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-   -   CHICAGO | Post Office Redevelopment (https://skyscraperpage.com/forum/showthread.php?t=192697)

Roadcruiser1 Jul 23, 2011 2:21 AM

Well if this gets built and completed the people that want 2,000 foot tall buildings will finally shut the f**k up. :cheers: No really those people that I am talking about are really becoming pain in the a**es.

ardecila Jul 23, 2011 2:24 AM

Bill Davies is an absentee landlord who sat on several huge properties in Liverpool.

He is nothing more than a flipper. Booth is being paid to create some grandiose vision in order to get other potential buyers salivating about the site's potential, not because Davies actually has any intention of developing the place.

After seeing the plans, my suspicions were confirmed. They just flat-out don't work. Since I know Booth and his staff are far more talented than that, I'm left with the conclusion that the actual substance of the design doesn't really matter - Davies wanted something big, and he wanted it fast.

Alliance Jul 23, 2011 4:02 AM

Why does this even have a thread? This isnt a real proposal. Its not even feasible. At best this is a "vision"...and a pretty garish one at that.

Rail>Auto Jul 23, 2011 4:06 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Roadcruiser1 (Post 5355807)
Why not at the Chicago Spire site?

That's exactly what I was thinking when I saw how tall it was going to be. I fear this project will face the same amount of problems as the spire.

Both the spire and this proposal are awesome and I wish they would both come to fruition somehow. It would be nice to shock the world every once in a while.

ndrwmls10 Jul 23, 2011 4:44 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Alliance (Post 5355975)
Why does this even have a thread? This isnt a real proposal. Its not even feasible. At best this is a "vision"...and a pretty garish one at that.

Isn't it something that is actually being proposed? At least a rough outline?

emathias Jul 23, 2011 5:06 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ch.G, Ch.G (Post 5355792)
...
Water Tower Place writ large with an overall effect of Presidential Towers on steroids.

I'm not a huge fan of Water Tower Place or PT, but WT is one of the more successful parts of Michigan Avenue today. And when PT was developed, opening itself to the streets would not have been viable (or even particularly safe). And now that the environment has changed, PT is changing. The environment that currently exists in that area would not support a smaller-scale, outwardly-focused retail. There is not only a lack of foot traffic, but there is a lack of the possibility of foot traffic in large chunks of it. Are you seriously proposing turning an expressway (which is what Congress turns into as it passes under the Post Office) into some sort of promenade? And what of Canal at that point? It's not much better.

I suppose one solution would be to re-elevate Canal there and create a "normal" intersection with Congress. But they're both so wide there that it wouldn't be much more pedestrian-friendly. You talk about challenges as though any challenge just requires a little more thinking and it will magically disappear. That's not the case, and I think you're smart enough to know that.

Could Congress be narrowed and joined to a re-elevated, narrowed Canal there? Sure. But then you cut off an important feeder to the rest of the downtown area. I think the plan addresses some of the transportation connectedness issues better than you see it doing. It takes advantage of the dominate mode of transportation near it - the highway running under the property - while still leaving the north side of the building open to welcome pedestrians and those coming from the other modes.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ch.G, Ch.G (Post 5355792)
...
Congress, for example, is 'brushed under the rug' and plans for the river (in the link bnk provided) include a line of restaurants connected to (and seemingly only accessed through) the mall.

As I mentioned before, I think it's naive to think there are very many options for Congress that wouldn't harm other parts of downtown. Taking advantage of the fact that Congress is there is not brushing it under the rug at all - it's simply using it for a purpose you seem to disapprove of (despite that being it's actual purpose for existance).

I'm not sure which line of restaurants you're referring to, but if they're along the river I'll point out that in the PDF I saw linked to, it showed a Riverwalk between the buildings and the River. If that's anything like Riverside Plaza and the other Riverwalk, it should provide access to any restaurants adjacent to it.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ch.G, Ch.G (Post 5355792)
...
This misses two of the points I was trying to make: First, that there is no demand for this much retail space downtown; and, second, the downtown area already has three established shopping districts catering to different demographics: a high end boutique will open along Oak Street, not on the former site of the Old Post Office; a flagship will open along Michigan Avenue and the more everyday along State. In order for this development to be successful, either those districts would have to be entirely built out (unlikely) or the developer would have to identify a demographic whose shopping needs aren't currently met by any of the three.

