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  #181  
Old Posted May 26, 2018, 3:08 AM
JK47 JK47 is offline
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Originally Posted by Kumdogmillionaire View Post
You've made this point a million times in the past, but I genuinely don't see the logic in it. Why do we "need" a mid-rise neighborhood?

...because he likes it?
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  #182  
Old Posted May 26, 2018, 5:59 AM
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Originally Posted by BVictor1 View Post
Feel free to put that middies neighborhood elsewhere. This is downtown and screw that...
When you say this is "downtown", you're setting up a false dichotomy. If it's downtown, then it's gotta be be sky-high, but if it's in the neighborhoods, we've gotta preserve the history! I'm not sure what "elsewhere" you have in mind, but you'd be saying the same thing about The 78 or Cabrini if neighborhood groups were advocating for shorter buildings.

Eventually those two zones, downtown and the neighborhoods, will need to run into each other. There's gotta be a transition, right? Streeterville and South Loop went tall, but they fit into a broader trend of lakefront highrises, most of which were built before I was born. The rationale for lakefront highrises, downtown or not, is obvious. West Loop is nowhere near the lake, and has no history of highrise development.

I don't know why everyone is so allergic to a midrise kind of urbanism that scales down from downtown to the neighborhoods and is at least somewhat respectful of streetscapes. TBH, I'm really tired of the whole tower-on-a-podium paradigm. Obviously there are obvious eyesores like Grand Plaza, but even the podiums that everyone seems to like, still kind of suck. The large parking garages kill the streetscape even if they don't always bring swarms of traffic, and the amenity decks on top of the podiums reek of privilege. The streetscape of the highrise neighborhood provides a poor sense of enclosure to the street, because there is no consistency to the cornice line and a bunch of gaps and side setbacks.
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  #183  
Old Posted May 26, 2018, 1:46 PM
untitledreality untitledreality is offline
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Originally Posted by left of center View Post
If Related dropped the height of the tower to their ridiculous demand of 200' but kept the unit count the same (as they did when the 570' version of this tower got a haircut), would they really be appeased?
They probably would.

A precedent has already been set in the West Loop for high density mid-rise buildings, and I believe that the general desire at the moment is to follow that precedent for the core of the neighborhood. Let high rise construction occur on the periphery while the core develops into a dense, stable neighborhood. At some point in the future it will make sense for the for the core to go vertical, but you run the risk of creating a new South Loop if you start allowing 500 foot high rises on podiums when 90% of the area is 5 floors or less.

Imagine West Loop development following its current trajectory of 10-15 floor, lot line to lot line buildings for the next twenty years. The density, street enclosure, and urban fabric consistency would be like nothing Chicago has seen since WW2.

Just take a look at Curbed's West Loop development map. Dense, lot line to lot line apartment buildings, all within 10-20 floors are going up everywhere. 250,000-700,000SF office buildings are being proposed and built all over the neighborhood, all 20 floors or less. Why mess with this cascade of development by allowing property owners and developers to sit and wait for 500 foot towers? How is that working out for the South Loop and River North? Because from my vantage point the West Loop is outperforming both by very wide margins.
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  #184  
Old Posted May 26, 2018, 1:47 PM
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Originally Posted by Chi-Sky21 View Post
Not to sound Nimby but i really wish they would keep Randolph lower rise buildings west of Halsted or Green. They should put all this stuff up at Lake st and north of that. I know its only a half block away but this will kinda ruin the feel of Randolph St for me.
IIRC the same groups had been against any residential development north of Lake whatsoever. That some envelope pushing proposals might appear south of that boundary seems like a natural consequence given the hotness of the neighborhood.
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  #185  
Old Posted May 26, 2018, 1:59 PM
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Im fine with a midrise neighborhood, but damn it we need to do something about the parking ratios in the West Loop. They are way too high
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  #186  
Old Posted May 26, 2018, 2:01 PM
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Originally Posted by untitledreality View Post
They probably would.

A precedent has already been set in the West Loop for high density mid-rise buildings, and I believe that the general desire at the moment is to follow that precedent for the core of the neighborhood. Let high rise construction occur on the periphery while the core develops into a dense, stable neighborhood. At some point in the future it will make sense for the for the core to go vertical, but you run the risk of creating a new South Loop if you start allowing 500 foot high rises on podiums when 90% of the area is 5 floors or less.

