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  #1  
Old Posted Jul 21, 2011, 9:07 PM
OrdoSeclorum OrdoSeclorum is offline
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Cool CHICAGO | Post Office Redevelopment

Height: 2000 ft / 170 floors | 1000 ft x 2
Floor count: 170, 92, ??
Location: West Congress and South Canal
Construction end:
Architect: Antunovich Associates
Developer: International Property Developers


Phases One (center), Two (right), and Three (left):


Phase One (1000 feet, 92 floors):







Work to redevelop old Chicago Post Office could start in September
By David Roeder July 18, 2013 2:46PM

Quote:
City planners on Thursday approved a redevelopment for the old Chicago Main Post Office as agents for the British investor behind the project said work could begin in September.

The federally landmarked building that spans Congress Parkway would become the centerpiece of a long-term reimagining of a new neighborhood near the Loop. The first phase alone might take eight to 10 years to complete, said Joseph Antunovich, the architect for the project.

In a later phase, a tower that could vie for the “world’s tallest” title could arise next to the post office. But that is acknowledged to be perhaps 20 years away, and aides to the developer, Bill Davies, emphasized their plans to pursue the massive project in chunks that will appeal to financiers and eventual users of the space.

A casino is not in the plans, although the site has been mentioned whenever a potential Chicago license comes up. Charles Hubbard, representing Davies’ International Property Developers North America Inc., said a casino is not essential to the project.

“If there’s a legal ability to have a casino, there’s a possibility of having the space there,” he said. But he added that in the meantime, no casino has been included in appraisals of the property.

Hubbard said financiers are interested in the project and that retailers will move into the vast old building, “as long as they can see the overall master plan, and what an exciting plan it is.”

Initial work would begin turning the old post office, at 2.7 million square feet, into residential use, with up to 2,150 units planned. Lower floors would get retail space close to the size of Water Tower Place and parking.

The first phase, estimated to cost $1.5 billion, also foresees a 1,000-foot-tall tower on the old building’s northeast side. The tower would hold residences and perhaps a hotel.

The Chicago Plan Commission unanimously endorsed the proposal. Its recommendation goes to the City Council for final action.

“What makes this project feasible is that it is phaseable as we go along,” Antunovich said.Hubbard said first-phase work on the old building, which has been vacant since 1996, could start in September and that units could be ready for occupancy 18 months later.

The post office, 433 W. Van Buren, opened in 1921 and by the time a major expansion was completed in 1932, it was the largest building in the world, suited for spreading mail to the expanding western United States. It was designed by Graham, Anderson, Probst & White, the Daniel Burnham successor firm that also created Union Station, the Wrigley Building and the Merchandise Mart.

A grand, soaring lobby is among the post office’s distinguishing features. The Davies-Antunovich plan calls for converting the building’s old office space on its Van Buren and Harrison street sides into residences while attracting stores and other commercial operations, such as theaters, into the vast interior space where the mail used to be processed and sorted. The postal service moved to a new facility just south of the building.

Hubbard said the design of the old post office fits with the developer’s need to phase the project. The new plan replaces one Davies floated two years ago that was even more grandiose, imagining six high-rises around the old building. It was quickly dismissed as unworkable.

The downsized version provides three adjoining towers in total and about 10 million square feet, or more than what’s in two Willis Towers. Hubbard guessed the cost at $4 billion.

But he said getting the city’s zoning approval and having a workable plan is the key to making a start. Global financiers, he said, “have told us, ‘When you get your zoning entitlement, come back to us, we’re very interested.”

Asked if Davies, who is elderly, intends to sell his interest in the property, Hubbard said, “It’s got to involve other investors and some of those investors may be co-developers.”

Antunovich, an architect of condo high-rises who also has expertise in community planning and renovations of historic buildings, noted that the site is a natural for intense urban use. Congress Parkway runs right through the building as its feeds into the Eisenhower Expressway, the Blue Line and commuter rail tracks run beneath it and the property has river frontage.

Residents could “live, shop, exercise, perhaps go to the movies in the building. You don’t really have to leave but you could get on a train and go to work at any one of the sprawling suburbs here in Chicago and yet live here downtown. I think the possibilities are truly endless,” Antunovich said.

