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  #1  
Old Posted Mar 14, 2012, 10:32 PM
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Cool CHICAGO | Wolf Point - Phase 1 | 493 FT | 48 FLOORS | U/C (other phases to follow)

Height: 950ft, 750ft, 525ft
Floor count: Unkown
Location: Wolf Point (confluence of South, North, and Main Branches of the Chicago River)
Neighborhood: River North
Architect: Pelli Clarke Pelli; bKL Architecture
Developer: Hines Interests LP








View from Wolf Point (taken by i_am_hydrogen)





This article is more than a month old but that's still fairly recent, anyone know anything about this development?

http://www.suntimes.com/business/102...ago-river.html




The Kennedy family, partnering with a major development firm and an internationally renowned architect, is crafting plans to build on its Wolf Point property along the Chicago River.

People familiar with the proposal said the Kennedys envision a three-tower complex for residential and office use on the four-acre site. Their chosen architect is Cesar Pelli, who designed the Petronas Towers in Malaysia that were once the world’s tallest.

No supertall structure is planned at Wolf Point, said Greg Van Schaack, senior vice president for Hines Interests LP, the development firm working with the Kennedys. He said the tallest building probably would be in the 60-story range.

Sources said the development team already has briefed the city’s planning agency about the pending project. Van Schaack said a formal proposal should be delivered to City Hall in about March or April.

If the plan requires a zoning change for the property, the city would begin a hearing process that could last several months.

Wolf Point is just west of the Merchandise Mart and where the Chicago River divides into branches. The property has been used just for parking for years, but is within one of the oldest settled parts of the city.

Historical records show that Wolf Point and nearby riverbanks were the commercial beginnings of the pioneer town, with everything an emerging civilization needed: taverns, trading posts, a hotel, factory and a government office.

Wolf Point has been under Kennedy ownership since the 1940s, and while the family has eyed it for large-scale construction, its timing never worked out.

By readying a project now, it’s trying to get ahead of the next downtown construction boom and realize a substantial profit. Christopher Kennedy, who oversees the Chicago property, did not return a phone call Wednesday.

“Just look at the real estate that borders the Chicago River. Enough said,” Van Schaack said.

Houston-based Hines is among the most prolific builder of office buildings in downtown Chicago.

Uppermost in Van Schaack’s mind was the 60-story 300 N. La Salle building, a riverfront trophy Hines built in 2009 and later sold for a record price per square foot for a Chicago office tower. It sold for $655 million, about $503 per square foot.

But the firm stumbled with another site across the river from Wolf Point, the northeast corner of Lake and Canal. In 2009, it scuttled a proposed 50-story office building there because the credit markets collapsed, even though two large tenants had committed to move in.

Hines has worked with Pelli, whose mostly modernist buildings appear around the world. But Pelli’s only contribution to the Chicago skyline is an office building at 181 W. Madison, which opened in 1990.

Jack George, the zoning lawyer hired to represent the project, said Pelli’s involvement shows the Kennedys’ commitment to quality design. “Whatever is proposed there will be something extremely special for our city,” George said.

Last edited by Zapatan; Jun 3, 2012 at 11:46 PM.
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  #2  
Old Posted Mar 15, 2012, 2:01 AM
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I know many of the people who know the Kennedy's and used to know some of them. When I brought it up to someone talking about a social function that Chris is having at the Merchandise Mart (he still gets to do that and is still a VIP, though Falanga took over about a year ago and the Kennedy's obviously no longer own the place), they had heard nothing about it. Seems like people in the "inner circle" of his social life have no idea that this is happening. I'm going to guess the Kennedy's were just testing the waters and nothing will come of it.
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  #3  
Old Posted Mar 15, 2012, 1:42 PM
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When and if WP is developed, will the riverwalk be extended to this site? In the back of my mind, I kinda thought whoever develops the property is obligated to construct the riverwalk. But I could be wrong.
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  #4  
Old Posted Mar 15, 2012, 2:50 PM
Nowhereman1280 Nowhereman1280 is offline
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^^^ All owners of riverfront property downtown are now obligated to construct public access to their water I believe. The problem is not much seems to be done to obligate them to connect their public access to their neighbors.
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  #5  
Old Posted Mar 15, 2012, 6:10 PM
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^^^^^
That's a good point. It is too bad that developers aren't forced to make it all contiguous. Quite frusterating!
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  #6  
Old Posted Mar 15, 2012, 7:14 PM
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All owners of riverfront property anywhere in the city are obligated to do this, although I think there are some exceptions for businesses that require riverfront access.

