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Old September 9th, 2005, 05:45 AM   #41
wickedestcity
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cool pics man !keep em comming!
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Old September 9th, 2005, 05:58 AM   #42
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Thanks Chicago Shawn for the nice survey of the worksite; very helpful update. The many open vantage points make this a case study in skyscraper construction.
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Old September 9th, 2005, 06:30 AM   #43
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Are my eyes deceiving me or is that a ramp leading down from upper Wabash into the garage? (sixth picture from the bottom)
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Old September 10th, 2005, 06:21 AM   #44
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^No, a glass enclosed spiral ramp will be placed on the north end of the site, right by the River Plaza Condominum. The bottom of the dip in the viaduct stays level in elevation, and my guess is that it is going to be a massive planter box.
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Old September 12th, 2005, 03:33 PM   #45
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This is what the viaduct will look like once completed.

The viaduct, which was originally constructed in 1930, will be completely demolished and rebuilt as part of the Trump Tower Chicago development. The $8 million project includes a total deck replacement, street resurfacing and new sidewalks. The project also includes the installation of ornamental streetlights, irrigated landscaped medians and a new traffic signal on Wabash, just north of the bridge. The improvements will benefit motorists, pedestrians and bicyclists who use this roadway.
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Old September 13th, 2005, 01:56 AM   #46
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Quite cool.
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Old September 14th, 2005, 05:24 AM   #47
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I'm not convinced that we're talking about the same thing Shawn.

Anyway, here's a view down Wabash from my place looking @ the Trump site.

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Old September 14th, 2005, 05:16 PM   #48
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what is the roof height of this building? i have seen 1171,1131 and 1125
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Old September 15th, 2005, 01:45 AM   #49
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^The Roof height is 1131 feet at the main roof, and 1171 feet at the top of the mechanical screen which surrounds the bottom of the spire, so visually the building will rise to just over 1200 feet from the level of the river, and 1171 feet from Upper Wabash. The 1125 figure is old, just remember the 1131, 1171 and 1362 (spire) figures, all of which are from blue prints read at the site.

Pics from 09-12-2005...

The last major gap in the Wabash roadway deck has been poured.

The trench has gotten bigger....

...And as you can see, a concrete slab has been poured at the bottom of the trench between the tops of the caissons.



Truck begining its reverse decent into the pit.

4 levels of work at the site

Excavation of the lower trench almost finished.
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Old September 15th, 2005, 01:49 AM   #50
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Great update
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Old September 15th, 2005, 02:34 AM   #51
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How is this project coming in terms of being "on schedule"?
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Old September 15th, 2005, 04:32 AM   #52
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Awesome update... The viaduct looks awesome...
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Old September 15th, 2005, 07:17 AM   #53
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I'm not sure if anyone else has seen this before (probably), but I was watching FOX News in the Morning, oh, Tuesday I believe and Dr. J was looking at Trump Chicago. Even though 70% of the building was sold, there were still a lot of units left. And then he did a price breakdown: something like $500,000+ for a ~500 sq. ft. studio. Either a penthouse or 3/4 bedroom went at a starting price of $3 million. But then randomly they showed this awesome video clip of the building being constructed (3D rendering obviously). It's going to be so nice to take pictures of as it begins to rise. Anyone know of this video clip and where I can find it?
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Old September 17th, 2005, 06:30 AM   #54
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A few Pics from thursday..



Begining to frame up the rebar for the foundation mat


And one from today, looking down from the 36th floor of IBM Plaza...

You can really see the rows of caissons here.
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Old September 18th, 2005, 02:12 AM   #55
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Here are a few shots that I took myself:

Workers smoothing freshly poured concrete for the Wabash Avenue viaduct - 2005-9-12


Workers beginning to erect the steel rebar cage of the foundation mat - 2005-9-15


A view to the northeast across the excavation site - 2005-9-15


A view into the excavation pit with caisson tops and steel rebar visible - 2005-9-15
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Old September 18th, 2005, 03:36 AM   #56
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Nice.
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Old September 18th, 2005, 02:09 PM   #57
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As Trump tower rises, setbacks pile up
Building battles challenges of nature, markets

By Susan Diesenhouse
Tribune Staff Reporter
Published September 18, 2005

In July, three months after construction began on the foundation of the 92-story Trump International Tower and Hotel, water began leaking into the building site from the Chicago River.

With the foundation being laid next to and below the level of the river, it always was a possibility that the old sea wall wouldn't hold. It did, but water began seeping through seams in a corner where the wall meets the Wabash Avenue bridge.

The construction of any building is not just the grand achievement of architects and engineers. It is the culmination of a million tiny tasks, and the triumph of overcoming a million tiny problems--any of which could become a crisis.

The difficulties in building the biggest building in a generation in Chicago go beyond just bricks and mortar. They started with the job of finding the site, creating the design and raising the money. They continue with putting the building up and keeping costs down.

In fact, there are bigger issues than seeping water or worries about dropping a 140-foot beam on the roof of the IBM building's garage next door. One is preventing the project from buckling under the rising costs of construction materials.

