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  #121  
Old Posted Nov 1, 2006, 11:11 PM
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http://www.suntimes.com/news/metro/1...loop01.article

Daley calls for more Loop dorms
November 1, 2006

BY FRAN SPIELMAN
City Hall Reporter

Mayor Daley said Tuesday he wants to build more downtown "superdorms" -- this time with a "side entrance" for staff and faculty -- to turn the Loop into even more of a college town.

The new dorms would be modeled after University Center, the $151 million dormitory partnership between Columbia College, Roosevelt University and DePaul at State and Congress.

"We hope to explore more options, build more facilities [for] students who want to live in the downtown area. It's a great economic boon for the city," Daley said.

"We should have built a side-entrance for staff, professors and assistant professors. The next one we build, we're going to build an opportunity to keep much of their faculty in the downtown area as well."

Roosevelt President Chuck Middleton said the university is interested in "expanding its residential capacity downtown" by 450 beds. Whether or not it will be in a superdorm or a Roosevelt-only dorm is still under study, he said.

"We're growing, as are other institutions downtown. Everybody needs more beds downtown," he said.

The 18-story University Center opened in 2004 to 1,680 undergraduate, graduate and professional students. It has a laundry room with 75 washers and dryers, a game room and an exercise room.

The amenities don't come cheap. On opening day, a studio apartment with a kitchen and private bath went for $1,139 a month. Students sharing a traditional dorm room paid $723 a month and $2,200 for a meal plan.
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  #122  
Old Posted Nov 1, 2006, 11:19 PM
SamInTheLoop SamInTheLoop is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Busy Bee
Your right, nothing says progress like losing iconic bastions like historical department stores that have been embedded in the identity of a place for generations.

If even more homogenous corporate chain retailing at the expense of local institutions is heralded as progress, I fear for what we will welcome in the future. And I understand Carson's was owned by a larger corporate parent, but it held of very real regional Chicago image that should have stayed on State Street. I'm crossing my fingers for an announcment to reopen the store in the future.

All the great State Street department stores have been narrowed to one, who would have imagined it would be Sears?
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  #123  
Old Posted Nov 1, 2006, 11:25 PM
SamInTheLoop SamInTheLoop is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Busy Bee
Your right, nothing says progress like losing iconic bastions like historical department stores that have been embedded in the identity of a place for generations.

If even more homogenous corporate chain retailing at the expense of local institutions is heralded as progress, I fear for what we will welcome in the future. And I understand Carson's was owned by a larger corporate parent, but it held of very real regional Chicago image that should have stayed on State Street. I'm crossing my fingers for an announcment to reopen the store in the future.

All the great State Street department stores have been narrowed to one, who would have imagined it would be Sears?
Because there are just so many people that actually shopped at those "local institutions", right? Who you are really mad at are the 95% of Chicago and American consumers - they voted with their pocketbooks to put the classic department stores out of business. Now, in the case of Carson's, it's an exception, as all I have to say is - GOOD RIDDANCE! That store was an abomination - worst service on the face of the earth, period, and merchandising quality somewhere between Wal-Mart and Family Dollar, but hey, it was a vaunted and proud Chicago institution, right? Wrong – it was a backwater, a poorly-run dump, as retail operations go. (relax people, I’m not talking about the building itself – I’m a huge Sullivan fan, and this is one of my favorite pieces of architecture in the city). Please. And guess what? - there's more - since it is well-publicized that the Sears store is bleeding money like there's no tomorrow, how long before they pack up as well? I, for one, can not wait to see how Joseph Freed re-tenants the property - anything, well, almost anything, would be an improvement...
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  #124  
Old Posted Nov 2, 2006, 1:20 AM
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Originally Posted by VivaLFuego
Who owns the parking lots on the NW and SW corners of Wabash/Van Buren? These are prime sites too. These used to be an ugly parking garage and some interesting 1-2 story buildings just a few years ago, if memory serves. Hope something big is cooking
The SW corner is owned now by DePaul University.

