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dweeprise Jan 4, 2021 9:11 PM

Thanks, Randomguy34, for this update. I had been wondering about this development for a while. I'm sure DPD would love to see this happen.

Mr Downtown Jan 5, 2021 5:38 AM

Why?

It doesn't advance any aspect of the Central Area Plan, Central Area Action Plan, or Near South Community Plan. In fact, it goes directly against various recommendations contained in those. It certainly doesn't advance Commissioner Cox's agenda of equity for poor neighborhoods.

It's literally a guy saying "make me some new land and I'll put buildings on top."

lakeshoredrive Jan 5, 2021 6:09 AM

This development is stupid. I'd rather see the orange or a different line be extended towards the lakefront/soldier field. I think it's ridiculous that soldier field is not serviced by a CTA rail line.

Zapatan Jan 5, 2021 1:29 PM

I agree, it looks a bit out of place, although it would be cool to have another mini skyline like HY in NYC. 12.5 MSF is insane for one development in Chicago.

I'm still under the impression it's a pipe dream but good to know there's a meeting, maybe Landmark is serious about it.

The buildings likely wouldn't be as high as the renderings though I'm assuming, isn't this site limited, or is that the 78? They look nearly as high as the Sears.

Handro Jan 5, 2021 2:17 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by lakeshoredrive (Post 9149571)
This development is stupid. I'd rather see the orange or a different line be extended towards the lakefront/soldier field. I think it's ridiculous that soldier field is not serviced by a CTA rail line.

I think the project includes the extension of the orange line to the proposed transit hub, doesn’t it?

But I agree, I’d be shocked to see this come to fruition at the proposed scale.

the urban politician Jan 5, 2021 2:37 PM

I agree that this development is ridiculous and a worthless pipe dream.

We can't even get huge swaths of dirt redeveloped literally RIGHT NEXT DOOR to this, and we're supposed to expect this to happen?

Not only do I expect this to not get off the ground, I don't want it to. That's not how things work. First you develop out the vacant land that's already there. Then, as land gets scarce and property values rise, you start doing projects like this.

A project like this is a minimum of 50 years away from being viable. We'll all be dead

BuildThemTaller Jan 5, 2021 2:46 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by the urban politician (Post 9149699)
I agree that this development is ridiculous and a worthless pipe dream.

We can't even get huge swaths of dirt redeveloped literally RIGHT NEXT DOOR to this, and we're supposed to expect this to happen?

Not only do I expect this to not get off the ground, I don't want it to. That's not how things work. First you develop out the vacant land that's already there. Then, as land gets scarce and property values rise, you start doing projects like this.

A project like this is a minimum of 50 years away from being viable. We'll all be dead

"Make no little plans, they have no magic in them to stir men's blood"

Also, I plan on being alive in 50 years and hope some of you will be as well.

Do I think this is a fantastic, must-build plan? No. Do I want an Orange Line stop that can be connected to Metra and create momentum for better integrating the Metra electric lines into the rest of the CTA network? Yes.

west-town-brad Jan 5, 2021 2:46 PM

thank god for zero percent interest rates

the urban politician Jan 5, 2021 2:57 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by BuildThemTaller (Post 9149705)
"Make no little plans, they have no magic in them to stir men's blood"

Also, I plan on being alive in 50 years and hope some of you will be as well.

Do I think this is a fantastic, must-build plan? No. Do I want an Orange Line stop that can be connected to Metra and create momentum for better integrating the Metra electric lines into the rest of the CTA network? Yes.

I've seen that quote for the past countless years, and I gotta tell ya--just because you make a big plan, doesn't mean it isn't stupid.

Besides, we already have some big plans in the works, and much more viable ones to boot. The 78, that stuff planned at the Moody Bible site, Southbank, all of the big stuff planned for the Tribune complex, Lincoln Yards, the Morton Salt district, and so much else. What these have in common is that they are all planned on existing land and are far more viable.

ardecila Jan 5, 2021 3:05 PM

Hopefully they took the time to actually talk with planners at CMAP, DPD, etc about the transit needs at this site. A new 18th St station (or 16th) that is modernized and ADA accessible would be great. Some new infrastructure to move CTA buses onto the McCormick busway would be great.

