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  #12321  
Old Posted Mar 27, 2011, 8:24 PM
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That Cantina Laredo thingamabob is going up fast!

Already much of the stone facade is up, and most of the frame appears to be up as well.

I'm guessing this restaurant will be open by summer. Too bad it's just another one of those Mexican chains..

Amazing how much this area has changed--1st with Hotel Palomar, and now this restaurant occupying what were once a plaza and a parking lot. The enclosure of River North continues...
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  #12322  
Old Posted Mar 27, 2011, 9:28 PM
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Eh.. I love the design of the Palomar - easily one of the 5 best new buildings in River North - but I miss that plaza. It was an incredibly successful public space, which is something that's pretty rare in Chicago. I can only hope the Fort Dearborn park (whenever they build it) will be better.
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  #12323  
Old Posted Mar 27, 2011, 9:55 PM
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^^^ Fort Dearborn park? What's that? Any renderings?
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  #12324  
Old Posted Mar 27, 2011, 10:31 PM
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There's nothing definitive yet. The Ft. Dearborn post office wants to sell their land (a whole block) for development, and Ald. Reilly is pushing them to incorporate plenty of greenspace into the site plan.

The postal service put out an RFP a few years ago and got plenty of responses. They want to split into two smaller sites, but they need to identify those before they can move out. (They've already opened a new retail location in Streeterville)

The city's Central Area Plan calls for the whole block to be a park, but that's unlikely. Best case scenario is that the city uses TIF funds or something to buy the land from USPS and turn it into a park. It would be nearly as good if they work with a developer to build underground parking and a park on top.

Conceptual from the Central Area Plan, pointing south (the blue blob on the left is now Grand Plaza):
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  #12325  
Old Posted Mar 28, 2011, 3:33 AM
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Superman Newest Installment to be Filmed in Chicago Area this Summer
Crain's Chicago Business



"...Superman is coming to Chicago this summer, a huge boost for the city's hopes to be a moviemaking superpower. Filming of Warner Bros. Pictures' next Superman movie will take place in the Chicago area over two or three months starting in August, industry sources tell Crain's, with production centered in far west suburban Plano..."

"...With an estimated budget of $175 million, the film promises the Chicago area an economic boost like it got from last summer's filming of “Transformers 3” and the Batman movies shot here in recent years..."

"...Less conspicuous, but no less important, is a growing number of television pilots shooting in Chicago. One of the five shot last year turned into a series, “The Chicago Code,” which is up for renewal next season. Another cop drama pilot, “Cooper and Stone,” and a “Mad Men”-style "60s-era show set in Chicago called “The Playboy Club” are in production here. “Boss,” an eight-episode cable drama starring Kelsey Grammer of “Frasier” as an off-kilter mayor of Chicago, will soon start production, possibly at Cinespace Chicago, a huge studio being built in several Southwest Side buildings formerly occupied by steel distributor Ryerson Inc..."


http://www.chicagobusiness.com/artic...e-nick-of-time
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  #12326  
Old Posted Mar 28, 2011, 4:21 AM
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^ Yes!!! I hope its better than the last one...
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  #12327  
Old Posted Mar 28, 2011, 4:32 AM
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I never liked superman but if it brings in local mula than whatever.
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  #12328  
Old Posted Mar 28, 2011, 6:07 AM
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Farnsworth House would make a terrible Fortress of Solitude.
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  #12329  
Old Posted Mar 28, 2011, 6:16 AM
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Everyone, your new favorite chain drugstore in the city is now open.

CVS inside the classical bank building at Division/Ashland recently opened with a stunning atrium interior, chandeliers, and old-school entry doors, among other things.

If you roll with rubber rather than steel wheels, there is covered free parking and a separate full entrance (and cashier station) at the west end of the structure.

I will say the fluorescent lighting scheme they chose for the shelving is a little too glaring. But the building looks a zillion times better on that big corner by having those grand, street-level windows no longer boarded up.
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  #12330  
Old Posted Mar 28, 2011, 3:35 PM
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Thanks for the tip denizen, I'll definitely check it out.
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  #12331  
Old Posted Mar 28, 2011, 4:04 PM
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^^^^ AND Eater had a preview of The Bedford, which is slated to open in the basement below the CVS.

