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Chicago installs its 60th construction crane of 2017

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The city had just 12 operating cranes in 2010

The base of Renelle’s tower crane being installed earlier this month.
Harry Carmichael

With the foot of downtown Chicago’s high-rise boom still firmly planted on the gas, the Windy City reached a notable milestone today with the installation of its 60th construction crane of the year. Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel was on hand to dedicate lucky number 60—a bright yellow free-standing Liebherr 200 HC, for those who care about such things—at the site of River North’s Renelle on the River condominium development at 403 N. Wabash.

Designed by Chicago’s bKL Architecture and developed by the Belgravia Group, the 18-story building will feature 50 residences and views of the Chicago River. When it broke ground last month, the project drilled no new foundation caissons and instead will rise atop an existing and presumedly sturdy parking garage.

It’s worth noting that not all of 2017’s 60 cranes are currently operating. As projects are completed cranes inevitably come down—often lowered by smaller temporary cranes that may or may not be included in the Mayor’s final tally. According to the construction blog Building Up Chicago, the most recent installation prior to Renelle (at River North’s Home2 Suites hotel) represented Chicago’s 33rd active crane.

That number will soon grow higher thanks to three additional Chicago construction projects that have already been granted permits for their respective cranes. They include The Hayden West Loop condos, the Lakeview apartment complex and food hall at 3833 N. Broadway, and a River North condo project known as The Bentham.