What downtown doesn't have is the kind of retail that appeals to suburban shoppers. Do you think Minneapolis would rather have all the tax revenues the Mall of America generates coming into their city, or do you think Minneapolis is thrilled that Bloomington gets that economy? Did the Twin Cities really need the Mall of America when it was built?

That is the scale of vision here. Whatever you think of the Mall of America, it is financially successful even in this economic environment because of its scale. It does have a lightrail link to downtown, and the first time I ever went there, in 1995, I took a bus there. But most people do drive there. Similarly, this megamall would also be most attractive to suburban-style shoppers - to drivers. That it is also accessible via transit is a bonus, but at the scale it's showing it seems likely that it would induce the vast majority of its customer base as new downtown visits and not steal it from the other downtown centers.

Even if it did steal some, it would certainly create more revenue for the city overall as it would be stealing far more revenue from the suburbs than from the City.

denizen467 Jul 23, 2011 12:15 PM

What the fuck is Booth Hansen's obsession with monotonous twin tower designs. I know it's just massing diagrams, but he could have chosen anything. Instead, he puts Joffrey/SoNo on steroids and has the result spend a nite with the successful 30 W Oak to produce this offspring. I know Mr. Booth is one of the respected elders of the architectural establishment, but apparently he needs to stay away from designing supertalls. Any developer laying out the super expense to build a supertall needs to maximize rent and not give up leaseable floor space to 30 feet of air and dual cores and blocked views, among other things, and the architect should know that. But none of this is for real anyway, like everyone is saying.

With that rant over, I was wondering if everybody noticed the sidebar in the Sun-Times article that listed the people involved in the project. It includes the principal of "Philip Johnson Alan Ritchie Architects", which is curious. As an aside, I wonder if this Ritchie guy bought the remnants of the Johnson practice? I thought that it became Johnson-Burgee? If you're going to trade off the Philip Johnson name and his well-known '80s portfolio of signature towers, I dunno, just have a bit more professional looking public face.

Alliance Jul 23, 2011 2:29 PM

Blair Kamin really shredded this guy...and to some extent Booth

Quote:

Plan for old post office complex: financial fantasy, architectural nightmare
BY BLAIR KAMIN July 22 201 07:45PM
Full article: LINK

My favorite pearls:

Quote:

Originally Posted by Blair Kamin
"The design, still in the formative stages, is as mediocre as it is megalomaniacal. Its giant tower is no prize-winner and its visual damage would extend to ground level, particularly along the open-space corridor of the Chicago River."

Quote:

Originally Posted by Blair Kamin
"This is a strangely suburban vision for a great American city, one that seems remarkably outdated as retailers abandon inward-turning malls in favor of street-facing shops. Even Presidential Towers, the West Loop complex whose mundane high-rises originally sat atop a mall-like podium, is reorienting its shops to the sidewalk."

Quote:

Originally Posted by Blair Kamin
"The design offers a bizarre throwback to the post-riot days of the 1970s when cities were viewed as dangerous places and it was thought that the only way to draw people to them was to imitate the suburbs. It also represents a major flip-flop by Booth, who once proposed turning most of the old post office into a transit hub. “Expressways don’t make livable cities,” he proclaimed at the time."

Also,

Quote:

Old Post Office developer didn’t make friends with past plans
BY DAVID ROEDER Business Reporter July 21, 2011 11:16PM

If Bill Davies is positioning himself as a prophet of urban development in Chicago, he is without honor in his former hometown.

Davies formerly lived in Liverpool, England. Press accounts from Liverpool said his relationships with local officials deteriorated when he held a couple of key properties for years and failed to improve them.

One was a proposed shopping complex called Chevasse Park that Davies owned for years until the local council pulled his legal title to the property. He also invested in, of all things, an old post office in central Liverpool, but it wasn’t redeveloped until he sold it after a nearly 20-year ownership.
Full article

Mr Downtown Jul 23, 2011 3:52 PM

Among the most bizarre parts of this is the retail bridge over the river. How, exactly, will that lift to 140-foot clearance for the passage of boats? Or does the developer's self-importance extend to convincing the US Coast Guard to remove the South Branch from the list of navigable waterways?

Dale Jul 23, 2011 4:30 PM

Deep-pocketed developers with expansive reputations, backed by monster banks, failed to bring new tallests to fruition. Therefore, this one will actually get built.

i_am_hydrogen Jul 24, 2011 1:38 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Roadcruiser1 (Post 5355807)
Why not at the Chicago Spire site?

