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

r18tdi Mar 26, 2022 12:14 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by marothisu (Post 9579350)
If they actually make it nice enough, it could pay off. Easy hotel stays for anyone needing to visit any company in OPO.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Chi-Sky21 (Post 9579615)
Or someone who wants an overnight in the city near Union or greyhound stations.

I mean, if demand for hotel rooms in this area was strong, we'd see entitled project like Union Station renovation and Toyoko Inn move forward...

ardecila Mar 26, 2022 6:53 PM

Likely they will renovate the Holiday Inn per the brand prototype:
http://design.holidayinn.com/downloa...l_May_2019.pdf

I don’t think they will do the full exterior like the proto book but probably will repaint the existing building and build the porte-cochere.

marothisu Mar 26, 2022 11:52 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by r18tdi (Post 9579619)
I mean, if demand for hotel rooms in this area was strong, we'd see entitled project like Union Station renovation and Toyoko Inn move forward...

Yeah, except your statement is magically assuming things about these private companies and their current financial standings, their current strategy, etc. Especially companies that are not based here and have investments in many other places. Just because there can be demand somewhere doesn't mean any company has the actual means to complete a project. There's so many factors that go into this - you cannot get hung up on one company not being able to get a project off the ground and think it always has to do with the area, and not the company itself.

ardecila Mar 27, 2022 11:35 PM

Well, he listed two hotels, not just one. And we've heard that Riverside Investments put the Union Station hotel on hold because of weak demand.

The Holiday Inn project is not really a good indicator of demand for hotel rooms or appetite for new construction. Major brand hotels are franchised and they are required to sink money into major renovations periodically. If they don't, they lose the "flag" and they have to rebrand as some sketchy independent. Switching brands won't help, because the new brand will also demand costly renovations. Given how sad that Holiday Inn looked, I'm guessing it was dangerously close to losing its flag before the new owners came in.

ithakas May 4, 2022 11:06 PM

Food hall is opening next month!

https://www.chicagotribune.com/busin...5re-story.html

SolarWind May 11, 2022 11:58 PM

May 9, 2022


left of center May 20, 2022 3:46 PM

That's a hefty corporate directory! I am still in somewhat of a stunned disbelief that we went from almost losing the OPO in part or in full to redevelopment, and here we are with a wildly successful total restoration of the building.

I can only hope we see the same for 202 and 220 S State :(

simon07 May 20, 2022 4:14 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by left of center (Post 9630030)
That's a hefty corporate directory! I am still in somewhat of a stunned disbelief that we went from almost losing the OPO in part or in full to redevelopment, and here we are with a wildly successful total restoration of the building.

I can only hope we see the same for 202 and 220 S State :(


Now let's save the Sugar House.

nomarandlee May 20, 2022 4:33 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by simon07 (Post 9630050)
Now let's save the Sugar House.

Really? Perhaps it could be made into a cool multi-level restaurant space or retail niche but the building itself is not overly remarkable IMO. If there is a market to put up even a small office tower in its place I would prefer that instead. There could be a decent market to couple a new office building that couples with the amenities of the rehabbed OPO.

Either way I think the plan has to do something decisively with the Sugar House way or another in the next few years. I don't think a dilapidated Sugar House lying next to a glistening rehabbed OBO is the optic oddity the owners relish.

ardecila May 20, 2022 4:54 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by simon07 (Post 9630050)
Now let's save the Sugar House.

Why? We have plenty of wonderful old factory buildings like Cassidy Tire (RIP), but Sugar House ain't one of them. Wholly undistinguished industrial building. Either replace it with something new, or tear it down and put in more riverfront park space. Keep the Chicago & Alton arch as a monument somewhere.

Helmut Jahn proposed a high speed rail station there, using the old mail platforms under OPO. That would be a good idea too...

left of center May 20, 2022 6:48 PM

I'm fine with it going down if it is replaced by something substantial (height, density, architecturally appealing, etc.). But if they are tearing it down and replacing it with something of similar height/footprint (or worse, nothing), then I would be against that.

rivernorthlurker May 20, 2022 9:50 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by SolarWind (Post 9622800)
May 9, 2022


Very nice. Does anyone know tiimeline or if the east side completion of the OPO's riverfront is still happening? I would assume they'd wait until the work on the west side of the building is completed first anyway. Or is this is all it's going to be?

eg like here https://chicago.curbed.com/2017/9/18...ice-renderings which looks both amazing and expensive.

ardecila May 20, 2022 10:15 PM

This is it, man... all we get for the east side.

