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  #41  
Old Posted Apr 27, 2007, 3:50 PM
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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

uhhhh, yeah, i don't disagree with any of that,. i would love it if every major chicagoland corporation moved their operations downtown as well. what i was saying is that i'm kinda glad chicagoland never built a clayton for itself - an urban major commercial office district to rival the main downtown office district. in chicagoland, all the major susburban office districts are horrendously sprawly, ugly, unimaginative and downright depressing. this helps give downtown chicago an advantage in that it can offer businesses a real environment, a place that actually matters, which is something they ain't gonna find in any of suburban chicago's major office markets.

but we're veering off-topic now, let's get back to this tower proposal and what it may mean for evanston.
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  #42  
Old Posted Apr 27, 2007, 3:59 PM
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If this thing gets through as proposed, I'll faint.

If that does happen it will hopefully create a precedent for building some more buildings in the 300-500' range directly around it. In which case Evanston would have a better skyline than most secondary Major US cities... That would be sweet.

I walked out on the peer at Loyola Beach earlier and was just trying to imagine what it would look like to see a 520' building in Evanston. I realized that it would almost appear just to be an extension of the scraper wall along LSD and Sheridan. It would be nice to be able to drive from Evanston to downtown along a solid canyon of Skyscrapers. Unfortunately there are a lot of thin spots in Rodgers Park...
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  #43  
Old Posted Apr 27, 2007, 4:01 PM
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^^^^Ok......my only apparent disappointment with this thread is that I beleive the earlier proposal had a restaurant up top.

I was really looking forward to that. I am in Evanston alot and often eat there, this would have been cool....Imagine sitting at 530 ft or whatever and being the tallest thing for miles and looking south towards the burgeoning shoulders of Chicago
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  #44  
Old Posted Apr 27, 2007, 4:21 PM
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^ you're right, i forgot all about the plan for a restaurant at the top of the old scheme. perhaps that's something that could b ressurected in this one. given that it would be such a unique location with such a unique view of the lake, city, and north shore, i have to imagine that a high end restauraunt would make money hand over fist floating 500' above downtown evanston. bummer it ain't a part of the new plan.
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  #45  
Old Posted Apr 27, 2007, 6:00 PM
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Originally Posted by forumly_chgoman View Post
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
I somewhat agree. McD's could certainly afford do build a snazzy HQ downtown. However, areas like Rosemont, Oakbrook, Woodfield serve as economic powerhouses in their own right. Of course it would boost the status of Chicago proper, but the benefits of those companies are still apparent in the burbs.
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  #46  
Old Posted Apr 27, 2007, 6:10 PM
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Whats supposed to be in the distance of the first rendering? Chains of islands? I dont get it.
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  #47  
Old Posted Apr 27, 2007, 7:27 PM
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for people who don;t regularly browse the chicago boom rundown, here's a little synopsis of the other highrise activity going on in evanston for reference:


Evanston mini-boom:

     name                                    use         struct. ht.     roof ht.    floors     year

recently completed:
  1. Optima Views                         residential       265 ft        ... ..       28       2003
  2. Church Street Station                residential       179 ft        ... ..       17       2002
  3. Optima Horizons                      residential       162 ft        ... ..       16       2005
  4. Optima Towers                        residential       136 ft        ... ..       13       2002




under construction:
  1. Sherman Plaza - TO                   residential       276 ft        ... ..       25       2007


  2. Howard Street Station                residential       ___ ft        ... ..       17       2007
  • “TO” indicates that the building has been topped out
  • italics indicate that the building began construction in 2007




proposed:
  1. Fountain Square Tower                residential       523 ft        ... ..       49       2010
  2. Carroll Place                        residential       210 ft        ... ..       18       ____
  3. Winthrop Club                        residential       155 ft        ... ..       15       2008     website


  4. 1890 Maple Avenue                    residential       ___ ft        ... ..       14       ____     




- here are renderings for some of the under construction and proposed projects:


Under Construction


Sherman Plaza







Howard Street Station









Proposed


Fountain Square Tower







Carroll Place







Winthrop Club







1890 Maple Avenue

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  #48  
Old Posted Apr 27, 2007, 8:38 PM
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^^^^Ok this is a little off topic...sorry SD.... but it does deal with Evanston....

....the howard apt building it to be 17 stories currently there is a tower crane on sight that appears to be a little more than twice the heighht of the 6 floor building across the street that used to hold privot point.....so at 17 stories this new building should be about 3times taller.....maybe a bit less


does anyone know the height figure? Additionally, I am trying to gauge the ultimate height via the current height of the tower crane.....will it be taller than the current height of the tower crane, the same, less.

