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  #141  
Old Posted Nov 15, 2006, 3:27 AM
Nowhereman1280 Nowhereman1280 is offline
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Well I suppose that the elevator load would be the biggest problem. If you had even a free observation deck, it would probably suffer from huge traffic loads. I would like to see a mall (or some retail floor) above the average roof height in the city though, just to see if it would succeed.

They should build a series of big buildings on four differnt corners or something and have the buidlings lean inward across the streets to merge and form some sort of large continuous floorspace for a large retail base, how sweet would that be? However, with a building that large, the NIMBYs would flip out, which would be the fun of it of course!

I'm sure the idea of a skymall is infesable, but I like to think about things that are outside the box like this.

I guess I am just for more public spaces above floor level, like clubs and resturants and, if it could happen a skymall. I think the tops of tall buildings are wasted when they are just a bunch of offices!
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  #142  
Old Posted Nov 15, 2006, 7:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nowhereman1280
I guess I am just for more public spaces above floor level, like clubs and resturants and, if it could happen a skymall. I think the tops of tall buildings are wasted when they are just a bunch of offices!
I couldn't agree more. Much of the glory of our built environment is never experienced by the public.

I am very interested in Koolhaas's project for Louisville for this exact reason. In fact, it's probably the only of his projects that I find more than simply interesting.
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  #143  
Old Posted Nov 18, 2006, 7:17 AM
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South Loop vacant land roundup

Maybe I can add a little information on the big South Loop parcels:

Riverside Park 62 acres bounded by Clark, the river, Roosevelt, and 16th. Access is the big problem. Everyone, including the developer, wanted to find a way to extend the street grid into the site, but couldn’t figure out how to do it because of Metra. The approved PD includes a riverwalk, a new Wells-Wentworth (80-foot ROW) arterial through the site, and a V-shaped drive lined with a town center (topped with residential) at Roosevelt level, atop a three-level parking deck. Except for the townhouses at the south end, it pretty much has to be built in one chunk. When Tony Rezko got into the papers, the city backed away from the TIF financing. General Mediterranean took an ownership position, and DeBartolo announced they would take on the retail part (by now called the Riverside Connection), then they backed out. The property is being shopped around, but some of it may be encumbered by involvement with Rezko’s deals.

LaSalle Park Clark to Wells, Polk to Roosevelt—excluding the Lennar parcel SWC Clark/Polk and a couple of parcels SEC Wells/Polk. LaSalle Park was the name used when PD 523 was approved in 1991, anticipating office buildings along Clark and residential along Wells. Almost nothing is being developed as prescribed by the PD, but it’s all been handled by administrative amendments rather than a true replanning. First the Target, then The Curve, AMLI’s 900 S Clark, and now the Roosevelt Connection have been carved out of this PD. Southgate Market (west of the river) and stuff north of Polk are not part of LaSalle Park.

Roosevelt Connection Metra tracks to Wells, Roosevelt to 9th. The basics of this project are well known. The main parking and delivery entrances are from Wells, which gets treated rather badly, with blank parking garage walls. Developer says they can do no better because they don't know what Cacciatore will do across the street. Steps at the north end cascade down into a new park (2.8 acres as I recall).

Cacciatore property Wells to the river, south of River City to Roosevelt. No plans have been sighted. A 30-foot riverwalk will almost certainly be, ahem, offered.

Franklin Point Wells to the river, north of River City to Harrison. Site of the old Grand Central Station, there’s been no shortage of ambitious plans over the last two decades. I’ve heard that D2 has optioned or purchased a small part near Polk. Frankel & Giles is trying to market the part near Harrison; maybe all of it.

Here's a map showing the various parcels:
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  #144  
Old Posted Nov 18, 2006, 7:33 AM
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^ Nice overview and map, Mr Downtown.
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  #145  
Old Posted Nov 18, 2006, 8:01 AM
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Thanks a lot, Mr. Downtown. I wish I could say that it looks promising...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr Downtown
The main parking and delivery entrances are from Wells, which gets treated rather badly, with blank parking garage walls. Developer says they can do no better because they don't know what Cacciatore will do across the street.
This is the kind of crap that makes me really mad. It is unacceptable, garbage planning that one might expect from Omaha or Des Moines or some smaller city with little or no experience handling major developments. NOT Chicago. As I said a few pages back, this area is screaming out for a modern and exciting, comprehensive master plan. We are not going to have it.

