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  #1  
Old Posted Aug 24, 2004, 3:22 AM
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CHICAGO | 108 North State (Block 37)

Is there a single square block space in the US (beyond ground zero in NYC) that is a better example of underutilized land with world-class potential?

I have not heard anything about Block 37 in months now.

Is Mills Corp going to pull it off?

Will my dream of Block 37 living up to its potential be fulfilled or will we have to wait another decade?
     
     
  #2  
Old Posted Aug 24, 2004, 1:27 PM
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Steely Dan and I saw a model at Perkins & Will. . . so many people have their hands in this project at this point. . . and you know the old saying ~ too many cooks. . .
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  #3  
Old Posted Aug 24, 2004, 2:57 PM
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^tom, through the grapevine, i hear that the P-dub proposal has undegone a complete architectural redesign since we last saw it, and allegedly the changes have been for the better.

incremental construction: first, an underground CTA airport express station. then a 7 story retail podium with substantial atrium space and CBS studios overlooking daley plaza. then an office tower, a residential tower, and a hotel tower on top of the podium as the market allows.

will all, if any, of this ever see the light of day?

good question, but tom's point about too many cooks is very apropos.
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  #4  
Old Posted Aug 24, 2004, 4:46 PM
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Has anyone seen an explanation of how the CTA express trains to the airports are actually going to work? How are express trains going to get around local trains? Wouldn't this require a complete redesign of the blue and orange lines? How long will that take, and who will pay for it?
     
     
  #5  
Old Posted Aug 24, 2004, 5:37 PM
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IIRC, the CTA is going to add passing lanes to certain sections of track... though I'm sure these will slow down existing local routes (interesting dilemma considering the curve smoothings being done lately to shave 5-10 seconds off of each run).
     
     
  #6  
Old Posted Aug 24, 2004, 8:44 PM
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They can 4-track the elevated part of the Blue Line right before Logan Square and Belmont, make just those two stops, then they should 4-track the rest of the entire route in the middle of the Kennedy. That takes care of the blue easily. The orange, I'm not sure about, but I think they have plenty of ROW to build additional tracks on most of the route.
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  #7  
Old Posted Aug 24, 2004, 10:58 PM
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Who says the express Blue Line has to use the current route? There are plenty of other tracks or places were tracks used to be that lead from Ohare to downtown.
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  #8  
Old Posted Aug 24, 2004, 11:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steely Dan
^tom, through the grapevine, i hear that the P-dub proposal has undegone a complete architectural redesign since we last saw it, and allegedly the changes have been for the better.

incremental construction: first, an underground CTA airport express station. then a 7 story retail podium with substantial atrium space and CBS studios overlooking daley plaza. then an office tower, a residential tower, and a <A TITLE="Click for more information about hotel" STYLE="text-decoration: none; border-bottom: medium solid green;" HREF="http://search.targetwords.com/u.search?x=5977|1||||hotels|AA1VDw">hotel</A> tower on top of the podium as the market allows.

will all, if any, of this ever see the light of day?

good question, but tom's point about too many cooks is very apropos.
Guys, this is great! Where did you see these proposals? You wouldn't by chance have pics?
     
     
  #9  
Old Posted Aug 24, 2004, 11:11 PM
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You wouldn't by chance have pics?

Unfortunately I don't have any photos of the Block 37 model from our brief visit to P&W. . . I do however have a great pic of Steely Dan looking over a scale model of downtown Los Angeles
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  #10  
Old Posted Aug 25, 2004, 12:15 AM
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I can verify that there is a bit of corn growing there right now, some garden thing working
     
     
  #11  
Old Posted Aug 25, 2004, 5:09 PM
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Thanks for creating a new thread for block 37, I think we may have a break through year for it.
     
     
  #12  
Old Posted Aug 25, 2004, 5:16 PM
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a little birdie told me that we can all expect to hear some rather significant news regarding B37 sometime in early septemeber............
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  #13  
Old Posted Aug 25, 2004, 6:01 PM
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I hope we here some news soon!

