed Chinatown Library is the guiding vision for this building. It describes the project thusly: Activating the street while reflecting the scale and texture of the neighborhood, the buildings are set back and staggered across the site, creating a new public space while preserving the Taylor Street Gardens. Positioned prominently at the corner of the site, the Roosevelt Branch Library welcomes the community inside, with soaring open spaces designed for kids, teenagers, and adults located adjacent to centralized work spaces for librarians and staff. Upstairs, a landscaped public rooftop is envisioned as an outdoor reading room for use by the public and residents alike. Overlooking the library and Taylor Street Gardens, residential units feature floor-to-ceiling windows that will create bright, daylit interiors. Indoor spaces were designed with a focus on communal living, providing shared areas on each floor, an open-concept central circulation staircase, and rooftop greenspace. The lead architect is Brian Lee, who also headed up the Chinatown project. The new library will be roughly double the size of the one it’s replacing. Since the city is involved, you can bet your Aunt Edna’s cobbler there’s affordable housing included. Address: 1340 West Taylor Street Address: 1328 West Taylor Street Developer: Chicago Housing Authority Developer: Related Developer: Bickerdike Redevelopment Architect: Brian Lee Architecture firm: Skidmore, Owings & Merrill Floors: 7 Maximum height: 86 feet Residences: 73 Library: 16,000 square feet Auto parking spaces: 35 Click to view the full article
  10. The latest skyscraper to change Chicago’s skyline has been given permission to take off. Essex on the Park (808 South Michigan Avenue) has been given its papers and can now grow to its anticipated height of 620 feet, right across the street from Grant Park. Rendering of Essex on the Park (Courtesy of Oxford Capital Group/Hartshorne Plunkard Architecture) FULL BUILDING PERMIT (FOUNDATION PERMIT ISSUED UNDER 100684545) FOR A PROPOSED 56 STORY 479 DWELLING UNITS RESIDENTIAL BUILDING; 84 PARKING SPACES; GROUND FLOOR RETAIL; ALL AS PER PLANS The Essex tower will not only add the above-mentioned residences to the South Loop, it comes with an extensive renovation and expansion of the old Essex Inn hotel, itself a Michigan Avenue icon. The tower design is by Hartshorne Plunkard Architecture for Oxford Capital and Quadrum Global. Click to view the full article
  11. There is a point in the construction of every skyscraper where it goes from amorphous chaos of dirt and rebar and transforms into something resembling its future self. Like when a tadpole sprouts legs and starts to look more like a frog than a ‘wog. Or when your 12-year-old daughter puts on her first formal dress, and as a father you’re both bursting with pride, and horrified at what might come next. 465 North Park under construction (Courtesy of Streeterville Spy Joel) That cotillion moment has arrived for 465 North Park, the still blandly-named skyscraper that’s out of the ground, and rapidly gaining both height and glass along Illinois Street in Streeterville. As you can see in the photo that Streeterville Spy Joel dropped into our tip box, 465’s curves are starting to show, and we’re starting to really get a sense of what Pappageorge Haymes had in mind when it put this one together for MetLife, Allstate, and Jupiter Realty. From the air it’s possible to see how the tri-lobed form could be inspired by a flower. We’ve heard real estate agents call it a “lotus,” though an iris or even a tuberose would be more accurate. But lotuses are trendy among the sushi-eating classes, so we’ll let them have it. Either way, we’re anxious to see this one start to make an impact on the neighborhood. First, in its height because it’ll be a nice, glittery, curvy addition to an area often marred by density-maximizing, street grid-hugging, sun-eaters. 465 North Park under construction (Courtesy of Streeterville Spy Joel) And second, we’re interested to see how the port-cochere works out, as it’s supposed to actually circle underneath the building’s amenity deck. A few thousand casino-style lights embedded in the ceiling of that entryway might be just the thing to fight back the dankness of a Chicago winter. Or if you’re really going for the wow factor, put a glass bottom in the pool, which will be located right above where people will be coming and going. And we all know, globally speaking, that glass-bottomed pools are even more popular these days than lotus flowers. Click to view the full article