Imagine West Loop development following its current trajectory of 10-15 floor, lot line to lot line buildings for the next twenty years. The density, street enclosure, and urban fabric consistency would be like nothing Chicago has seen since WW2.

Just take a look at Curbed's West Loop development map. Dense, lot line to lot line apartment buildings, all within 10-20 floors are going up everywhere. 250,000-700,000SF office buildings are being proposed and built all over the neighborhood, all 20 floors or less. Why mess with this cascade of development by allowing property owners and developers to sit and wait for 500 foot towers? How is that working out for the South Loop and River North? Because from my vantage point the West Loop is outperforming both by very wide margins.
If we keep the same number of units but lower to 200’ we will get Loop like canyons. Which is fine with me. Canyons and less sunlight are awesome—the sun is for parks and beaches and boring Sunbelt cities anyhow. Real cities are about commerce, buildings, and living in the shadows of manmade objects.
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  #187  
Old Posted May 27, 2018, 4:32 AM
BrinChi BrinChi is offline
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Originally Posted by r18tdi View Post
Density? Lol, it's only 300 units.
Yeah if WLCO is going to argue against density, they can pay the city (i.e. fellow taxpayers) back for the $40 million investment the city made to build the Morgan CTA stop.
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  #188  
Old Posted May 27, 2018, 2:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Kumdogmillionaire View Post
You've made this point a million times in the past, but I genuinely don't see the logic in it. Why do we "need" a mid-rise neighborhood?
To offer a somewhat objective argument, mid-rise built environments, especially today, actually offer the best kind of urban density.

The smaller individual buildings don’t require the loading bays and other design drawbacks (or the the goddamn parking garages) that high-rises require, while still creating tons of density. Perhaps even more density, if a neighborhood has consistent mid-rise density right to the lot lines. But at the same time, it can still feel human-scaled and allow sun to reach the state.

There’s a reason many people consider Paris to have the best urban built form of any city on Earth (myself included). And even in New York, the mid-rise neighborhoods are nicer places to live than the high-rise neighborhoods. At street level, mid-rise neighborhoods are superior to high-rise neighborhoods. Especially now with the out of control cancer of parking podiums that afflicts Chicago development.
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  #189  
Old Posted May 27, 2018, 2:53 PM
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  #190  
Old Posted May 27, 2018, 6:00 PM
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Three things:

1. Chicago has the best built environment in the world, not Paris. We have a lot of "missing teeth" as a city, but you can hardly fault a city so young for not yet being "complete" in the way an ancient city like Paris or London is. But our unique fabric of a thoroughly modern commerical city built on a pre-auto scale with modern planning and transit isn't found anywhere else.

2. High-rises should be built wherever the market dictates. That said there should be basic planning guidelines that make podium garages inefficient or costly. Also mid density TOD should again be allowed wherever the market can support it. The market will naturally generate mid density, high density, and low density districts provided everything is equal for each type of housing. The problem is when you apply market distorting laws like downzoning or making a whole category of building virtually impossible to build. It's already been shown that parking is overbuilt, but parking minimums have forced design to revolve around the requirements of a parking garage base. If our regulations were instead fixated on say requiring any parking to be below grade or surrounded by liner units, we would see a totally different proforma for your average tower. In short, there is nothing inherently bad about tall buildings, it's poor regulation with inepet priorities that drives many of the problems people associate with these buildings.

3. Vacant land and parking lots are public enemy #1. Perhaps some form of height limit is a preferable policy if the goal is to obliterate disused properties and spread growth over as much of the inner core as possible. However you are then committing to the notion of displacement as public policy. If you are going to restrict growth through down zoning or height/density limits, then you have to acknowledge you are signing up for a policy of spreading gentrification over a larger area of the city. Regardless of your position on growth, you also have to admit that vacant land and abandoned buildings are utterly worthless to everyone and should be used to satisfy as much of the demand curve as possible.
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  #191  
Old Posted May 27, 2018, 8:14 PM
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^ Even without any parking minimums, tall buildings will still gravitate towards a tower-on-a-podium model. The podium will be filled with parking anyway, maybe not one spot per unit but enough to fill up one or two floorplates.

