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nomarandlee Jun 10, 2021 2:35 PM

So here is a hypothetical scenario, there are rumors that certain top officials in the Bears organization want the Bears to sell. Let's say they do and the new owner wants to build on the South Works site or in Arlington Heights.

How much does the Bears moving stadiums have an effect on this project? Zero? Minimally? Somewhat?

Razorback Jun 10, 2021 2:47 PM

I love how this project is bringing the conversation about extending the skyline further south. One can only hope and pray this (or something similar) becomes reality.

galleyfox Jun 10, 2021 2:55 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by nomarandlee (Post 9307611)
So here is a hypothetical scenario, there are rumors that certain top officials in the Bears organization want the Bears to sell. Let's say they do and the new owner wants to build on the South Works site or in Arlington Heights.

How much does the Bears moving stadiums have an effect on this project? Zero? Minimally? Somewhat?

The transit mall/shopping center is already dead in the water since it depends on state money and has minimal practical transit use.

If there happens to be enough money to deck over the tracks, the lake views and proximity to the Loop would be the selling point, not so much the stadium.

So basically zero impact since the Bears only play 8 home games a year, and the stadium aspect is just a political sweetener for a highly controversial project.

If the financial fundamentals exist, it will get built stadium or no stadium. If not, the Bears and Soldier Field won’t tip the scales.

IrishIllini Jun 10, 2021 4:04 PM

Renderings look sharp. Probably unpopular, but wish there wasn't so much height or the taller buildings were clustered near NEMA and One Museum. South end of the shot looks like it could be Dallas.

Somewhat unrelated, but does anyone think the Bears are threatening to move out of Soldier Field in hopes of getting it demoed for a larger stadium? It'd be great to save the historic concourse if that were the case. Nuke the renovation.

Busy Bee Jun 10, 2021 6:54 PM

As has been discussed before, if and when Bears brass push for a new stadium, it's highly likely they will want to maximize the ROI by having the stadium as multi-purpose as possible and likely anchoring a complex of some sort that can host other events or even conventions - basically keeping it an active money maker as much as possible. For this reason, possible concept locations just based on the availability of vacant land start to make less sense. As amazing as a South Works Bears stadium would look, ask yourself how likely it is that it would get much additional use as a standalone stadium than Soldier does now. And it's pretty questionable whether the additional aforementioned functions would have much potential for success at a relatively isolated site like South Works that is ringed with neighborhoods of questionable desirability. Same thing with other areas of the far south side adjacent to Bishop Ford.

This reality leads me to opine that locations nearest O'Hare actually have the most potential to host such a complex. That is why I mentioned adjacent to the Cumberland Blue Line stop or if you want to get really wild, in a wildly re-imagined center of the 90/294 spaghetti, and while current flight paths may prevent a location that close to O'Hare, future runway configurations may change that.

aaron38 Jun 10, 2021 11:40 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by gebs (Post 9307554)
That rendering just slams.

Interesting that they added so many trees to Northerly Island though ...

Grassland savannas always give way to forest where people like trees.

When we cut trees in the forest preserves, lots of complaints. We'll have to see how Northerly Island matures. I vote for open savanna.

left of center Jun 11, 2021 12:33 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by IrishIllini (Post 9307729)
Renderings look sharp. Probably unpopular, but wish there wasn't so much height or the taller buildings were clustered near NEMA and One Museum. South end of the shot looks like it could be Dallas.

No need to worry about the height, we are pretty far from seeing any actual work on the ground occurring. And if this project actually goes through those heights will undoubtedly get nerfed.

Rizzo Jun 11, 2021 12:57 AM

The Bear's discussion has become an echo chamber.

ardecila Jun 11, 2021 2:27 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Busy Bee (Post 9307938)
This reality leads me to opine that locations nearest O'Hare actually have the most potential to host such a complex. That is why I mentioned adjacent to the Cumberland Blue Line stop or if you want to get really wild, in a wildly re-imagined center of the 90/294 spaghetti, and while current flight paths may prevent a location that close to O'Hare, future runway configurations may change that.

The kind of stadium you're talking about has just massive land and infrastructure needs. Even in the suburbs there aren't a lot of sites that could work. Look at SoFi in LA, or AT&T Stadium in Dallas. Just vast tracts of land. Arlington Park is kind of a unique site with unique appeal to the Bears for this reason. Minneapolis is a model for how to do a megastadium in an "urban" way but I doubt the city/state can cough up the subsidies to make that possible.

Near the airport, O'Hare Lakes is really the only site big enough for this, but it's residential-adjacent. And it's in Des Plaines, so you can't count on the usual Rosemont deal-making. 15 years ago they could have gotten a great site in Rosemont where the outlet mall is now... but that site, and the "island" across 294 along Balmoral is now all built up.

Mikelacey45 Jun 11, 2021 2:58 PM

Look how they treated vista lol

Sky88 Jun 11, 2021 7:05 PM

Well, I’m hoping for a 1,200-1,300ft tower in that project.

SamInTheLoop Jun 11, 2021 10:53 PM

See that the developer is holding a facebook live event.

This thing's getting real.

SamInTheLoop Jun 11, 2021 10:54 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by galleyfox (Post 9307639)
The transit mall/shopping center is already dead in the water since it depends on state money and has minimal practical transit use.