Even CTA rail could be helpful, but it won't be Orange Line... probably either Brown or Purple, which could (finally) provide a proper connection between Metra Electric and CTA rail that allows for North-South trips. Realistically though, there is no way they will be able to build such a spur cost-effectively. They'd either need to double-deck the St Charles Air Line, which would never fly with the condo owners along the tracks, or purchase the SCAL from the various freight railroads that own it (equally unlikely).

Handro Jan 5, 2021 3:40 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by BuildThemTaller (Post 9149705)
"Make no little plans, they have no magic in them to stir men's blood"

Also, I plan on being alive in 50 years and hope some of you will be as well.

Do I think this is a fantastic, must-build plan? No. Do I want an Orange Line stop that can be connected to Metra and create momentum for better integrating the Metra electric lines into the rest of the CTA network? Yes.

I think if the developer is willing/able to come up with billions to invest in the creation of some otherwise politically impossible feat like creating a new rail line to run from Navy Pier-West Loop-Museum Complex-River North, connecting to existing CTA and Metra lines, this would be one of those Burnham-level big plans worthy of exploring. Right now this smells like nothing more than a vanity project.

BuildThemTaller Jan 5, 2021 4:36 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Handro (Post 9149743)
I think if the developer is willing/able to come up with billions to invest in the creation of some otherwise politically impossible feat like creating a new rail line to run from Navy Pier-West Loop-Museum Complex-River North, connecting to existing CTA and Metra lines, this would be one of those Burnham-level big plans worthy of exploring. Right now this smells like nothing more than a vanity project.

First off, expecting a developer to create an entire subway line is silly. That's the job of government. Creating a subway stop or a portion of that line is a big ask and something work asking.

Let's say they get an Orange Line stop there near Museum Campus. I don't think it's too much to envision a more practicable solution, like a streetcar that runs up Columbus and over to Navy Pier. That'd be a lot cheaper and would do the job. It's for tourists, anyway, and only needs to connect to the rest of the CTA at a couple of points.

ardecila Jan 5, 2021 4:52 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by the urban politician (Post 9149713)
I've seen that quote for the past countless years, and I gotta tell ya--just because you make a big plan, doesn't mean it isn't stupid.

Besides, we already have some big plans in the works, and much more viable ones to boot. The 78, that stuff planned at the Moody Bible site, Southbank, all of the big stuff planned for the Tribune complex, Lincoln Yards, the Morton Salt district, and so much else. What these have in common is that they are all planned on existing land and are far more viable.

I agree with you to some extent but in Chicago, lakefront land will always be more desirable than land that's further inland. There is nowhere else in downtown with anywhere near this much buildable potential, on the lakefront. It's not like building here is a new, radical idea. Illinois Central actively planned the development that later became Central Station, and it was always supposed to have a 2nd phase built over the tracks.

By your logic we should have left Illinois Center and Lakeshore East as grungy railyards back in the 1970s and told office developers to build in River North or West Loop instead. Building office buildings over the Union Station tracks? The Merchandise Mart? No they should have built somewhere else on terra firma! :rolleyes:

Mr Downtown Jan 5, 2021 5:06 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ardecila (Post 9149719)
Hopefully they took the time to actually talk with planners at CMAP, DPD, etc about the transit needs at this site.

Ha.

I've been in several nonpublic meetings with such folk that touched on this topic. Unwilling to slam the door on whoever's so politically connected that they've been keeping this fever dream going, the operating agencies have politely but noncommittally said "we'll look at whatever plan is presented."

Landmark Development is utterly clueless about Chicago transit. They wanted to say Orange Line spur so they could say "one-seat ride to MDW." They wanted to say BNSF spur so they could say "one-seat ride to Naperville." When I asked Bob Dunn how his new transit hub helped the Bears fan coming in from Barrington, he seemed unaware that UP trains come into a different station. A year ago, I was at a meeting where they'd suddenly added Rock Island trains into their analysis, hoping to somehow prove that their new project would give new access to good jobs for poor blacks in South Cook County. The South Side community leaders at the table snickered and went to the back of the room to get another danish.

Handro Jan 5, 2021 5:08 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by BuildThemTaller (Post 9149795)
First off, expecting a developer to create an entire subway line is silly. That's the job of government. Creating a subway stop or a portion of that line is a big ask and something work asking.

Let's say they get an Orange Line stop there near Museum Campus. I don't think it's too much to envision a more practicable solution, like a streetcar that runs up Columbus and over to Navy Pier. That'd be a lot cheaper and would do the job. It's for tourists, anyway, and only needs to connect to the rest of the CTA at a couple of points.

