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  #61  
Old Posted May 11, 2018, 8:46 PM
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No discussion of a new Metra station. Since it's less than a mile to the line's terminus, I don't think Metra would be very interested. Obviously, you can easily transfer from four L lines already at LaSalle St. Station.

15th isn't blocked by Dearborn Park, which is entirely north of there. It currently has two cul-de-sacs because the owner of one of the adjacent (non-DP) townhouses was Mayor Daley's personal trainer and warned him that allowing any through traffic would be punished by more squat reps. (I wish I was kidding.)
Hopefully they reconnect it. We really need to heal the street grid in the South Loop. 14th should also be a through street, and serve as a street connection to The 78 in addition to 15th.
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  #62  
Old Posted May 11, 2018, 11:09 PM
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I'm sure this is the thing to be least concerned at since its subject to change. But no one is talking about how a 950fter would be a HUGE game changer. (although we have to wait 15 years or so). Good development fills in empty space.
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  #63  
Old Posted May 11, 2018, 11:32 PM
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If we get Amazon or Apple, then we can start having pipedreams about a 950 footer and an accelerated pipeline. Until then, I'm just going to be happy with the infrastructure updates and additions!
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  #64  
Old Posted May 12, 2018, 12:12 AM
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The 78 is one of at least 4 sites Amazon visited while they were here




Anyone want to risk some $ on amazon HQ2 siteselection?

Go and create an account at bovada and bet in the entertainment section.

Chicago is now 40/1. $250 bet gets you $10,000. Those are really good odds. I bought in at a lower 20/1. FYI the odds makers are choosing northern VA as the odds on favorite.

And if you live in the UK Paddy Power or Pinnacle would also take your bet
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Last edited by bnk; May 12, 2018 at 12:35 AM.
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  #65  
Old Posted May 12, 2018, 1:39 AM
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Here’s a post I made about this site 4 (grumblegrumble) years ago when the deal was just being made:

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Originally Posted by wierdaaron View Post
All images from Apple Maps all rights reserved to whoever owns them don't sue me or burn down my house please.

Here's what we're dealing with:



I'm not sure where exactly the southern boundary of the property is because it transitions into Tom Ping Park pretty gracefully. I'd guess the east/west train tracks.

Observations:
  1. While this is a nice chunk of riverfront property, the view directly across the river is pretty much garbage. I'm not sure how much they would want to maximize views of the river when just beyond is a sea of train tracks. Given that, I wonder if they wouldn't want to try to cut an inlet in from the river (an homage to the original path of the river), treat that as their "riverfront", and use tall landscaping to hide the industrial wasteland beyond. Mocked up below:
  2. Holding the corner of Clark and Roosevelt would be very important for integrating the development with the neighborhood and not feeling like a suburban, auto-centric thing-in-a-park project. The elevated grade of Roosevelt, the Clark underpass, and the Metra tracks pose a huge obstacle to this, however. To tightly hold that corner they'd need the city to rework the whole intersection most likely.
  3. The Metra tracks abutting Clark for almost the whole property will also be a constraint, since it all but restricts pedestrian and auto ingress/egress and forces an ugly buffer between any kind of development and the street. No street/sidewalk activation whatsoever.
  4. If built tall enough, the eastern side of a building here could have a lake view. This wouldn't be guaranteed indefinitely, but the nature of Dearnborn Park residences would mark it fairly unlikely for the heights of the immediate neighboring blocks to change very drastically, creating a pretty optimal skyline view situation to NW, N, NE, and E directions.




CMK, I will accept credit for inspiration in the form of money.
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  #66  
Old Posted May 12, 2018, 2:34 PM
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that site is just gigantic
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  #67  
Old Posted May 12, 2018, 4:31 PM
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Originally Posted by wierdaaron View Post
Here’s a post I made about this site 4 (grumblegrumble) years ago when the deal was just being made:

������������������������������



CMK, I will accept credit for inspiration in the form of money.
I don't remember if I saw that image years ago but I've had similar thoughts about the site. I think it would neat to build a small spur-canal to increase water frontage. Won't happen as it would be unneeded infrastructure expense but would be cool anyhow.
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  #68  
Old Posted May 12, 2018, 4:45 PM
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Last night's speakers said they'd done preliminary engineering and found the new CTA station to be feasible. Listening between the lines, I heard concepts that sounded similar to our previous discussion. I doubt that any DPII demolition would be required. I just quickly sketched in a box for the station without looking at platform dimensions. I don't know if one end of the platforms would need to be dug beneath the townhomes or park, but I suspect the original grant of subsurface rights went beyond the width of the current tunnel. Obviously it's easier to do it cut-and-cover mostly west of Clark, with only the station headhouse on the site of the current substation. Enquist mentioned the possibility of partially daylighting the station. My sketch with a 550-foot platform:


I asked about funding and the official response was encouraging but noncommittal. After the meeting, a Related official I know told me that the picture is probably much more certain than they wanted to say publicly. Related will be putting in place a new TIF (the current one expires at the end of the year).
Thanks for details. I wanted to attend the meeting but had a previous commitment.