Officially this is considered an "interim" landscape because the PD allows the owner to put a building here as well as the Sugar House site.

The west side landscaping is... not great. North of Congress will be a narrow car turnaround for dropoffs. Reminds me of Aon Center's narrow little dropoff on Lake St. South of Congress won't even be landscaped, it'll just go back to being a loading area.

VKChaz May 20, 2022 11:12 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by rivernorthlurker (Post 9630380)
Very nice. Does anyone know tiimeline or if the east side completion of the OPO's riverfront is still happening? I would assume they'd wait until the work on the west side of the building is completed first anyway. Or is this is all it's going to be?

eg like here https://chicago.curbed.com/2017/9/18...ice-renderings which looks both amazing and expensive.

That link shows the 2017 iteration but also a 2016 iteration. I find it funny that they looked at the early version and said 'this isn't good enough, let's do something better'.... only to do mostly nothing.

Briguy May 20, 2022 11:15 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by simon07 (Post 9630050)
Now let's save the Sugar House.


There are several old rail platforms under this building. my pipe dream is they finally make union station allow trains to pass through, and this becomes the site of a fantastic new high speed rail station.

BrinChi May 21, 2022 2:58 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ardecila (Post 9630395)
This is it, man... all we get for the east side.

Officially this is considered an "interim" landscape because the PD allows the owner to put a building here as well as the Sugar House site.

The west side landscaping is... not great. North of Congress will be a narrow car turnaround for dropoffs. Reminds me of Aon Center's narrow little dropoff on Lake St. South of Congress won't even be landscaped, it'll just go back to being a loading area.

What changed? This is unacceptable unless the planned "interim" is less than 5 years.

ardecila May 21, 2022 3:20 PM

I don't know what you mean by "unacceptable" but if you remember the decades that this property sat as a crumbling eyesore, a plaza like this is perfectly acceptable. I don't know the long-term plans of 601W (the developer) but I'm sure they don't want to give up their development rights for the riverfront parcels so they have to call this an interim landscape. I assume they want to preserve maximum flexibility to adapt to the changing market, but it could be 5, 10, 15 years before they build something. Office development in Chicago tends to be highly cyclical, and only a few big projects move forward in each cycle. It's even harder now that office tenants are increasingly looking outside the Loop to Fulton Market, River North, Lincoln Yards, etc.

The long-term but vague plans for Union Station add another wrinkle, because it's not clear where Amtrak will expand platforms, add vertical access down to the platforms, etc. Nobody really knows when that project will move forward.

Honestly the OPO plaza is a huge improvement over the crumbling loading area that used to be here. If the plaza sticks around for awhile and they maintain it properly, I won't complain. It works as a part of the building (outdoor dining for the food hall, riverside event space) and it preserves views of the OPO itself from the river and Wacker Drive. There's a similar "temporary" landscape that they put next to the ABN-AMRO tower on Washington/Jefferson, but it looks unlikely they will develop there anytime soon either. If it turns out Amtrak doesn't need any of this space, then 601W will probably plan an office tower on the Sugar House site with some kind of bridge over 290 and an entrance pavilion in the plaza. At that time they will probably invest in a more attractive wall facing the river.

rivernorthlurker May 21, 2022 5:27 PM

The $1B redevelopment of OPO has been a stroke of great fortune for the city and probably barely happened. The original riverfront rendering would be great but the project is already a home run for me. It's hard to be disappointed.

BrinChi May 22, 2022 1:29 AM

Sorry, I agree it's a huge improvement just to have the OPO saved, but I am just tired of developers presenting these grand plans like the riverwalk rendering from the Curbed article. If they want to keep their options open to build additional office space, that's fine, just be transparent about it. Don't present these slick renderings about this great new public space you're not really going to build. Maybe they didn't present it that way, that's why I'm asking about what changed since they released the grandiose riverwalk renderings?

ithakas May 23, 2022 7:48 PM

https://i.imgur.com/gA38TNDh.jpg

nomarandlee May 24, 2022 2:13 AM

A stoopy question perhaps.....The roof isn't public access, is it?

pip May 24, 2022 2:21 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by nomarandlee (Post 9632088)
A stoopy question perhaps.....The roof isn't public access, is it?

