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  #21  
Old Posted Apr 27, 2007, 12:40 AM
Nowhereman1280 Nowhereman1280 is offline
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Now there's going to be a skyscraper compition between the Chicagoland suburbs

Sorry if I am being ignorant here, but what building is that?
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  #22  
Old Posted Apr 27, 2007, 12:41 AM
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That's the helmut jahn designed, 415 ft. oak brook terrace tower, which currently holds the title of suburban chicago's tallest building. if you've ever ridden down the tri-state, you've passed this building. it's right around the area where the ike interchanges with the tri-state, just north of oakbrook mall. and because it sticks out like such a sore thumb, it's impossible to miss.
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  #23  
Old Posted Apr 27, 2007, 12:43 AM
Nowhereman1280 Nowhereman1280 is offline
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That's the helmut jahn deisgned, 415 ft. oak brook terrace tower, which currently holds the title of suburban chicago's tallest building.
Ah! Thanks, I guess I was being a bit ignorant! Such a quick response!
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  #24  
Old Posted Apr 27, 2007, 1:37 AM
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wow, this looks great for a suburban skyscraper. but ill believe it when i see it.
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  #25  
Old Posted Apr 27, 2007, 1:47 AM
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evanstonnow.com has now posted an article about this development that explains some of the TIF ramifications of this proposal in relation to getting funding to rebuild the fountain square plaza, which is currently in a state of unsightly disrepair. click the link below to read about it:

http://www.evanstonnow.com/node/2270
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  #26  
Old Posted Apr 27, 2007, 1:48 AM
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Sorry if I am being ignorant here, but what building is that?

Interesting minor side note about this building: you can't really tell from pictures or just by looking at it, but a St. Engineer I know, echoed by a few others in the industry have told me that either due to poor structural engineering, unstable soils, whatever, the building is actually LEANING on one end. I'm not sure if anything has been done to correct it, or if anything is planned for the future, and to be honest I'm not sure if it's just an urban myth (sub-urban myth?) but knowing Murphy/Jahn's reputation for (at times) shoddy coordination with consultants, I wouldn't doubt it.
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  #27  
Old Posted Apr 27, 2007, 1:48 AM
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wow, this looks great for a suburban skyscraper. but ill believe it when i see it.
I wouldn't really consider Evanston "suburban". It may be a suburb, but it doesn't neatly fit into the traditional city/suburb divide. It's certainly more dense than an average American city and is probably as dense as areas like Hyde Park. Especially if we exclude the couple of blocks on the Evanston/Wilmette border.
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  #28  
Old Posted Apr 27, 2007, 5:50 AM
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I wouldn't really consider Evanston "suburban". It may be a suburb, but it doesn't neatly fit into the traditional city/suburb divide. It's certainly more dense than an average American city and is probably as dense as areas like Hyde Park. Especially if we exclude the couple of blocks on the Evanston/Wilmette border.
well, yea. its obviously not naperville or hoffman estates. but its still cool to see something this tall planned that far north.
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  #29  
Old Posted Apr 27, 2007, 5:52 AM
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Interesting minor side note about this building: you can't really tell from pictures or just by looking at it, but a St. Engineer I know, echoed by a few others in the industry have told me that either due to poor structural engineering, unstable soils, whatever, the building is actually LEANING on one end. I'm not sure if anything has been done to correct it, or if anything is planned for the future, and to be honest I'm not sure if it's just an urban myth (sub-urban myth?) but knowing Murphy/Jahn's reputation for (at times) shoddy coordination with consultants, I wouldn't doubt it.
ive always liked that building, if for nothing else, being such a unique feature on the landscape.
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  #30  
Old Posted Apr 27, 2007, 10:28 AM
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http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/l...l=chi-news-hed

ARCHITECTURE

523-foot tower in Evanston?
Proposed 49-story condo building would nearly double the height of the town's current tallest

By Blair Kamin and Deborah Horan
Tribune staff reporters
Published April 26, 2007, 7:32 PM CDT


Forget the twisting 2,000-foot-high Chicago Spire that could rise along the city's lakefront.

Developers went public Thursday with a plan for another race to the sky, this one in downtown Evanston: a condominium tower that would crack the 500-foot barrier and become the tallest building in Chicago's suburbs.