  12. Just 12 hours after we were the first to tell you that construction crews were busy starting work on Wolf Point East, the skyscraper’s Houston developer, Hines, made it official with a press release (below). We were able to break the news for you thanks to Loop Spy Chris, who saw bulldozers, remembered our tip line, and did the right thing. Wolf Point East is the second of three skyscrapers planned for the knob of land that juts into the Chicago River in the heart of downtown. The Pelli Clarke Pelli-designed building will bring almost 700 new homes to River North. Pappageorge Haymes is the architect of record. Rendering of Wolf Point East (Courtesy of Hines) HINES BREAKS GROUND ON WOLF POINT EAST IN CHICAGO Construction Underway on Second Phase of Wolf Point Development (CHICAGO) – Hines, the international real estate firm, announced today the start of construction on the 60-story, 698-unit Wolf Point East luxury apartment tower. Wolf Point East represents the second phase of the overall Wolf Point Master Plan, a three-phase development designed by Pelli Clarke Pelli located on one of the last remaining riverfront sites in Downtown Chicago. Wolf Point East will offer permanent, protected views down the south and east legs of the Chicago River, refined unit layouts and interior design schemes and a market-leading mix of indoor amenities and dedicated outdoor spaces. The site offers immediate access to the Chicago River Walk and easy access to multiple transit options. Hines is developing Wolf Point East in partnership with long-time land owner, the Joseph P. Kennedy Family, and the AFL-CIO Building Investment Trust, advised by PNC Realty Investors. “Our goal at Wolf Point has always been to create long-term value for Chicago and its residents. Wolf Point East furthers our investment in the City and contributes to the evolution of one of its most exciting amenities: the river,” commented Chris Kennedy. Hines Senior Managing Director Jim Walsh added, “We continue to see intense demand for high-quality spaces in which to live, work and play along the Chicago River and we believe that Wolf Point East is well-positioned to satisfy the demands of Chicago’s sophisticated downtown residents.” Bank of America Merrill Lynch led the construction loan financing for the project in conjunction with ULLICO, Citizens Bank and ING Real Estate Finance. Walsh Construction is serving as the general contractor and Pappageorge Haymes Partners is the Architect of Record. Initial turnover of units is projected to occur in late 2019. Hines is a privately owned global real estate investment, development and management firm, founded in 1957, with a presence in 189 cities in 20 countries and $96.5 billion of assets under management, including $48.5 billion for which Hines provides fiduciary investment management services and $48 billion for which Hines provides third-party property-level services. The firm has 114 developments currently underway around the world, and historically, has developed, redeveloped or acquired 1,205 properties, totaling over 390 million square feet. The firm’s current property and asset management portfolio includes 533 properties, representing over 213 million square feet. With extensive experience in investments across the risk spectrum and all property types, and a pioneering commitment to sustainability, Hines is one of the largest and most respected real estate organizations in the world. Visit for more information. The AFL-CIO Building Investment Trust is an open-end commingled core commercial real estate fund with over $6 billion in gross assets as of March 31, 2017. Since beginning operations in 1988, the BIT has invested over $6.3 billion for the development and acquisition of more than 200 office, retail, multifamily, hotel, warehouse, and mixed use properties across the country. The BIT is managed by PNC Bank, National Association (PNC Bank), as Trustee. PNC Realty Investors (PRI) provides investment advisory services to the BIT. The AFL-CIO Investment Trust Corporation provides, marketing, investor relations, and labor relations. Rendering of Wolf Point East (Courtesy of Hines) Click to view the full article
  13. Less than a week after the city issued the first permits for Wolf Point East, work is already vividly underway. Loop Spy Chris tipped our line with a photo of excavators excavating, haulers hauling, and bulldozers bulldozing where soon a skyscraper sporting almost six hundred new homes will sprout along the Chicago River. Moving dirt for Wolf Point East (Courtesy of Loop Spy Chris) You may remember that this 675-foot-tall tower was previously planned to be a mixed bag of office, retail, hotel, and residential space. But the developer is jumping on what may be the tail end of the downtown apartment bandwagon, betting there’s still enough life in the residential bubble to warrant an entire tower of it. Wolf Point East was also originally designed to be 750 feet tall. But it’s more modest shape and its 60 stories will now better compliment Wolf Point West, the sister tower on the point with 48 floors. Click to view the full article