The first phase calls for construction of about 4.5 million square feet, including the residential and hotel tower and a six-level deck on the building’s eastern side. The deck would allow for passage over Congress Parkway and would form a base of parking floors for an envisioned second-phase tower that could hit enter the ranking of world’s tallest buildings. In a final phase, a tower could be built west of the post office.

http://www.suntimes.com/news/metro/2...september.html

Last edited by i_am_hydrogen; Jul 24, 2013 at 5:29 PM.
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  #2  
Old Posted Jul 23, 2011, 2:15 AM
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Its placement on the skyline would throw off the aesthetics of Chicago's present urban geography. I'd much rather see the spire get built....
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  #3  
Old Posted Jul 23, 2011, 2:21 AM
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Well if this gets built and completed the people that want 2,000 foot tall buildings will finally shut the f**k up. No really those people that I am talking about are really becoming pain in the a**es.
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  #4  
Old Posted Jul 23, 2011, 2:24 AM
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Bill Davies is an absentee landlord who sat on several huge properties in Liverpool.

He is nothing more than a flipper. Booth is being paid to create some grandiose vision in order to get other potential buyers salivating about the site's potential, not because Davies actually has any intention of developing the place.

After seeing the plans, my suspicions were confirmed. They just flat-out don't work. Since I know Booth and his staff are far more talented than that, I'm left with the conclusion that the actual substance of the design doesn't really matter - Davies wanted something big, and he wanted it fast.
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  #5  
Old Posted Jul 26, 2011, 1:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ardecila View Post
Bill Davies is an absentee landlord who sat on several huge properties in Liverpool.

He is nothing more than a flipper. Booth is being paid to create some grandiose vision in order to get other potential buyers salivating about the site's potential, not because Davies actually has any intention of developing the place.

After seeing the plans, my suspicions were confirmed. They just flat-out don't work. Since I know Booth and his staff are far more talented than that, I'm left with the conclusion that the actual substance of the design doesn't really matter - Davies wanted something big, and he wanted it fast.
This seems like an accurate analysis.
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  #6  
Old Posted Jul 23, 2011, 4:02 AM
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Why does this even have a thread? This isnt a real proposal. Its not even feasible. At best this is a "vision"...and a pretty garish one at that.
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  #7  
Old Posted Jul 23, 2011, 4:44 AM
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Originally Posted by Alliance View Post
Why does this even have a thread? This isnt a real proposal. Its not even feasible. At best this is a "vision"...and a pretty garish one at that.
Isn't it something that is actually being proposed? At least a rough outline?
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  #8  
Old Posted Jul 23, 2011, 2:29 PM
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Blair Kamin really shredded this guy...and to some extent Booth

Quote:
Plan for old post office complex: financial fantasy, architectural nightmare
BY BLAIR KAMIN July 22 201 07:45PM
Full article: LINK

My favorite pearls:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Blair Kamin
"The design, still in the formative stages, is as mediocre as it is megalomaniacal. Its giant tower is no prize-winner and its visual damage would extend to ground level, particularly along the open-space corridor of the Chicago River."
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blair Kamin
"This is a strangely suburban vision for a great American city, one that seems remarkably outdated as retailers abandon inward-turning malls in favor of street-facing shops. Even Presidential Towers, the West Loop complex whose mundane high-rises originally sat atop a mall-like podium, is reorienting its shops to the sidewalk."
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blair Kamin
"The design offers a bizarre throwback to the post-riot days of the 1970s when cities were viewed as dangerous places and it was thought that the only way to draw people to them was to imitate the suburbs. It also represents a major flip-flop by Booth, who once proposed turning most of the old post office into a transit hub. “Expressways don’t make livable cities,” he proclaimed at the time."
Also,

Quote:
Old Post Office developer didn’t make friends with past plans
BY DAVID ROEDER Business Reporter July 21, 2011 11:16PM

If Bill Davies is positioning himself as a prophet of urban development in Chicago, he is without honor in his former hometown.

Davies formerly lived in Liverpool, England. Press accounts from Liverpool said his relationships with local officials deteriorated when he held a couple of key properties for years and failed to improve them.