The two "interesting" buildings they knocked down were: A church by the cool, kitchy firm of Belli and Belli, and horrifically, the remaining 1/2 of William LeBaron Jenney's Isabella building. It was a remnant, but really worth saving - after all, Jenney was the father of the skyscraper, and this was a steel-framed beauty. The Isabella was the first highrise ever constructed to employ wind bracing. I felt the upper half could have been rebuilt, but it was nice even in its "edited" state; city hall and DePaul didn't care at all about it, and it's now in a landfill.
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  #125  
Old Posted Nov 3, 2006, 2:37 PM
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I took these two pics in March '04, I think they represent the debacle in question...



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  #126  
Old Posted Nov 3, 2006, 4:08 PM
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Not sure where to put this, but interesting nonetheless...

http://www.suntimes.com/business/122...tail03.article
Sales lag at Macy's
Federated denies shopper anger involved in slowdown at new stores

November 3, 2006
BY SANDRA GUY Business Reporter
The grinch stole holiday buildup from Federated Department Stores' efforts to win over shoppers to Macy's in Chicago and nationwide.

Federated representatives insist that shoppers' anger at Marshall Field's and other regional stores' changeover to Macy's has nothing to do with disappointing sales reported Thursday. The weakness was concentrated in Field's and other department stores formerly owned by May Department Stores, including L.S. Ayres, Famous and Barr, Hecht's, Meier & Frank, Robinsons-May and Strawbridge's.

Federated bought Marshall Field's and the other former May Department Stores for $11.9 billion in August 2005.

Those stores continue to lag in sales, according to Federated, which declines to be more specific or to disclose figures by chain.

In contrast, the original Macy's and Bloomingdale's department store chains showed strong sales results in October from a year ago, with same-store sales jumping 7.7 percent, Federated announced on Thursday. The increase was higher than analysts' forecast for a 6.1 percent gain.

Marshall Field's loyalists have made plans to protest outside Macy's flagship store at 111 N. State St. every Saturday throughout the holidays.

Macy's spokeswoman Jennifer McNamara said Thursday that customers are pleased with the improvements Federated has made to former Marshall Field's and other stores.

She noted that the National Retail Federation on Thursday named Macy's for the first time among the top 10 retailers in the nation for customer service. Macy's brick-and-mortar stores ranked No. 10.

Macy's expects more than 4 million people will view the State Street store's holiday windows theme of Mary Poppins, McNamara said.

Federated's total revenue declined 7.9 percent, to $1.86 billion for the four weeks that ended Oct. 28, because Federated closed 79 stores that were too close together and would have impeded competition after it acquired the May department stores.

Third-quarter sales grew 6 percent to $5.89 billion.

Federated CEO Terry Lundgren remained optimistic about the holidays, saying same-store sales should increase 3 percent to 5 percent in November and during the entire holiday season. But analyst Carol Levenson of Gimme Credit research firm told investors that Federated might find it more difficult than executives expect to issue new bonds in order to back up a tender offer for up to $750 million because of billionaire corporate raider Carl Icahn's increased stake in the company.

Other department stores continued to see strong sales, outperforming discount stores in a reverse of a long-held trend. The stars included J.C. Penney and Nordstrom. Discounters Target and Kohl's same-store sales fell short of analysts' expectations.

Analysts believe shoppers motivated by lower gasoline prices and cold weather will boost retailers' sales by 5 percent nationwide this holiday, slightly below last year's 6.1 percent increase.
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Last edited by Latoso; Nov 3, 2006 at 4:18 PM.
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  #127  
Old Posted Nov 3, 2006, 4:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Latoso
Those stores continue to lag in sales, according to Federated, which declines to be more specific or to disclose figures by chain.
I wonder how bad it really is...
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  #128  
Old Posted Nov 7, 2006, 10:17 PM
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^ I kind of like the idea of having conventioneers exploring downtown and not just being isolated at McCormick place, so I don't really like the justification for this concept.
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  #129  
Old Posted Nov 8, 2006, 3:38 AM
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Exactly what I was thinking. They tout these things for pumping money into the local economy, but then they cannibalize it with hotel rooms and food at the center itself. Sure, the money goes into the overall economy, but hurts the chances of smaller, less connected operators from getting some of the benefit.

