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High rises proposed at the Loop, riverfront, Greektown.

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FitzGerald Associates Architects spearheaded the design of One South Halsted.

Dueling Plans for Replacing Chicago’s Thompson Center

There are dueling plans in Chicago to replace the state-owned, Helmut Jahn-designed James R. Thompson Center at the Loop, one of which involves preserving the center and adding a 1,340-ft.-tall residential/hotel tower, and the other involving demolishing it to make way for a 1,700-ft.-tall mixed-use building designed by Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture that would be the tallest in Chicago, surpassing the 1,450-ft.-tall Willis Tower, the Chicago Tribune reported. Built 32 years ago, the Thompson Center, with its distinct soaring atrium, serves as a state office building and transportation hub. State officials will decide what to do with the property, which could be sold to an outside developer.

Greektown Tower to Be Tallest West of Kennedy Expressway

One South Halsted, an ellipse-shaped, 44-story tower being developed by Fifield Cos. and F&F Realty, promises to be the tallest building west of the Kennedy Expressway, Curbed Chicago reported. Rising 500 ft., the building is set to contain close to 500 apartments, ground-level retail and a 375-stall parking garage that residents will share with Crowne Plaza guests and residents. Located in the heart of Greektown, the tower’s design features a boxy podium and metal and glass façade conceived by FitzGerald Associates Architects. Construction permits were obtained earlier this year.

Another Office Tower for Chicago Riverfront Pitched

Howard Hughes Co. of Dallas and Chicago’s Riverside Investment and Development hope to build a Goettsch Partners-designed 800-ft.-tall office tower with 1.3 million sq. ft. of rentable space on the site of the low-rise General Growth Building at 110 N. Wacker Drive overlooking the Chicago River, Curbed Chicago reported. It would be the tallest purely office building built in the city since 1990 and join a growing number of high rises taking shape on the downtown riverfront (ELEVATOR WORLD, August 2016). Like 150 N. Riverside (EW, December 2016), the project would include plenty of landscaped public space. If an anchor tenant is landed, construction is estimated to take approximately three years.

NAESA’s Board of Directors, Board of Certification Meet

NASEA International’s Board of Directors and Board of Certification met on the weekend of February 11 in Phoenix. The Certification Board was attended by almost all but Advisor George Gibson, who spoke with the group by phone. Present were Dean McClellan, Emerald McGehee, Bob Shepherd, Chris Shade, Chris Dodds, Mike Chavez, Richard Shaffer and your author. Shepherd introduced Jack Day as NAESA’s new education director. McGehee, Shepherd and McLellan provided a brief update on the association, including:

  • Its passing a recent American National Standards Institute audit
  • A new education opportunity with Gregg DeCola in New York to give QEI classes
  • The substantial increase in revenue and membership this year
  • Working on the goal of apprenticeship for inspectors
  • The Elevator Industry Safety Summit building attendance with some “heavy hitters,” plus an upcoming meeting with the National Elevator Industry, Inc. Safety Committee to discuss the agenda and build speakers’ forums
  • Announcement that the next meeting will be at the Grand Geneva Resort & Spa in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin.
  • Reported by Ricia Sturgeon-Hendrick
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