I'm not sure if it will be but for now it isn't.

ardecila May 25, 2022 3:48 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by BrinChi (Post 9630973)
Sorry, I agree it's a huge improvement just to have the OPO saved, but I am just tired of developers presenting these grand plans like the riverwalk rendering from the Curbed article. If they want to keep their options open to build additional office space, that's fine, just be transparent about it. Don't present these slick renderings about this great new public space you're not really going to build. Maybe they didn't present it that way, that's why I'm asking about what changed since they released the grandiose riverwalk renderings?

Not sure. Maybe 601W had modest expectations for the historic renovation, but after the massive success of that building, maybe they decided to keep their options open for other buildings.

Or maybe once they dove into the project and started talking to all the stakeholders (Amtrak, Metra, CDOT, IDOT, etc) they realized the original plaza plan wasn't gonna work. This is a unique project and 601W doesn't have the ability to just build whatever they want.

I think specifically Amtrak needs that ramp from Van Buren to remain in place until they can get funding for the big Union Station renovation. Presumably the Union Station project would include a driveway access somewhere else.

twister244 Jul 8, 2022 6:50 PM

I took a stroll over to the Post Office for lunch at the new food hall today.... and WOW. What an amazingly beautiful space. I will try to post photos later, but it was truly a gem that I wasn't expecting. The atrium in the middle looks chique, the food selection was small, but good. There was an outdoor space with cool little hammocks along the river with amazing views of Sears/311. Definitely worth a stroll over if you are nearby.

rgarri4 Feb 16, 2023 3:33 PM

A look at what was proposed in 2011

Video Link

Tom In Chicago Feb 16, 2023 4:23 PM

The most exciting part of this "proposal" was the introduction of 'speed ramps' for automobile access. . .

. . .

Toasty Joe Feb 16, 2023 4:44 PM

was that the last time a building was proposed that would be the city's new tallest?

r18tdi Feb 16, 2023 5:42 PM

Is that hyper-dense zoning for the surrounding parcels still intact or did it sunset?

ardecila Feb 17, 2023 4:36 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by r18tdi (Post 9868026)
Is that hyper-dense zoning for the surrounding parcels still intact or did it sunset?

It's still in place, but that was Davies' vision, not 601W. I very much doubt they're gonna build a three-lobed mini Burj Khalifah and shopping mall on the riverfront Sugar House parcel.

My prediction is that Amtrak eventually gets funding to move some trains to the old mail platforms under OPO, and they tear down the Sugar House for a new modern stationhouse and plaza/dropoff zone like a hybrid of Moynihan in NYC and the Baltimore Penn Station plan. Currently the mail platforms are only linked to the rest of Union Station by a dank sub-basement corridor that probably doesn't meet fire codes, and would somehow be a *worse* gateway to the city than the current setup. There's probably room for a midrise here too, it's a big parcel.

https://www.hsrail.org/wp-content/up...-platforms.jpg
High Speed Rail Alliance

Helmut Jahn even had a similar idea before he died.

https://i.ibb.co/WWVt696/Screenshot-...-17-105345.png

HomrQT Feb 18, 2023 3:28 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Toasty Joe (Post 9867951)
was that the last time a building was proposed that would be the city's new tallest?

I thought the Gateway Tower proposal came after that.

https://external-content.duckduckgo....ac7&ipo=images

HomrQT Feb 18, 2023 3:30 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by rgarri4 (Post 9867807)
A look at what was proposed in 2011

Video Link

Great video as usual from you. I liked this for the sheer size and scale of the buildings. If they would have varied the color of the glass between buildings I think it would have been one outstanding proposal.

Briguy Feb 19, 2023 1:32 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by HomrQT (Post 9869792)
I thought the Gateway Tower proposal came after that.

