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  #61  
Old Posted May 31, 2012, 3:10 PM
SamInTheLoop SamInTheLoop is offline
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Design of Base

I will say one thing about the latest design - its base is still a mess imo. Why the solidity? Clearly there should be more continuity with the tower, and it should be much more transparent.....definitely the precast and/or stone will look awkwardly out of place. Should definitely be replaced with an elegant all/mostly glass or glass/metal combination base.......
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Last edited by SamInTheLoop; May 31, 2012 at 5:18 PM.
     
     
  #62  
Old Posted Jun 1, 2012, 4:41 AM
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I still think the developer needs to activate the corner with a sidewalk cafe for the adjoining restaurant.

The streetscape in all of Streeterville is so damn sterile. I can't think of a single sidewalk cafe, courtyard space, etc for blocks.
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  #63  
Old Posted Jun 1, 2012, 6:42 PM
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Originally Posted by ardecila View Post
I still think the developer needs to activate the corner with a sidewalk cafe for the adjoining restaurant.

The streetscape in all of Streeterville is so damn sterile. I can't think of a single sidewalk cafe, courtyard space, etc for blocks.
^ This is changing, but at a maddeningly slow pace.

Streeterville commands high rent and is getting a lot of development, but the retailers seem hesitant. Look at the Embassy Suites hotel at Grand and Fairbanks: the entire north side of that block (storefronts facing Grand) have not leased out since the building was built perhaps over 10 years ago.

Part of this is the reluctance of retailers, I guess, but I'm wondering what is holding businesses back? There has been so much development in Streeterville and there really is a good amount of foot traffic these days, plus good disposable income. I'm not sure what gives..

With this project, Optima, and others down the pipe, I think it will only be a matter of time before more street retail begins to follow in earnest. The "bones" are already in place, so to speak.
     
     
  #64  
Old Posted Jun 1, 2012, 7:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SamInTheLoop View Post
I will say one thing about the latest design - its base is still a mess imo. Why the solidity? Clearly there should be more continuity with the tower, and it should be much more transparent.....definitely the precast and/or stone will look awkwardly out of place. Should definitely be replaced with an elegant all/mostly glass or glass/metal combination base.......
One of the earlier designs was like this actually. Think of Beacon Court's base (I know there are so many Pelli fans on this board) except shorter. I'm not sure why they went away from it.
     
     
  #65  
Old Posted Jun 2, 2012, 9:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ardecila View Post
The streetscape in all of Streeterville is so damn sterile. I can't think of a single sidewalk cafe, courtyard space, etc for blocks.
PJ Clarke's (or whatever the pub at Illinois/Columbus is that Crain's reported was not renewing its lease this year) has always had outdoor seating in the summer. Fox & Obel has a small amount of outdoor seating on McClurg. Lizzie McNeil's runs an outdoor beer garden at the end of McClurg. Subway in Parkview West has had summer outdoor seating. The Streeter's D4 has outdoor seating on Grand. Emilio's Tapas has a large outdoor dining patio at Ohio/Fairbanks. The Starbucks at McClurg/Ontario has outdoor seating. The Panera at Columbus/Ontario has outdoor seating. IIRC the Chipotle and/or Potbelly have outdoor seating catercorner from there. The Dunkin Donuts at Ohio/St Clair has outdoor seating. Burrito Beach has had outdoor seating on the same corner. Lavazza has a few sidewalk tables near the same corner. Volare at St Clair/Grand has a covered outdoor seating patio. M Burger has outdoor seating on Huron next to the Apple Store. But yeah, during the cold seasons, not.

It seems like Streeterville might have a chain problem, moreso than a sidewalk cafe problem.
     
     
  #66  
Old Posted Jun 2, 2012, 3:29 PM
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^^^
I think the problem with Streeterville is that there is a serious dearth of variation in building size and age. Nearly all of the lots are filled with recent skyscrapers or are (even worse) surface parking lots. Other than a few of the old warehouses which have been turned to lofts, everything is sterile, big and lacks character. Even the loop still has lots of ~6 story buildings from the 1800's. The scale of streeterville is irretrievably anti-pedestrian imo.

I don't mind the solidity of the base of this building, but it'd be nice if we could get some human-sized windows filling in some of those areas. The low height of the base (and if it is real stone that'd be even better) will add some humanity and variety to the streets of Streeterville. Of course, it won't have any windows beyond those few massive glass walls and the base will be precast and this will only add to the Streeterville sterility problem.
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  #67  
Old Posted Jun 2, 2012, 9:49 PM
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You know, Streeterville is the only part of downtown where old buildings get demolished before parking lots get filled. In the rest of downtown, the older buildings usually have more value than the lots. I chalk it up to the lack of rail transit in Streeterville, which makes parking more precious, and the distorting effects of NMH which prefers a contiguous campus instead of a scattered-site one.

Thanks, denizen, for the list. None of those really stand out in my memory except Volare. My impression is really for the blocks east of Fairbanks, although as you point out there are a few sidewalk cafes over there. I double-checked Streetview to confirm my claim but I guess the imagery must be from November or something.
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  #68  
Old Posted Jun 2, 2012, 10:13 PM
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^ Plenty of old buildings in the Loop and River North got knocked down for parking (garages or lots).

