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  #181  
Old Posted Jun 3, 2020, 3:34 PM
west-town-brad west-town-brad is offline
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Originally Posted by ardecila View Post
There will always be people who find the idea of a casino controversial, so the tendency is to put the casino in a site that's empty, unwanted and far from existing businesses or residents. If it fails, it doesn't cast a pall on surrounding areas and it can be developed into something else later.

Not saying that's right approach for success, but it's certainly the politically easiest approach. Put it in Motor Row, you're dealing with the PDNA people and the South lakefront Black community, neither of which want to be next to gambling. Both Ald. Dowell and Ald. King were clear that they don't want a casino anywhere in their wards.

I do think a casino could be integrated into The 78 and have a successful neighborhood grow up around it, assuming the casino is compact and well-designed. You might even be able to dedicate the casino revenue to The 78's infrastructure needs and let the TIF expire, kill two political birds with one stone.
Yes perhaps but the report outlines in detail 8-10 U.S. based casinos that followed the politically easiest approach directly into financial failure and resulting in very few jobs and tax revenue.
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  #182  
Old Posted Jun 3, 2020, 6:40 PM
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Did you read the same report I did? It takes pains to note that even the "urban failure" casinos still contributed plenty of jobs and tax revenue to local governments, and also notes that urban regeneration is not always the top priority of local officials. When casinos do fail, it's usually because of competition.

I was not aware of the Cleveland Horseshoe casino (now JACK Casino) before reading that report... I didn't think of old department stores as potential casino sites, but they do have the huge floorplates, tall ceilings and sit smack-dab in central business districts. Macy's is the obvious choice given that they're downsizing the store, but they're already committed the upper floors to office space.

I wonder if the Leiter II building would work (aka former Robert Morris College)? RMC got kicked out so it's vacant right now. It's right on Congress (easy highway access), there is a big adjacent empty site on Wabash for a parking garage or hotel expansion, and it's next to multiple transit lines. It's about a 60,000sf floorplate, so just 2 levels of that building used as a gaming floor would put it up with the big boys in Vegas. There are other dining/entertainment/hotel options within easy walking distance, but not right next door. There's also the option to expand on the Pritzker Park site across State.

Thompson Center is another possibility as many have noted, but it's such a weird building I don't see a lot of casino operators signing onto that. At least with Leiter, there is a successful precedent with the Cleveland casino.
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  #183  
Old Posted Jun 4, 2020, 3:59 AM
TR Devlin TR Devlin is offline
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"… working with the developer, government should identify a zone within the city that would be designated as an entertainment/commercial development zone. This zone would have within it certain qualities that assure compatibility with surrounding businesses such as restaurants, nightclubs, hotels and theaters. The zone would also be near both mass transit and the region’s highways and the site should be of sufficient size to support a gaming enterprise. An urban casino stands the greatest chance of success when it is located on a site that is mutually compatible with surrounding businesses. "
IMO, the area in Chicago that best fits the description in the paragraph above is the area bounded roughly by Randolph, LaSalle, Oak St and Fairbanks/Columbus. A couple possible sites for a casino come to mind, including the block bounded by Wabash, Illinois, Hubbard and Rush, but I think the best site would be the Thompson Center. Because it’s a great building that’s begging to be restored and repurposed.

Helmut Jahn has a couple proposals to do this, none of which include a casino. Here’s a link to his latest, which includes retail, offices, a hotel and apartments. It's fairly detailed; for example, showing the floor plan for 55 hotel rooms on the 14th floor. The office space is shown on floors three thru eight, which I think is enough space for a casino.

Ardecila:
The Leiter’s an interesting idea. Another opportunity to repurpose a large old building (I remember when it was Sears) and much better than an “island model” development. But still, the area around Leiter is not as tourist-attractive as the North Loop and River North.

Last edited by TR Devlin; Jun 4, 2020 at 9:48 PM.
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  #184  
Old Posted Jun 4, 2020, 2:38 PM
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I have identified some areas that I have highlighted with colors, such as possible places to build the casino.



In the Blue area there would be room for a large casino plus a 2,000 ft observatory tower.

The Red and Yellow areas could only are the places for the casino, while the Green area could be built the 2,000 ft observatory tower with restaurants and observation points for tourists.
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  #185  
Old Posted Jun 4, 2020, 3:47 PM
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rgarri4 rgarri4 is online now
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Originally Posted by TR Devlin View Post
.

