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Old Posted Sep 15, 2017, 4:35 PM
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Cool CHICAGO | Lincoln Yards

Chicago developer aims at Amazon with $10B vision for former steel plant site
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By Ryan Ori
Sterling Bay's massive development planned for the former A. Finkl & Sons steel plant site has a name, a high-powered planning team and one big target: Amazon's second headquarters.

About two years after it struck a deal to buy the North Side parcel along the Chicago River, the Chicago developer is disclosing new details, including the name: Lincoln Yards.

The mixed-use development could take up as much as 100 acres of land along Lincoln Park and Bucktown, cost as much as $10 billion and take a decade to complete, said Sterling Bay managing principal Andy Gloor.

Sterling Bay is sharing its first detailed description of Lincoln Yards at an ideal time to be in possession of a sprawling, well-located development site. Seattle-based Amazon last week announced it will search North America for a city where it can create a second headquarters for up to 50,000 new employees.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel is pushing for that city to be Chicago, and Gloor said Sterling Bay plans to court Amazon. A few prominent Chicago developers have sites that could potentially accomodate Amazon, but Sterling Bay is the first to publicly describe plans to land the deal.

"Chicago is a strong tech market," Gloor said. "Chicago as a city has a lot to offer someone like Amazon. If you're looking at Chicago and trying to build a second headquarters, 100 acres of riverside land between Lincoln Park and Bucktown feels like a good place to start.

"We think it's the best infill site in the U.S. today."

Lincoln Yards is expected to include a new Metra train station, an extension of The 606 elevated trail, a water taxi stop, office and residential towers, a riverside brewery, shops and restaurants. The project also could include other uses, including a school or a theater, Gloor said.
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  #2  
Old Posted Sep 16, 2017, 2:00 AM
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Website for the project is now up:
http://www.lincolnyards.com/
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Old Posted Sep 20, 2017, 8:21 AM
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More and more word this week, from various sources, says that transit is an important factor for Amazon's headquarters. That might be a problem for this site if it only relies on Metra

Chicago a 'top prospect' for Amazon headquarters
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As a delegation from City Hall and Gov. Bruce Rauner's office tours Amazon's headquarters in Seattle today, the head of the state's economic development arm is lifting the veil a bit on the odds of Chicago winning Amazon's huge 50,000-job HQ2.

The bottom line from Intersect Illinois' Mark Peterson: The Windy City really is in the hunt, aided by its public transportation infrastructure, an asset that's gone largely unappreciated until now in the headquarters sweepstakes. And the governor and Mayor Rahm Emanuel really are working together for a change on this one, Peterson notes. But success by no means is guaranteed.
...
St. Louis also is bidding for the second headquarters, something Rauner mentioned yesterday, and it "may meet the criteria" Amazon has set forth. But Chicago clearly offers two other things Amazon has on its list: proximity to young talent at top universities, and a good public transit system that is more than a nominal factor for commuters.

"They want very much for public transit to be part of this," Peterson said. That could give Chicago a leg up on other cities in the running, such as Dallas and Atlanta, which have certain attributes on Amazon's wish list but are not known for reliable public transit.
http://www.chicagobusiness.com/artic...rs-sweepstakes

Transit becomes Amazon bid focus
http://www.crainsdetroit.com/article...azon-bid-focus
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Old Posted Sep 20, 2017, 2:23 PM
moorhosj moorhosj is offline
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On the flip side, is there a more transportation-friendly site in the country than the Old Post Office? 10 minute or less walk to LaSalle, Union and Ogilvie stations; 15 minute or less walk to Orange, Blue, Red, Brown and Pink lines (Green would be a little farther); water taxi stop 5 minutes away; and a highway that literally runs through the building.