"What I really worry about is all the trades I haven't bought," said Paul James, using construction industry jargon for the millions of dollars of materials he has yet to purchase for the interior of the building. James is overseeing the project for the construction manager Bovis Lend Lease Inc. of London.

From the outside, none of this is visible. Passersby who peer down into the construction site from a temporary pedestrian walkway see a modest-size pit along the Chicago River.

"But it's much more," said Donald Trump Jr., vice president of development and acquisition for the company whose chief executive is his flamboyant father.

Since last fall, Trump Corp. has demolished the Chicago Sun-Times building that stood on the 2-acre site and completed some of the project's most difficult spadework, which is key to the structural integrity of the 2.7 million-square-foot tower.

The ear-shattering percussion of pounding 241 supports, called caissons, deep into the earth may have jangled neighbors' nerves. But to the New York-based developer it is essential to laying the foundation for the approximately $800 million building.

It had to drive 57 of the caissons 110 feet into limestone bedrock, a feat reserved for construction of the tallest towers here.

"The Trump edge is understanding construction," Trump, 27, said on one of his weekly visits to the site.

The rest of the foundation system and basements are being built on the caissons, which will support the weight of the entire tower, equivalent to 240,000 cars.

In October, workers will pour the high-strength concrete for the steel-reinforced mat that will unite and secure the caissons. Upon the mat--which will be 240 feet long, 60 feet wide and 10 feet deep--will rest the tower's core walls.

By next year, the core walls will start to rise. By fall 2007, portions of the building are expected to be ready for occupancy. The tower, which will house 758 private and hotel condominiums as well as retail space, is expected to be finished in 2009, Trump Jr. said.

In part, the Trump construction formula is about selective cost-cutting, which Trump Jr. said he learned at his father's elbow, following him around building sites just as his father trailed after his grandfather.

To keep costs down, he said, "We don't let architects build every feature." But it's also about simplifying the process.

So far, the construction work completed is worth near $30 million, or 5 percent of Trump's $600 million construction budget. Another $200 million will be spent on other aspects of the development. But no matter how smoothly construction goes, erecting a 1,362-foot-tall tower is a complex undertaking.

"Tall buildings are more demanding as an engineering solution," said architect Richard Tomlinson, a partner at Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, LLP. His firm designed the Trump project as well as the Sears and Hancock towers in Chicago.

The Trump tower will stack retail, parking, a hotel and condominiums on top of each other. This change of uses changes the design of the interior space.

A three-bedroom residential condominium will have bathrooms in different locations than a hotel suite. Therefore, plumbing can't descend directly down the tower but must at times be routed horizontally, which makes the system more costly and its operation more difficult to fine tune.

The same is true of load-bearing columns. The 14 million pounds that each column carries must be transferred horizontally via huge girders. "As the tallest tower to be built post-9/11, it's a celebrated project," said John Fish, chief executive of Boston-based Suffolk Construction Co., a major East Coast builder who is watching the project's progress. "But it poses special construction challenges."

With the price of construction materials up sharply in the last two years, cost containment on such a mammoth project is a chore, Fish said.

For instance, the average nationwide price of concrete, the material being used for the foundation and frame, increased 14.5 percent during the last year, according to Engineering News Record, a trade publication. Last fall, after an 18-month debate, Trump decided on an all-concrete frame, in part to eliminate the expense of using structural steel, a commodity whose price had doubled since summer 2003.

Still, James is concerned about materials required to build out the interior because they have not yet been purchased, and prices could rise as a result of rebuilding efforts in the nation's storm-damaged areas.

Further, such a large project requires so much construction material that it can pinch supplies, raising prices throughout the marketplace, said Ron Klemencic, chairman of the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat.

In April, Trump Corp. started to build the foundation system below the Chicago River; in August, contractors started to excavate for the basements.

"This is probably the trickiest part of the construction process," said Stephen Fort, general manager of the Chicago office for Turner Construction Co., which is not involved in the project but, like most in the industry, is watching with interest.

"When you're in the hole, there are so many unknowns, you don't control your own destiny," he said.

In the spring, Trump Corp. sealed an old freight tunnel and removed dock pilings from the site. But in July water started seeping in and the builders had a problem. They sent divers into the murky river to see whether the leak could be sealed from the water side. That failed, as did several other attempts to correct the problem. Finally, they came upon a solution.

"We drove a steel plate next to the gap, dug out the space between and filled it with concrete," James said. "That worked. In a big project like this there are lots of opportunities to have major things go wrong. This wasn't one of them."

Most of the tower's caissons descend into hard clay about 75 feet down, but others were drilled an extra 35 feet, including 6 feet into bedrock.

"That's a long way, made tougher by managing the water in the hole," Klemencic said.

Meanwhile, a concrete pump for the project is being custom-made in Germany. Every hour its 630-horsepower engine will be able to pump 100 cubic yards of concrete and send it as high as 1,700 feet.

"Previously, we could only get up to 700 feet vertical," James noted.

Still, the old Sun-Times building that Trump purchased for $74 million, including the land, has proven to be an unexpected boon, Trump Jr. said.