It's rather sad to look back, but Goldberg's River City master plan was by far the most visionary and progressive thing ever proposed for this area. I wish all the parties could simply commit to building it and call it a day.
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  #146  
Old Posted Nov 18, 2006, 9:50 AM
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^Thanks for the updates Mr Downtown, and welcome to the forum. Did you make that map? Your avatar looks like the logo for Chicago Cartographics....
Sounds like Wells street will basically be a service drive rather than an actual continuation of the street grid.
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  #147  
Old Posted Nov 18, 2006, 2:58 PM
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Study calls for homes on area's Metra parking lots

http://www.chicagotribune.com/classi...ck=1&cset=true


This could be interesting......


By Richard Wronski
Tribune staff reporter
Published November 18, 2006

Acres of parking lots at suburban Metra train stations ought to be used for convenient housing for commuters rather than merely for their cars, according to a study issued Tuesday by a public interest group.

More than 1,100 new residential units and 167,000 square feet of commercial space in mixed developments could be built in nine Cook County suburbs, without a loss of commuter parking spaces, the Chicago-based Center for Neighborhood Technology said.

Development also could provide several hundred thousand dollars in tax revenue for each of the nine communities--more than $4 million total--above the parking revenue generated by the lots, the study said.

The new housing could help meet growing demand for more transit-oriented housing in the Chicago area, said the non-profit organization, which has advocated such development since 1993.

By 2030 the demand for housing near transit in the Chicago region will be 1.6 million households, more than double the 2000 number of 787,000, the study said.

"In their current state, these parking lots are robbing our region of economic value because there is a higher and better use for the land," said Jacky Grimshaw, the group's vice president for policy.

The study was funded with the support of the Joyce, Alphawood and John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundations.

Metra officials and leaders of suburbs cited in the study acknowledged the need for transit-oriented development, but said this goal must be balanced against the demands of commuters, who want to park as close as possible to their train stations.

"It's kind of a double-edged sword," said Judy Pardonnet, a Metra spokeswoman.

The new Metra station in Elburn is an example of transit-oriented development, Pardonnet said. Elburn officials have planned offices, stores and apartments around the station and single-family homes in a neighboring subdivision.

Suburban leaders, particularly in more established communities such as Oak Park and La Grange, cite severe shortages of commuter and residential parking.

But the center said existing parking lots could be used more efficiently by building new parking decks into the developments.

Arlington Heights Mayor Arlene Mulder, who is also a Metra board member, said the village has won several awards for its downtown transit-oriented developments. But residents' concerns must also be taken into consideration, she said.

The center's study recommended turning a 1.5-acre Metra lot in Arlington Heights into a mixed-use development with a parking structure and commercial space, topped off with 72 residential units.

Arlington Heights, local schools and its Park District could get $640,000 a year in additional property tax revenue, the study concluded.

"As such, Metra riders who drive to the station cost the town and its taxpayers, but the real costs include the lost opportunity costs of not utilizing the land devoted to parking for a higher use," the study said.

Mulder said the village might favor such a development, but residents are opposed to any multistory project on the site, which is in a historic district.

Mulder said she appreciated the center's recommendation, "but residents have to have their input, too."

In La Grange, the study urged turning three lots totaling 1.5 acres into mixed-use developments.

In Tinley Park, the study identified 19 acres within a quarter-mile of the 80th Avenue Metra station designated for commuter parking.

The study proposes using more than 1,700 parking spaces for a major development of town homes, multifamily buildings and commercial property.

The study also recommended more transit-oriented development in Palatine, Hanover Park, Oak Park, Franklin Park, Homewood and Blue Island.

E-mail this story
Copyright © 2006, Chicago Tribune
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  #148  
Old Posted Nov 18, 2006, 4:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VivaLFuego
Did you make that map? Your avatar looks like the logo for Chicago CartoGraphics....
Yes, the map is my work. As for the avatar, you have good eye.

Quote:
Sounds like Wells street will basically be a service drive rather than an actual continuation of the street grid.
I'm just relieved to have it in the plans at all. For years, planning staff would dismiss it as unnecessary, and almost let the ROW go in the planning for Ping Tom Park expansion. I had to yell and scream to get more than a 66-foot ROW in the Riverside Park PD.