Davies doesn't own that site...

Go7SD Jul 25, 2011 2:01 AM

Well, it seems like Chicago may continue it's rabbit ear style antenna tradition. I've wondered if this kind of design feature was a midwestern tradition for cities like Indianapolis's Chase and Minneapolis's IDS towers because of Chicago's JHC.
I may be wrong since the proposed tower's rendering is only conceptional which may never have them.

bnk Jul 25, 2011 4:23 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Hed Kandi (Post 5355815)
never. gonna. happen.



Agreed walk away nothing to see here.

denizen467 Jul 25, 2011 6:04 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Roy McDowell (Post 5357682)
Well, it seems like Chicago may continue it's rabbit ear style antenna tradition. I've wondered if this kind of design feature was a midwestern tradition for cities like Indianapolis's Chase and Minneapolis's IDS towers because of Chicago's JHC.
I may be wrong since the proposed tower's rendering is only conceptional which may never have them.

Nashville too (they might be spires and not antennas, though). I don't think this is limited to a given geographic area.

It is an interesting question. Why 2, and not just 1, or 3 or 4? Though I think Beitler's Streeterville proposal from five or so years ago might have had 3. There is a nice aesthetic balance having a pair, and any more gets cluttered and ugly, so I'd say we're lucky to have this "tradition".

futuresooner Jul 25, 2011 5:54 PM

eww, just no, what a disgraceful excuse of a development.

ardecila Jul 25, 2011 6:26 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mr Downtown (Post 5356309)
Among the most bizarre parts of this is the retail bridge over the river. How, exactly, will that lift to 140-foot clearance for the passage of boats? Or does the developer's self-importance extend to convincing the US Coast Guard to remove the South Branch from the list of navigable waterways?

Davies is just laying out a grandiose, futuristic possibility for this area, with the goal of boosting land values as much as possible. He's in it to flip the land, not to actually build anything. Consequently, the practical aspects of the plan don't matter.

He doesn't have the resources to build, anyway - he has no experience with large development projects and even less experience dealing with lenders or REITs. Even if he wanted to build, he'd have an incredibly hard time finding the money.

The pernicious spirit of speculation strikes again...

Roadcruiser1 Jul 25, 2011 6:27 PM

Went looking around and I found stuff you guys might like.

http://www.boothhansen.com/news/old-...lan-announced/

http://204.248.60.17/wp-content/uplo...ce-Program.pdf

http://204.248.60.17/wp-content/uplo...oth-Hansen.pdf

Ch.G, Ch.G Jul 26, 2011 1:18 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ardecila (Post 5355877)
Bill Davies is an absentee landlord who sat on several huge properties in Liverpool.

He is nothing more than a flipper. Booth is being paid to create some grandiose vision in order to get other potential buyers salivating about the site's potential, not because Davies actually has any intention of developing the place.

After seeing the plans, my suspicions were confirmed. They just flat-out don't work. Since I know Booth and his staff are far more talented than that, I'm left with the conclusion that the actual substance of the design doesn't really matter - Davies wanted something big, and he wanted it fast.

This seems like an accurate analysis.

Roadcruiser1 Jul 26, 2011 2:12 AM

I know someone in New York City like that. His name is James Joseph Sitt. He owns properties on Coney Island, but he tore everything down, and left only empty land without anything else.

Rizzo Jul 26, 2011 4:32 AM

This batch of massing concepts just seems like a really awful pr move. I understand it's great to get the public excited, but when they are laughing it's whole other story. Emerging from a recession where people are still humbled by our visible skyscraper losses and you throw this on the table.

The post office would benefit more from a wholesome well thought out plan that is convincing to the public. It's big, but not an impossible building to work with.

Nowhereman1280 Jul 26, 2011 3:40 PM

LOL, leave for two weeks and its 2007 again...


Just watch, this will be the 2000'er that finally gets built now that we are all pooh poohing it and convinced it will never happen.

gramsjdg Jul 26, 2011 7:42 PM

I definitely do not like the base/podium concept, but the twin 2000 footers don't look bad (given the rather crude rendering). It could be a LOT worse. I say build it.:yes:

gramsjdg Jul 26, 2011 7:48 PM

...actually, the only way the 2000 foot tower(s) could possibly get built is if they eliminate the huge, ill-conceived base "contraption" completely. The city simply wouldn't allow it (nor should it).