Sure to incite heated debate in a suburb already in the throes of a high-rise building boom, the plan calls for tearing down a two-story retail building on a triangular block bounded by Church Street, Orrington Avenue and Sherman Avenue and replacing it with a sliver-thin 49-story condominium tower sheathed in glass and metal.

At 523 feet, the height pegged in a filing with Evanston officials by developers James Klutznick and Tim Anderson, the skyscraper would soar nearly twice as high as two neighboring towers that form the peaks of the Evanston skyline.

"It's the suburban Spire," quipped the project's architect, Laurence Booth of the Chicago firm Booth Hansen, referring to the plan by Dublin-based developer Garrett Kelleher to erect a 150-story tower designed by Zurich-based architect Santiago Calatrava on Chicago's lakefront.

Filed more than a week ago and shopped in closed sessions to city officials, the Evanston proposal underscores how developers around the country are shattering the once-distinct line between cities and suburbs. The trend is especially strong in landlocked suburbs that have nowhere to grow but up if they want to increase their tax base and hold down residential property tax bills.

Yet the shift has sparked passionate debates over traffic, the displacement of local retailers by national chains and the loss of what opponents call their shady-street lifestyle. As city leaders reacted to the skyscraper plan, that tension was palpable.

"I don't know where we can go in Evanston but up because we don't have any land," said Ald. Delores Holmes. "But it is pretty tall."

If built, the Evanston skyscraper would easily top the 418-foot Oakbrook Terrace Tower, currently the titleholder in Chicago's suburbs, and could lay claim to being the tallest building between Chicago and Milwaukee. That esoteric distinction is now held by Evanston's tallest building, the 277-foot Chase Building, a modernist high-rise finished in 1969.

Klutznick, a partner at Klutznick Fisher Development Co., and Anderson, president of Focus Development Inc., are now completing the nearby Sherman Plaza condo tower, which is just a foot shorter at 276 feet.

But the block in question has a height limit of 125 feet, so the developers, who say they have a contract to purchase the two-story retail building, will need a zoning change.

As in other large-scale residential real estate developments, they also will need to generate enough pre-sales of condominiums to get bank financing. Most daunting of all, they will have to persuade Evanstonians to reshape their skyline—and, with it, the town's identity.

Evanston officials previously forced developer and architect David Hovey to downsize a proposed 36-story tower at the north end of downtown and instead build a blocklong 16-story building that some have likened to an enormous wall.

Anticipating such a debate, Klutznick said in an interview: "This is absolutely the center of town. People recognize that if there's going to be height, this is where to do it."

He added: "This is an icon that says this is the downtown of the north lakefront," referring to how downtown Evanston already draws people from nearby suburbs such as Wilmette and from the Far North Side of Chicago.

Michael Lembeck, the owner of a shoe store in the targeted two-story building on Church, sees the proposal in a far less positive light.

Saying that his business, Williams Shoes—the Walking Spirit, has been at 708 Church St. for 54 years, he lamented that he had bought the space next door last year and turned it into a women's boutique at a cost of $120,000.

"Now 10 months later, they're talking about tearing the whole building down," he said Thursday. "That would be kind of a waste to be shut down before we recoup our investment."

He also expressed concern that downtown Evanston already has too many vacant storefronts and that it won't be able to absorb the commercial space envisioned in the project.

As designed by Booth Hansen, whose projects include the conversion of the landmark Palmolive Building on North Michigan Avenue to condominiums and new high-rise dormitories for the School of the Art Institute at Randolph and State Streets, the skyscraper would have a roughly triangular, or flatiron, shape formed by the surrounding streets.

It would rise on a five-story podium that would contain two levels of shops and, above them, a three-level parking garage with 230 spaces. The glassy condominium tower, set back from the street, would contain anywhere from two to seven units on each of its floors. Prices would be $350 to $400 per square foot, the developers said.

The plan also envisions tearing down a 1940s mid-rise office building at the block's south end and replacing it with a low-rise restaurant building whose footprint would be half as large. The developers still have to purchase that property.

A classically decorated landmark building in the middle of the block, the three-story Hahn Building, would be left untouched.