The tower crane appears to be the height of roughly a 12 story building....so I am hoping the apt building will be taller than the crane.

any ideas anyone?
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  #49  
Old Posted Apr 27, 2007, 9:12 PM
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[QUOTE=Steely Dan;2799388]uhhhh, yeah, i don't disagree with any of that,. i would love it if every major chicagoland corporation moved their operations downtown as well. what i was saying is that i'm kinda glad chicagoland never built a clayton for itself - an urban major commercial office district to rival the main downtown office district. in chicagoland, all the major susburban office districts are horrendously sprawly, ugly, unimaginative and downright depressing. this helps give downtown chicago an advantage in that it can offer businesses a real environment, a place that actually matters, which is something they ain't gonna find in any of suburban chicago's major office markets. [QUOTE]

Actually I would say that downtown Evanston is the only suburban office that is urban in nature, but it still isnt anywhere near big enough to compete with downtown Chicago. Downtown Evanston is the only place in Chicagoland besides downtown Chicago where you have office towers and residential highrises within easy walking distance and this highrise would only make it more so. All suburban office districts should follow the Evantson model in an ideal world but many are not built in historic cores like Evanston but rather proximity to expressways.

Speaking of the the Oakbrook Terrace Tower:
From this ariel and from what I have seen and heard about that area it is surrounded by parking lots and is in a very auto-centric environment. So its a nice tall building but its still nothing but a vertical office park.
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  #50  
Old Posted Apr 27, 2007, 9:24 PM
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^How's that different from pretty much every suburban office park?

Anyway, it's a cool project and I hope it isn't shortened significantly, if at all.
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  #51  
Old Posted Apr 27, 2007, 9:53 PM
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^How's that different from pretty much every suburban office park?

Anyway, it's a cool project and I hope it isn't shortened significantly, if at all.
That was in the 80's, more developments in the 10-15 story range are much more prevalent in Oak Brook today. And its 418 ft tall. Thats not a suburban office park.
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  #52  
Old Posted Apr 27, 2007, 10:42 PM
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That was in the 80's, more developments in the 10-15 story range are much more prevalent in Oak Brook today. And its 418 ft tall. Thats not a suburban office park.
I was referring to this part

"parking lots and is in a very auto-centric environment"
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  #53  
Old Posted Apr 28, 2007, 1:16 AM
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its a nice building i like it and its location is perfect for the building
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  #54  
Old Posted Apr 28, 2007, 5:33 AM
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I love to see a smaller city reach for new heights (It makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside). For Evanston, I think the design is right on target....the simpler the better. A radical design wouldn't sit as well with stubborn NIMBY types.

I give it an EXCELLENT!!!!!!!
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  #55  
Old Posted Apr 29, 2007, 12:39 PM
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http://www.chicagotribune.com/featur...ertainment-utl

ARCHITECTURE

High hopes, and a call for a smart debate

By Blair Kamin
Tribune architecture critic
Published April 29, 2007


A lot of people in Evanston, I suspect, are going to be horrified by the proposal for a 523-foot-tall condominium tower that would be the tallest building in Chicago's suburbs. But here's some friendly advice: Cool your jets. This is a promising plan by a skilled architect, and -- while it is far from perfect -- it should not be shouted down by a band of NIMBYs.

The plan, made public Thursday by developers James Klutznick and Tim Anderson, articulates a clear choice for Evanston and other suburbs around the country that have nowhere to grow but up. They can grow with high-rises that are tall and thin or they can grow with high-rises that are short and squat.

There's no pat answer for every suburb -- or every city. Still, this sliver-thin tower, as shaped by Laurence Booth and George Halik of the Chicago firm Booth Hansen, looks well-suited to its site, a triangular block bounded by Church Street, Sherman Avenue and Orrington Avenue. The block, with the crumbling Fountain Square Plaza at its southern end, sits in the heart of downtown Evanston.

If you're going to build tall, this block -- specifically its north end -- is the place. As a rendering shows, the plan turns the tier-topped but hulking Sherman Plaza tower to the west and the coolly modern Chase Building to the east into bookends that would frame its skyward leap. It would give the awkward Evanston skyline a clear focus -- a top, as it were, to the urban wedding cake.

Opponents who would fight a proposed zoning change -- the block has a height limit of 125 feet -- risk repeating the mistake Evanston made when it forced architect-developer David Holey to trim 20 stories from a proposed 36-story residential tower at the north end of downtown. The result: a massive, city-deadening wall.