[IMG]https://external-content.duckduckgo....=https%3A%2F%n .mm.bing.net%2Fth%3Fid%3DOIP.87HK3RNfwbU9T_FLvM7ruQHaFl%26pid%3DApi&f=1&ipt=c3b5f7530f6057e5879a1aa3ffed853372b45ea60843ec0bfe7827a858da5ac7&ipo=images[/IMG]

Neither the opo or gateway towers were ever more than concepts, like the present day tribune addition.

Until Chicago can get $2,000/sq ft on new condo construction it doesn’t really make sense to build that tall. And Chicago can barely sell condos at all.

Already no office is built that tall outside of Manhattan, period. And even then it’s typically single tenant vanity driven.

Bombardier Feb 19, 2023 3:29 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JuliusDoaner (Post 9870297)
Why cant chicago sell condos?

The value of Chicago condos has not seen the appreciation of property values like New York, Miami, San Francisco, and Los Angeles. My opinion is that Chicago is not as much an international destination so is not drawing as much interest from the international community to help drive sales and property values. Plus taxes and HOA’s are typically high relative to home values.

Briguy Feb 19, 2023 4:39 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Bombardier (Post 9870305)
The value of Chicago condos has not seen the appreciation of property values like New York, Miami, San Francisco, and Los Angeles. My opinion is that Chicago is not as much an international destination so is not drawing as much interest from the international community to help drive sales and property values. Plus taxes and HOA’s are typically high relative to home values.

Precisely. It’s all foreign buyers of these trophy buildings. Miami gets a lot of influx from Latin America, plus its status as a destination as a vacation spot. Los Angeles is a playground for the rich and sees a lot of Asian and ME money. If you’re a billionaire you own property in New York - it’s the capital of the world! If you’re a Russian billionaire that Nyc condo is essentially your foreign bank account.

Unfortunately while Chicago is fantastic, a world class dining scene is not enough to attract buyers from abroad when they have similarly good options in la Nyc and Miami. If someday Chicago does start to become an international destination the upper end of the condo market could easily explode - New York is probably about 5x more expensive at least.

The other factor is, unfortunately, if you’re at the top of your field and earning $$$ you end up moving to the coasts, it’s just the way it is in the us. While vibrant, Chicago doesn’t have any major primary industries like finance media or tech to keep people here. The closest we have is trading, but even that industry is slowly being absorbed by nyc despite the exchanges all located here. Ken griffin and citadel is a perfect example of this. That man somehow owns half the condos over $15mil in chicago, but is on his way out. His listing of his Chicago condos is single handedly destroying the high end Chicago condo market - there are just not many people who are willing to spend $10mil on a condo in Chicago.

Nyc has 100+ ken griffins. If Chicago had even 20 people of that wealth we’d see a lot more fancy super talls.

marothisu Feb 19, 2023 5:06 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Briguy (Post 9870279)
Neither the opo or gateway towers were ever more than concepts, like the present day tribune addition.

Until Chicago can get $2,000/sq ft on new condo construction it doesn’t really make sense to build that tall. And Chicago can barely sell condos at all.

Already no office is built that tall outside of Manhattan, period. And even then it’s typically single tenant vanity driven.

I assume you are talking about high rises in the downtown area. Otherwise this is such a blanket statement - Chicago doesn't have a problem selling condos of all kinds especially outside of downtown. Luxury, expensive ones downtown are hit and miss. Some sell better than others. There are many other wealthy buyers recently who skip downtown anyway. For example, there is the CEO of a semi well known capital firm (whose chairman is a billionaire - not among the biggest but still tens of billions in AUM. More than Citadel) in NYC who moved from Manhattan to Chicago and bought a mansion in Lincoln Park recently. Skipped downtown all together. Lived in a high rise in Manhattan.

west-town-brad Feb 19, 2023 7:15 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Bombardier (Post 9870305)
The value of Chicago condos has not seen the appreciation of property values like New York, Miami, San Francisco, and Los Angeles. My opinion is that Chicago is not as much an international destination so is not drawing as much interest from the international community to help drive sales and property values. Plus taxes and HOA’s are typically high relative to home values.

No, Chicago is not an typical international destination for residential real estate purchases. The data is clear on that.