Helmut Jahn has a couple proposals to do this, none of which include a casino. Here’s a link to his latest, which includes retail, offices, a hotel and apartments. It's fairly detailed; for example, showing the floor plan for 55 hotel rooms on the 14th floor. The office space is shown on floors three thru eight, which I think is more than enough space for a casino.
This looks really cool. Attach his proposed super tall addition and its golden. Just for the love of God, update the color scheme.
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  #186  
Old Posted Jun 4, 2020, 4:18 PM
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Why does it have to be one giant casino? If we are talking about integrating into some zone why not break it up and have one operator with several small casinos in buildings that fit well within the context of the zone?
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  #187  
Old Posted Jun 4, 2020, 4:43 PM
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Why does it have to be one giant casino? If we are talking about integrating into some zone why not break it up and have one operator with several small casinos in buildings that fit well within the context of the zone?
I'm not a gambler and I think people who go to casinos are just throwing their money away for a very fleeting experience, but there's something alluring about a larger casino. The bigger, the grander, the more prestigious it feels and gives the sense that one is more likely to win big. The smaller public gambling establishments are, the more shady they feel. Just my opinions.
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  #188  
Old Posted Jun 4, 2020, 5:19 PM
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Originally Posted by TR Devlin View Post
The Leiter’s an interesting idea. Another opportunity to repurpose a large old building (I remember when it was Sears) and much better than an “island model” development. But still, the area around Leiter is not as tourist-attractive as the North Loop and River North.
My take after reading the report is that planners should really look for a sweet spot where the casino operator can still make some money with on-site dining and entertainment, but other offerings in the neighborhood provide visitors with options. Not a full island, but kind of a hybrid. That's how the Vegas strip works, after all - people can hop from casino to casino, or they can stay on one casino's premises the entire time. Having the choice makes the casino appealing to the widest variety of visitors.

If you put a casino in River North on, say, the Fort Dearborn post office site, why would you ever eat inside the casino when you're surrounded by amazing restaurants? Why would you stay at the casino when the area already is chock-full of hotels at every price level and style? That was, as the report noted, the issue with the New Orleans Harrah's casino for the first few years, where the operator was not allowed to provide dining, lodging or entertainment... the casino really needs to offer more than just gambling to meet the financial goals of the operators and the city/state. If you put the casino in an area where the operator can't realistically compete on these things, it's just the same as banning them from providing it.

It's a shame the Chicago casino wasn't getting off the ground 3-4 years ago, they could have really jumped on the food hall trend before Time Out, Wells Street, etc. I still think there's room for innovation there if you could find a way to do small plates (under $5) and encourage people to sample.
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  #189  
Old Posted Jun 10, 2020, 12:43 PM
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I would be surprised if this casino is located anywhere other than the most inappropriate location that pisses off everyone involved -- residents, city officials, gamblers, employees, etc...

My only experience with a downtown casino is the Harris in New Orleans. It's perfectly located between downtown and the French Quarter. It just adds to the fun of the city. A night on the town for residents and visors alike could involve a dinner in the warehouse district, a few rounds of slots or blackjack at the casino, and a nightcap at a bar in the Quarter. All within walking distance of each other. The casino has the effect of adding to the fabric of the experience and not an island onto itself.

Any other city with a casino within its borders always is on the fringe of the city, accessible by car only, or in a shady part of town that no one feels safe to venture around. If there is going to be a casino, why not integrate it into a neighborhood and have it as part of the nightlife attraction.
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  #190  
Old Posted Jun 10, 2020, 12:44 PM
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Originally Posted by ardecila View Post
My take after reading the report is that planners should really look for a sweet spot where the casino operator can still make some money with on-site dining and entertainment, but other offerings in the neighborhood provide visitors with options. Not a full island, but kind of a hybrid. That's how the Vegas strip works, after all - people can hop from casino to casino, or they can stay on one casino's premises the entire time. Having the choice makes the casino appealing to the widest variety of visitors.

