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  #201  
Old Posted Nov 28, 2006, 4:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Mr Downtown
Remember the new 9th street underpass. That will be built by the city with TIF money, so it's not dependent on a particular project. Presumably the way folks will walk from Printers Row and adjacent blocks to the Roosevelt Collection will be via the new 9th Street and through the new park.
I've browsed the forum and several threads in addition to googling on this one and turned up basically nothing. I was in Chicago this Thanksgiving (beautiful weather!) and walking around the area I got a good idea of what's going on here and how far it still has to go. I was wondering if you could clarify a bit...

What's this 9th street underpass? Will this be an underpass below the Metra tracks, simply connecting between Wells and Clark? Or will this be a westward extension of the existing 9th street all the way to Clark and/or Wells? Can't imagine neighborhood residents would be too happy about that.

I've also read here about proposed new bridges over the river at Taylor and Polk. I can see how that would "open up" this area a lot, though the Dan Ryan is still a pretty huge barrier between UIC and the river. How do these new bridges fit in with this "9th street underpass" plan that you're talking about?

Thanks.
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  #202  
Old Posted Nov 29, 2006, 3:32 AM
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Ninth Street will be a new underpass under the Metra tracks, connecting Wells to Clark, and will be about 120 feet north of the old Ninth Street right-of-way east of Clark. The Metra tracks are too low for an underpass aligned with the right-of-way through Dearborn Park, and the DP residents would raise holy hell.

West of Wells, the city would like to build a Polk Street bridge in the next decade or so, but no funding has been identified.

Here's a map to help:
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  #203  
Old Posted Nov 29, 2006, 3:36 PM
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I'm not sure if anyone is interested in Rosemont development, but Le Meridien has begun construction. I'm posting this here because the building has undergone a redesign due to take-off and landing patterns around O'Hare. It now will stand 11 storeys tall, instead of the 16 listed in the main boom rundown thread, and will be shaped like a "T" instead of an "l".

Currently the escavator is digging the elevator pit and mat slab and bringing the site to grade. Mud slab will be going in Friday and the elevator core walls will start next week.

I can photo update weekly starting next week when I am fully assigned to the project. What site is good to use for the photos? I'm thinking Photobucket or Shutterfly...?
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  #204  
Old Posted Nov 29, 2006, 3:54 PM
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http://chicagobusiness.com/cgi-bin/news.pl?id=23017

Another shopping center planned for South Loop


By Eddie Baeb
Nov. 29, 2006

The burgeoning South Loop retail scene around Roosevelt Road is getting more crowded.
A venture that includes retail developer John Terzakis is planning a three-floor, 225,000-square-foot shopping center dubbed South Loop Commons north of the corner of Canal and Taylor streets.

Meanwhile, Joffco Development LLC has added Best Buy and possibly a La-Z-Boy store to a Home Depot-anchored project just south at Roosevelt and Clinton Street that’s scheduled to open early next year.

“It’s a dynamic, very hot new retail corridor that people have likened to the North Avenue-Clybourn corridor,” says Leon Joffe, president of Northbrook-based Joffco. “You’ve got major retailers coming in or looking to come in.”

South Loop Commons is scheduled to open in spring 2009, with construction beginning early next year, says Joe Parrott, a CB Richard Ellis Inc. senior vice-president who began marketing the project to retailers earlier this year and hasn’t announced any tenants.

The center, at 1001 S. Clinton St., will be built atop the foundation of an industrial building that was the headquarters and warehouse of local retailer Chernin’s Shoes Inc.

The site is across Canal from the 300,000-square-foot Southgate Market, which is scheduled to open early next year and is to include a Whole Foods Market, Linens ’n’ Things and DSW shoe store.

Two larger mixed-use retail and residential developments are also being planned along Roosevelt just east across the Chicago River.

Retailers are looking to seize on the surging population of the South Loop. The population within one mile of where South Loop Commons is planned grew more than 16% from 2000 to 2006, according to CB Richard Ellis.

The population, with an average household income of $82,933, is estimated to grow another 10.4% by 2011.