Booth, whose projects include the new 30 West Oak condos, offers a better way: Not the old modernist model of the tower sitting on a barren plaza, but a more enlightened modernism that seeks to deftly insert towers into the fabric of the city -- and preserve the integrity of what is already there.

Significantly, this plan saves all of the Hahn Building, a three-story, classically decorated landmark in the middle of the block. That's far preferable to performing a stage-set "facade-ectomy" that would clip the Hahn Building's facade onto a large new structure, as another developer eyeing the block suggested last year.

There are good strokes, too, for the south end of the block, now dominated by a brooding midrise office building. Under the developers' plan, that old building would be replaced by a restaurant building in tune with the Hahn Building's street-friendly scale. Evanston would use the added tax dollars the project generates to enliven the moribund plaza with umbrella-topped tables and a new modern fountain.

But the plan remains a long way from realizing such promise, which means city officials and civic activists have every right to press the developers to ensure the highest quality.

Problem one is the lack of visual integration between the tower and the five-story parking garage and retail podium on which it would sit. This is "plop architecture." Booth needs to do better, making it appear that the tower and the podium are not two separate things.

Problem two is the prospect of what I call "generic urbanism" -- visually bland buildings whose retail spaces are so expensive that they wind up being filled by the same national chains you see everywhere. Sherman Plaza, done by the same developers, commits this sin. A much better model: Downtown Evanston's handsomely renovated Marshall Field & Co. building, a 1929 art deco/beaux-arts gem.

Problem three is really a caveat: This tower would have a mostly glass skin, which will, ideally, emphasize its lightness. But a cheap skin can look like a cheap suit. Exhibit A: the distorted reflections emanating from some exterior glass on the still-under-construction Trump International Hotel & Tower in Chicago. If you want to build tall, you had better build well.

So let the debate begin on this promising plan. But let it proceed intelligently, not emotionally.

-----------

bkamin@tribune.com



Copyright © 2007, Chicago Tribune
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  #56  
Old Posted Apr 29, 2007, 3:50 PM
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There are good strokes, too, for the south end of the block, now dominated by a brooding midrise office building. Under the developers' plan, that old building would be replaced by a restaurant building in tune with the Hahn Building's street-friendly scale.
Hmm, this is a new twist. Last I heard, that was just going to be an extension of the plaza.

I don't agree that the existing building is "brooding," of course. I think it's quite nice. But in any case, if you're going to remove it, I don't see the point in just putting in a smaller building. Either extend the plaza or leave it alone, I think.
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  #57  
Old Posted Apr 29, 2007, 6:06 PM
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Editorial from the Daily Northwestern

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Issue date: 4/27/07 Section: Forum

When does big become too big?

Evanston is growing up. Literally, taller and taller. Even before all the shops in Sherman Plaza have opened their doors, the building's developers have proposed a giant 49-story condominium tower that would be built across the street.

Although still early in planning stages, the building threatens Evanston's identity as a college town. The proposed tower would lie on the same block as several important retailers, such as Ben and Jerry's, 1634 Orrington Ave.; Dr. Wax, 1615 Sherman Ave.; Radio Shack, 716 Church St.; and Cafe Ambrosia, 1620 Orrington Ave. What would become of these stores if the skyscraper moved in next door?

As a suburb, Evanston has its own character, separate from its larger neighbor to the south. Evanston should not try to imitate a big city downtown. It does not need to be Chicago Lite.

There is nothing categorically wrong with more development in Evanston, but the proposed mammoth - nearly twice as tall as Sherman Plaza - is too big. Evening shadows already overtake Sherman Avenue long before sundown, and the new building will only shorten downtown daylight even more. But do not fear eternal nighttime because the developers have begun to discuss illuminating the top of the all-glass structure, with a new Evanston lighthouse.

This city is popular, and it shouldn't be hard to fill the new condos if they are built. At Sherman Plaza, construction on some units has not yet been completed, but nearly all condos have been sold. But Evanston should not forfeit its local charm for high-rise flashiness.
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  #58  
Old Posted Apr 29, 2007, 6:38 PM
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http://media.www.dailynorthwestern.c...-2885555.shtml

Towering Over Evanston
49-story building would change city's landscape
Peter Jackson
Issue date: 4/27/07 Section: City



By Peter Jackson
The Daily Northwestern


If city officials and developers have their way, Evanston's skyline and downtown will be transformed by a 49-story skyscraper that would be almost double the height of the city's tallest building.

The project faces several hurdles before construction can begin on the proposed condominium and retail building at 708 Church St., including issues of preservation, funding, rezoning and approval by the Evanston City Council. But the developers' aggressive timetable - completion is scheduled for 2010 - and the absence of the city's usual skyscraper skepticism makes this project stand out.