O'Hare, however, is a bit of a trip (about an hour via Blue line), Midway is about 40 minutes.
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Old Posted Sep 20, 2017, 2:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Randomguy34 View Post
More and more word this week, from various sources, says that transit is an important factor for Amazon's headquarters. That might be a problem for this site if it only relies on Metra

Chicago a 'top prospect' for Amazon headquarters

http://www.chicagobusiness.com/artic...rs-sweepstakes

Transit becomes Amazon bid focus
http://www.crainsdetroit.com/article...azon-bid-focus
That definitely tips it toward the Chicago/Philly/Boston/Brooklyn crowd, unless coming from Seattle means they'd accept the sort of lightrail system Dallas has. Which they might. Dallas light rail is fairly extensive, although the relative lack of density means that truly living car-free as an option probably isn't a choice made by upper-middle-class people in Dallas they way it can be for upper-middle-class people in Chicago/Philly/Boston/Brooklyn. Individual lines in Dallas usually only have trains every 15 minutes at most, but where 2-3 lines share track, you end up with decent frequency during prime times. Looks like their rail service hours are comparable to the Brown Line.
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  #6  
Old Posted Sep 20, 2017, 2:52 PM
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not sure that brooklyn/philly/boston are in the hunt so much, but chicago/dallas make sense. i think i heard denver is the lead choice, but that seems too far west. i wish they would consider somewhere less heralded than the usual suspect cities mentioned, like in the midwest or south though. somewhere they could help makeover and almost own the town, so to speak. seriously doubt those wealthy and upper middle class west coasters could bring themselves to do something like that, but it would be nice. anyway, its all just speculation -- we will see.
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Old Posted Sep 20, 2017, 4:05 PM
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Originally Posted by mrnyc View Post
not sure that brooklyn/philly/boston are in the hunt so much, but chicago/dallas make sense. i think i heard denver is the lead choice, but that seems too far west. i wish they would consider somewhere less heralded than the usual suspect cities mentioned, like in the midwest or south though. somewhere they could help makeover and almost own the town, so to speak. seriously doubt those wealthy and upper middle class west coasters could bring themselves to do something like that, but it would be nice. anyway, its all just speculation -- we will see.
Denver seems like a very strange choice. Why bother with a second HQ? It barely hits any of the criteria. It's small, expensive, not particularly good transit, far from NYC and DC, etc.
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Old Posted Sep 20, 2017, 4:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Vlajos View Post
Denver seems like a very strange choice. Why bother with a second HQ? It barely hits any of the criteria. It's small, expensive, not particularly good transit, far from NYC and DC, etc.

Denver is the most remote MSA in the US. Locating there won't help them recruit anymore than their location in Seattle (which, besides proximity to Portland, is fairly isolated from the other major MSA's).

Also saw one publication saying that senior members at Amazon were advocating on behalf of Boston.
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  #9  
Old Posted Sep 20, 2017, 4:17 PM
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Originally Posted by JK47 View Post
Denver is the most remote MSA in the US. Locating there won't help them recruit anymore than their location in Seattle (which, besides proximity to Portland, is fairly isolated from the other major MSA's).

Also saw one publication saying that senior members at Amazon were advocating on behalf of Boston.
Boston seems highly unlikely. The reasoning given for preferring Boston was proximity to Harvard and MIT, but that's a bit silly. Those aren't regional schools, and the overwhelming majority of their graduates leave the Boston area. My guess is these "reports" about preference for Boston were leaked in order to nudge Boston to take the race more seriously, since Boston's mayor came right out and said they would offer no subsidies.

Denver was chosen by the NYTimes for Amazon by taking the RFP far too literally and applying really arbitrary criteria where the RFP is vague (which is almost everywhere). It's not a sensible choice.
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  #10  
Old Posted Sep 20, 2017, 4:42 PM
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I think maybe we should decouple this proposal from the Amazon search. What has been proposed so far is only the one site north of Chicago Ave, and that for only 6000 employees. That isn't going to blow up traffic for the site, and can be served by the existing Metra / L stations without too much trouble.
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Old Posted Sep 20, 2017, 5:42 PM
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^ Agreed, not sure a lincoln yards thread is even needed. Especially if it is just further segmenting the amazon/chicago discussion across more threads.
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  #12  
Old Posted Sep 20, 2017, 6:19 PM
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Originally Posted by moorhosj View Post
On the flip side, is there a more transportation-friendly site in the country than the Old Post Office? 10 minute or less walk to LaSalle, Union and Ogilvie stations; 15 minute or less walk to Orange, Blue, Red, Brown and Pink lines (Green would be a little farther); water taxi stop 5 minutes away; and a highway that literally runs through the building.