South Loop Commons is to include three floors of retail, most fronting Canal Street, and four floors of parking with a total of 464 spaces. The center is being developed by Chicago-based real estate investment firm Equibase Capital Group LLC and Mr. Terkazis’ Single Site Solutions Corp. of west suburban Willowbrook.

Equibase and Mr. Terzakis bought the old Chernin’s building for $19.8 million from Chicago-based Sterling Bay Cos. in October 2005, according to property records. Executives at Equibase and Single Site Solutions didn’t return calls seeking comment.

Mr. Joffe says Best Buy Co. signed a lease at his Joffco Square development a few months ago and that the 45,000-square-foot Best Buy store is to open in March 2008. Company spokespeople at the suburban Minneapolis-based electronics retailer didn’t return calls seeking comment.

Mr. Joffe also has a letter of intent with La-Z-Boy Inc. to lease about 15,000 square feet on the second floor above Best Buy. It would be La-Z-Boy’s second store in the city.

Monroe, Mich.-based La-Z-Boy last year acquired all 13 of its Chicago-area stores from franchisees and is looking to expand in the city and suburbs, says a company spokeswoman, declining to discuss any specific locations.
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  #205  
Old Posted Nov 29, 2006, 4:37 PM
the urban politician the urban politician is offline
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^ Well, lets hope for some good designs.

Does anybody have renderings of any of this stuff?

Regarding the development of the south loop west of Clark: am I the only one who thinks that area is just going to be a confusing hodgepodge of random-ness and dead end roads? I'm wondering of, 100 years from now (if people still exist) people will look at this and find it to be a unique and perhaps charming part of the downtown area.
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  #206  
Old Posted Nov 29, 2006, 4:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kayosthery
I'm not sure if anyone is interested in Rosemont development, but Le Meridien has begun construction. I'm posting this here because the building has undergone a redesign due to take-off and landing patterns around O'Hare. It now will stand 11 storeys tall, instead of the 16 listed in the main boom rundown thread, and will be shaped like a "T" instead of an "l".
thanks for the update, i'll get it removed from the boom rundown list.
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  #207  
Old Posted Nov 29, 2006, 4:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by the urban politician
^ Well, lets hope for some good designs.

Does anybody have renderings of any of this stuff?

Regarding the development of the south loop west of Clark: am I the only one who thinks that area is just going to be a confusing hodgepodge of random-ness and dead end roads? I'm wondering of, 100 years from now (if people still exist) people will look at this and find it to be a unique and perhaps charming part of the downtown area.
You have a point about randomness leading to charm. Not everything has to be 100% street grid to work. Printer's Row is a pretty good example of this.

But the architecture has to be good enough and responsive enough to its condition... I doubt we're building anything good enough to evolve so nicely.
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  #208  
Old Posted Nov 30, 2006, 12:40 AM
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"South Loop Commons"
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  #209  
Old Posted Nov 30, 2006, 1:35 AM
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^ Well, that second rendering looks quite nice! The first one, however...
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  #210  
Old Posted Nov 30, 2006, 2:16 AM
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  #211  
Old Posted Nov 30, 2006, 4:41 AM
the urban politician the urban politician is offline
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^ I can't say much from the rendering, but at least it's an urban design. Pardon my ignorance, but what's up with the Staples with the huge parking lot? Was that already built before or is it still planned for the future?
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  #212  
Old Posted Nov 30, 2006, 4:48 AM
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That's an existing development... within one year, I'd say. Lots and lots of mini strip malls over there now TUP.
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  #213  
Old Posted Nov 30, 2006, 5:42 AM
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Quote:
Regarding the development of the south loop west of Clark: am I the only one who thinks that area is just going to be a confusing hodgepodge of random-ness and dead end roads?
I certainly wish it could be better, but I'm not overly concerned. There actually won't be any dead ends once it's all built out, though there are a few places where the east-west streets don't line up. Roosevelt and Polk will go all the way through, as will Clark and Wells-Wentworth. The offsets in Ninth and Taylor are regrettable, but shouldn't be impossible to navigate. Remember there are similar offsets along North LaSalle Blvd or Broadway in Lakeview.