Article with pictures of construction. http://chicago.eater.com/archives/20...n-buildout.php

Now all we need to do is get rid of that old Pizza Hut!
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  #12332  
Old Posted Mar 28, 2011, 4:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ardecila View Post
There's nothing definitive yet. The Ft. Dearborn post office wants to sell their land (a whole block) for development, and Ald. Reilly is pushing them to incorporate plenty of greenspace into the site plan.
...
I'd like to see that whole block turned into public space. I also think having the public space built over underground parking would be acceptable - especially if the city was willing to grant concessions on parking requirements on new developments in the surrounding two blocks or so.

But I'd prefer a lot less green. Some, sure, but that's too much green for such a heavily-trafficked area. I'd vote for something more like Pioneer Courthouse Square in Portland, or, actually, Jamison Square, also in Portland, might be a better model. If they really wanted more nature in that area, then something like Portland's Tanner Springs Park might be okay, too.

Other similar suggestions might be the Jardines des Descubrimiento in Madrid.

Even in New York, Washington Square and Union Square both have quite a bit of plaza built in - they're not 100% greenspace. Another example I think might be useful is Copley Square in Boston.

It would definitely be nice if Chicago put a big, dramatic sculptural work as a centerpoint of public space there. Or even more than one. Outside of Daley Plaza and Millennium Park, most of Chicago's parks and public spaces lack dramatic artistic works that make the space interesting. In that space, it would help distract people from Grand Plaza.
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  #12333  
Old Posted Mar 28, 2011, 5:50 PM
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Agreed—as it looks now, it’s a bit lawnish for me. As for sculpture, I like the approach Adams & Sangamon Park took, incorporating it more into the landscape rather than having the sculptures as stand-alone pieces or focal points. The big circle surrounded by trees also seems a little bit too sheltered—in the unlikely event they go with a whole block, I’d like some more interaction with the surrounding streets.

Any ideas about how this site couple be split? To me, the most obvious thing would be to split it into a north and south parcel, with the south parcel being a public space and the north parcel being developed, hopefully with some kind of artful façade. In fact, any slicing of the site would make the park at least somewhat dependent on the quality of the building it shares the block with.
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  #12334  
Old Posted Mar 28, 2011, 9:38 PM
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There's something that irks me about the concept of Rainforest Cafe having park-facing property, or for that matter having the owners thereof benefiting from a public park investment.

Might as well start the movement here. Just as the Pritzkers got the old Chicago style buildings (including, I believe, the Blues Brothers' hotel room) torn down to protect the vistas of their new downtown library, so should Rainforest Cafe be demolished to protect the vistas of any new Post Office Park.

http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&sour...27.79,,0,-3.87

As much as the Grand Plaza podium is a pretty poor park-facing setting... this is so very, very worse.
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  #12335  
Old Posted Mar 28, 2011, 9:43 PM
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...
Might as well start the movement here. Just as the Pritzker's got the old Chicago style buildings (including, I believe, the Blues Brothers' hotel room) torn down to protect the vistas of their new downtown library, so should Rainforest Cafe be demolished to protect the vistas of any new Post Office Park.
...
Maybe we could even spur McD's to do something more interesting with their River North square block.

I've thought for some time they should make an office building there for some of their creative and financial staff, and in the first floor or two make a McDonand's only food court where you could find EVERY dish they make in the world. It would probably not be profitable, but boy would it be AWESOME to get some of their unusual Asian or Latin dishes that you'd normally only ever see if you traveled to the far corners of the earth. I think it would be a far more interesting tourist attraction, too. I mean, everywhere has a big McDonalds, but for the home metro of McDonalds to be the one place you could see their entire global menu would actually be a reason for me to go to a McDonalds. And a tower on top would help keep the area feeling dense and lively. It could even help nudge along the Carol Street Transitway.
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  #12336  
Old Posted Mar 28, 2011, 10:14 PM
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Amazing how much this area has changed--1st with Hotel Palomar, and now this restaurant occupying what were once a plaza and a parking lot. The enclosure of River North continues...
There's also this proposed retail box across the street on Illinois