I just posted my thoughts in the transit thread, but they are essentially the same that you posted, minus the helpful graphic.

Obviously the further west of Clark the station box is placed, the better for Related, as it brings the station entrances closer to their site and reduces the impacts to Dearborn Park homes and Cottontail Park. Of course, it also brings the end of the platform closer to the point where the tracks start to curve and slope upward, but I'm sure there is a sweet spot somewhere where a 500' platform can be built.

Encouraging to hear that not only does Related plan a TIF for their site, but that it is expected to produce enough money for the new subway station and other infrastructure.
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  #69  
Old Posted May 12, 2018, 5:57 PM
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^I wouldn't say that's a sure thing yet. I'm sure they'll extend or reinstate a TIF district, but I don't know if it will be limited to the site or just how much money it will throw off. I'm sure the first claim will be for the streets/sewer/water lines, riverwalk and park grading, and Metra relocation. A new Red Line station will almost certainly require money from some other pot.
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  #70  
Old Posted May 13, 2018, 2:34 PM
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Looking up something else entirely, I came across my fantasy site plan from 2002:



So you can see why I like pretty much everything about this new plan except the name.
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  #71  
Old Posted May 13, 2018, 7:35 PM
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Personally, for a development like this, I think people should be much more concerned with the urban form and pedestrian environment than the height of the tallest tower. There are several 1,000 foot proposals in Chicago at this very moment. But fine grained urbanism on a massive scale with a blank canvas is the harder thing to achieve.
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  #72  
Old Posted May 14, 2018, 3:21 AM
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Personally, for a development like this, I think people should be much more concerned with the urban form and pedestrian environment than the height of the tallest tower. There are several 1,000 foot proposals in Chicago at this very moment. But fine grained urbanism on a massive scale with a blank canvas is the harder thing to achieve.
This will not be fine-grained. Best case scenario is that it succeeds as a transit-oriented office destination like Canary Wharf on a smaller scale, with high-quality architecture and public spaces. Fine-grained can't really be achieved these days.. it cuts against everything we know about economies of scale. I've thought about this, and I feel like it's not possible under the current dynamic of city government and developer.

First, a fine-grained neighborhood has a grid of small blocks or an otherwise tight, connective pattern of streets. A street grid has lots of total street length, most of which will be lightly-used by design. Back in the 1800s when a street was just a strip of dirt devoid of buildings, it wasn't a big deal to put in a street grid - it was a loss of developable land, but improved the value of all the subdivided parcels by ensuring access. Today, when a large parcel has new streets platted, city governments require not just a "strip of dirt devoid of buildings", but new roadbed, curbs, sidewalks, sewers, water mains, fire hydrants, street lighting, and trees. In a downtown development, add in duct banks for underground power and telecommunications. All that stuff is very expensive.

The city, of course, expects the developer to pay for all of this, which means we can't use the model from the 1800s, where one landowner subdivides the land into parcels and plots "imaginary" streets with no physical infrastructure, then sells the subdivided parcels to a patchwork quilt of different builders. That's how we got "fine-grained urbanism" back then. However, under that scenario, the city had to pick up the tab for all the above-ground and below-ground infrastructure that comprised "the street", as those systems were refined and became demanded by taxpayers.

Today, though, we expect our governments to keep taxes low and extract as much as possible from developers, so it's not surprising when those developers choose site plans that minimize costly new streets and propose a series of large buildings that can be built efficiently over time, in sync with economic cycles, that nevertheless deliver the maximum financial returns possible given the constraints of the site.

With that being said - there are still some opportunities for fine-grained urbanism under the current paradigm. Certainly most of the city has fine-grained already baked in, since the land is already platted, but for large sites, I actually really like townhouse developments (rowhouses), as done in Chicago at least. Townhouses by design are compact, so the scale of the development is automatically fine-grained, and all the public spaces and circulation spaces in a townhouse development are private, so they don't have to built to the costly city standards. The inherent efficiencies of a townhouse project also make them friendly to developer proformas when larger midrise buildings are not allowed by community input/zoning. Controversial opinion maybe, but Willow Court in Bucktown is one of my favorite large-scale developments in the city.
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Last edited by ardecila; May 14, 2018 at 3:31 AM.
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  #73  
Old Posted May 14, 2018, 4:00 AM
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Originally Posted by ardecila View Post
...
First, a fine-grained neighborhood has a grid of small blocks or an otherwise tight, connective pattern of streets. A street grid has lots of total street length, most of which will be lightly-used by design. Back in the 1800s when a street was just a strip of dirt devoid of buildings, it wasn't a big deal to put in a street grid - it was a loss of developable land, but improved the value of all the subdivided parcels by ensuring access. Today, when a large parcel has new streets platted, city governments require not just a "strip of dirt devoid of buildings", but new roadbed, curbs, sidewalks, sewers, water mains, fire hydrants, street lighting, and trees. In a downtown development, add in duct banks for underground power and telecommunications. All that stuff is very expensive.
...
Your comments remind me of this article about Omaha:

Quote:
Omaha’s Answer to Costly Potholes? Go Back to Gravel Roads

OMAHA — After living more than 40 years along a road plagued by potholes, Jo Anne Amoura was excited to see city crews shred her block of Leavenworth Street into gravel.