I think it will end up more like Clark than a service drive, with infrequent access points and moderately high speed and traffic volumes. The Riverside Park plan did some nice things to civilize it, with buildings fronting onto it.

Occasionally I imagine it as "Riverside Drive," but I'm torn about whether it should only have parkland/riverwalk between the road and the river. I now think the approach taken in the Riverside Park plan is better: residential buildings fronting the road but a riverwalk to the west.

I don't know what would be much better for the Roosevelt Collection, unless it was liner townhouses fronting Wells. I just don't know that streetfront retail down at that level would ever be realistic.
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  #149  
Old Posted Nov 18, 2006, 4:49 PM
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that whole area is a disaster IMO
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  #150  
Old Posted Nov 18, 2006, 6:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Mr Downtown
The main parking and delivery entrances are from Wells, which gets treated rather badly, with blank parking garage walls. Developer says they can do no better because they don't know what Cacciatore will do across the street.

Quote:
Originally Posted by honte
This is the kind of crap that makes me really mad. It is unacceptable, garbage planning that one might expect from Omaha or Des Moines or some smaller city with little or no experience handling major developments. NOT Chicago. As I said a few pages back, this area is screaming out for a modern and exciting, comprehensive master plan. We are not going to have it.
^ Uhh, that's the kind of planning you'll get in Manhattan as well. Walking around Midtown, you'll see plenty of streets treated as garage/delivery access alleys for the major avenues. Nothing new there, and it's definitely not just a Des Moines thing.

Anyway, with an elevated Roosevelt, a walled-off Dearborn Park, and a river, this chunk of land is obviously very challenging to develop. THe more and more I learn about it, the more I realize that extending the streetgrid into this area is scarcely possible, if at all. That said, from the looks of Roosevelt Collection I am not encouraged; it's one thing to have limitations on layout, but I see no reason why the architecture itself has to be so crappy.
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  #151  
Old Posted Nov 18, 2006, 6:50 PM
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^ That's a necessity in Manhattan, not an arbitrary planning decision.
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  #152  
Old Posted Nov 18, 2006, 7:07 PM
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^ That's a necessity in Manhattan, not an arbitrary planning decision.
Yeah, that's really what I was getting at. I actually like seeing trucks in the streets and the chaotic activity they bring.

This, "Well, I don't know what's happening over there, so we're going to basically ignore it," or rather, "That's our competition's land, so we're not going to make any improvements" is what is so damn annoying. This is case-in-point for a master plan and some governmental oversight.

Yes, it's complex. But complexity can be the impetus for the best architecture when triumphed. This area calls for something really creative and really bold (Hello, Olympic Stadium?).
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  #153  
Old Posted Nov 18, 2006, 8:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by the urban politician
Originally Posted by Mr Downtown
The main parking and delivery entrances are from Wells, which gets treated rather badly, with blank parking garage walls. Developer says they can do no better because they don't know what Cacciatore will do across the street.



^ Uhh, that's the kind of planning you'll get in Manhattan as well. Walking around Midtown, you'll see plenty of streets treated as garage/delivery access alleys for the major avenues. Nothing new there, and it's definitely not just a Des Moines thing.

Anyway, with an elevated Roosevelt, a walled-off Dearborn Park, and a river, this chunk of land is obviously very challenging to develop. THe more and more I learn about it, the more I realize that extending the streetgrid into this area is scarcely possible, if at all. That said, from the looks of Roosevelt Collection I am not encouraged; it's one thing to have limitations on layout, but I see no reason why the architecture itself has to be so crappy.

