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  #47181  
Old Posted May 5, 2020, 3:56 PM
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Originally Posted by BuildThemTaller View Post
https://www.google.com/maps/@41.9397...7i13312!8i6656

There was a one-story building filled with suburban shops and restaurants, like Flattop Grill. There wasn't a parking lot, but it was seriously underutilized for the location. It always struck me as strip mall kind of space.
As far as strip malls go in Chicago..I'll take that old one anytime over the inverted version (an L shape with parking in the front and curb cuts...barf)

I'd post a link but we all know them too well
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  #47182  
Old Posted May 5, 2020, 4:52 PM
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Originally Posted by BuildThemTaller View Post
https://www.google.com/maps/@41.9397...7i13312!8i6656

There was a one-story building filled with suburban shops and restaurants, like Flattop Grill. There wasn't a parking lot, but it was seriously underutilized for the location. It always struck me as strip mall kind of space.
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  #47183  
Old Posted May 5, 2020, 6:10 PM
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Originally Posted by BuildThemTaller View Post
https://www.google.com/maps/@41.9397...7i13312!8i6656

There was a one-story building filled with suburban shops and restaurants, like Flattop Grill. There wasn't a parking lot, but it was seriously underutilized for the location. It always struck me as strip mall kind of space.
Usually we call these "taxpayer" buildings, and there's nothing wrong with them. In fact, I think they are a huge positive for the city since they provide cheap space for independent businesses and they do not waste any valuable space for parking. Seriously, look at past street view images and you can see a karate dojo, a knitting store, a burger/hotdog place, a dentist, a chiropractor, a hair salon, a Middle Eastern restaurant, and a pizza place. Flat Top is the only chain. Every other one is an independent business, in just one small building over a 10-year period.

The new building fills the intersection, which is nice I guess, but it only has one retail space which will likely sit vacant because the rent is too high, or lease out to a boring tenant like a bank. 2/3 of the ground floor is given over to indoor parking which is just an utter waste of space.

If you care about vibrant cities, then you need to look past appearances and focus on the function of buildings in the economy.
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  #47184  
Old Posted May 5, 2020, 9:02 PM
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Originally Posted by ardecila View Post
Usually we call these "taxpayer" buildings, and there's nothing wrong with them. In fact, I think they are a huge positive for the city since they provide cheap space for independent businesses and they do not waste any valuable space for parking. Seriously, look at past street view images and you can see a karate dojo, a knitting store, a burger/hotdog place, a dentist, a chiropractor, a hair salon, a Middle Eastern restaurant, and a pizza place. Flat Top is the only chain. Every other one is an independent business, in just one small building over a 10-year period.

The new building fills the intersection, which is nice I guess, but it only has one retail space which will likely sit vacant because the rent is too high, or lease out to a boring tenant like a bank. 2/3 of the ground floor is given over to indoor parking which is just an utter waste of space.

If you care about vibrant cities, then you need to look past appearances and focus on the function of buildings in the economy.
I do care about the urban fabric and I respectfully disagree with your position. Should there be taxpayer buildings? Sure. But not at a major intersection like this. Context is key.

A one-story building up or down Southport is totally fine and fitting with the neighborhood. But that spot, across the corner from Schubas and walkable to many busy commercial corridors needed something more dense than a one-story building and a rotating collection of business that couldn't stay open for more than 3 months. You refer to banks as a boring tenant. We need banks, and local ones like Byline. I'd rather a trendy mom-and-pop shop or restaurant open up there, but those businesses need a bank nearby to survive. Maybe the rent was too high in that building?
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  #47185  
Old Posted May 5, 2020, 9:26 PM
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It's just a shame when we lose buildings like this. No new building can possibly deliver this kind of fine-grained, dense concentration of independent shops and businesses - at least, not without going full-on Singapore or Hong Kong and building a huge mall.

The ground floor of any new building in an American city gets eaten up for other uses; parking is the biggest, but even if you can do TOD and cut the parking you still need a trash room, mail room, bike storage, loading dock, fitness room, sprinkler room, electric closet, stairwells, etc.

