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  #21041  
Old Posted Nov 20, 2013, 2:39 AM
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http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/p...,2352543.story

Chicago casino more economically viable for Michael Reese site than Obama library, hotels

By Bill Ruthhart
Clout Street
7:57 p.m. CST, November 19, 2013

Quote:
A Chicago casino anchoring a redevelopment that includes the former Michael Reese Hospital site would be more economically viable for the city than a Barack Obama presidential library or a cluster of convention hotels, according to a study Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s administration released Tuesday.

A hired team led by the Chicago-based architectural firm Skidmore, Owings & Merrill was charged with creating a framework to redevelop the 48-acre Near South Side site, but their recommendations extended far beyond that parcel.
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  #21042  
Old Posted Nov 20, 2013, 2:59 AM
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A casino in the south side? What could go wrong?
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  #21043  
Old Posted Nov 20, 2013, 3:17 AM
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A casino in the south side? What could go wrong?
Why would what side of town it's on be an issue?
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  #21044  
Old Posted Nov 20, 2013, 3:25 AM
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A casino in the south side? What could go wrong?
Blue Chip, Horseshoe, those are technically on the South Side (sort of) but at least this time it's on the Illinois side of the border; people will always go to casinos but at least why not take advantage of that sweet sweet tax revenue?

Plus, the Obama library will be at U of C or near the University somewhere. The university will push for it hard, not solely because of his work there but because it only adds to their national (and international) cache.
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  #21045  
Old Posted Nov 20, 2013, 4:54 AM
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I've always thought the casino should go to the Old Post Office where it could bring an entertainment/hotel presence to a very quiet corner of the Loop. By reusing the building, the city would avoid the huge architectural failures that have dogged recent urban casinos in Cincinnati, Philly, and Milwaukee. All the parking could be slipped into the Post Office building with no need for surface lots, and direct connections could be built to Metra and CTA.

The Michael Reese site, I think, would be good for a technology park sort of like SF's Mission Bay, with UI Labs as an anchor and office midrises mixed with residential and open space. A shuttle could link the park to the Red and Green Lines at Cermak and other transit hubs.

The Obama library would go well at South Works - if it is an interactive museum like the Lincoln facility in Springfield, it will bring plenty of visitors and dollars to a struggling area of the city and kickstart the rest of South Works. People will travel to it no matter where it is, so why put it close to downtown? The East Side needs the stimulus more.
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  #21046  
Old Posted Nov 20, 2013, 5:20 AM
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  #21047  
Old Posted Nov 20, 2013, 3:04 PM
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I agree with Ardecila, the reason they are trying to build in the south loop is because of the money coming from the city. The old hospital spot makes way more sense if you wanted your own student body to come to the games. And if you think DePaul basketball or any chicago college team is EVER going to really matter you are delusional. However, Loyola is still the only team from Illinois to win a national championship, just saying, you left them off your list. 8)
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  #21048  
Old Posted Nov 20, 2013, 3:42 PM
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Awesome, thanks. I hope I'm not crucified for crashing the party...
In regards to the Clark/Belmont project: Was that you discussing the window bay grouping at the meeting? That was me expressing support for the project, and asking if they had considered saving the Tabou Tabou building...

After attending this neighborhood meeting, I think it will be smooth sailing for the Clark/Belmont project. Only one person objected with the typical NIMBY furor (mostly in regards to height), everyone else in the room was supportive or didn't comment. Most of the discussion was in regards to the loading dock access off of Clark street and how that would affect traffic.

It also sounds like the developer has a grocery lined up for 2 floors of the space. All they could say is that it wouldn't be Trader Joe's since they were too close to the Diversey store.
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  #21049  
Old Posted Nov 20, 2013, 4:32 PM
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Why would what side of town it's on be an issue?
There could be substantial socioeconomic implications, actually.

I think it's pretty clear that Chicago will eventually land its casino. My own view is that it's not necessary, and only further serves as a way to 'paper over' the lack of needed public pension and retiree health benefit reform, combination on the expense and revenue side, but I think more so expense than revenue (the money problems the city has largely revolve around these).

What folks often argue is that gamblers go over the border to Indiana, or to the suburbs anyway, so why not have a casino in the city and collect a big piece of all that tax revenue that other municipalities/states are grabbing. But what about the large social costs of having much, much more convenient and easier access to a large casino? Absolutely anyone - of any socioeconomic background or current lot in life can be negatively impacted in many ways by gambling, but it also stands to reason that those that can least 'afford' it in a strict financial sense, stand to be most affected....and the easier access is to areas struggling the most with poverty, well....maybe that increases overall social costs, both for specific low income areas and for the city in aggregate......obviously a complicated issue, and not at all up to speed with the relevant body of academic research on topic, but also probably some facets here that shouldn't be taken too lightly....
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  #21050  
Old Posted Nov 20, 2013, 4:37 PM
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^^Yep, that was me. I have no doubt that the project will move forward, so I was hoping to hear more about the design direction (Hirsch did confirm that it is genuine terra cotta for the facade). It seemed everyone was most concerned with the program and the traffic.
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  #21051  
Old Posted Nov 20, 2013, 4:45 PM
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Kind of late notice on that one. I hope there's no delays on MDP.
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  #21052  
Old Posted Nov 20, 2013, 4:47 PM
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^^ 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?
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  #21053  
Old Posted Nov 20, 2013, 5:03 PM
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My first reaction to that article about putting the casino at Reese was "what a stupid idea, that location is nowhere near anything". Then I reconsidered and thought that it's actually not a bad idea because it is fairly close to McCormick Place and could revitalize the area simply by drawing convention traffic further South.