What's so crappy about the architecture? Sure, the architecture in Roosevelt Collection may be no masterpiece, but I fail to see what's so bad about it either. Overall, I think that the Roosevelt Collection as well as the rest of the developments in Lasalle park will be a very welcome addition to the neighborhood.
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  #154  
Old Posted Nov 18, 2006, 8:02 PM
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[QUOTE=Mr Downtown]Maybe I can add a little information on the big South Loop parcels:

Great map/descriptions! Do you know if there are any plans for the plot of land bounded by 9th street and Polk, and Wells and the Metra tracks?
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  #155  
Old Posted Nov 18, 2006, 8:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sir Isaac Newton
What's so crappy about the architecture? Sure, the architecture in Roosevelt Collection may be no masterpiece, but I fail to see what's so bad about it either. Overall, I think that the Roosevelt Collection as well as the rest of the developments in Lasalle park will be a very welcome addition to the neighborhood.
^ It's totally monotonous. Glass, then brick, then glass, then brick, and so on. No variability at all, not to mention that both sides of the development are essentially reflections of the other. There is nothing of any visual interest--as others have said, this development looks completely like a suburban lifestyle center in Naperville.
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  #156  
Old Posted Nov 18, 2006, 9:06 PM
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Quote:
any plans for the plot of land bounded by 9th street and Polk, and Wells and the Metra tracks?
That's supposed to be a future phase of Centrum's development, a highrise of yet-undetermined design. As you see from the map, they want to do this weird thing moving Financial Place over to the alley behind 801 S Wells because of some hassle with a utility easement. So I hope that area gets rethought before any construction actually happens.

The building footprint I show is from preliminary plans circulated by the developer. The actual PD amendment doesn't actually contain a site plan, I'm told, though no one at DPD could actually find the amendment when I was there Thursday.

I think the parking lot south of 801 is a different owner (might be Cacciatore).
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  #157  
Old Posted Nov 18, 2006, 10:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by the urban politician
^ It's totally monotonous. Glass, then brick, then glass, then brick, and so on. No variability at all, not to mention that both sides of the development are essentially reflections of the other. There is nothing of any visual interest--as others have said, this development looks completely like a suburban lifestyle center in Naperville.
Sometimes symmetry works better than just a haphazard mishmash of buildings. I'm also not sure what is wrong with something that is all glass, or all brick. Is the Trump Tower, and numerous other buildings that are all glass "totally monotonous" as well? I'm not claiming that RC is an architectural masterpiece; but at the same time, the buildings seem relatively nice and there are many buildings in Chicago that are far worse/uglier.

Also, all the comparisons of RC to Naperville are absolutely absurd and need to stop. RC will be a great addition to the community - it will bring a lot of things to the South Loop that the South Loop is currently missing....a 16-screen theater while at the moment, the South Loop as NO theatres....a bowling alley, which the South Loop currently lacks....another health club, which the South Loop doesn't have many of yet....a park that will have lots of concerts, fairs, and farmers markets, giving the neighborhood much more vibrancy....TONS of restaurants and retail - something that the South Loop is greatly lacking right now. What's Naperville-ish about this? Is everyone trying to say that only suburbanites like to go out to the movies? That only suburbanites work out at gyms and like to bowl? I realize that some of you may have been really attached to the status quo of that area, which is the oh-so-cosmopolitan parking lots and fields of weeds....but I guess I am one of the few that thinks that the RC is a big step foward over the parking lots and fields of weeds that currently occupy that area. Crazy, I know.
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  #158  
Old Posted Nov 18, 2006, 11:16 PM
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^ It's obviously an improvement, but they could have done a lot better job architecturally without having to spend more money. Variety doesn't have to be expensive. If you look at the original plans for Riverside Park (when Ikea was part of the picture), that is an example of a well-designed development with a lot of variety and potential--too bad it never happened.
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  #159  
Old Posted Nov 18, 2006, 11:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by the urban politician
^ It's obviously an improvement, but they could have done a lot better job architecturally without having to spend more money. Variety doesn't have to be expensive. If you look at the original plans for Riverside Park (when Ikea was part of the picture), that is an example of a well-designed development with a lot of variety and potential--too bad it never happened.

But there is some variety....some buildings are glass, some are brick. Also, the brick buildings vary in color and the glass buildings look like they vary in color as well.
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  #160  
Old Posted Nov 19, 2006, 12:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by the urban politician
^ It's totally monotonous. Glass, then brick, then glass, then brick, and so on. No variability at all, not to mention that both sides of the development are essentially reflections of the other. There is nothing of any visual interest--as others have said, this development looks completely like a suburban lifestyle center in Naperville.
Some may argue that the mere existence of such a development would add variety to the otherwise monotonous city grid with a lack of uniformity in building design. I'm certainly not a huge fan of the design but I think it's just a matter of taste. I certainly don't see how it's objectively "bad".
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