The developers say that the added real estate taxes created by the project would allow the city to renovate the decrepit Fountain Square Plaza at the block's south end. The plaza's war memorial, which now consists of three brick pylons recognizing Evanston soldiers, would be shifted to another plaza just south of Davis Street.

The developers want to begin construction next year and complete their project by late 2010.

City zoning officials are reviewing the plan, a process expected to take at least two weeks. The next steps would be a hearing by the Evanston Plan Commission and a vote by the City Council. The developers said they anticipate public meetings on the tower in June.

Asked if she thought Evanston residents would fight the tower, Ald. Cheryl Wollin, in whose ward the project would be built said: "Nothing in Evanston is non-controversial. I expect it to be thoroughly debated."

Wollin declined to say whether the tower is too tall, saying: "I can't make that judgment now. If there's any place for height in the city, that's the block where it would be most compatible. Is it too tall? That will have to be determined by lots of discussion."

If built in downtown Chicago, the tower would fade into the woodwork. It would be the same height as a classic 1920s skyscraper along Wacker Drive—the eclectic, dome-topped 35 E. Wacker Dr. (the former Jewelers Building).

Asked if Evanston planners would follow a national trend in urban planning that gives preference to tall and thin towers on the grounds that they create the density that makes cities hum while letting natural light reach streets below, Klutznick replied: "I would never say that Evanston is influenced by anybody other than Evanston."

bkamin@tribune.com

dhoran@tribune.com




This is an artist's rendering of the proposed 49-story Fountain Square condo tower in Evanston. If the 523-foot tower is built it would be the tallest building in Chicago's suburbs.
Apr 25, 2007


This is how Fountain Square in Evanston currently looks.
(Tribune photo by Chris Walker)
Apr 26, 2007


Mike Lembeck (left) and Richard Iverson stand outside Williams Shoes at 708 Church St. in Evanston, where Lembeck is owner of the store and Iverson is his assistant. Lambeck's thumb-down gesture is to express his lack of approval for the new building plan. The shoe store would be razed if the condo tower is approved.
(Tribune photo by Chris Walker)
Apr 26, 2007


Optima Towers in Evanston.
(Tribune photo by Chris Walker)
Apr 26, 2007


Oak Brook Terrace Tower, at 31 floors, is currently the tallest skyscraper in the Chicago suburbs. This photo was taken in 1988.
Apr 26, 2007


Optima Towers in Evanston
(Tribune photo by Chris Walker)
Apr 26, 2007
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Last edited by BVictor1; Apr 27, 2007 at 12:41 PM.
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  #31  
Old Posted Apr 27, 2007, 12:20 PM
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Yup...that is my "local" skyscraper...even though its significantyly NW of me.
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  #32  
Old Posted Apr 27, 2007, 1:58 PM
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I'm not a huge fan of skyscrapers outside of the urban core. However, I support this proposal. Evanston has always represented Chicago in small scale to me, with its urban downtown, public transportation, lakefront, original Marshall Fields and even its own slum. Evanston is the only lakefront suburb north of Chicago which could or should have skyscrapers.

....and I don't consider Waukegan a suburb!
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  #33  
Old Posted Apr 27, 2007, 2:20 PM
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I'm not a huge fan of skyscrapers outside of the urban core. However, I support this proposal. Evanston has always represented Chicago in small scale to me, with its urban downtown, public transportation, lakefront, original Marshall Fields and even its own slum. Evanston is the only lakefront suburb north of Chicago which could or should have skyscrapers.