If you put a casino in River North on, say, the Fort Dearborn post office site, why would you ever eat inside the casino when you're surrounded by amazing restaurants? Why would you stay at the casino when the area already is chock-full of hotels at every price level and style? That was, as the report noted, the issue with the New Orleans Harrah's casino for the first few years, where the operator was not allowed to provide dining, lodging or entertainment... the casino really needs to offer more than just gambling to meet the financial goals of the operators and the city/state. If you put the casino in an area where the operator can't realistically compete on these things, it's just the same as banning them from providing it.
Wow - I somehow missed your post when I made mine. This is exactly how I feel too.
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  #191  
Old Posted Jun 10, 2020, 1:47 PM
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Seems to me the most logical area for a Chicago casino would be in the McCormick Place Convention Center area.That vicinity already has a convention center, an arena , new hotels and access to major highways and LSD. Also this location is not far from the Museum district, the lakefront and Soldier Field. I admit that the area lacks quality restaurants but with the presence of a casino and the traffic it would bring that would probably be rectified. Another hidden plus for this area is that it is pretty much confined to commercial use and would have minimal effect on the residential community.
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  #192  
Old Posted Jun 10, 2020, 2:28 PM
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^It would be great if it went in the vacant base of the Trump Tower.
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  #193  
Old Posted Jun 10, 2020, 10:12 PM
rivernorthlurker rivernorthlurker is offline
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Originally Posted by skysoar View Post
Seems to me the most logical area for a Chicago casino would be in the McCormick Place Convention Center area.That vicinity already has a convention center, an arena , new hotels and access to major highways and LSD. Also this location is not far from the Museum district, the lakefront and Soldier Field. I admit that the area lacks quality restaurants but with the presence of a casino and the traffic it would bring that would probably be rectified. Another hidden plus for this area is that it is pretty much confined to commercial use and would have minimal effect on the residential community.
This is IMO by far the most logical choice for all the reasons above. Also sports + casino should go together well, especially if there is sports betting on site which there will be.
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  #194  
Old Posted Jun 10, 2020, 10:14 PM
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Originally Posted by skysoar View Post
Seems to me the most logical area for a Chicago casino would be in the McCormick Place Convention Center area.That vicinity already has a convention center, an arena , new hotels and access to major highways and LSD. Also this location is not far from the Museum district, the lakefront and Soldier Field. I admit that the area lacks quality restaurants but with the presence of a casino and the traffic it would bring that would probably be rectified. Another hidden plus for this area is that it is pretty much confined to commercial use and would have minimal effect on the residential community.
Fairly close to Guaranteed Rate Field and Chinatown too, so that's a solid bonus
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  #195  
Old Posted Jun 10, 2020, 10:53 PM
LouisVanDerWright LouisVanDerWright is offline
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^It would be great if it went in the vacant base of the Trump Tower.
There is nowhere near enough space in there and its massively chopped up by enormous collums that you obviously can't move...

Any casino needs a huge open main floor like the bottom of Thomson Center or McCormick Place East.
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  #196  
Old Posted Jun 11, 2020, 6:28 PM
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There is nowhere near enough space in there and its massively chopped up by enormous collums that you obviously can't move...

Any casino needs a huge open main floor like the bottom of Thomson Center or McCormick Place East.
Yeah, those storefronts are tiny
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  #197  
Old Posted Jun 11, 2020, 9:16 PM
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McCormick Place Convention Center area



Yes, the McCormick Place Convention Center area could be a good position. The casino could also be located above McCormick Place East or beyond it.

Instead the four blocks close to McCormick Place Convention Center (Motor Row district, etc.) could be the ideal place for new hotels, restaurants and shops.

Finally, a large hotel and the 2,000 ft observatory tower could be built on the South Parking area.
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  #198  
Old Posted Jun 12, 2020, 2:24 PM
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McCormick Place Convention Center area

Finally, a large hotel and the 2,000 ft observatory tower could be built on the South Parking area. [/SIZE]
Out of curiosity - you seem to be a big fan of a 2000 ft observation tower. Why?
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  #199  
Old Posted Jun 12, 2020, 9:22 PM
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Out of curiosity - you seem to be a big fan of a 2000 ft observation tower. Why?
Because I like the idea of a 2,000ft tower that can finally change the city skyline. In addition, the tower and casino would attract many tourists. It would become the new symbol of the city. Who would not like to have lunch and enjoy at the same time a breathtaking panorama of the city and the lake from a height of 1,600ft?
Also consider that such a tower would cost much less than a skyscraper of the same size. The construction of a large casino could represent a good possibility to finally build a 2,000 ft tower, which otherwise the builders or the city would hardly want to build.
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  #200  
Old Posted Jun 13, 2020, 12:09 AM
RedCorsair87 RedCorsair87 is offline
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If we are wish-listing, I vote for a 1600ft tower, but it needs to be in the heart of the Loop. Anything taller than Sears is going to look ridiculous that far south (McCormick). Thompson is the perfect spot for one aesthetically and for a casino.

My $.02
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