“I thought, ‘Oh my gosh, this is great. We’re going to get a new street,’” Ms. Amoura recalled. “And then we waited and waited and waited.”

Fresh pavement never arrived. Only after the asphalt had been ripped out almost three years ago did Ms. Amoura and her neighbors learn that their street had been “reclaimed,” Omaha City Hall’s euphemism for unpaving a road.

“It’s really kind of like living in the country in the city,” said Ms. Amoura, 74. Her neighbors sometimes hauled wheelbarrows full of scattered gravel back up the hill after big rainstorms. And her house, she says, is regularly smudged with dirt blowing in from the street.
...
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  #74  
Old Posted May 14, 2018, 4:41 AM
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that site is just gigantic
62 acres of land is equivalent to about 2,700,000 sq ft....

Any structures nearby that's relatively the same size?
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  #75  
Old Posted May 14, 2018, 1:29 PM
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An dense streetgrid may be a bit much to ask, but I think we should at least expect a couple of through and interconnected streets, something akin to the layout Mr. D has depicted above, as a bare minimum.

Definitely we cannot accept a Dearborn Park kind of situation.
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  #76  
Old Posted May 14, 2018, 2:02 PM
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Though I certainly hope this project will feel more open than Dearborn Park, the facts on the ground are not actually all that different. Three streets enter The 78; only one leaves. Same with Dearborn Park, except that only peds/bikes (not autos) can currently go through on the "through" street.
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  #77  
Old Posted May 14, 2018, 3:07 PM
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Originally Posted by ardecila View Post
Today, though, we expect our governments to keep taxes low and extract as much as possible from developers, so it's not surprising when those developers choose site plans that minimize costly new streets and propose a series of large buildings that can be built efficiently over time, in sync with economic cycles, that nevertheless deliver the maximum financial returns possible given the constraints of the site.
Oh man you really nailed it here. It's the failure of the people to invest in the future as much as developers really. If the public isn't willing to own its share of the future it's gong to continue to get quasi gated communities for the rich. They're pretty to look at but they don't add much to the urban fabric even if they make the skyline look great. Like i love looking at Lakeshore East but it's essentially a very, very tall suburban subdivision.
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  #78  
Old Posted May 14, 2018, 3:55 PM
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62 acres of land is equivalent to about 2,700,000 sq ft....

Any structures nearby that's relatively the same size?
The Old Post office building is 2.3-2.4 million sq ft - close enough
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  #79  
Old Posted May 14, 2018, 10:05 PM
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Originally Posted by the urban politician View Post
An dense streetgrid may be a bit much to ask, but I think we should at least expect a couple of through and interconnected streets, something akin to the layout Mr. D has depicted above, as a bare minimum.

Definitely we cannot accept a Dearborn Park kind of situation.
Agreed. I understand the existing constrains on the site, and the inability to add more north/south through streets other than Wells/Wentworth and LaSalle/Delano, but not having additional east west streets to connect to Clark (and God willing, to the rest of the South Loop once Dearborn Park can be addressed) seems foolish, and future traffic nightmare scenarios on 15th St, which is the ONLY street to connect Clark, LaSalle, and Wells to each other.

At the very minimum, 14th St should be extended from Clark all the way to Wells. Doing the same to 13th St. would be wise as well, since that will give more options for traffic to flow and disperse. Having a nearly 1/2 mile stretch of Wells with no traffic lights risk turning it into an auto-sewer as cars race along it during rush periods to get to/from downtown and neighborhoods further south.

Hopefully the planning department sees this as well, and advises Related to allow for additional east-west streets, although I'm not holding my breath...
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  #80  
Old Posted May 14, 2018, 11:27 PM
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I don't know if I'm as concerned as you on this Left_of_Center. Spending time in the South Loop and Printer's Row has taught me that there is very little vehicular traffic in that part of the city. Sure, Well st. being connected will add some, but I doubt it's enough to earn the worries you have. I think because of the suburban hell to the east of the location and industrial wasteland just on the other side of the river it'll still be shielded from much traffic. Maybe years down the line when more people know about it, it'll become a shortcut, but I'm not worried. Most people will use public transit and their feet to get there
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