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Originally Posted by VivaLFuego View Post
As much as the Grand Plaza podium is a pretty poor park-facing setting... this is so very, very worse.
This is why I'm not in favor of a park on the entire block here. The north and east sides would face some of the worst buildings of the boom and the west side (Best Western) isn't that great either.
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  #12337  
Old Posted Mar 29, 2011, 2:15 AM
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A rare construction start

Looks like another parking lot in the West Loop is about to bite the dust. It's especially nice to see Madison St filling in further westward. From SSC:


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Originally Posted by SanToki64 View Post
New development... construction has already started from what I could tell

From www.facebook.com/westlooprealtor

ANNOUNCING 1300 W. MADISON - WEST LOOP!!! Phase 1 Construction at 6 N. Throop St. has begun: 1,700sf 3 Bed / 2 Bath Units from $460,000. 2,000 sf 3 Bed / 2 Bath Duplex-up Penthouse Units with Dramatic Skyline Views from $565,000. Intimate 6-Unit Elevator Building with Garage Parking Included. Premium Finishes, Prime West Loop Location, Late 2011 Delivery, 10% Pre-Construction Discount Pricing. CHECK BACK OFTEN FOR MORE PROJECT DETAILS AND UPDATES.

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Gentrification is the work of God. If you have a problem with that, well then—sorry. But you will fail trying to fight it. Gentrification will win. Development will win. But that doesn’t make you a loser. Your job is to colonize new areas, and open them up to future gentrification!
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  #12338  
Old Posted Mar 29, 2011, 2:25 AM
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Originally Posted by emathias View Post
I'd like to see that whole block turned into public space. I also think having the public space built over underground parking would be acceptable - especially if the city was willing to grant concessions on parking requirements on new developments in the surrounding two blocks or so.

But I'd prefer a lot less green. Some, sure, but that's too much green for such a heavily-trafficked area. I'd vote for something more like Pioneer Courthouse Square in Portland, or, actually, Jamison Square, also in Portland, might be a better model. If they really wanted more nature in that area, then something like Portland's Tanner Springs Park might be okay, too.

Other similar suggestions might be the Jardines des Descubrimiento in Madrid.

Even in New York, Washington Square and Union Square both have quite a bit of plaza built in - they're not 100% greenspace. Another example I think might be useful is Copley Square in Boston.

It would definitely be nice if Chicago put a big, dramatic sculptural work as a centerpoint of public space there. Or even more than one. Outside of Daley Plaza and Millennium Park, most of Chicago's parks and public spaces lack dramatic artistic works that make the space interesting. In that space, it would help distract people from Grand Plaza.
Those are exactly the types of public spaces I'd like to see in Chicago, but we just don't seem to get that concept here. We just do lawns and baseball fields.
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  #12339  
Old Posted Mar 29, 2011, 2:26 AM
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^ I think the Lakeshore East park is a very nice public space.
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Gentrification is the work of God. If you have a problem with that, well then—sorry. But you will fail trying to fight it. Gentrification will win. Development will win. But that doesn’t make you a loser. Your job is to colonize new areas, and open them up to future gentrification!
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  #12340  
Old Posted Mar 29, 2011, 2:34 AM
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This is why I'm not in favor of a park on the entire block here. The north and east sides would face some of the worst buildings of the boom and the west side (Best Western) isn't that great either.
I'm assuming that park frontage would help to create a wave of new towers facing Clark and Dearborn just like the previous wave that swept State, Wabash, and Rush.

Clark right now is a pretty awful blend of destination restaurants and pharmacies.

There are several open or under-developed plots facing the Fort Dearborn site, including Rainforest Cafe and Blue Water Grill. There's also the three-hotel proposal, which I think is pretty attractive.
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