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First Infrastructure Project Complete at Lincoln Yards

Tue February 14, 2023 - Midwest Edition #4
Cindy Riley – CEG Correspondent


Dubbed the “city within a city,” the 53-acre, $6 billion mixed-use Lincoln Yards community is being developed on former industrial land along the North Branch of the Chicago River.(Adjustable Concrete photo)
Dubbed the “city within a city,” the 53-acre, $6 billion mixed-use Lincoln Yards community is being developed on former industrial land along the North Branch of the Chicago River.(Adjustable Concrete photo)
Dubbed the “city within a city,” the 53-acre, $6 billion mixed-use Lincoln Yards community is being developed on former industrial land along the North Branch of the Chicago River.(Adjustable Concrete photo) 1229 West Concord Place will offer the city’s rapidly growing biotech community over 320,000 sq. ft. of new, ultramodern lab space.
(Aerialscapes Chicago photo) Sterling Bay invested $10 million over nearly five years in extensive remediation efforts.
(Adjustable Concrete photo) Because of its industrial history, Lincoln Yards’ 53-acres of riverfront land was heavily contaminated with toxic chemicals, posing a health threat to the surrounding community.
(Adjustable Concrete photo) Site work for 1229 West Concord included the removal of 1,341 cu. yds. of soil and infill of 388 cu. yds. of soil.
(Sterling Bay photo) Earthwork was necessary in addition to the extensive remediation that took place prior to breaking ground on the project.
(Sterling Bay photo) The team removed more than 27,000 tons of contaminated soil and 36 underground storage tanks ranging from 500 to 100,000 gal. The team also recycled 69,000 tons of concrete; 4,600 tons of steel; and 200,000 gal. of petroleum-impacted water.
(Sterling Bay photo) The core and shell build consisted of 17,183 cu. yds. of concrete with 1,432 tons of rebar and 102.85 tons of post-tension cabling.
(Sterling Bay photo) To construct the building’s foundation, 47 top-of-rock caissons were drilled and poured; one tower crane caisson with full-depth reinforcing was added; and two additional adjacent caissons were installed for full-depth reinforcement.
(Sterling Bay photo) Because of the size of the overall project, construction will be ongoing for roughly a decade.
(Sterling Bay photo)

Following a lengthy and complex environmental clean-up, construction crews are moving full speed ahead with the highly publicized Lincoln Yards project. Dubbed the "city within a city," the 53-acre, $6 billion mixed-use community is being developed on former industrial land along the North Branch of the Chicago River and is being described as a game changer.

"Sterling Bay and Power Construction have completed the core and shell construction of 1229 West Concord Place, the first life sciences building at Lincoln Yards," said project manager Adam Chodos. "The building's stick-built curtain wall system is completed, and the final phase includes completion of the interior build-out of the shared spaces of the building. These include a fitness center, pre-function area with a riverfront terrace, conference space and private conference rooms.

"We also have completed our first infrastructure project at Lincoln Yards, the redevelopment of the intersection of Concord Place and Throop Street and extension of Concord Place. Next steps include the extension of Throop Street, which is a key roadway connection through the site."

In October 2021, Sterling Bay broke ground on its debut project, a Class A lab and office building which will serve as the catalyst for the future biotech innovation district at the site.

Chodos noted that 1229 West Concord Place will offer the city's rapidly growing biotech community over 320,000 sq. ft. of new, ultramodern lab space.

"Chicago is home to many world-class universities that churn out very promising life sciences startups. However, because the city is so low on lab-specific real estate, these companies are forced to move to the coasts where lab space is much more abundant. To retain the life sciences talent coming out of our local universities, Sterling Bay is developing cutting-edge lab spaces at Lincoln Yards that will offer homegrown startups the resources they need to stay in Chicago, keeping the talent and economic opportunity here in our city.

"We're so excited for Chicago to see Lincoln Yards come together as more life science labs, creative office spaces, residential units and exciting dining and retail destinations are built. In addition to all the vertical development, Sterling Bay will be simultaneously building-up necessary infrastructure and community spaces, including additional and improved roads and bike lanes, parking structures, a renovated Metra stop, multiple new river crossings and 11-acres of contiguous public park space."

Chodos said getting to this point was no small feat. Because of its industrial history, Lincoln Yards' 53-acres of riverfront land was heavily contaminated with toxic chemicals, posing a health threat to the surrounding community. Sterling Bay invested $10 million over nearly five years in extensive remediation efforts. The team removed more than 27,000 tons of contaminated soil and 36 underground storage tanks ranging from 500 to 100,000 gal. The team also recycled 69,000 tons of concrete; 4,600 tons of steel; and 200,000 gal. of petroleum-impacted water.

As part of the next steps of construction, crews will continue to make infrastructure improvements and break ground on residential towers, as well as The Steelyard, a space dedicated to retail, dining and entertainment. This phase also will continue the riverfront revitalization and begin creation of the first of two large public parks.

Along with Power Construction serving as general contractor for 1229 West Concord, Walsh Construction has led the infrastructure improvements of Concord Place.

"Both contractors are the experts we needed as we kicked off the development," said Chodos. "To date, more than $5.5 million of the project spend has been with talented MBE/WBE firms. One great example is WD3 Associates, who supplied the concrete for 1229 West Concord."

The biggest construction challenges at 1229 West Concord consist of building along the Chicago River and managing supply chain constraints. Despite these issues, workers are on schedule for substantial completion by the end of March.

In addition to the topping off of 1229 West Concord Place, improvements and naturalization of the riverfront have taken place. Crews have completed temporary parking facilities while road construction is under way, along with temporary community space installations including Fleet Fields, a recreational park space consisting of three public fields.

Crews are preparing the next phase of road improvements and making plans to break ground on The Steelyard and nearby residential buildings. Key tasks include completion of site work, including the riverwalk and landscaping.

Site work for 1229 West Concord included the removal of 1,341 cu. yds. of soil and infill of 388 cu. yds. of soil. This work was completed in addition to the extensive remediation that took place prior to breaking ground on the project.

To construct the building's foundation, 47 top-of-rock caissons were drilled and poured; one tower crane caisson with full-depth reinforcing was added and; two additional adjacent caissons were installed for full-depth reinforcement.

The core and shell build consisted of 17,183 cu. yds. of concrete with 1,432 tons of rebar and 102.85 tons of post-tension cabling. The building is equipped with two dedicated outside air systems (DOAS) which provide 1.2 CFM/USF total with 0.4 CFM/USF for office areas and 2.0 CFM/USF for lab areas. There also is 750 tons of cooling for chillers.

The curtain wall is a 108,000-sq.-ft. stick-built system. Additionally, the lobby will contain a spiral, feature staircase made of steel and finished with millwork.

Because of the size of the overall project, construction will be ongoing for roughly a decade. Chodos said the wait will be worth it.

"When complete, Lincoln Yards will deliver a historic amount of affordable housing, create more than 23,000 permanent on-site jobs, as well as more than 10,000 full-time equivalent construction jobs with significant minority- and women-owned business participation, and generate $4.1B in economic output for the city of Chicago.

"It's an incredible opportunity to leave a mark on our city. Getting this first building up puts us one step closer to realizing the overall vision of the Lincoln Yards neighborhood."

He added, "With five years of environmental remediation taking place before this project, and conceptual planning occurring even before that, we've been incredibly eager to officially break ground. 1229 West Concord has come together so well, and it's exciting to see the land start to be developed. The entire team feels very lucky to be part of something like this, because it truly is a once-in-a-lifetime project." CEG




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