During site preparation last fall, the company encountered less ground pollution from the printing plant than anticipated because in the 1970s the newspaper switched from petroleum-based to soy-based ink. Trump therefore avoided some costly site cleanup.

Finally, the company saved at least $1 million by reusing the Sun-Times' old sea wall.

"In the 1950s, the Sun-Times built it to withstand another sort of terrorism: the Cold War," Trump Jr. said. "It was as thick as a bomb shelter."

Trump's tower

HEIGHT: 92 stories, or 1,362 feet, the tallest skyscraper to go up in the U.S. since the 1992 completion of the Bank of America Plaza in Atlanta.

ARCHITECT: Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP, which designed the Sears Tower, at 1,450 feet, the nation's tallest building, and the John Hancock building, at 1,127 feet.

COST: approximately $800 million

COMPLETION: 2009

DETAILS: 472 condominiums, 286 hotel condominiums, 100,000 square feet of retail, parking for 1,000 cars and a three-tiered riverfront park.

PRE-SOLD: 572 resi-dences valued at approximately $700 million.

FINANCING: $640 million construction loan from Deutsche Bank AG.

Source: Trump Corp., Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat

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Old September 18th, 2005, 02:16 PM   #58
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FRONT AND CENTER
Trump Jr. builds on roots

Working for father, he's in Chicago regularly to check progress on hotel/condo tower

SUSAN DIESENHOUSE
Published September 18, 2005

Donald Trump Jr., vice president of development and acquisition for New York-based Trump Corp., visits Chicago nearly every Tuesday to check progress on the 92-story skyscraper the firm is building on the former site of the Chicago Sun-Times building. The 27-year-old executive shared some of his thoughts about the project and Chicago in an interview with Tribune reporter Susan Diesenhouse.

Q. What's your impression of Chicago?

A. It's a financial capital like New York, our bread and butter. Chicago is similar to New York minus some of the pretension. People mix better. It's a breath of fresh air. New York can be a little cliquey. Chicago is a great architectural city; the best in the country. Our building is designed by an architectural legend [Adrian Smith, a partner at Skidmore Owings & Merrill LLP]; that makes it easier for us.

Q. What have been the most challenging aspects of this project so far?

A. Financing a building of this cost and size was incredibly difficult. Not too many people will write a check for $640 million; not too many bankers wanted to finance the largest condominium project in the U.S. With offices, we could say, "We have a long-term lease." With apartment sales at these crazy numbers, it was hard to get them to understand the asset we were sitting on. This is something new, and bankers don't necessarily want to break the mold. They have investors to answer to.

Also marketing the hotel condos. People didn't understand them. An individual buys a unit, puts it into a rental pool. When the owner isn't there, they rent it out and have cash flow. It's an interesting way to own real estate; having it carry itself when you're not in it. We went six weeks without selling one so we went back to the brokers. Now they're selling well, maybe better than the condos.

Q. What was the genesis of this project?

A. The first talks were in 1999. By 2000, 2001 the plan was to build the world's tallest building--all commercial. After 9/11, that was scrapped as not the greatest idea because the Chicago office market wasn't hot. By the end of 2003, we started sales with 500,000 square feet of commercial space. A year later, condo sales were so phenomenal we eliminated the offices.

Q. At this point, what aspects of construction have been most captivating for you?

A. What's fascinating for me as a developer is digging this deep to do caissons (supports for the building). Also, it's really interesting that we couldn't have built this 15 years ago in all concrete. It wasn't strong enough back then.

Q. Did 9-/11 change any of your construction plans?

A. We've always been good about building safety systems into our buildings; our name is on every one. So, post-9/11, we see that we've been doing everything right all along.

Q. Have you decided if you're going to add a spire to the top?

A. We don't have to decide yet, but it doesn't look like we'll have an architectural spire that brings it to the tallest building.

Q. Where else is Trump building?

A. Las Vegas, Ft. Lauderdale, Sunny Isles, Phoenix, New York, L.A., Palm Beach. Some cities will do anything to have Trump come in. It means they've arrived. We get great locations and we aren't known for overpaying.

Q. Who do you answer to on this project?

A. I report to my father. He's the ultimate decision-maker. I've been in my current position for one year. I've been working on the project since 2001, a year after I graduated form Wharton. I understand the numbers side and started as a grunt analyst.

Q. And Bill from the television show, "The Apprentice," what's he doing?

A. He's largely sales and marketing. He'll be with us for another year.

Q. What do you worry about? What keeps you up at night?

A. What don't I worry about? I want to see Chicago real estate thrive. We've made money for every other developer in Chicago by re-establishing the center. It's very exciting to see the Sun-Times go down and this go up.

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Old September 18th, 2005, 04:24 PM   #59
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Thanks for the article! One question: who will be the hotel operator? Surely, it is not HoJo, Super 8, or Red Roof that will run the hotel portion of TTC.
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Old September 18th, 2005, 06:13 PM   #60
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What do you mean? This is Trump International Hotel and Tower.
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