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  #21061  
Old Posted Nov 20, 2013, 7:11 PM
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Originally Posted by SamInTheLoop View Post
^^ I really wonder if maybe this kind of 'dumbed-down', 90s-ish design route wasn't even at all that 'necessary' from a NIMBY-pander perspective?
It wasn't a necessary move as far as the neighborhood opposition is concerned; I think it was more of an appeal to Tunney to lock in his approval. Which is a shame, because the site deserves something much better.

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Originally Posted by gallo View Post
Us skyscraperpagers can smell our own... As a local resident, a grocery in that location would be incredibly awesome as we have nothing within immediate waking distance except for the Walgreens on Sheffield. I would use it just about every day, as would my wife (and the thousands of other transit riders that cross the intersection every day.
A grocer would be great, I agree, because ideally the density of grocers in a neighborhood should be such that there is one for every half-mile of travel distance. Of course, there is a needed level of population density to provide the customer base needed to support this density of stores, but the very building that this potential new grocer will be in helps head the trajectory of the neighborhood that way. Grocery trips, probably more so than any other shopping trips, are taken by automobile if only because the prospect of lugging two armfuls of bags more than 4 blocks is unthinkable to most people (and the American food shopping culture of less frequent trips with more purchases per trip is alive and well, leading to high total weight for the packages). If grocers were closely grouped enough, (one would hope that) the travel mode share for shopping trips would see an increase in the amount of walking (and maybe even promote a shopping style of more frequent trips with less purchases per trip).

The loading area for inventory deliveries will create problems for Clark, but maybe that will induce a mode share shift to more walking too . (The detriment to the 22 bus will be unfortunate, though.)

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Originally Posted by gallo View Post
Say what you will about the neotraditional design, but if we can just get this scale of infill development, strong urban design and low parking ratios to replace the crap around Clark and Barry (and the drive-in bank @ Halsted and Belmont) we'd be golden...
You know, I'm inclined to agree with this attitude, especially considering that developments like this one can be one criticism away from being tabled entirely, but there is nothing about the program for a building or its appearance that makes high-quality versions of both mutually exclusive. Chicago is so in need of developments like this that we may be too eager to allow for concessions, and we need to remember that this building will effectively be at the corner of Clark and Belmont forever. A better design costs nothing in this case, especially when it's simply a matter of Hirsch choosing a different option from the pool of 10 or more that he has likely already drawn up. He even said at the meeting last night that there was a design for an all-glass building. It's a pity that that will likely never be seen nor considered.
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  #21062  
Old Posted Nov 20, 2013, 9:15 PM
k1052 k1052 is offline
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Originally Posted by Jibba View Post
You know, I'm inclined to agree with this attitude, especially considering that developments like this one can be one criticism away from being tabled entirely, but there is nothing about the program for a building or its appearance that makes high-quality versions of both mutually exclusive. Chicago is so in need of developments like this that we may be too eager to allow for concessions, and we need to remember that this building will effectively be at the corner of Clark and Belmont forever. A better design costs nothing in this case, especially when it's simply a matter of Hirsch choosing a different option from the pool of 10 or more that he has likely already drawn up. He even said at the meeting last night that there was a design for an all-glass building. It's a pity that that will likely never be seen nor considered.
Considering the beating the Out Hotel developer took even over the designs I can see how others may choose to avoid this area of contention entirely. This neighborhood does not generally embrace modern design and can be outright hostile to it.
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  #21063  
Old Posted Nov 20, 2013, 9:56 PM
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Originally Posted by SamInTheLoop View Post
I'd love to get my hands on this study. First question with these, as always, in this particular town is was the study designed to tell politicians what they wanted to hear.....it's a fair question, no matter the consulting shop (in this case a group)....as Chicago's reputation certainly preceeds itself.

Second, I'm wondering what the parameters were and what constitutes "economic viability" in this case. A casino and a library. I think one will tend to generate more economic activity than the other, both direct and indirect (yes - even if the library is presidential), no matter what parcel and what city we're talking about.