Obviously existing buildings are grandfathered, and even extensive renovations or additions to existing buildings do not trigger the Riverwalk Ordinance's requirements.
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  #7  
Old Posted Mar 16, 2012, 8:06 PM
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So I take it this isn't happening in the near future

It's a nice site in a prime location, something good should go there.
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  #8  
Old Posted Mar 16, 2012, 8:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nowhereman1280 View Post
^^^ All owners of riverfront property downtown are now obligated to construct public access to their water I believe. The problem is not much seems to be done to obligate them to connect their public access to their neighbors.
Worse is that most of the bridges don't have a convenient way around. If you could get around Grand and Ohio bridges, you could walk along the river all the way from Oak Street to Kinzie right now. I really like how they've incorporated a pathway basically *through* the Chicago Ave bridge.
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  #9  
Old Posted Mar 17, 2012, 6:39 AM
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Yeah, that's one of the coolest spaces in the city - a real well-kept secret. I wish they would take a million or so and smooth out the kinks, though. That place is a nightmare on a bike, and also for pedestrians who can't see a cyclist approaching.

Between the Lakefront Trail, the Bloomingdale Trail, riverfront trails, and North Branch Trail we're soon to have an extensive network of grade-separated, regional bikeways criss-crossing the city. There are numerous other unused rail viaducts that can also be converted, especially on the South Side.
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  #10  
Old Posted May 8, 2012, 9:38 PM
i_am_hydrogen i_am_hydrogen is online now
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Meeting

From Ald. Reilly

Quote:
I am writing to invite you to join me at a public presentation regarding a proposed development for the site located at 350 N. Orleans Street, commonly referred to as "Wolf Point."

Given the prominence of this property and the number of inquiries my office has received about the future development of this site, I have directed Hines Development Corporation and their team to start our community review process early, even before they take the initial step of filing a formal application with the City of Chicago. At this first community meeting, the Hines Development Team will present their proposed plan for the site; discuss their Traffic Study (commissioned at my request); and answer your questions about the Proposal.

The Applicant (Hines) has submitted a proposal for the development of three towers at this site, with Site "A" (West Tower) proposed as a residential, 525 foot tall structure containing 510 units and 200 parking stalls; Site "B" (South Tower) proposed as a 900 foot tall, mixed use structure containing 600 units and 885 parking stalls; and Site "C" (East Tower) proposed as a 750 foot tall, mixed use structure containing 200 parking stalls.

WHAT: 350 North Orleans (former Wolf Point site) Development Project

WHO: Hosted by Alderman Brendan Reilly, the River North Residents

Association (RNRA) and the Fulton River District Association (FRDA)

WHEN: Tuesday, May 29th at 5:30 P.M.

WHERE: Holiday Inn, 350 West Mart Center Drive - Wolf Point Ballroom

As you know, I make it a top priority to provide an open and transparent community review of all local development proposals. I hope you can join the RNRA, FRDA and me to engage in a direct dialogue with the Development Team to gain a better understanding of this proposal, share comments or concerns and receive answers to any questions you may have.
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900 feet?!?!
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  #11  
Old Posted May 8, 2012, 9:42 PM
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^ wow! 525', 750', and 900'.

seems ambitious, but this site needs ambition.
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  #12  
Old Posted May 8, 2012, 10:02 PM
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I was hoping for a supertall, but 1000' is such an arbitrary number. With the exception of Trump, this will be the tallest new building in 20 years.