O'Hare, however, is a bit of a trip (about an hour via Blue line), Midway is about 40 minutes.
O'Hare won't be an hour if Rahm gets his way... and I have a feeling Amazon bringing 50,000 well paying jobs to town could go a long way towards the powers that be bringing the express o'hare-to-downtown train to fruition.
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  #13  
Old Posted Sep 25, 2017, 3:30 PM
MakeChicagoGreatAgai MakeChicagoGreatAgai is offline
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Is Bezos going to make his decision soon or does he intend to go on a nationwide tour to get his ass kissed by as many politicians as possible?
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  #14  
Old Posted Sep 25, 2017, 3:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Handro View Post
O'Hare won't be an hour if Rahm gets his way... and I have a feeling Amazon bringing 50,000 well paying jobs to town could go a long way towards the powers that be bringing the express o'hare-to-downtown train to fruition.
I don't see the need for the express train to and from O'Hare. I think the blue line does the job well enough. I'd rather see the brown line extended to O'Hare as well. That would certainly help decrease reliance on the blue line. It would even open up job opportunities in River North/Streeterville for people living on the NW side. They wouldn't have to go down to the loop or take a bus east on Division, Chicago, or Grand.
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  #15  
Old Posted Sep 26, 2017, 2:01 AM
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Not sure if someone should open a chicago amazon thread...but to continue it really seems Chicago is the perfect fit compared to all the competition...there is literally only about 4 cities on the list that are in my opinion considered "world class cities" and they are NY, Boston, Philly, DC... the rest are second tier..very nice cities but not really on a global scale... of those cities I dont see any that can compete with Chicago for what amazon is looking for... we have the central location so strategically its the best choice... .the affordability (relative to east coast cities and even seattle) ...transit (second best in country).. multiple sites that meet there requirement (like 3 or 4 solid contenders they can choose from), the population that far exceeds all there needs, the vibrancy and vitality that really only NYC really has
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Old Posted Sep 26, 2017, 4:04 AM
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I think this Lincoln Yards (bleghhh, that name) article from Curbed a few months ago provides a good idea of what the original conceptual massing was supposed to look like... And perhaps the render at the beginning of this thread still reflects some of that:

https://chicago.curbed.com/2017/7/26...-606-extension

(The master plan diagram within the link is very reminiscent of Studio Gang's other typical diagram illustrations..did they design this?)

Regardless, I think a lot of this is serendipitous for Sterling Bay since they created something that magically fits a big part of Amazon's needs...or maybe it's not serendipitous...
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Old Posted Sep 26, 2017, 2:54 PM
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Originally Posted by IrishIllini View Post
I don't see the need for the express train to and from O'Hare. I think the blue line does the job well enough. I'd rather see the brown line extended to O'Hare as well. That would certainly help decrease reliance on the blue line. It would even open up job opportunities in River North/Streeterville for people living on the NW side. They wouldn't have to go down to the loop or take a bus east on Division, Chicago, or Grand.
The O'hare express line is something Rahm got in his head that would be a huge benefit to the city. I think he is exaggerating the impact it would have. Too bad we can't have a dedicated express rail like NYC so we can have regular express trains. I would also prefer to see line extensions instead of this O'hare express line..
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Old Posted Sep 26, 2017, 3:06 PM
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The O'hare express line is something Rahm got in his head that would be a huge benefit to the city. I think he is exaggerating the impact it would have. Too bad we can't have a dedicated express rail like NYC so we can have regular express trains. I would also prefer to see line extensions instead of this O'hare express line..
The purple line is a dedicated express line from Howard to Sheridan (Wilson?). I don't think Chicago has any real demand for another dedicated express line anywhere else at the present. If Amazon does end up in Chicago I can see there being demand for additional express lines. Maybe along the green line should the gentry continue to push west?
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Old Posted Sep 26, 2017, 4:23 PM
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The purple line is a dedicated express line from Howard to Sheridan (Wilson?). I don't think Chicago has any real demand for another dedicated express line anywhere else at the present. If Amazon does end up in Chicago I can see there being demand for additional express lines. Maybe along the green line should the gentry continue to push west?
I do think the O'Hare branch could support an express line, although it's almost already an express line north of Belmont.