Third, the Obama library belongs either on UC Campus or nearby in Hyde Park. Sometimes the best natural fit is the way to go instead of trying to fight it and kick-off a pipe dream redevelopment somewhere.

Fourth, I'm kinda torn as to (if we are to accept a Chicago casino as the inevitability it would seem to be) just how central it should be. There are still those that would like to see it in the heart of the Loop. If it were very upscale and modestly sized, I just might be able to go for that....however, I truly doubt that's what we'd be looking at, even if it by all appearances was tasteful in design and demeanor.

Michael Reese may make sense....it could tie-in to the whole hoped for McCormick Place/Motor Row/far South Loop entertainment type district......however I think the Post Office could also be intriguing too. That joker who bought it a few years ago (as a 'flip' play of course), might even be able to make a modest profit on it.....interesting too to think about what a huge jolt of activity might do for this sleepy corner of downtown.....
Lee Bey once mentioned Pullman's Administration Building as an intriguing potential site for an Obama presidential library. Is Chicago a certainty now? I suspect that Honolulu has its eyes on the prize as well.

Regarding the Casino, I'm mostly concerned about how dependent the Reese site might be on vehicular traffic & the convention center for patronage. There's a natural political desire to control the vice & avoid associated risk by isolating the casino in its own hermetically sealed environment. But you'd lose a lot of peripheral tourist dollars that could otherwise be out & about, buying dinners, seeing shows etc, downtown & in the neighborhoods.

That's why I still favor the old Post Office as the casino site. Besides, what other chance does the white elephant have for redemption?

Last edited by wrab; Nov 20, 2013 at 11:02 PM.
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  #21064  
Old Posted Nov 21, 2013, 2:03 AM
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Originally Posted by LouisVanDerWright View Post
In its final iteration the New City project will include about 360,000 square feet of retail space and a 19-story, 199-unit apartment building, about 40,000 square feet of medical office space and a 1,100-vehicle garage.
That is an enormous garage particularly given the context of the project. Such a massive supply of parking is only a good thing if the parking garage can serve as a shared parking lot for the entire retail district (i.e. including retail up to several blocks from New City), thereby reducing the traffic from shoppers driving from one private strip mall parking lot to another, and possibly providing some extra incentive for the smaller property owners to redevelop their land without designing in the need for exclusive off-street parking (which they currently have to out of competitive necessity).

Back-of-the-envelope, applying Chicago's parking minimums for the high density retail, office, and residential uses probably only computes out to around 650-750 spaces, and that's excluding any reductions that may apply due to rapid transit proximity.
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  #21065  
Old Posted Nov 21, 2013, 4:56 PM
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I can't find any coverage of last night's park district meeting. Anybody have news on that one?
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  #21066  
Old Posted Nov 21, 2013, 6:58 PM
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The completion of this project should amp up that district even further and the erection of that 19 story tower will add nicely to the little skyscraper district developing around North and Clyborn.
So the SoNo towers now classify as a 'skyscraper district.' That's a laugh.
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  #21067  
Old Posted Nov 21, 2013, 7:15 PM
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Much of the area west of Halsted is zoned for retail/industrial only, so there won't be a skyscraper cluster "forming" anytime soon. I'd like to see more midrises like Ashland/Division though, with the retail on the ground floor. That mall with the CB2 is just begging for redevelopment.
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  #21068  
Old Posted Nov 21, 2013, 7:26 PM
SamInTheLoop SamInTheLoop is offline
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Originally Posted by Jibba View Post
It wasn't a necessary move as far as the neighborhood opposition is concerned; I think it was more of an appeal to Tunney to lock in his approval. Which is a shame, because the site deserves something much better.


.........