The difference is, the Loop (and to some degree River North) have been doing this for quite some time. Streeterville's growth spurt really has been much more recent. Oh, and much of the "parking lot building" is being done by NWH, which the Loop and RN clearly don't have to contend with.
     
     
  #69  
Old Posted Jun 13, 2012, 12:57 AM
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Yeah the base is kinda hostile on the eye but the tower itself would be a welcome addition to our skyline. Waldorf was too tall but it was striking. I think the Waldorf would have been better further south around the Aon building but further east making use a numerous vacant lots available there.
     
     
  #70  
Old Posted Jul 25, 2012, 6:37 PM
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Weren't they saying that some work was supposed to start on this project in June? It is now late July, has anyone seen anything?
     
     
  #71  
Old Posted Jul 26, 2012, 4:42 PM
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^ I'll reiterate my previous and continued skepticism on those claims. I really think it's quite a stretch to think that this developer (not Buck, whose role I'm assuming is more of a mainly development management and/or construction management role), the CEO of a trading firm, who as far as I can tell has no experience being a principal developer of anything remotely close in size or complexity to this project, has lined-up complete construction financing already. To tell you the truth, pulling financing together for a mixed-use hotel/residential tower (even assuming all of the resi were rental) of this size right now would still be quite challenging for a group with even fairly deep, directly relevant principal development experience. Not out of the question, it would just take an extended period of time and be pretty difficult involving multiple lender participants (with solid, extensive relationships with the lenders), lots of negotiation, due diligence, documentation and so forth. Hard to see this project/this developer already being in such a place with respect to a financing package.

As I've mentioned, my bet on the next residential tower to break ground in Streeterville is Golub's 410 E. Grand project. Even though construction is now not expected to begin until Spring 2013 on that project, I still think it's more than 50% likely (maybe more than 75%??) that 410 E. Grand begins caisson work before 435 N. park begins caisson work......
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Last edited by SamInTheLoop; Jul 26, 2012 at 4:58 PM.
     
     
  #72  
Old Posted Aug 1, 2012, 3:20 PM
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It Begins...

It seems that site prep has begun at 435 N Park. This is no guarantee that the building will get built as the lot to the North of this was also parking about 4 year ago and, after soil remediation, has sat empty (except for when they staged Transformer props a few summers ago). It is a good sign though. Seems like the owner would not close a lucrative parking lot mid summer if the construction schedule did not depend on it.

     
     
  #73  
Old Posted Aug 1, 2012, 4:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Swicago Swi Sox View Post
It seems that site prep has begun at 435 N Park. This is no guarantee that the building will get built as the lot to the North of this was also parking about 4 year ago and, after soil remediation, has sat empty (except for when they staged Transformer props a few summers ago). It is a good sign though. Seems like the owner would not close a lucrative parking lot mid summer if the construction schedule did not depend on it.

Definitely good news. I walked past the site this weekend and was disappointed to see it operating as a parking lot still.

Wasn't this supposedly financed already?
     
     
  #74  
Old Posted Aug 1, 2012, 4:48 PM
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I've been really excited about this location for many years. I'm glad to see that something is starting to happen. Thanks jc5680 great pic!
     
     
  #75  
Old Posted Aug 1, 2012, 5:33 PM
SamInTheLoop SamInTheLoop is offline
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^^

See my post above for thoughts on that. Developers - particularly those that lack deep experience (and let's face it, many times even those that do!) claim all sorts of exciting things in the public realm. Debt and equity financiers often think otherwise (or, they know the gig). My expectation is that we'll see dirt move to and fro for quite some time (soil remediation, other?) before any true footing work begins. Time will tell, and nothing would please me more than to be proven overly skeptical on this one!
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  #76  
Old Posted Aug 1, 2012, 5:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Swicago Swi Sox View Post

-The hotel would be 4 diamond (4-star?).
-The hotel brand is a publicly traded company and that hotels are are small percentage of their total business.
-The hotel brand currently only has about (from memory) 7-8 hotels in the US and another 4-5 internationally.
I was thinking Loews, but they only have two hotels outside the US, both in Canada.
     
     
  #77  
Old Posted Aug 1, 2012, 5:39 PM
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I've been really excited about this location for many years. I'm glad to see that something is starting to happen. Thanks jc5680 great pic!
The photo comes courtesy of Swicago Swi Sox in the post above mine.
     
     
  #78  
Old Posted Aug 1, 2012, 5:41 PM
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^^

See my post above for thoughts on that. Developers - particularly those that lack deep experience (and let's face it, many times even those that do!) claim all sorts of exciting things in the public realm. Debt and equity financiers often think otherwise (or, they know the gig). My expectation is that we'll see dirt move to and fro for quite some time (soil remediation, other?) before any true footing work begins. Time will tell, and nothing would please me more than to be proven overly skeptical on this one!
Really Dude...... Please stop being so positive.
     
     
  #79  
Old Posted Aug 3, 2012, 4:47 PM
SamInTheLoop SamInTheLoop is offline
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Positivity = boring
Negativity = boring

Realistic, Even-Headed, Steady, Thorough, Analytically Rigourous Perspective and Insight = now we're onto something
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  #80  
Old Posted Aug 3, 2012, 6:51 PM
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Looks like they are uncovering more old sheet pile - the other side of the Odgen slip ?


465 WE Park a few years back
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