I read a Hines PDF a few months ago indicating that the West Tower would be the first to start. Best guess is that it's a rental. If Hines doesn't anticipate developing the other two towers (which include office space) for several years, then there's less of a conflict with their other project across the way, River Pointe.
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  #13  
Old Posted May 8, 2012, 10:23 PM
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900' easily becomes 800' which easily becomes 725' and so on. I'm not too concerned with numbers above 500'; it really doesn't make a difference anymore (its an arbitrary number as you say). But I don't know why, depending on spire height, Hines doesn't just add a bit more height to a spire so that they can drum up interest for anchor tenants (and possible namesake tenants) in a "supertall." Even if only the rentals get out in the next ten years, a 525' tower on this site isn't awful for the time being; certainly better than a surface parking lot. But the rental market is quickly being saturated and I've seen lots of commentary that this apartment boomlet may overbuild, especially in River North. We'll see if any of this gets done.
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  #14  
Old Posted May 8, 2012, 10:42 PM
untitledreality untitledreality is offline
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Quote:
with Site "A" (West Tower) proposed as a residential, 525 foot tall structure containing 510 units and 200 parking stalls; Site "B" (South Tower) proposed as a 900 foot tall, mixed use structure containing 600 units and 885 parking stalls; and Site "C" (East Tower) proposed as a 750 foot tall, mixed use structure containing 200 parking stalls.
I realize this is all very very early in whatever process we might see materialize, but am I the only one left scratching their head over the 885 parking spaces in the most visually prominent tower of the development? I am envisioning twenty floors of podia right on the apex of the river and its making me very very sad.
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  #15  
Old Posted May 8, 2012, 10:49 PM
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Will Cesar Pelli still be the architect?
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  #16  
Old Posted May 8, 2012, 10:58 PM
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O man! This made my day!
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  #17  
Old Posted May 8, 2012, 11:10 PM
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Originally Posted by untitledreality View Post
I realize this is all very very early in whatever process we might see materialize, but am I the only one left scratching their head over the 885 parking spaces in the most visually prominent tower of the development? I am envisioning twenty floors of podia right on the apex of the river and its making me very very sad.
It is a mixed use tower, so the parking ratio is a bit useless, especially as we don't know what will be mixed with the 600 units. And hopefully the podium will be executed well enough that it won't even look like a podium. Time will tell...
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  #18  
Old Posted May 8, 2012, 11:13 PM
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900 footer, I like the sound of that! The meeting is May 29th, so should we see some design soon after that ?
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  #19  
Old Posted May 8, 2012, 11:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChiPhi View Post
It is a mixed use tower, so the parking ratio is a bit useless, especially as we don't know what will be mixed with the 600 units. And hopefully the podium will be executed well enough that it won't even look like a podium. Time will tell...
There's a little over 250 visible spaces in the current surface lot. So the proposal would basically be about five times that amount of parking. Hopefully they can wrap it in a way that doesn't seem too obtrusive.

Once that's built, it would be really nice if the Apparel Mart could do somesomething to improve their interface with Kinzie from a pedestrian standpoint.
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  #20  
Old Posted May 8, 2012, 11:56 PM
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^^^
Also, it just occured to me that the whole surface is sunken right now, so if they build the whole thing on a platform to bring the building, streets and plazas up to Orleans level, they may be able to get a level or two of parking obscured below the whole complex to take away a good 150+ spaces from the inevitable podium.

And I can't imagine why the apparel mart would put any money into addressing the Kinzie entrance - there is nothing there but a storage place and it is cut off by a viaduct on one side and a bridge on the other. Moreover, I don't really see how this project could serve as an impetus for that. Plus, I imagine that that area is a loading dock / warehouse-type area given the fact that there is a loading dock and it is in the basement. Does anyone know what is down there? If its just mechanical I really can't imagine that will ever get better. Plus, if something were to be changed about the building, I'd choose the color of that cement (which hundreds of thousands if not millions of people see per year) over the Kinzie entrance (which a few locals deal with).
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