You know, I'm inclined to agree with this attitude, especially considering that developments like this one can be one criticism away from being tabled entirely, but there is nothing about the program for a building or its appearance that makes high-quality versions of both mutually exclusive. Chicago is so in need of developments like this that we may be too eager to allow for concessions, and we need to remember that this building will effectively be at the corner of Clark and Belmont forever. A better design costs nothing in this case, especially when it's simply a matter of Hirsch choosing a different option from the pool of 10 or more that he has likely already drawn up. He even said at the meeting last night that there was a design for an all-glass building. It's a pity that that will likely never be seen nor considered.


The design quality concessions here (how disturbing of a concept is this?) are way too severe. It doesn't sound at least to me that there was any sort of public groundswell of, or outcry for 'pedestrian' (not to be confused with pedestrian urban design!) design that's dumb enough for the Lakeview bros (credit: LVDW). More like 'the developer got wind that Tunney, who clearly doesn't have the sharpest eye for design, is fond of the northwest tower, so let's not stress ourselves out, let's just awkwardly take some cues from it and just give him something we can be fairly confident will be approved'. That's a real shame, and I have to say also speaks pretty damn poorly about Hirsch (I expect as much as far as the 'tendency to seek the path of least resistance - while still acceptably profitable' from a lot of developers, but it's really disappointing when you see design architects easily and all too willingly go along (at least by all appearances here).....
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Last edited by SamInTheLoop; Nov 21, 2013 at 9:07 PM.
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  #21069  
Old Posted Nov 21, 2013, 10:13 PM
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^Although, considering the drastic change in form that this project took between the first design and this most recent iteration, I am hoping that the design is still subject to influence at this point. I wrote out quite a lengthy critique of the design after attending the meeting of the Hawthorne Neighbors and sent it off to Tunney's office, and I wasn't expecting to receive a response and knew that there was a slim chance that my opinion would even be weighed, but Norine at the 44th Ward office messaged me back today and said that she would be printing out my submission and delivering it personally to Tunney and his chief of staff, Bennett (we'll see if he actually reads it). One letter won't change anyone's mind, obviously, but maybe 10 or 20 will. I would advise anyone that has even a slight desire to give their opinion to do so. At the very least, he will be aware that other perspectives exist and that those who harbor them are just as concerned about seeing these types of developments built and with great, fully realized design as others are that oppose them or only accept them if they get a (false) compromise between a new building and something that keeps them from feeling like too much change is being forced on them.

Also, Bennett was able to provide me a schedule of when the next "Community Directed Development Council" meetings will be. Supposedly, opinions given at the first of these meetings that included the Clark/Belmont proposal are what spurred the redesign between the first version of the building and the current proposal. According to Bennett, "There will be many more meetings on this project as the process moves forward. They have made design changes since the last presentation to CDDC and will likely have further modifications based on community input. I can imagine they will return to the neighborhood groups and the CDDC at least one more time. We may also decide to have a special meeting to discuss the project in the neighborhood." He said that there may be a CDDC meeting in December, but if not, it will be January 22nd (CDDC meetings are normally the 4th Wednesday of odd months).
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  #21070  
Old Posted Nov 21, 2013, 11:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Jibba View Post
^Although, considering the drastic change in form that this project took between the first design and this most recent iteration, I am hoping that the design is still subject to influence at this point. I wrote out quite a lengthy critique of the design after attending the meeting of the Hawthorne Neighbors and sent it off to Tunney's office
Care to share your critique?
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  #21071  
Old Posted Nov 22, 2013, 1:37 AM
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Give me a break. Some of you are NIMBY's too, just 'design NIMBYs'. What makes you think that you can dictate design to the developer? The only thing you all and that Alderman should be able to have a say over is density and massing. Beyond that, the community doth tread too much. No wonder why the neighborhoods are so lacking in dense development. You have to fight off a fucking den of lions to build anything substantial in size...
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  #21072  
Old Posted Nov 22, 2013, 1:46 AM
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It was "community influence" or the fear thereof that led to the recent changes from glassy to traditional. If the community is gonna push for crappy design and Tunney is gonna enable them, why shouldn't we make our voices heard and push for something better?