McPier should put its money into promoting the city as a whole, into refreshing the adjacent Motor Row Landmark District, and into better mass transit to and from the convention center. Wishful thinking!

I do see the point of doing whatever you can to attract conventions, though. Obviously not every convention attendee will be staying there or eating there either.
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  #130  
Old Posted Nov 8, 2006, 5:33 AM
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Originally Posted by Lukecuj
“Literally, I don’t have to go downtown. I’m going to go right next door and be entertained. That’s what our goal is,” Mr. Caruso said.
^ HAVE to go downtown?

I've never seen going downtown as anything but a fun and exciting experience.
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  #131  
Old Posted Nov 8, 2006, 4:06 PM
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Originally Posted by the urban politician
^ HAVE to go downtown?

I've never seen going downtown as anything but a fun and exciting experience.
McPier is a government entity, Daley should put a stop to this nonsense.

And why isn't there any damn rapid transit from McCormick Place to the Loop and Mag Mile? Turn the busway into bonafide BRT, and/or build a Cermak Green line stop, and/or increase frequency of local trains on the Metra Electric.
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  #132  
Old Posted Nov 9, 2006, 4:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VivaLFuego
McPier is a government entity, Daley should put a stop to this nonsense.

And why isn't there any damn rapid transit from McCormick Place to the Loop and Mag Mile? Turn the busway into bonafide BRT, and/or build a Cermak Green line stop, and/or increase frequency of local trains on the Metra Electric.
^ McCormick Place is competing (in a losing battle) with Las Vegas and Orlando, and while the area around MP has a lot of potential, it's going to remain a sea of vacancy and despair for a at least a few more years.

My guess is that Daley is allowing them do what they see fit to survive against these other destinations.
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  #133  
Old Posted Nov 9, 2006, 7:40 PM
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Illinois Center

When I was in Chicago earlier this year for the Pompei exhibit at Field Museum we took a ride to Navy Pier and then back south along Columbus. The southeast corner of East Wacker and Columbus(?) was vacant and looked to be a prime building location. After lurking on this forum for a while I assumed this might be the site of the Aqua or Mandrian, but maybe not... Does anyone know what is planned for this spot? Or for that matter, for the vast empty canyon of east Illinois Center??? It is a rather amazing driving past and seeing it from the lower street level!
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  #134  
Old Posted Nov 9, 2006, 9:22 PM
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Thanks Lukecuj. The open area I saw next to Columbus is where Aqua is going.
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  #135  
Old Posted Nov 9, 2006, 9:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by the urban politician
^ McCormick Place is competing (in a losing battle) with Las Vegas and Orlando, and while the area around MP has a lot of potential, it's going to remain a sea of vacancy and despair for a at least a few more years.

My guess is that Daley is allowing them do what they see fit to survive against these other destinations.
I share this view. We've been hearing for the last few years how much convention business we are losing to places like Vegas and Orlando. And I agree that we will probably continue to shed business for a few years.

I like this idea in that its a move to replicate the Vegas experience. Now normally I would be the first to comment *against* the Vegas-ification of Chicago. Vegas is one of my least favorite cities in the world; a city of obviously manufactured grandeur completely lacking any class. But so long as this "all-in-one" mentality is kept safely in the convention centers of Chicago, I'm not sure I care.

Economically speaking, I would think that any tactic that would boost convention attendance in Chicago would be a net benefit for us. Not everyone is going to want to stay couped up in the sterile McCormick environment and Chicago has a lot to offer.