Only in the US outside New England do we think a street network is the same thing as a gridiron. So long as the network is continuous and reasonably dense, it shouldn't be unworkable.
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  #214  
Old Posted Nov 30, 2006, 3:57 PM
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Great news

I'm surprised this wasn't posted yet.... Something visionary!

Now the question is, what greatness will become of this wonderful old infrastructure. For instance, the Saint Charles Air Line bridges... if Daley's decommissioning thing happens, then does this suggest that the Air Line could be reused for pedestrian and bike traffic elevated off of the street grid? They just shamefully tore down a huge part of it over by the river for the UPS facility and the new bridge reconstruction, but that doesn't mean the rest has to go...
________________________________

Preserving a bridge to city's past
http://www.suntimes.com/news/metro/1...idge27.article
12 railroad bridges could get landmark status

November 27, 2006
BY RUMMANA HUSSAIN Staff Reporter
For decades, Chicago's hulking railroad bridges carried rumbling freight and passenger trains through the city, serving as a link that bolstered industrial and economic growth.
Twelve of these movable structures, which evolved in design as shipping needs and technology changed, were recommended for landmark status recently by the Chicago Commission on Landmarks.

"They are pretty standout structures," said Terry Tatum, director of research for the Chicago Department of Planning and Development's landmarks division.

"The city was such an important center of railroad commerce from the 1850s on that identifying structures of importance to that history was something that we wanted to do."


Works like an elevator
The oldest standing bridges considered for landmark status, which needs City Council approval, are a pair of Illinois Central Railroad bridges that stretch across the Sanitary and Ship Canal on the South Side and date to the late 1800s.
The most modern is the Chicago & Western Indiana structure on the Far South Side. It was completed in the late 1960s.

Another bridge the commission seeks to preserve is the asymmetrical 19th century Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul Railway's Bridge No. Z-2, which played a crucial role in the development of Goose Island because it was the only rail line to service industries and the freight yard there.

One of the more impressive bridges, Tatum said, is the Pennsylvania Railroad Bridge, located south of 19th and east of Lumber.

When the bridge was completed in 1914, it was considered the most innovative style of the "vertical lift" model designed by engineers John Alexander Low Waddell and John Lyle Harrington. The bridge essentially operates like an elevator as its 1,500-ton span, which is suspended between two towers, is vertically raised and lowered by cables and pulleys.


Most still functioning
Other bridges recommended for landmark status include two Lake Shore & Michigan "vertical lift" bridges and the Chicago & Alton; Chicago & Northwestern; Pennsylvania Railroad "eight track;" Chicago & Illinois Western, and St. Charles Air Line bridges.
Most of the bridges, which could get landmark status as soon as spring, are still operable.
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  #215  
Old Posted Nov 30, 2006, 4:56 PM
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The mayor's a fan of Chicago's bridges as one of the things that give Chicago its character. He quietly set this preservation effort into motion a few years ago.

As for the St Charles Air Line, the longstanding plan is to use it as a greenway connecting lakefront and riverfront. Personally, I find it worrisome to give up a potentially valuable transit right of way for a strip of parkland.

The viaduct recently demolished between the river and the UPS campus was the Baltimore & Ohio Chicago Terminal RR, not the SCAL.
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  #216  
Old Posted Dec 1, 2006, 8:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr Downtown
As for the St Charles Air Line, the longstanding plan is to use it as a greenway connecting lakefront and riverfront. Personally, I find it worrisome to give up a potentially valuable transit right of way for a strip of parkland.

The viaduct recently demolished between the river and the UPS campus was the Baltimore & Ohio Chicago Terminal RR, not the SCAL.
Thanks for correcting me. I guess I need to get more familiar with these lines.

I thought the B&O was a spur of the St. Charles Air Line. They are nearly next to each other, no, or am I confused? I don't see any mention of that great B&O bridge in the article; I hope they got it too.

I agree that the right of way should remain for transit. It seems foolish and of course these things exist without difficulty in most other Chicago neighborhoods. Frankly I don't understand why we should pay the expense to relocate this line, which appears to be for the sole reason that the South Loop is gentrifying. It doesn't seem to be much of a deterrent to development down there, and isn't it part of the charm of the area anyway?