You would think that all the activity in the immediate area(Millenium Park, The Heritage and all the other condo conversions) would help this along.
     
     
  #14  
Old Posted Aug 25, 2004, 6:11 PM
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From todays Sun-Times:

City, Mills hope to tout progress for Block 37

August 25, 2004

BY DAVID ROEDER STAFF REPORTER

City officials and the Mills Corp., master developer of the empty Block 37 site in the Loop, are preparing an announcement designed to show that its redevelopment plans are real. Sources said that around Sept. 1, officials hope to disclose that after lengthy negotiations, WBBM-Channel 2 has committed to occupy an office building on the block.

Details about the Chicago Transit Authority's use of the site also are expected to be discussed. The CTA plans to use it for underground connections to new express trains serving O'Hare and Midway airports.

What isn't known is if Mills has any retail tenants to bring to the party. An anchor tenant will determine the project's look along State Street, and Mills needs a big name or two signed on the dotted line to make this megadeal look serious. One source said Mills has "three or four'' potential users for the site, which boosters once promised would be like Union Station, Disneyland and Times Square put together.

Mills Executive Vice President Steve Jacobsen, the guy spearheading Block 37, did not return calls. A spokeswoman for Channel 2 said the CBS affiliate, through corporate owner Viacom Inc., is still in negotiations with Mills and the city. The station is expected to anchor an office building at the northeast corner of Dearborn and Washington, across from the Daley Center Plaza.
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  #15  
Old Posted Aug 26, 2004, 6:31 AM
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Holy Crap, YES!!!!!!!!!

Everybody pray for GREAT ARCHITECTURE!!!!!!!!!!!
     
     
  #16  
Old Posted Aug 26, 2004, 6:50 AM
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Oh god yes... fap fap fap...
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  #17  
Old Posted Aug 26, 2004, 7:06 AM
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im skeptical, but hopeful as well...
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  #18  
Old Posted Aug 26, 2004, 5:35 PM
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Damage control

Hate to be the downer of the bunch, but I'll believe it when I see it and not before. This "news" release for Sept 1st isn't really news at all. WBBM signed a letter of intent months ago. This all sounds like damage control to me. Like they want to control the rumors before the "here we go agains" start swirling. Honestly, if they had a viable propective retail tenant, we would have heard something by now. But, sadly, I think they do not. Maybe they've got a plan B type tenant who would sign on for a huge subsidy, but nothing to excite. Personally, I think Chicago would be much better served to either a) build a public space/CTA superstation or b) carve block 37 up into individual parcels and sell them out to the hignest bidder. If someone wants to buy the whole lot and do something, then so much the better. All this sitting around doing nothing, hoping for a miracle (which is what this whole thing has been since 1988), is a waste of time, energy and money, not to mention a colossal embarrassment to the city. I mean look at all the sweet buildings that have gone up in the time that block 37 has been available. It's not like deals aren't getting done. The city should just give it up.
     
     
  #19  
Old Posted Aug 26, 2004, 5:47 PM
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I'm sure Daley will find a way to blame the Cubs
     
     
  #20  
Old Posted Aug 27, 2004, 5:41 PM
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northsider, how could you already know that "This "news" release for Sept 1st isn't really news at all." wouldn't you have to wait until the press conference to know this, or were you trying to pass off a personal opinion or feeling as fact?

you might not believe that they have any retail tenants signed on, but i have heard differently from sources close to the project, however due to the sensitive nature of this project, everything is quite hush-hush, that's why you probably haven't heard anything.

anyway, i am not saying that the news release is going to mean that the project is fully complete and ready to go and that they're gonna start digging in two weeks. i also agree that it is best to view any B37 stuff with a skeptical eye as this unlucky plot of land has seen proposal after proposal come and go, but there will be some news released about the project, that you probably are not aware of yet.
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