However, my concern with that site is that we all know exactly what kind of design quality to expect. They will probably just copy the Rivers Casino design from Des Plaines and plop in down at Reese forever sealing the fate of Bronzeville as a bombed out unwalkable neighborhood. My other problem with it is that location is way too far from the train. I like the technology park idea the best. Perhaps we could start by convincing all of these tech hubs and start up incubators U of I, IIT, UIC, U of C, etc are talking about to all locate at Reese. That would be ideal because, once that core is there, the private sector will follow.

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Originally Posted by BVictor1 View Post
Why would what side of town it's on be an issue?
There problem is political and two fold. The first is that black, south side, aldermen frequently pander to their voter base by questioning the motives of rest of the city. In other words I have a feeling we might see political heat saying "why are you targeting black people with gambling?" or "Why are you putting the undesirable casino in our backyard?" from the local politicians.

The second half of the problem is that Reese is more or less directly adjacent to The Gap and I KNOW the residents of that area will throw a fit if they try to build a casino at Reese. The Gap is probably the only majority African American NIMBY haven in the city and the only one outside of Hyde Park/Kenwood on the entire South Side.

However, I think those NIMBYs are right. A use like this does not belong in the neighborhoods. A casino should be located as close to the city core as possible so it can act as an amenity to not just McCormick Place, but all the downtown hotels we are building, all of the smaller meeting spaces, all of the offices, have the best accessibility to transit, etc.
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  #21054  
Old Posted Nov 20, 2013, 5:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Jibba View Post
^^Yep, that was me. I have no doubt that the project will move forward, so I was hoping to hear more about the design direction (Hirsch did confirm that it is genuine terra cotta for the facade). It seemed everyone was most concerned with the program and the traffic.
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.

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...
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  #21055  
Old Posted Nov 20, 2013, 5:06 PM
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Grant Park's Logan Monument Poised for $6M Rehab Thanks to Anonymous Donor





Logan Monument is that statue of a guy on a horse up on a hill at Michigan and 9th. An anonymous donor is putting up $6m to upgrade that area. Apparently it's already been approved, and will be shown at the park district meeting tonight.
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  #21056  
Old Posted Nov 20, 2013, 5:08 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?
Seems like it was much more to appease the Alderman as he expressed his admiration for the Wicker Park bank building... I think the form is great, though it could certainly be more avant-garde in it's architectural design. Welcome TOD infill none the less.
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  #21057  
Old Posted Nov 20, 2013, 5:14 PM
LouisVanDerWright LouisVanDerWright is offline
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Assuming they are bucking up for real terra cotta on the new building, I can excuse the pomo massing. I don't have a problem with true pomo (I actually kind of love over the top buildings like Omni downtown), I have a problem with poorly executed pomo and neo-traditional design.

In any case, to the new age of TOD we appear to be entering between this, 1611 W Division, and that other proposal on Haddon. Exciting times even if it is only a start. Hopefully we can get signature midrises at every 6 way intersection and L stop in the city eventually.
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  #21058  
Old Posted Nov 20, 2013, 5:50 PM
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^ Omni... ehhh. 190 S. LaSalle...

I'm interested in the Logan Monument renovation. After 1968, that statue took on a whole new meaning. I've always thought it would be cool to add some kind of tribute to free speech there, or a peace/antiwar memorial. Sounds like the current plans are in the same vein.
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  #21059  
Old Posted Nov 20, 2013, 6:20 PM
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Its Official: New City Lands Loan

Big retail-apartment project near Lincoln Park lands $182 million loan

By: Micah Maidenberg November 20, 2013

Left in limbo after the real estate market cratered, the $260 million New City development near Lincoln Park has crossed two critical thresholds, signing another anchor tenant and landing a $182 million construction loan.

...

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.

Anchor tenants besides Dick's include an 82,000-square-foot Mariano's and a 52,000-square-foot ArcLight movie theater, Mr. Drew said. A high-end bowling alley and Canadian restaurant chain Earls also have signed leases.


http://www.chicagorealestatedaily.co...-million-loan#


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. Hopefully the skyline will one day extend all the way to this area with no more Carbrini scars in between.
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  #21060  
Old Posted Nov 20, 2013, 7:01 PM
SamInTheLoop SamInTheLoop is offline
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Originally Posted by BVictor1 View Post
http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/p...,2352543.story

Chicago casino more economically viable for Michael Reese site than Obama library, hotels

By Bill Ruthhart
Clout Street
7:57 p.m. CST, November 19, 2013
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 were 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.....
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Last edited by SamInTheLoop; Nov 21, 2013 at 2:04 PM.
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