The developers, Jim and Marc Klutznick of Klutznick-Fisher Development Company and Tim Anderson of Focus Development, also planned the 25-story Sherman Plaza complex, which opened on the neighboring block in September. Sherman Plaza, which is home to 253 condominium units, and retail tenants, such as Barnes and Noble Booksellers and Pier One Imports, is just shorter than Evanston's tallest building, the 277-foot Chase Building on Davis Street and Orrington Avenue.

The developers have worked for months in concert with city officials to design a tower with "wow factor," they said at a Thursday news conference.

"(The city) said, 'Don't come back with an ordinary building,'" architect Lawrence Booth said.

The tower's glass wrap would rise above the highest floor, and the developers have talked about placing lights on the roof of the building, creating a subtle glow through the glass. The existing building at the site includes Radio Shack, 716 Church St., and sporting goods store, Uncle Dan's, 700 Church St.

The coordination between the city and the developers underscores a mutually beneficial outcome if the tower comes to fruition. The project could help fund the expansion of Fountain Square Plaza on the south part of the block. The plaza has languished on the city's agenda for five years, according to Assistant City Manager Judith Aiello.

Though the plans submitted to the city include only the block's northernmost property, the developers have designed a plan for the entire block, which stretches down Sherman and Orrington avenues between Church and Davis streets. The design for the triangular block tapers from the glass-and-steel tower to the landmark Hahn Building, which would not be modified, and then to a re-landscaped public plaza in place of the Fountain Square building that now stands at the block's south end.

Developers and architects held closed-door meetings with the City Council and with a handful of influential business leaders and preservationists before submitting their first formal request, for rezoning, last Thursday, Aiello said. She said those who saw the models will be key in the approval process, and the meetings were typical for projects of this size.

"We indicated that there was a need for people to see it, particularly if they were going to go to the press," she said. "The last thing you want to do is throw out a project to citizens, committees or neighbors without them having as much information as they possibly can."

Multiple people who saw the project in private said the building's height was justified as it would be the center of "the wedding cake" of downtown.

One architect who criticized Sherman Plaza had praise for the new building.

"The proposed building is an elegant, magnificent building," said John Macsai, a retired architect who viewed the models last week. "I would have to write a dissertation to tell you how much I dislike Sherman Plaza."

Even several who have opposed tall buildings in the past, such as Ald. Edmund Moran (6th), have responded positively to the project.

"Given that this proposal is for the epicenter of Evanston, this is probably a logical area to discuss the construction of a large building, especially since it will be between two already large buildings," Moran said.


Moran said his enthusiasm stemmed in part from the idea that the new development could provide funds for the beginning of a "significant public space" at the south end of the block.

The new space is contingent upon the destruction of the Fountain Square building just north of the current plaza. Ted Mavrakis, the owner of the Fountain Square building, said he would sell it to the city for $10 million. The city could generate that amount through increased real estate taxes created by the Tax Increment Financing district that exists in that area of downtown, city economic development planner Morris Robinson said.

When a TIF district is created, the property tax revenue in the district going to the city's general funds is capped for 23 years. The capped amount still goes to the city and other taxing bodies, but any excess tax revenue - presumably from new development - would go directly back to public works and capital improvements within the district.

To generate enough to buy the Fountain Square building through TIF revenue, the development itself would have to be worth at least $100 million, Robinson said.

Tim Anderson, president of Focus Development, said it was too early to put a price tag on the project, but said the tower could be the "financial engine" that would support the square's renovation.

"It's a short window of opportunity," Anderson said, noting that the TIF expires in 2018.

Still, developers said they expect the skyscraper to go through with or without the Fountain Square plaza renovation.

"We expect that the city wants to do it," Anderson said. "This project doesn't need Fountain Square to go ahead."

The site of the proposed tower, and the entire Fountain Square block, has foiled other developers in the past.

In January 2005, developer John Mangel of HSA Commercial Real Estate was on the brink of submitting plans for a development covering the entire block, he said. But he could not secure the northernmost site, which would house the proposed tower, something he labeled "ironic."

Multiple calls to Jim Nash, owner of the leasing company that runs the existing building at 708 Church St., were not returned.

Developer Thomas Roszak unveiled plans for a 38-story condo and hotel complex on the block last June. He could not secure all three properties either.

Other developers were surprised by the favorable reaction of city officials to the proposed development.