"Make no little plans, they have no magic in them to stir men's blood"

UPChicago Jan 5, 2021 5:26 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mr Downtown (Post 9149554)
Why?

It doesn't advance any aspect of the Central Area Plan, Central Area Action Plan, or Near South Community Plan. In fact, it goes directly against various recommendations contained in those. It certainly doesn't advance Commissioner Cox's agenda of equity for poor neighborhoods.

It's literally a guy saying "make me some new land and I'll put buildings on top."

Bingo

Randomguy34 Jan 5, 2021 5:52 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Zapatan (Post 9149665)
12.5 MSF is insane for one development in Chicago.

When you include housing it'll come to around 20M sqft, which would make this the largest megadevelopment in the city.

This development to me is another "cool but impractical" project, but interest rates are extremely low and they may have gotten the federal loan they applied for, so there's a small chance it could get built

Zapatan Jan 5, 2021 6:52 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Randomguy34 (Post 9149878)
When you include housing it'll come to around 20M sqft, which would make this the largest megadevelopment in the city.

This development to me is another "cool but impractical" project, but interest rates are extremely low and they may have gotten the federal loan they applied for, so there's a small chance it could get built


While impractical it would certainly be cool and expand Chicago's downtown by a huge margin.

Hope all 20MSF get built even if it sounds like a long shot :shrug:

ardecila Jan 5, 2021 6:57 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mr Downtown (Post 9149818)
Ha.

I've been in several nonpublic meetings with such folk that touched on this topic. Unwilling to slam the door on whoever's so politically connected that they've been keeping this fever dream going, the operating agencies have politely but noncommittally said "we'll look at whatever plan is presented."

Landmark Development is utterly clueless about Chicago transit. They wanted to say Orange Line spur so they could say "one-seat ride to MDW." They wanted to say BNSF spur so they could say "one-seat ride to Naperville." When I asked Bob Dunn how his new transit hub helped the Bears fan coming in from Barrington, he seemed unaware that UP trains come into a different station. A year ago, I was at a meeting where they'd suddenly added Rock Island trains into their analysis, hoping to somehow prove that their new project would give new access to good jobs for poor blacks in South Cook County. The South Side community leaders at the table snickered and went to the back of the room to get another danish.

Yeah I got the same impression at the last McCormick Place public meeting, talking to the Perkins + Will planner who flew in from San Francisco (the Orange Line spur idea seems suspiciously like the BART spur to SFO). But I just chalked it up to the wild-eyed spirit of the early project planning phase.

There's gotta be somebody at the agencies willing to pitch them an actually useful package of transit improvements, though. If they want to pay for something, there's no shortage of needs. At the very least, the 18th St Metra station needs rebuilding and should be accessible, and the busway runs under their site and could become a useful piece of CTA infrastructure with a few ramps and turn lanes. What have they been doing for the past 2 years? Certainly there was a pause while Emanuel and Reifman gave way to Lightfoot and Cox... so presumably a fresh team of planners got a look at this project.

galleyfox Jan 5, 2021 7:42 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ardecila (Post 9149986)
Yeah I got the same impression at the last McCormick Place public meeting, talking to the Perkins + Will planner who flew in from San Francisco (the Orange Line spur idea seems suspiciously like the BART spur to SFO). But I just chalked it up to the wild-eyed spirit of the early project planning phase.

There's gotta be somebody at the agencies willing to pitch them an actually useful package of transit improvements, though. If they want to pay for something, there's no shortage of needs. At the very least, the 18th St Metra station needs rebuilding and should be accessible, and the busway runs under their site and could become a useful piece of CTA infrastructure with a few ramps and turn lanes. What have they been doing for the past 2 years? Certainly there was a pause while Emanuel and Reifman gave way to Lightfoot and Cox... so presumably a fresh team of planners got a look at this project.

I’m curious about the motivation. If the developers just want to build a shopping mall and high-rises, and some federal agency is doing some back-scratching...then go for it and drop the transit charade.

Because otherwise the only plan that would interest and benefit both the city and the developer would be to tunnel under the Loop and somehow connect the Metra Electric to either Ogilvie or Union tracks. And I can’t even imagine how many billions that would cost.

Fantasy Chicago Transit Fix-it Map
https://www.google.com/mymaps/viewer...EMUz4&hl=en_US
Source: Alon Levy


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