NYguy Aug 2, 2011 9:33 PM

http://www.archpaper.com/news/articles.asp?id=5565

Mail Mall Monolith
Developer proposes tallest Chicago tower in Post Office makeover.


http://www.archpaper.com/uploads/ima..._office_02.jpg

Alan G. Brake
8.02.2011

Quote:


In late July Monaco-based developer Bill Davies stunned Chicago with a proposal for a massive retail and entertainment complex topped by office, residential, and hotel towers, including a 120-story skyline topper. Working with Lawrence Booth, principal of Booth Hansen, the full build-out would include 6.2 million square feet of retail, restaurants, and entertainment space, 3.8 million square feet of residential space, 2 million square feet of offices, 7500 hotel rooms, parking for 12,000 cars, and a 20-acre “skyline park” green roof.


Nowhereman1280 Aug 2, 2011 9:37 PM

I just realized these towers are just a bunch of Hyatt Centers stacked on top of each other and bound in pairs...

J_M_Tungsten Aug 2, 2011 9:51 PM

Yea, the design is awful. Really hoping these aren't the actual intended designs, it looks like a giant tuning fork.

Roadcruiser1 Aug 3, 2011 12:18 AM

At first I was okay with the design, but with a second look especially from the rendering above I really hate this building. Looks like the Petronas Towers in Malaysia had a child with the Sears Tower. Just no no.

gramsjdg Aug 3, 2011 6:13 AM

At 120 stories, I'm guessing the roof height would be about 1650 ft with the antennas making up the difference to hit 2000 ft. I'm going to reserve judgment on the design until I see some more fleshed out renders.

gramsjdg Aug 3, 2011 6:17 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Nowhereman1280 (Post 5366835)
I just realized these towers are just a bunch of Hyatt Centers stacked on top of each other and bound in pairs...

:haha::lmao:

Rizzo Aug 3, 2011 6:23 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Nowhereman1280 (Post 5366835)
I just realized these towers are just a bunch of Hyatt Centers stacked on top of each other and bound in pairs...

LOL they are.

patriotizzy Aug 3, 2011 7:46 AM

I find the design similar to the long lost Twin Towers. It's not bad (the proposal) but it's not amazing either. I'd much rather have a little more bulkiness on the main building instead of all those other smaller towers.

Nowhereman1280 Aug 3, 2011 2:18 PM

I'm sure the design is just a conceptual stand in for a real design if there ever is one. As insane as this idea sounds, Booth actually makes it sound logical in the last article that was posted. And frankly, not to be optimistic, but maybe it could work. I mean Chicago doesn't have any massive malls like this downtown. Sometimes it's the most out of the box ideas that are successful. I'm sure the tower will never happen, but I could see a successful, scaled down, version of the plan eventually coming to fruition...

Yankee Aug 28, 2011 1:22 AM

Well, I mean Chicago is gonna have to get a new supertall after 1 WTC takes tallest in the US title. If this is the one so be it, right now it's kind of a boring design, but I just hope a supertall gets built in Chicago over the next decade especially after the disappointing cancelling of the Chicago Spire.

Alliance Aug 28, 2011 2:45 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Yankee (Post 5393087)
Well, I mean Chicago is gonna have to get a new supertall after 1 WTC takes tallest in the US title. If this is the one so be it, right now it's kind of a boring design

What an absurd argument.

NYC2ATX Aug 28, 2011 3:44 AM

Why is it always a competition like that? I like both cities no matter who has the taller building. Tall buildings only do not a city make.

bnk Aug 28, 2011 4:53 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Alliance (Post 5393142)
What an absurd argument.

yeah that one was really out of left field. The PO has nothing to do with the highest of anything. If something worthwhile happens at this site it is just pure gravey.

Height????

I thought that it was quite clear nothing of this sort of height will be built at this location. Just fools gold...

Yankee Aug 28, 2011 9:16 PM

Well no, but I'm just saying competition is a good thing. I don't care whether Chicago or NY has the tallest tower, they are both great skyscraper cities, I don't really care what the tallest tower is, height is hardly the most important thing about a building, but the 2,000ft number is not accidental, they are obviously aiming for the new tallest in Chicago and America and I'm just saying good for them, keep pushing the frontier. Whether that will actually happen or not is another issue. It most likely won't but when your starting point is 2,000 that means you have another motive rather than just build another skyscraper. The whole thing will likely be forgotten in a few months, but it's fun to speculate.