  14. One of the first long-form articles we published in Chicago Architecture way back in October of 2003 was a preview of Lakeshore East. Back then, the only building that had been erected was The Lancaster at 201 North Westshore Drive. The rest of Lakeshore East was dirt and weeds and a former caddyshack that still sported a small luncheonette that refused to die. My how things have changed. From the curvalicious skyscraper that put Jeanne Gang on the map to the lickable glass lighthouses that mock Lake Michigan, to one of the best supermarkets in the city, the area has gone from near-wasteland to metropolitan neighborhood in just about the same amount of time as we’ve been publishing this blog. Now Lakeshore East’s final chapters are about to be written, and one of them is missing. Original 1970’s plan for the northeast corner of Lakeshore East Alderman Brendan Reilly has called a public meeting to talk about the last four skyscrapers proposed for L.S.E. That’s “four,” as in one less than “five,” the number of skyscrapers that Lakeshore East was originally laid out for. What’s missing is Building L, originally intended to be a 45-story, 480-foot-tall tower on North Harbor Drive, across the driveway from the North Harbor Tower. The entire plan for the northeast corner of Lakeshore East has been re-drawn. Instead of four towers joined by townhouses encircling a formal square park, it’s become three towers, off the street grid, in a more informal setting. Much like the dramatic change of North Grant Park from Parisienne regulated garden into the exuberant Maggie Daley Park and Funfair. What was once Buildings I, J, K, and L have become I, J, and K/L. Together, the original four towers for this corner of Lakeshore East were intended to rise 1,695 feet — so, about 150 residential floors, meaning an average tower rise of 46 stories. Will eliminating one of the towers now raise the average height of the buildings to 50 stories in order to make up the lost space? We’ll find out on Monday, July 10th when Lendlease and Lakeshore East give a public presentation on their plans for the corner. Original vision for the northeast corner of Lakeshore East The interesting part is that it appears that the city will get another lakefront hotel. We’d heard for years that the northeast corner of Lakeshore East was too valuable to waste on residential towers alone, and that a hotel will be part of the mix. Now that notion has gone from scuttlebutt to reality. The plan includes a 300-room hotel, along with the 1,400 residences in the three towers. Reducing the number of towers, even with increased height, will certainly make the area feel more open and less like a giant wall locking the city away from the lake. But it remains to be seen if the flanking and linking townhomes will still be built. If so, we’re back to locking the public away from the city’s greatest visual resource. But there is hope: Lendlease wants to build 30,000 square feet of retail here as well. So, even if low-rise construction happens, it could still be open to the public. Meanwhile, things are still percolating over at Building O. Previous rendering of Building O You’ll remember Building O as the Dagwood sandwich of two hotels and a residential block that was slated for the pit between Aqua (225 North Columbus Drive) and what is now 300 East Randolph Street. In the original Lakeshore East plan, it was to stand 900 feet tall. But later it sacrificed some of that height for its sister and ended up in the 600’s. Then an article in the Sun-Times shed some doubt on the chances of it getting controversial overseas funding, and things went distinctly silent since then. Now, according to Mr. Reilly, Lakeshore East is ready to move forward and finally put the O in Lakeshore East. He says O will once again have two hotels, and this time 640 residences, so we could be looking at something very similar to the design that bKL put together a couple of years ago. It will certainly have to be about the same stature. If you’d like to refresh your memory, and get an idea of what we could be in for, check out our October 23, 2014 article The Story of O: Three Buildings In One. Details of the latest plan will be revealed at the same public meeting mentioned above: July 10 at 6pm at the Hyatt Regency West Tower’s Ballroom. Get there early, as a big crowd is expected. New plan for the northeast corner of Lakeshore East Click to view the full article
  15. If you were looking forward to spending leisurely summer evenings enjoying downtown Chicago’s riparian delights underneath its trio of twinkling new skyscraper stars… think again. Just when 150 North Riverside, River Point, Wolf Point West, and the Chicago Riverwalk expansion stopped filling the air with the sounds of pile drivers, caisson drillers, and steam whistle birds, new construction is just around the corner. Fun fact: Even though they were outdated, steam whistle birds were commonly used on Chicago construction sites well into the 1990’s due to their union job security. The first permits have been issued for Wolf Point East FOUNDATION AND STRUCTURE UP TO GRADE FOR PROPOSED 60-STORY RESIDENTIAL BUILDING WITH 6 BASEMENT PAKING LEVELS AND 698 DWELLING UNITS. The tag on this pup’s collar reads 313 East Wolf Point Plaza. Previously we were supposed to return him to 326 North Orleans Street if found. The permit comes two days after Loop Spy Chris sent us new photographs of soil sampling trucks piercing the riverside soil like a couple of bull ticks going to town on a lupine feast. Wolf Point East soil sampling (courtesy of Loop Spy Chris) This will be the second residential tower on Wolf Point, after bKL Architecture and Magellan Development’s Wolf Point West, which kicked off the redevelopment of the confluence of the Chicago River. Click to view the full article