"I'm surprised, given their past history about tall buildings and our experience with much more modest proposals, that they should be so supportive of a building that's twice as tall as anything that's ever been built in Evanston," said Bob Horner, a developer at Winthrop Properties working on a 15-story building at 1567 Maple St.

Still, all involved anticipate that despite their preparations, public debate on the proposed building may be acrimonious.

"This is Evanston," Carroll said. "We don't know what the outcry will be."

Reach Peter Jackson at peterjackson@northwestern.edu.
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  #59  
Old Posted Apr 30, 2007, 2:49 PM
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http://www.chicagoist.com/archives/2...y.php#comments

Chicagoist has a story up about the Fountain Square proposal. It is commented with the usual mewling NIMBY bleatings. Comments are open without registering. Just pick a name and give a valid email addy (not posted). Go give'em hell. I did.

Quote:
April 28, 2007

So High I can Touch the Sky

Blurring the line between city and suburb, a proposal has been sent to Evanston officials for what would be the largest building in the suburbs. The building, a 49-story condo building, would be situated at Church Street, Orrington Avenue and Sherman Avenue. The triangular shaped lot currently has a two story retail building which would be torn down for the project.

The project will no doubt have its opponents, when asked by the Tribune if she thought there would be a backlash, Ald. Cheryl Wollin responded: "Nothing in Evanston is non-controversial. I expect it to be thoroughly debated." Zoning officials should have a recommendation in about two weeks, which will be followed by public meetings, hearings, and a vote by the city council.

The current title holder for the largest suburban building surrounding Chicago is the Oakbrook Terrace Tower, which stands has 31 floors and stands at 418 feet. The proposed building in Evanston would house 49 stories at 523 feet.

We sympathize with the residents and business owners in the area at their impending reaction to the proposal. At the same time, economically and geographically a taller building in Evanston makes sense. It will definitely increase congestion, but it will also add to the walkability of the area. As the Tribune points out, the glass and metal structure will add to the natural light that reaches downtown Evanston as well.

The development company hopes to complete construction of the building by 2010.
Quote:
Comments

[1] Posted by: aldfj | April 29, 2007 1:05 PM
"It will definitely increase congestion, but it will also add to the walkability of the area."
How in the world would this "add to the walkability of the area"? It's quite "walkable" now--adding a 50 story condo building will certainly make it more congested and less "walkable."

To really increase the walkability, they should restore the land back to its original use as a park.

[2] Posted by: john | April 30, 2007 8:22 AM
Yeah, what the hell? What is walkability supposed to mean? Have you ever been to Evanston? This building will do nothing but add congestion and chain stores which no one will really be interested in walking to anyways. The Evanston city council is out of control with respect to the condo builders. All of the discussion so far with this building has and is scheduled to be in closed door sessions. Of course it will be controversial if the council makes a decision on this one without any form of input from the residents of Evanston.

[3] Posted by: Donna | April 30, 2007 9:18 AM
Yeah, what used to be a quaint "little" town is turning into a bunch of ugly, oversized, boxes, with lego like colors, and add that there is no "decent" parking for neighbors (oh, yeah sure, they provide indoor parking for the upper crust, but street parking for the rest of us is usually timed and strictly adhered to by the rolling jeeps, sheesh...\also, rental fees for apartments have started to skyrocket. I mean damn, we only have one McDonalds now (used to have two, one was by the university), every other restaurant is catered to the condo owners who can afford to eat at these establishments. Can I just get a char polish and fries!

[4] Posted by: Chuffy | April 30, 2007 9:38 AM
Evanston is a city as well as a suburb. It need a dense, vibrant urban core to remain cosmopolitan and desirable.

Increasing "walkability" means many things. For one, the building will house 500 or so people who will not need to get into their cars to get around downtown Evanston. It is exactly the kind of project the city should be trying to attract.
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Old Posted Apr 30, 2007, 7:22 PM
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http://www.chicagotribune.com/featur...ertainment-utl

ARCHITECTURE

High hopes, and a call for a smart debate

By Blair Kamin
Tribune architecture critic
Published April 29, 2007
a pretty good preliminary analysis from kamin. the point about a development being judged by all of its characteristics and not solely by its height cannot be stressed enough to the evanston crowd. the one promising thing about all of this is that many people, including some city alderman appear to agree that IF a tall building is to be built in downtown evanston, this would be the block, so the debate becomes one of "should evanston have a tall skyline-defining building?", not "let's do everything within our power to knock height off this project to spite those evil greedy developers." if it is agreed that evanston should have a tall skyline-defining building, then the issue of whether it should be 49 floors, or 39 floors or 59 floors or whatever becomes less significant.
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