One was a proposed shopping complex called Chevasse Park that Davies owned for years until the local council pulled his legal title to the property. He also invested in, of all things, an old post office in central Liverpool, but it wasn’t redeveloped until he sold it after a nearly 20-year ownership.
Full article
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  #9  
Old Posted Jul 23, 2011, 3:52 PM
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Among the most bizarre parts of this is the retail bridge over the river. How, exactly, will that lift to 140-foot clearance for the passage of boats? Or does the developer's self-importance extend to convincing the US Coast Guard to remove the South Branch from the list of navigable waterways?
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  #10  
Old Posted Jul 25, 2011, 6:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr Downtown View Post
Among the most bizarre parts of this is the retail bridge over the river. How, exactly, will that lift to 140-foot clearance for the passage of boats? Or does the developer's self-importance extend to convincing the US Coast Guard to remove the South Branch from the list of navigable waterways?
Davies is just laying out a grandiose, futuristic possibility for this area, with the goal of boosting land values as much as possible. He's in it to flip the land, not to actually build anything. Consequently, the practical aspects of the plan don't matter.

He doesn't have the resources to build, anyway - he has no experience with large development projects and even less experience dealing with lenders or REITs. Even if he wanted to build, he'd have an incredibly hard time finding the money.

The pernicious spirit of speculation strikes again...
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  #11  
Old Posted Jul 26, 2011, 2:12 AM
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I know someone in New York City like that. His name is James Joseph Sitt. He owns properties on Coney Island, but he tore everything down, and left only empty land without anything else.
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  #12  
Old Posted Jul 23, 2011, 4:30 PM
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Deep-pocketed developers with expansive reputations, backed by monster banks, failed to bring new tallests to fruition. Therefore, this one will actually get built.
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  #13  
Old Posted Jul 26, 2011, 4:32 AM
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This batch of massing concepts just seems like a really awful pr move. I understand it's great to get the public excited, but when they are laughing it's whole other story. Emerging from a recession where people are still humbled by our visible skyscraper losses and you throw this on the table.

The post office would benefit more from a wholesome well thought out plan that is convincing to the public. It's big, but not an impossible building to work with.
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  #14  
Old Posted Jul 26, 2011, 3:40 PM
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LOL, leave for two weeks and its 2007 again...


Just watch, this will be the 2000'er that finally gets built now that we are all pooh poohing it and convinced it will never happen.
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  #15  
Old Posted Jul 26, 2011, 7:42 PM
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I definitely do not like the base/podium concept, but the twin 2000 footers don't look bad (given the rather crude rendering). It could be a LOT worse. I say build it.
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  #16  
Old Posted Jul 26, 2011, 7:48 PM
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...actually, the only way the 2000 foot tower(s) could possibly get built is if they eliminate the huge, ill-conceived base "contraption" completely. The city simply wouldn't allow it (nor should it).
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  #17  
Old Posted Aug 2, 2011, 9:33 PM
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http://www.archpaper.com/news/articles.asp?id=5565

Mail Mall Monolith
Developer proposes tallest Chicago tower in Post Office makeover.




Alan G. Brake
8.02.2011

Quote:

In late July Monaco-based developer Bill Davies stunned Chicago with a proposal for a massive retail and entertainment complex topped by office, residential, and hotel towers, including a 120-story skyline topper. Working with Lawrence Booth, principal of Booth Hansen, the full build-out would include 6.2 million square feet of retail, restaurants, and entertainment space, 3.8 million square feet of residential space, 2 million square feet of offices, 7500 hotel rooms, parking for 12,000 cars, and a 20-acre “skyline park” green roof.
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Old Posted Aug 2, 2011, 9:37 PM
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I just realized these towers are just a bunch of Hyatt Centers stacked on top of each other and bound in pairs...
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  #19  
Old Posted Aug 2, 2011, 9:51 PM
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Yea, the design is awful. Really hoping these aren't the actual intended designs, it looks like a giant tuning fork.
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  #20  
Old Posted Aug 3, 2011, 12:18 AM
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At first I was okay with the design, but with a second look especially from the rendering above I really hate this building. Looks like the Petronas Towers in Malaysia had a child with the Sears Tower. Just no no.
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