I agree that the lengthy process of negotiating with aldermen and community groups dampens development. But that's the system we've got, so why not use it to get better buildings?
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  #21073  
Old Posted Nov 22, 2013, 1:54 AM
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^. Because, everybody has their own opinion of what a better building is. It has become a 'whoever bitches the most to the Alderman gets their way' kind of process. Ironically, sans community input this was going to be a glassy building.
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  #21074  
Old Posted Nov 22, 2013, 6:25 AM
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Woodlawn 'Getting Better" With Redevelopment of Old Grove Parc Apartments

WOODLAWN — Residents, community members and elected officials participated Thursday in a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the opening of phase two of The Grant at Woodlawn Park, an affordable housing complex.

Phase two consists of 33 newly built units at 6129 S. Cottage Grove Ave. where the Grove Parc Apartments complex once stood. Former Grove Parc tenants currently occupy 29 units while two market rate units are available, according to Kim Atkins, assistant property manager for The Grant.

Phase one — two family buildings at 6227 and 6230 S. Cottage Grove Ave. — was previously completed and consists of 67 units.

There will be six phases in total, which will include a youth center. Construction for phase three, a senior building, is expected to begin by the end of the year, said Bill Eager, vice president of the Chicago office for the Preservation of Affordable Housing.
http://www.dnainfo.com/chicago/20131...arc-apartments

This is right near a Green Line stop.
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  #21075  
Old Posted Nov 22, 2013, 7:22 AM
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Not bad. That panelized wall system on the upper floors is pretty nice... I wish they didn't ruin it by putting clunky brick on the first floor. I'd love to see the upper floors cantilevered out slightly and the base done in a darker color of panel.

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  #21076  
Old Posted Nov 22, 2013, 2:32 PM
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Originally Posted by marothisu View Post
http://www.dnainfo.com/chicago/20131...arc-apartments

This is right near a Green Line stop.
This new development is less dense than the previous development (Grove Parc) which stood on the site.

If they want to impress me, rebuild the Trianon.
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  #21077  
Old Posted Nov 22, 2013, 2:38 PM
SamInTheLoop SamInTheLoop is offline
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^. Because, everybody has their own opinion of what a better building is. It has become a 'whoever bitches the most to the Alderman gets their way' kind of process. Ironically, sans community input this was going to be a glassy building.
Many of these proposals are inluenced from the outset by what is perceived that the 'community input' is likely to be (or what is perceived that the alderman's is likely to be, to the extent it's not identical to 'community'). How do we even know that the first renderings represented a 'serious' version?...
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  #21078  
Old Posted Nov 22, 2013, 2:43 PM
SamInTheLoop SamInTheLoop is offline
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Originally Posted by ardecila View Post
It was "community influence" or the fear thereof that led to the recent changes from glassy to traditional. If the community is gonna push for crappy design and Tunney is gonna enable them, why shouldn't we make our voices heard and push for something better?

I agree that the lengthy process of negotiating with aldermen and community groups dampens development. But that's the system we've got, so why not use it to get better buildings?

Exactly. The current system is a joke, and it should be criticized relentlessly until it's changed. That does not in anyway mean that until the system is completely changed, we should not use it (in addition to other means) to push for much better design around the city. Proper urban density/transit, pedestrian focused development and great design are two very worthy pursits, and both should be vocally advocated for...one does not trump the other...
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  #21079  
Old Posted Nov 22, 2013, 3:38 PM
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Lincoln Park School Annex Meeting Ends in Fist Fight

http://www.dnainfo.com/chicago/20131...ent-fist-fight

I can't wait to see what happens when McCaffery pushes forward their latest proposal.
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  #21080  
Old Posted Nov 22, 2013, 4:16 PM
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According to Crain's, a 65 unit condo building with ground floor retail is being planned for 100 W Huron in River North.That is currently a parking lot right next to Underground Wonder Bar and across from Hotel Felix. Led by Akara Partners.

http://www.chicagorealestatedaily.co...441F5850923A1T
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