Another Record-Breaking Year of Chicago Construction

If you’ve taken a look at the Chicago skyline lately, you’ve probably noticed a few additions, and not all are new buildings – yet.  According to a recent story on, this year Chicago broke its own record for the number of operating tower cranes with a whopping 53 cranes.  That’s a stark contrast to the 12 in 2010.  The record-breaking 53rd crane is on N. Lincoln Ave. at the Lincoln Common, a large, multi-use transit-oriented development.

Counting cranes is one way of marking the progress of Chicago’s economy.  “People are optimistic about the future of Chicago.  They want to move here and they want to build here,” said Mayor Emanuel who was quoted in the article, adding “As Chicago’s economy continues to get stronger, we will continue to partner with businesses, big and small, to keep this progress going.”

This historic shift for Chicago is accompanied by an upswing in single-family residential renovation permits as well.  Due in part to adjustments made to the permitting process, the city has been averaging 202 permits issued per month compared to the 169 from 2015.  Building Commissioner Judy Fryndland, who also commented on the story, has said that “The Department of Buildings is committed to being a partner, not an obstacle, for building projects.”

Rendering of the new Willis Tower base wrap from the Blackstone Group

These significant construction records could very well be surpassed with the news of renovations to the Willis Tower.  Chicago Construction News is also reporting that the City of Chicago has issued one of the largest permits the city has ever seen – a whopping $200 million – and that’s only the start of a project that is expected to exceed $500 million.  The updated Willis Tower will boast new lower levels and a three-story addition to the ground floor.  With the city breaking ground on this massive project soon, we’re seeing a whole new Chicago taking shape.

As Chicago positions itself as a facilitator for construction and growth, Porter Pipe will continue to be a steadfast partner to our clients because we know the city will turn to you to make this growth a reality.  From single-family homes to expansive multi-use complexes to Chicago’s most iconic building, Porter Pipe has all the inventory, services and solutions Chicago needs to break records and reach new heights.