The podium model offers certain advantages for highrise development. The base offers a convenient place for storage lockers, bike rooms, loading dock, mail room, generous lobby, plus lucrative commercial space to boot. The side setbacks for the tower provide light and air to residential units even on the side, and create a roof deck where pampered people can lounge in comfort or walk their perfectly groomed pooches. Unfortunately, the developer's (and the residents') gain is our loss, as podium towers act like vertical gated communities.

Obviously I'm in favor of allowing midrise developments to spring up in the neighborhoods or wherever, but it seems we are stuck with a zoning code for the foreseeable future that puts a scarcity on downtown land, and bans buildings taller than 80' outside of downtown unless the developer goes through a torturous and lengthy PD process.
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  #192  
Old Posted May 27, 2018, 10:28 PM
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The issue I'm seeing here is that plenty of these midrises have large bases as well, sorta defeating that side of the argument you have.
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  #193  
Old Posted May 28, 2018, 12:27 AM
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Originally Posted by Kumdogmillionaire View Post
The issue I'm seeing here is that plenty of these midrises have large bases as well, sorta defeating that side of the argument you have.
Which ones? Assuming you cut off the "midrise" category at 16 stories or so, the only West Loop midrise with a noticeable tower and podium is Hoxton Hotel, which is kind of a lame Morris Adjmi ripoff anyway. Most of the other West Loop proposals are pretty genuine midrises that go up with little or no side/front setbacks.

Admittedly a lot of the midrise residential buildings from the last boom (on Washington, Madison etc) do have ground-floor parking and blank walls, so I'm not excusing shitty design. Any building can have shitty design regardless of how many stories it has. But it does seem like the a lot of the new proposals since 2010 in West Loop have gotten much, much better - I'm guessing in part because of the TOD ordinance that eliminated parking minimums, plus the shift from condos to rentals/office/hotel which have less of an intrinsic need for parking.
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  #194  
Old Posted May 28, 2018, 2:19 AM
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Yeah I was referring to the number of overall midrises with large parking garages. I didn't specify, my bad on that
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  #195  
Old Posted May 28, 2018, 10:53 AM
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Originally Posted by LouisVanDerWright View Post
Three things:

1. Chicago has the best built environment in the world, not Paris. We have a lot of "missing teeth" as a city, but you can hardly fault a city so young for not yet being "complete" in the way an ancient city like Paris or London is. But our unique fabric of a thoroughly modern commerical city built on a pre-auto scale with modern planning and transit isn't found anywhere else.

2. High-rises should be built wherever the market dictates. That said there should be basic planning guidelines that make podium garages inefficient or costly. Also mid density TOD should again be allowed wherever the market can support it. The market will naturally generate mid density, high density, and low density districts provided everything is equal for each type of housing. The problem is when you apply market distorting laws like downzoning or making a whole category of building virtually impossible to build. It's already been shown that parking is overbuilt, but parking minimums have forced design to revolve around the requirements of a parking garage base. If our regulations were instead fixated on say requiring any parking to be below grade or surrounded by liner units, we would see a totally different proforma for your average tower. In short, there is nothing inherently bad about tall buildings, it's poor regulation with inepet priorities that drives many of the problems people associate with these buildings.

3. Vacant land and parking lots are public enemy #1. Perhaps some form of height limit is a preferable policy if the goal is to obliterate disused properties and spread growth over as much of the inner core as possible. However you are then committing to the notion of displacement as public policy. If you are going to restrict growth through down zoning or height/density limits, then you have to acknowledge you are signing up for a policy of spreading gentrification over a larger area of the city. Regardless of your position on growth, you also have to admit that vacant land and abandoned buildings are utterly worthless to everyone and should be used to satisfy as much of the demand curve as possible.
I thoroughly disagree with the main thrusts of #1 and #2. I agree with you that parking minimums shouldn’t exist. And I am “signing up for a policy of spreading gentrification over a larger area of the city”, because gentrification is a good thing.

And Chicago’s modern developments are not generally positive at street level. It’s nice to fill in the skyline. But until the city is ready to confront the scourge of above-ground parking podiums, it might be better to tap the breaks, especially on the mid-priced developments. There are parts of River North that have quickly developed one of the worst built environments among major global cities. No one should be clamoring to build another River North. Chicago would be better off if most of the River North condo boom hadn’t happened.