Taxes are high on property in IL but not higher than NY, FL, or CA. That’s a hilarious statement. Only CA can claim any kind of low tax status due to their Prop 13. Insurance in FL is ridiculous if you can even get it on your real estate so that wipes out any financial benefits comparing state to state.

HOA fees are building specific and I have seen very high and very low in all geos. The billionaire row building in NYC with private resident only restaurants… pretty confident that’s going to be a high HOA fee.

Bombardier Feb 19, 2023 10:56 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by west-town-brad (Post 9870423)
Taxes are high on property in IL but not higher than NY, FL, or CA. That’s a hilarious statement. Only CA can claim any kind of low tax status due to their Prop 13. Insurance in FL is ridiculous if you can even get it on your real estate so that wipes out any financial benefits comparing state to state.

I didn't say they were higher than the other states, I said they were high relative to home values.

r18tdi Feb 20, 2023 3:09 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by HomrQT (Post 9869792)
I thought the Gateway Tower proposal came after that.

Gateway was never a "proposal" -- it never wen through the zoning/entitlement process -- it was little more than an internal design exercise that was made public as a media/marketing exercise.

ardecila Feb 20, 2023 5:11 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by marothisu (Post 9870368)
I assume you are talking about high rises in the downtown area. Otherwise this is such a blanket statement - Chicago doesn't have a problem selling condos of all kinds especially outside of downtown. Luxury, expensive ones downtown are hit and miss. Some sell better than others. There are many other wealthy buyers recently who skip downtown anyway. For example, there is the CEO of a semi well known capital firm (whose chairman is a billionaire - not among the biggest but still tens of billions in AUM. More than Citadel) in NYC who moved from Manhattan to Chicago and bought a mansion in Lincoln Park recently. Skipped downtown all together. Lived in a high rise in Manhattan.

Yeah, there is certainly a market for condos in Chicago, but it's heavily middle-class and driven by people looking for an actual place to live. A Chicago condo is not a great investment compared to an SFH in Chicago or a condo in a coastal city - not much appreciation. It's just a way for middle-class people to get some stability while remaining in the city.

Note that the West Coast also doesn't have much condo development, due to builder liability laws. Developers just aren't interested in that kind of headache.

marothisu Feb 20, 2023 7:06 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ardecila (Post 9870727)
Yeah, there is certainly a market for condos in Chicago, but it's heavily middle-class and driven by people looking for an actual place to live. A Chicago condo is not a great investment compared to an SFH in Chicago or a condo in a coastal city - not much appreciation. It's just a way for middle-class people to get some stability while remaining in the city.

Note that the West Coast also doesn't have much condo development, due to builder liability laws. Developers just aren't interested in that kind of headache.

Quite a number of more recently built $1M+ condos in Chicago in 2-4 story buildings, so I'm not sure I quite agree with that sentiment currently for outside of downtown (as someone who bought in that range and toured many of these before buying). I believe they're more popular now due to the fact that they actually do appreciate in value and sell easier a lot more than the ones in larger buildings. Also the HOAs are smaller meaning that once you pay off your mortgage (if you have one), the amount of money per month you pay is much less than in a high rise. It's literally the reason we switched from planning to buy in a high rise downtown to a neighborhood, in a low rise.

Something like this is a prime example of upper end condos just built in the last year and selling fine:
https://www.redfin.com/IL/Chicago/15...home/179432690
https://www.redfin.com/IL/Chicago/18...home/182991105
https://www.redfin.com/IL/Chicago/26...home/180525412
https://www.redfin.com/IL/Chicago/17...home/182101739
https://www.redfin.com/IL/Chicago/13...home/180004038
https://www.redfin.com/IL/Chicago/15...home/145284720


But I do think that Chicago is more like LA in terms of the upper market in that a lot of people just go for SFH instead. I think that in Manhattan itself, you'd see a lot more of this if it existed but the number of townhomes for sale is ultimately pretty small and many go to a high rise. Some definitely want a high rise more than a townhome, but you'd be surprised at the number of people who would take a 3 or 4 story townhome over a high rise there if they could there. In Chicago though, there's an increasing number of low rise condos that are $1.5M+ that are selling without an issue. I think that will increase too.


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