J. Will Aug 28, 2011 9:33 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by spyguy (Post 5354355)
What a joke...10 floors of retail alone is ridiculous. Oh, and I'm sure work will really start 90 days after approval. :rolleyes:

Not necessarily. If say the top 3 floors are all part of a movie cinema complex, or some other single use. Toronto's 10 Dundas Street East is about 9-10 floors of "retail" space, but the top 2-3 are just the vertically stack AMC theatres, and the bottom 2 floors are occupied only by Extreme Fitness.

J. Will Aug 28, 2011 9:36 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by emathias (Post 5354413)
It is a bit excessive, but on the other hand it's over an expressway and basically next to the confluence of three major expressways.

Plus, in comparison, the Mall of America has 2.5 million square feet of retail space and over 20,000 parking spaces. This proposal has over 6 million square feet of retail and entertainment space and another 2 million square feet of office space.

What concerns me most is that the article says the parking is free to shoppers. I don't think the city should allow that much free parking to be dumped on the market. A tax of either $2 or $4 per car would seem appropriate. If the retailers wanted to cover that with validations, that would be their choice, but the money could be used to improve either roads or transit near the area and would at least go part of the way toward keeping driving and transit competitive.

I just briefly skimmed through this thread, but where does it say 6 million square feet of retail? That would make it by far the largest mall on the continent. Downtown Toronto's Eaton Centre is only 1.75 million square feet retail.

Nowhereman1280 Aug 29, 2011 3:54 AM

^^^ It would be larger than Mall of America and would rival the Asian mega malls...

Rizzo Aug 29, 2011 4:06 AM

Retail doesn't even make sense in this area because it's a fringe location. Any sort of retail would also be duplication of what is over on Michigan Ave and State Street.

Therefore, it would essentially be "shopping without the experience." Come over to this incredibly boring section of the city into this very large building. There are no attractions in that area except for Willis Tower which is not enough to influence people's decisions to spend time shopping over there.

This building should become offices or a casino with no additions at all.

773shadow08 Aug 29, 2011 4:37 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Hayward (Post 5393919)
Retail doesn't even make sense in this area because it's a fringe location. Any sort of retail would also be duplication of what is over on Michigan Ave and State Street.

Therefore, it would essentially be "shopping without the experience." Come over to this incredibly boring section of the city into this very large building. There are no attractions in that area except for Willis Tower which is not enough to influence people's decisions to spend time shopping over there.

This building should become offices or a casino with no additions at all.

Although having a casino sounds good, I believe it actually attracts cartels and casinos to operate illegally by laundering money which will then make the city more corrupt than it already is.

photoLith Aug 29, 2011 4:52 AM

This is an absolute joke.

N830MH Sep 15, 2011 4:55 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by 773shadow08 (Post 5393947)
Although having a casino sounds good, I believe it actually attracts cartels and casinos to operate illegally by laundering money which will then make the city more corrupt than it already is.

The police could be arrested him as charge of money laundering. Could be real problem with the money. I don't think happening to being built new taller tower.

CoolCzech Sep 15, 2011 2:24 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Steely Dan (Post 5354327)
^ interesting concept, but that rendering is missing an image of flying pigs.

I'm thinking the foundations will make a great ice rink one day. :haha:

Alliance Sep 15, 2011 9:13 PM

Where is the cow...

Nowhereman1280 Sep 15, 2011 9:48 PM

I'm building a giant hollow one out of wood on wheels. I plan to donate it to New York as a tolken of our friendship... I'm definitely not filling it up with a large portion of the CPD or anything...

J_M_Tungsten Sep 16, 2011 3:30 AM

Has this just become a thread to post random thoughts and ideas or is there anything to actually talk about related to this project?

Nowhereman1280 Sep 16, 2011 12:10 PM

^^^ The cow is in an inside joke of sorts between Chicago fourmers.

Steely Dan Sep 16, 2011 1:51 PM

the infamaous dusable park cow:

http://www.copley-wolff.com/graphics...s/dusable0.jpg
source: http://www.copley-wolff.com/graphics...s/dusable0.jpg


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