If you could make sure that when you looked up at the second floor of the building you saw someone’s window, and not a fucking parking garage, things would be vastly improved. But regardless, the fact is that the best neighborhoods to live in are mid-rise neighborhoods. That’s true in New York or Boston or anywhere with them, not just Paris.
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Last edited by 10023; May 28, 2018 at 11:03 AM.
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  #196  
Old Posted May 28, 2018, 2:43 PM
LouisVanDerWright LouisVanDerWright is offline
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Originally Posted by ardecila View Post
Which ones? Assuming you cut off the "midrise" category at 16 stories or so, the only West Loop midrise with a noticeable tower and podium is Hoxton Hotel, which is kind of a lame Morris Adjmi ripoff anyway. Most of the other West Loop proposals are pretty genuine midrises that go up with little or no side/front setbacks.

Admittedly a lot of the midrise residential buildings from the last boom (on Washington, Madison etc) do have ground-floor parking and blank walls, so I'm not excusing shitty design. Any building can have shitty design regardless of how many stories it has. But it does seem like the a lot of the new proposals since 2010 in West Loop have gotten much, much better - I'm guessing in part because of the TOD ordinance that eliminated parking minimums, plus the shift from condos to rentals/office/hotel which have less of an intrinsic need for parking.
There are tons of nasty ass midrises in the West Loop with a few more coming. The heinous Hayden West Loop is about to deliver a quarter block of blank precast (with fake brick dont worry!) ground floor walls.

So again, the point is that it's not about what size building you are allowing, it is about the details you allow or require people to build. A law saying "no exposed parking above grade" would go much much further than a height limit in the West Loop in stopping this problem.
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  #197  
Old Posted May 29, 2018, 10:11 PM
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Originally Posted by LouisVanDerWright View Post
There are tons of nasty ass midrises in the West Loop with a few more coming. The heinous Hayden West Loop is about to deliver a quarter block of blank precast (with fake brick dont worry!) ground floor walls.

So again, the point is that it's not about what size building you are allowing, it is about the details you allow or require people to build. A law saying "no exposed parking above grade" would go much much further than a height limit in the West Loop in stopping this problem.
I agree with these points.
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  #198  
Old Posted Jun 6, 2018, 2:38 PM
Suiram Suiram is offline
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Building a 500 ft building does not preclude the area from becoming primarily mid rise. You can still have mid rise areas that have a few larger buildings and it benefits the overall aesthetic.

I really hope this is another small crack in the dam. If this gets through along with some of the other 300-400 ft proposals, you'll start to break down the idea that "nothing in this neighborhood is over 10-15 stories, so nothing new should exceed that height."

If a few groups can crack the barrier, it'll become less important to some people and the remaining NIMBYs will lose part of their standard repertoire of panic and concern.

Edit: To add I strongly agree with the point above too. The whole distinction between low mid and high is just a simplification of the discussion about how the building interfaces with the street (and to some extent the impact on traffic / utilities / etc but thats really a minor secondary issue). How it is at human scale. This building does far better to preverse the west loop street character than plenty of the mid rises. Having high rises can actually help because with a high rise they have more flexibility / budget to invest in preserving or recreating the streetscape. Many of these mid-rise apartments are cramming in units and minimizing costs by abandoning it.
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  #199  
Old Posted Jun 7, 2018, 3:49 AM
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They wouldn't knock anything down along randolph street to build this, right? Really the address would be about 150n Peoria.

If that's the case, then the fact that this would be set back toward the very center of this square block and close to lake street makes me love this proposal all the more. The added density in the center offsets the low-rise preservation along the periphery of the block.

Got worried they were knocking down these for a second -- not that it's amazing building stock, but fine-grained urbanism and recently renovated.
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  #200  
Old Posted Jun 15, 2018, 4:41 PM
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Crains is reporting this has received another slight reduction in floor count. Now down to 36. I don't see a height figure in scanning the article

I have a sense this still won't be enough to make everyone happy. I wouldn't mind if it ended up a little closer to the 30 floor mark myself. That will still have a good amount of height for the area, but isn't such an outlier that it sticks out in perpetuity.

http://www.chicagobusiness.com/reale...ndo-plan-again
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