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Old Posted Jul 16, 2019, 4:50 AM
brian_b brian_b is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Chicago
Posts: 1,563
Originally Posted by Mr Downtown View Post
Things I learned at tonight's meeting:
  • DPD has only had one meeting with Landmark Development, and requested something like 17 specific pieces of information. None have yet been supplied. Though they won't publicly say so, they seem as puzzled as other observers about how this deal could make any sense whatsoever.
  • The Central Station PD has at least 3,100 dwelling units approved but not yet used. It also has 3.1 million sq ft of office and 2,500 hotel keys that can be traded in (at the rate of 3:1) for additional dwelling units.
  • Some 4.7 million square feet of bulk is approved and not yet used. For comparison, what's built in Central Station (and approved, such as NEMA's sister) north of 14th St. is around 5 million square feet.
  • As soon as a "master plan" for the air rights area south of Waldron is approved, that unlocks another 2000 dwelling units and 3.8 million square feet of FAR. (I hope I didn't double count.)
  • The PD includes language that vests the approvals once certain amounts of development took place within a specified time. The usual rule is that property owners have no rights to their future zoning, but in this case they apparently do.
  • The city's new Zoning Administrator, Patrick Murphey, is a pretty sharp guy who can get to the point clearly.
  • Most of the neighbors who ask "questions" at public meetings like this . . . not so much.
You did double count. The 4.7 million square feet and 2000 dwelling units are the total remaining for the combination of subarea B and C.

All but 2 of the highrises in the One Central renders are in subarea B, but subarea B has a FAR of 1.7. Subarea C has a FAR of 7.59, but it is long and thin and much smaller than the other subareas. Additionally (not mentioned tonight) is that the view corridors cover at least half to two-thirds of subarea C - it's pretty worthless unless the "rights" can be transferred to subarea B.

I did some internet detective work and found that the PD331 subarea 4E that was mentioned only allows "unenclosed" parking, which I assume means a surface lot. One Central (and also the Lucas museum before it) showed a parking structure here. And my detective work also found the IL compiled statutes that authorized McPier to acquire the property/air rights but I see nothing about them being allowed to transfer it to a private party. Hmm.

I left the meeting with the sense that this thing is dead in the water unless they can throw the existing PDs out and get a new one through the city council. Anyone want to lay odds? I certainly don't have much faith.
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