If there happens to be enough money to deck over the tracks, the lake views and proximity to the Loop would be the selling point, not so much the stadium.

So basically zero impact since the Bears only play 8 home games a year, and the stadium aspect is just a political sweetener for a highly controversial project.

If the financial fundamentals exist, it will get built stadium or no stadium. If not, the Bears and Soldier Field won’t tip the scales.


The more I think about this project (which isn't much to begin with), the more preposterous it seems.

Which is a shame, because it is ".....key to the social and economic transformation of Chicago."

With full awareness of the very significant infrastructure costs here, am I crazy to think that if they propose something 1/3 or even 1/4 as over-the-top ambitious it could potentially have a shot at realization at a profit?

Otherwise, this is an entitlement/land play?

sentinel Jun 11, 2021 11:05 PM

Did anyone actually join the event?

ardecila Jun 12, 2021 2:23 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by SamInTheLoop (Post 9309356)
The more I think about this project (which isn't much to begin with), the more preposterous it seems.

Which is a shame, because it is ".....key to the social and economic transformation of Chicago."

With full awareness of the very significant infrastructure costs here, am I crazy to think that if they propose something 1/3 or even 1/4 as over-the-top ambitious it could potentially have a shot at realization at a profit?

Otherwise, this is an entitlement/land play?

The deck is a significant cost and the whole thing needs streets for access. It's not like, say, 150 N Riverside where you just plug into existing public streets.

Of course, Dunn already has approval for state financing of the deck (and transit hub) so if that cost is covered then I do think this could be profitable at a smaller scale.

On the other hand, if the state financing is revoked as Kam Buckner is threatening, then Dunn probably does need to build (very) big to cover the costs of the deck privately, and the deck will need to be phased so the initial outlay is manageable. Remember this was always planned by Illinois Central to be a counterpart to Illinois Center/Lakeshore East at the same density levels, that's the only way it pencils out unless the government is willing to chip in.

So my guess is that there's some hedging going on, there's four paths this project could take (public deck/big private development, public deck/small private development, private deck/big private development, or no build). I have a feeling the last two are more likely, the state financing is predicated on the "public benefit" of a new transit hub that nobody wants. But I do think Lightfoot wants this development, sans transit hub, AND doesn't want the accusation of a public handout. The only question is whether she can override the local alderman and the South Loop residents to make a big, tall project happen.

Randomguy34 Jun 12, 2021 3:44 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by sentinel (Post 9309364)
Did anyone actually join the event?

I was only able to join for the first ~30 mins, so I missed the Q&A. They said the recording will be uploaded. Some big details I managed to pick up:

- The transit hub/phase 1 is now fully financed by the private sector (both national & international sources)
- The state financing is solely to provide a revenue stream for the state. One Central will begin construction, even without state funds
- The angles of the towers were redesigned to allow nearby residents views to be preserved
- They want to also build housing along South Side transit lines (MED & Green Line specifically)
- They're now starting to eye the US Steel site

ardecila Jun 13, 2021 5:39 PM

Not quite sure I understand this part, will have to watch the video:
"The state financing is solely to provide a revenue stream for the state. One Central will begin construction, even without state funds"

But it sounds like they are doing the "private deck/big private development" route. Assuming, that is, that they can get their zoning approved by City Council which is a big if. Also, I assume the transit hub will be scaled back to a renovated Metra Electric stop at 18th and maybe some improvements to the McCormick busway (so no Amtrak stop or CTA spur).

FWIW, they've been doing soil borings between Roosevelt and Cullerton to inform the project engineering. I spotted the drill rig the other day near the 18th St bridge but didn't snap a photo.

Randomguy34 Jun 13, 2021 5:56 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ardecila (Post 9310371)
Not quite sure I understand this part, will have to watch the video:
"The state financing is solely to provide a revenue stream for the state. One Central will begin construction, even without state funds"

My wording was kinda confusing. Essentially, the state funds will be used to buy the transit hub from the developers. The transit hub + retail is expected to be profitable, so the developers are pitching the hub as a revenue stream for the state.

This still doesn't explain why One Central is continuing the partnership if they already have private financing.

ardecila Jun 13, 2021 6:52 PM

Transit facilities aren't profitable outside of Asia (Hong Kong/Singapore/Japan etc). You need hyper-density PLUS a critical mass of population which is not feasible for Landmark to build even in their wildest dreams. And to truly be like an Asian city, they'd have to cut the lanes on LSD in half and charge steep tolls to force people onto public transit.

This still doesn't make any sense. They need to drop the transit center charade and just focus on building a vertical residential community like Lakeshore East using only private funding. Surely there is some density figure at which the cost of the rail deck pencils out. If they can do some kind of entertainment district for Soldier Field and rebuild the Metra stop (as a regular stop, not a "hub"), that's just gravy.

galleyfox Jun 13, 2021 7:09 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Randomguy34 (Post 9310381)
Essentially, the state funds will be used to buy the transit hub from the developers. The transit hub + retail is expected to be profitable, so the developers are pitching the hub as a revenue stream for the state..

Right. That sounds like some Illinois political chicanery going on.

I’m sure the buildings and deck will pencil out over the long run on their own.

I’d fully approve the city putting those state funds into a trust and using them for some more useful transit project. Probably not legal though.


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