There are basically 16 stations on the O'Hare branch. Making an express south of Damen would be difficult and expensive, although if the west-pointed portals west of Clark/Lake were utilized you could create zero-station tunnels in parallel for probably a reasonable price since stations are a huge part of any subway cost. I think that if you had parallel tunnels from about Lake/Clinton and re-joined just south of Logan Square with stops at Logan and Belmont, then built overhead express tracks with a stop at Jefferson Park and Cumberland, and used rolling stock and tracks that supported 60mph service, you'd probably be able to get from Clark/Lake to O'Hare in 25 minutes, which would be plenty fast given that a dedicated heavy rail solution would probably only do it in 20 minutes and drop passengers in the West Loop instead of the Central Loop.

If those ran every 10 minutes all day, or maybe dropping to 20 minute headways before 7am and after 8pm, and the rolling stock was compatible with the 'L' tracks but had upgraded seating, loggage shelves, and cost $10 from the departing Loop station under Block 37, and $10 from O'Hare it'd be among the best airport connections in the world. At the intermediate stops it might be difficult to levy a higher fare, but if you could find an operationally efficient way to do it, you could charge $5 at the intermediate stations. Otherwise intermediate people would just get a great discount. It'd probably be best to figure out a way to charge efficiently if for no other reason than to prevent rush hour commuters from crushing the higher-fare customers at those four stations, although relieving some pressure from rush hour trails on the Blue Line from Belmont and Logan Square would be good.

What would it cost? That's the billion dollar question. But let's take a stab at it. Extending from the already-existing west-facing portals near Clinton/Lake to Logan Square is about 5.5 miles of tunnel. That portion seems like $200 million per mile would be feasible. Maybe even as low as $150 million per mile. Portal to attach to Logan Square probably $250 million. Elevated structure either over existing Blue Line, or running next to the UP-NW tracks perhaps $150 million per mile. Station with connections at Jefferson Park, $150 million, station with connections at Cumberland, $150 million, trackwork to rejoin mail Blue Line tracks west of Rosemont, $250 million, station enhancements at O'Hare to create dedicated part of station exclusively for express, $100 million. Station work in Block 37 to complete that, $150 million.

Total: $1.8 - $2.6 billion range. That seems comparable to estimates for the solution incompatible with existing 'L'. Using compatible 'L' means that, if it seemed worthy, you could through-run trains south of Block 37 just skipping stations but no dedicated express tracks to Cermak for connectivity to McCormick area for whatever it would cost to build a dedicated station at Cermak ($150 million?). Since that would back up against existing service on the Red Line, but would jump to the Green Line after Roosevelt, that portion of the run would vary from 5 minutes to 10 minutes depending on track traffic at the time. If you made a split station just north of Cermak, with trains moving off the line to standing tracks, and a 5-minute pause at Block 37 for loading, you'd be serving the McCormick area and Chinatown with 35-40 minute single-seat ride to O'Hare covering you convention area, the Central Loop, with a few extra stops along the NW side (you could even maybe skip Cumberland to save a couple minutes), for $10-15. That'd probably be pretty well-used by travelers, and maybe even some well-heeled commuters. If you sold a monthly "express" pass targeted at commuters in Logan Square/Avondale or Jefferson Park who wanted a nice ride downtown, you could probably price that at $150 alone or $200 to include an all-CTA monthly pass. If I lived in Jefferson Park and worked in the Central Loop, I'd probably be willing to pay $150-200 per month for an express ride in nice cars to the Loop to/from Jefferson Park.
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Old Posted Sep 26, 2017, 5:30 PM
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not sure what they are thinking - it will forever be called "Goose Island"

Maybe mash it up... Gooseland Yards


regarding express - didn't know it but we already have one (albeit no quite from the loop). I have been on the blue once (and seen one fly by Division Station once) when it went from Cali to O'hare - zero stops. Was awesome, took 12 minutes. Seems rare, but even the signage on the train switched to "Express" - anybody know about this or if they are scheduled?
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