....and I don't consider Waukegan a suburb!
I'd rather the office districts of Northbrook, Deerfield, Buffalo Grove etc in the I-94/294 corridors actually had highrises in something somewhat resembling a 'core' (thinking like Clayton, for example) as opposed to sprawlariffic office parks.
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  #34  
Old Posted Apr 27, 2007, 2:31 PM
trvlr70 trvlr70 is offline
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I'd rather the office districts of Northbrook, Deerfield, Buffalo Grove etc in the I-94/294 corridors actually had highrises in something somewhat resembling a 'core' (thinking like Clayton, for example) as opposed to sprawlariffic office parks.
But they don't have an original downtown core to begin with and that's why they developed in that manner. Evanston, Oak Park, Joliet, Elgin have downtownsn so I can see skyscrapers and TODs.
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  #35  
Old Posted Apr 27, 2007, 2:52 PM
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I'd rather the office districts of Northbrook, Deerfield, Buffalo Grove etc in the I-94/294 corridors actually had highrises in something somewhat resembling a 'core' (thinking like Clayton, for example) as opposed to sprawlariffic office parks.
the problem with a place like clayton is that, while it has a nice skyline, it competes directly with downtown st. louis because it does offer a somewhat urban major commercial office district outside of the city, something that none of the major suburban office centers in chicagoland offer. the reason i'm totally cool with evanston's skyline expansion is that it is in no way, shape, or form a threat to the continued vitality of downtown chicago's office market.
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  #36  
Old Posted Apr 27, 2007, 3:16 PM
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This does seem like a pretty good proposal. I wouldn't be surprised if that building on the south stays however, since it has nothing to do with the tower.

And I don't like the thought of established retail being squashed, so I hope the shoestore can be moved. Didn't the article say there's a bit of vacant commercial space available? They should be able to move the store then.
I know in Palatine when Block 31 was redeveloped, the city financially helped a bar and restaurant relocate to other downtown sites, and I think they used TIF funds for it.

But this tower looks good. After Chicago, Evanston is my favorite place to go for walks. The extra streetlife will be nice.
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  #37  
Old Posted Apr 27, 2007, 3:34 PM
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the problem with a place like clayton is that, while it has a nice skyline, it competes directly with downtown st. louis because it does offer a somewhat urban major commercial office district outside of the city, something that none of the major suburban office centers in chicagoland offer. the reason i'm totally cool with evanston's skyline expansion is that it is in no way, shape, or form a threat to the continued vitality of downtown chicago's office market.
This is true. I've actually heard locals describe Clayton as St. Louis' "white downtown" as terrible as that is. It directly competes with downtown St. Louis and as far as corporate presence is concerned, well, it's winning.

Evanston's highrises proposed are residential so there is no real competition.
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  #38  
Old Posted Apr 27, 2007, 3:36 PM
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I wouldn't be surprised if that building on the south stays however, since it has nothing to do with the tower.
that's not true. please read the evanstonnow.com article. this tower proposal is being "sold" to the city along with the plan to demolish the exisitng fountain square building as an opportunity for the city to FINALLY get the ball rolling on rebuilding the long-dilapitated fountain sqaure plaza. that part of the project is not directly related to the tower propsal, but they're being packaged together by the developer to sweeten the pot. as Tim Anderson of Focus Development said himself, "This (the tower proposal) can be the financial engine to support acquisition of the Fountain Square building to expand the plaza and make an outdoor living room for downtown Evanston".
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  #39  
Old Posted Apr 27, 2007, 3:41 PM
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Is that shoe store guy giving the tower a thumbs down as the caption says? From the way his hand is oriented, it looks more like he's giving the tower a sidways thumb, lol. Maybe he's not entirely against the tower if he can still maintain his business in a good downtown location?

I would love to see this tower come to fruition. The height would be incredible for downtown Evanston.
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  #40  
Old Posted Apr 27, 2007, 3:44 PM
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the problem with a place like clayton is that, while it has a nice skyline, it competes directly with downtown st. louis because it does offer a somewhat urban major commercial office district outside of the city, something that none of the major suburban office centers in chicagoland offer. the reason i'm totally cool with evanston's skyline expansion is that it is in no way, shape, or form a threat to the continued vitality of downtown chicago's office market.
SD not sure if I completely agree with this assesment. Two prominent examples come to mind....the Sears move in the early nineties out to Hoffman Estates, and the recent move by Sara Lee to I believe Downers Grove. Additionally, there are several other large corps whose HQ's or main metro places of business are out in the burbs....McD's , Kraft, Abbot, Lucent, Motorola just to name a few.

I would prefer if these companies would move these operations DT...simply because it would bring more 'prestige' to the DT are...whatever corp prestige means.....and perhaps would help spur the further development of a couple or a few major towers.....
.....instead they are stuck out in office parks that in some sense do directly comepete for corporate investment with the Loop etc
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