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Old Posted Jul 6, 2017, 10:33 AM
denizen467 denizen467 is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Chicago
Posts: 3,212
Originally Posted by 10023 View Post
Building next to the river shouldn't matter. There's groundwater everywhere. You need to build a concrete shell or 'bathtub' regardless.
This is totally incorrect if it's a blanket assumption that towers here are always built with a bathtub. Over and over again various residential towers downtown have been seen with no excavation downwards other than for caissons (and elevator pits and other utilities); if you look at early stage construction photos from various projects, say Loews Streeterville, the first part of the building to visibly materialize is the ground floor, not any lower level. It would not be too hard, and would be interesting, to check new residential towers downtown from the past decade or two and see how many actually have basements.

I assume developers just find it cheaper and quicker to build all parking in podiums above ground. It seems pretty common to see underground parking in many other cities, but in Chicago it seems comparatively rare. The idealistic Spire was an extreme example, and with Parkview West / One Bennett and River East are exceptions; even a mega project like Trump Tower didn't go below grade I think. Maybe any chance of having construction start overlap with the dead of winter is one factor that makes planners dispense with basements from the outset. I'm sure many here have a better understanding of what's going on.

As for Wolf Point East, it's of a significant enough scale (including being part of a multiuse complex) that they might be putting uses underground, but even then it could be just 1 floor without really going below river level. I can only imagine the huge cost difference between having a bathtub and having no uses below grade.

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