Is the plan to demolish the structure and just make something like the "Prairie Path" on grade, or would it at least keep the elevated structure? Why waste the infrastructure and ability to give a dedicated right-of-way, even if it's just for bikes and pedestrians, rather than busses or light-rail? Surely the structure needs some repair and gaining access would be something of a challenge, but Paris and NY have managed to create very good plans for reusing these kinds of elevated tracks. Chicago should be a leader given how many of them we have to deal with, and the potential gains from doing it right.

A great network of safe, elevated, landscaped bike and pedestrian pathways throughout the city would be the envy of most every city in the world. Imagine how many would-be commuters would opt for bike transit if they were given a straight-shot means of commuting, without interference from or the perils of vehicles?
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  #217  
Old Posted Dec 1, 2006, 4:17 PM
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B&O CT and SCAL had adjacent bridges (built over dry land as the river was being rechanneled in 1927-29) and ran side-by-side from there west to at least Halsted (with a team track in between). With the railroad ROW at both ends now sold off, I'm not sure what will become of the B&OCT bridge.

As for the SCAL, I've never gotten a satisfactory answer as to why the city feels the need to move the railroad off of it. Bill Wendt sneers at "yuppies" complaining about it, but I've never been to a meeting where it was even brought up. Perhaps the trains squeal on the curve at South Y Junction, next to Central Station, and those folks complain to their mayoral neighbor.

I think the intent would be to keep it as an elevated greenway, like the Bloomingdale Trail. But the connection (further south) that would allow the railroad to abandon it is part of the still-unfunded CREATE plan. I wouldn't make plans to bike there next summer.

Quote:
Imagine how many would-be commuters would opt for bike transit if they were given a straight-shot means of commuting
Oh, about 120 more than do so now. The north and south lakefronts already have such a path, and the modal split for bikes is less than rounding error.
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  #218  
Old Posted Dec 1, 2006, 4:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr Downtown
B&O CT and SCAL had adjacent bridges (built over dry land as the river was being rechanneled in 1927-29) and ran side-by-side from there west to at least Halsted (with a team track in between). With the railroad ROW at both ends now sold off, I'm not sure what will become of the B&OCT bridge.

As for the SCAL, I've never gotten a satisfactory answer as to why the city feels the need to move the railroad off of it. Bill Wendt sneers at "yuppies" complaining about it, but I've never been to a meeting where it was even brought up. Perhaps the trains squeal on the curve at South Y Junction, next to Central Station, and those folks complain to their mayoral neighbor.

I think the intent would be to keep it as an elevated greenway, like the Bloomingdale Trail. But the connection (further south) that would allow the railroad to abandon it is part of the still-unfunded CREATE plan. I wouldn't make plans to bike there next summer.


Oh, about 120 more than do so now. The north and south lakefronts already have such a path, and the modal split for bikes is less than rounding error.
How would IC trains from the south be routed to downtown? As it is now, it's pretty cumbersome on Amtrak, which pulls forward into a yard then backs into Union Station. If they could figure out a track connection to make it a straight shot into Union Station from the south, they could shave 15 minutes off the travel time.
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  #219  
Old Posted Dec 1, 2006, 5:12 PM
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http://www.suntimes.com/news/metro/1...town01.article

Historic Uptown may get an encore at last
Interested firms large enough to restore landmark


December 1, 2006
BY DAVID ROEDER Business Reporter

The landmark Uptown Theatre, 4816 N. Broadway, has been mostly unused for 25 years. Community-based plans for a revival foundered because little but hope was behind them.

Now, the Uptown has another chance. This one involves prospective buyers with money and, maybe, a real plan for putting the huge auditorium to use.

Two companies that specialize in concert promotions and large-scale entertainment, Live Nation Inc. and AEG, have examined the property, sources said.

Greg Harris, an aide to Ald. Mary Ann Smith (48th), confirmed both companies' interest and said either or both are expected to submit a proposal in December. "These are major groups that have the financial capacity to do the job right," he said.

Harris said both would restore the 1925 building for its original use as a live performance venue.