Sure, ideally the city itself would be the draw and the convention business would be supported by a patchwork of small businesses in a thriving neighborhoods surrounding the convention centers. I think we'll get there as the city core expands and the area around McCormick sees an upswing. Bur for now, moves to shore up the falling convention numbers are probably a good thing for the city. A real, vibrant city will easily compete with the Vegas-style manufactured environments any day. When the city delivers (either by bringing the city to McCormick, so to speak, or by delivering the conventioneers more easily to the city), the need for this will drop.

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  #136  
Old Posted Nov 10, 2006, 11:50 PM
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Thoughts on McCormick Place:

First, rapid transit from McCormick Place to the Loop is possible. There's already a Metra Electric station in McCormick Place West (?) in addition to the South Shore station in McCormick Place East. The South Shore stops there on weekends only. They probably also stop during the week during major events.

But the Metra electric could be put to better use. All they need is a smaller train that runs back and forth constantly between the Millenium Park station and McPW. Maybe stop at Van Buren too. Given the amount of trackage there, they should have zero problems with this additional service interfering with existing operations. So why don't they do it? Someone should ask the RTA!

Second, this proposed restaurant city inside the south building has the potential to be good. If they only allow non-chain Chicago-owned restaurants to open there, it will go a long way towards getting out of town guests acquainted with the uniqueness of the city. Right now any convention-goer doesn't have much of an option for eating in the immediate neighborhood except for the bland stuff already sold at McCormick Place. We do also have to understand that no convention-goer wants to spend their entire time right there, so they are going to continue to take taxis downtown and elsewhere. I don't see this as a problem.
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  #137  
Old Posted Nov 14, 2006, 11:44 PM
Nowhereman1280 Nowhereman1280 is offline
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Tell me if this is off topic but...

I was just thinking how sweet it would be if someone were to build a mall on top (or near the top) of a building. For example, how many people would go to a mall that would take up two or three stories on like the 60th or 70th story of the Sears? I would shop there whenever possible!

Has this concept ever been tried? Does anyone know of any examples of this?

It sounds like it would be a sweet marketing techneque because tons of people would go up there just for a free view and end up getting tourist trapped by the stores.

Sorry about the random thought!
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  #138  
Old Posted Nov 14, 2006, 11:49 PM
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It would be very difficult for the elevator system to handle the customer load.
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  #139  
Old Posted Nov 15, 2006, 1:11 AM
SamInTheLoop SamInTheLoop is offline
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Malls high in the sky? Unfeasible

^ That would be a very unsuccessful mall. Apart from the logistical impracticality, retail today is all about convenience. Look at it this way - most vertical malls in the country have not worked very well (there are of course some notable exceptions, a couple of them being in Chicago). The reason? - it is often very difficult to fill retail space above the 2nd or 3rd floor at economic rents (largely because customer traffic suffers due to the inconvenience (or at least perceived inconvenicence) of the location high above street level. Notwithstanding what you say about such a landmark location and the draw-dropping views being the draw, imagine how difficult it would be to lease retail space on the 100th floor of a building when most mall owners struggle to lease up the 4th!
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  #140  
Old Posted Nov 15, 2006, 3:02 AM
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Originally Posted by SamInTheLoop
^ That would be a very unsuccessful mall. Apart from the logistical impracticality, retail today is all about convenience. Look at it this way - most vertical malls in the country have not worked very well (there are of course some notable exceptions, a couple of them being in Chicago). The reason? - it is often very difficult to fill retail space above the 2nd or 3rd floor at economic rents (largely because customer traffic suffers due to the inconvenience (or at least perceived inconvenicence) of the location high above street level. Notwithstanding what you say about such a landmark location and the draw-dropping views being the draw, imagine how difficult it would be to lease retail space on the 100th floor of a building when most mall owners struggle to lease up the 4th!
Well that 4th floor spot wouldn't have the amazing views to help sell it, I think would be his reply.

Supertalls often have skylobbies (Sears does, WTC did, etc.) which have some retail but obviously its specifically geared toward the convenience/sundry side of things for people who work in the buildings.
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