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Old Posted May 11, 2018, 2:43 PM
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ardecila ardecila is offline
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: the city o'wind
Posts: 14,646
Whoa, so much to unpack! Seems like a lot of shrewd decisions to provide the needed infrastructure at a reasonable (or at least slightly less astronomical) cost.

Previous plans for the site have been mainly auto-oriented, with transit an afterthought. Those plans included a whole street grid for the site (albeit totally disconnected from the east). This one forgoes the grid for, basically, just two main streets plus a short link at 15th. One of those streets, Wells, will even be constructed entirely by the city, taking it off Related’s project list. I wonder if Related is “finding” money for the Red Line station and the Metra relocation by being super efficient with new streets? I don’t see a potential congestion problem - earlier plans for the site had more mileage of streets total, but still only three access points. This one has four, and seems to suggest that limited parking will be provided.

On the rail side, I’ll be interested to see what happens. I’m fairly sure the Red Line tracks are on an incline here, which will make a new station difficult to construct. It also looks like the station box would slot in under some of the DPII townhouses on 15th, so those would have to be purchased and demolished. CTA does have a ventilation structure at 15th/Clark, so maybe that can be repurposed somehow to save a little money. I wonder if Related will seek TIF money or other public funding for the new station.

The Metra solution (enclosing the tracks inside the podiums of buildings) is interesting. That way the Metra “tunnel” is paid for one piece at a time, as each building is constructed. At first glance I assumed Metra would never go for that, but they did allow River Point (and the rest of the buildings above Union Station) which was a very similar concept.

Lastly - I like the Crescent Park idea, although it’s ironic our civic forefathers spent so much time moving the channel precisely to allow for a regular grid of streets to be built here. As a developer, it’s smart... the former channel was filled with terrible material, it is awful to build foundations or even streets upon. I have seen the geotech reports to prove it. With the park concept, they are turning a liability into an asset.
la forme d'une ville change plus vite, hélas! que le coeur d'un mortel...

Last edited by ardecila; May 11, 2018 at 2:58 PM.
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