Sixty tower cranes over Chicago this year
Loop North News

NEW CONSTRUCTION 403 N Wabash Ave - MAP

(Above) Mayor Rahm Emanuel speaks to reporters from an area at River Plaza overlooking a construction site where James McHugh Construction Company is building Renelle on the River. At left is Alan Lev, CEO and president of Belgravia Group, developer of Renelle, and Judy Frydland, Commissioner of Chicago Department of Buildings. At right are members of the McHugh construction team. (Click on images to view larger versions.)

15-Nov-17 – At least 60 tower cranes have been erected over construction sites in Chicago this year, and Mayor Rahm Emanuel figures each one represented 800 to 1,000 people working.

It is the most tower cranes to operate in one year in Chicago, says the mayor, since the Great Recession of 2007-2009.

Emanuel celebrated on Tuesday with a visit to the 60th tower crane, helping to build Renelle on the River, an 18-story luxury condominium on the north side of Trump International Hotel & Tower.

“This is not only the 60th crane, but I look at this as a vote of confidence in the future of the City of Chicago,” said Emanuel. “It’s not just a crane going up, it’s about people that actually can build it, support a family, be able to also pay and save for their kids to go to college, and save for their own retirement.”

Photo by Steven Dahlman Of the 60 tower cranes that went up this year, the city says 33 are still at work.

(Left) Emanuel and McHugh construction workers.

Building Commissioner Judy Frydland called it an “undeniable building boom,” with more building permits issued this year – more than 1,000 – than in any of the past five years.

She says for the past two years, Department of Buildings has been making building permits easier to obtain. It used to take six to eight months to get a building permit for a high-rise but now it can be done in two months. Renelle, she points out, got their building permit in 63 days.

“We do not want to see promising projects slowed down by bureaucracy or tangled up in red tape,” said Frydland.

Recent changes helping to streamline the process include a new electrical code, a program to allow alternative plumbing materials, and elimination of multi-unit building registration.

Renelle 50 percent sold

Renelle will offer 50 three and four-bedroom units ranging in price from $1.5 million to $3.2 million. Each unit will have a private balcony and each floor will have just three or four residences.

Twenty-five of those 50 units have been sold, according to Alan Lev, CEO and president of Belgravia Group, developer of Renelle, and the company expects to deliver the first units during the first three months of 2019.

A building permit was issued on November 7 for another Belgravia residential project, Three Sixty | West (right), located at 360 West Erie Street in River North. The 38-unit 11-story condominium will have a rooftop patio, lounge, fitness room, yoga studio, and dog run. The permit estimates the cost at $30 million. Maris Construction Corporation of Chicago is listed as general contractor. The project did not require any zoning changes. Belgravia Group

By Steven Dahlman | Loop North News | sdahlman@loopnorth.com

Published 15-Nov-17 7:43 AM

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