The local aldermanic office is involved because city officials are pressuring the Uptown's owner to sell. The theater is controlled by Robert Lunn, a financial adviser forced into bankruptcy by creditors who accuse him of misusing their money.

Companies have venues here

The City Council has given Mayor Daley's administration authority to forcibly acquire the theater. Threatening condemnation was a tactic to force Lunn to accept an offer.

Harris said the city hopes a voluntary sale can be worked out. Lunn, he said, has voiced a willingness to cooperate.

Lunn did not return calls. Live Nation had no immediate comment and AEG did not respond to messages.

Live Nation bills itself as "the world's leading live entertainment company" and owns such local venues as the First Midwest Bank Amphitheatre in Tinley Park and the Alpine Valley Music Theatre in East Troy, Wis. For $354 million, Live Nation bought the House of Blues nightclub chain a month ago.

It also manages the bookings for the Charter One Pavilion on Northerly Island.

AEG owns Toyota Park in Bridgeview, home of another of its properties, the Chicago Fire, one of four Major League Soccer franchises it owns. It also owns the Los Angeles Kings hockey team and the Staples Center in Los Angeles.

Once part of thriving district

The city planning department declined to say if it has met with the companies. Spokeswoman Connie Buscemi said staffers "haven't seen any proposals yet but we look forward to doing so."

The department oversees landmark buildings and would review any zoning changes the site might need.

The Uptown was done in the Spanish Baroque style for the Balaban & Katz theater chain and anchored an entertainment district that thrived before World War II. It later showed movies and the occasional concert while suffering through a series of owners.

Lunn gained control of the building after the collapse of development ventures of a former business partner, Rudy Mulder. In 2002, Mulder was said to be offering the theater for $2.5 million.
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  #220  
Old Posted Dec 1, 2006, 6:02 PM
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GlobeSt.com Commercial Real Estate News and Property Resource
Last updated: November 30, 2006 10:46pm
JV Starts On $225M Cabrini Green Replacement
By Robert Carr
(To read more on the multifamily market, click here.)
CHICAGO-A joint venture has begun construction on the first phase of a large, roughly $225 million multifamily development that will replace a few Cabrini Green housing projects. The development, dubbed Parkside of Old Town, will have more than 760 townhomes, condos and apartments on an 18-acre parcel bordered by Seward Park and Larrabee, Division and Oak streets on Chicago’s Near North Side.

The redevelopment is part of the $1.5-billion CHA "Plan for Transformation," which has torn down high-rise public housing towers and replaced them with similar mixed-income, mixed-use neighborhoods. The high-rises that made up Cabrini Green once housed 35,000 people, but only about 1,500 people remain.

With a consent decree to form a new development partnership, the former residents have joined with two companies, Holsten Real Estate Development Corp. and Kimball Hill Urban Centers to build Parkside. Upon completion, the project will have about 20% low-income housing, 30% rental housing for current and returning Cabrini residents and 50% market rate housing and apartments.

Peter Holsten, president of the self-named firm, tells GlobeSt.com that Parkside will replace three of Cabrini’s high-rise buildings. He says the new project shouldn’t be affected by the stigma of the former buildings, pointing to a successful similar project called North Town Village, where his company manages the rental component, that had roughly the same combination of market-rate and affordable homes. That project hasn’t had much vacancy, Holsten says. “There were people who weren’t sure about it, but we’ve had an overwhelming response. If it’s a strong area, people will want to live there,” Holsten says.

He says construction has started on 280 homes, which will be townhomes priced from $499,000 and condominiums starting in the low-$200s. The company has about 100 contracts for the for-sale units, which was the catalyst for a JP Morgan Chase loan for the first phase, Holsten says. Once the firm sells another 14 units, he said construction can begin on the second condominium high-rise building.

He says financing is being arranged now, and should close in April, for the rental mid-rise building. “Each one of the phases should take about two years,” Holsten tells GlobeSt.com. “People should be moving into the first phase in the middle of next year.” Though sales of the homes generate income for the project, it is also subsidized by federal, state and local incentives.


Copyright © 2006 ALM Properties, Inc. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited.
For reprint information call 410-571-5893 or e-mail afaulkner@remedianetwork.com.
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