If you can manage to squeeze one or two retail spaces in despite all that clutter, congratulations... now you've got to find tenants. But even if you want independent businesses, your bank or your investors are still gonna want to see certain rent levels and ideally a "national credit" tenant (i.e. a chain). The only independent businesses who can open in these places are those with A++ credit scores, deep pockets and moneybags investors of their own. Forget about minority or immigrant-owned businesses. Jane Jacobs had it right when she said new ideas need old buildings... not just any old building, but those that can be rented at low rates with few limitations and used in a flexible way.

Also, turnover is to be expected with places like this, and it's not a bad thing. Businesses either succeed and move on to bigger/better spaces, or fail and clear space for the next new idea. Having that first rung on the ladder for new businesses is important, but it seems like a lot of neighborhoods have wiped out the first three rungs entirely.
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Last edited by ardecila; May 5, 2020 at 9:38 PM.
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  #47186  
Old Posted May 5, 2020, 10:06 PM
Darude_Sandstorm Darude_Sandstorm is offline
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Originally Posted by bcp View Post
As far as strip malls go in Chicago..I'll take that old one anytime over the inverted version (an L shape with parking in the front and curb cuts...barf)

I'd post a link but we all know them too well
Well said.
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  #47187  
Old Posted May 6, 2020, 12:53 AM
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  #47188  
Old Posted May 6, 2020, 1:51 AM
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Originally Posted by ardecila View Post
I believe this is Prodema... it's real wood veneer laminated to a plastic panel, and then dipped in another clear plastic resin to protect the veneer.

I was skeptical of how it would fare in Chicago's climate, but they used it at a school out in Galewood and it still looks good after almost 10 years.
Do you think the interior version of this is what will be used in Studio Gangs O'Hare redevelopment plan?
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  #47189  
Old Posted May 6, 2020, 2:24 AM
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What's the possibility of trees and greenery being installed in parking spaces along main thoroughfares like this? I live close off North Ave and have always wondered why it's so barren
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  #47190  
Old Posted May 6, 2020, 12:58 PM
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Do you think the interior version of this is what will be used in Studio Gangs O'Hare redevelopment plan?
Maybe... it's very expensive. There are a lot more options for wood or wood-like interior finishes, since they don't need to stand up to weather, insects, UV light, etc.

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Originally Posted by Toasty Joe View Post
What's the possibility of trees and greenery being installed in parking spaces along main thoroughfares like this? I live close off North Ave and have always wondered why it's so barren
Don't hold your breath. They "widened" the sidewalks on Fullerton and this is the most we got, CDOT can't get rid of parking in many places due to the meter lease. They did squeeze an extra 2.5' of sidewalk on each side and add some trees and pretty brick but the street still feels like it's mostly asphalt... and the sidewalks are always narrow at signaled intersections, the road gets wider with a left turn lane so it pinches the sidewalk.

Before:
https://www.google.com/maps/place/14...!4d-87.6635404

After:
https://www.google.com/maps/place/14...!4d-87.6635404
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Last edited by ardecila; May 6, 2020 at 1:30 PM.
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  #47191  
Old Posted May 6, 2020, 5:44 PM
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Originally Posted by ardecila View Post
Don't hold your breath. They "widened" the sidewalks on Fullerton and this is the most we got, CDOT can't get rid of parking in many places due to the meter lease. They did squeeze an extra 2.5' of sidewalk on each side and add some trees and pretty brick but the street still feels like it's mostly asphalt... and the sidewalks are always narrow at signaled intersections, the road gets wider with a left turn lane so it pinches the sidewalk.

Before:
https://www.google.com/maps/place/14...!4d-87.6635404

After:
https://www.google.com/maps/place/14...!4d-87.6635404
Aesthetically, that's actually not bad imho. If the bike lane was moved curbside I'd say it would actually be a great improvement. Unfortunately the redo resulted in less breathing room for bikers... I bet it's a lot more common for cars park to a couple inches the bike lane now.
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  #47192  
Old Posted May 7, 2020, 5:03 PM
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Alderman lifts ban on Fulton Market residential projects
Ald. Walter Burnett hopes the change will help maintain neighborhood's momentum during the pandemic slowdown.
https://www.chicagobusiness.com/comm...ntial-projects
Quote:
Near West Side Ald. Walter Burnett is scrapping a long-standing ban on new residential projects in most of the Fulton Market District, a move he hopes will stoke development while the coronavirus crisis cripples the real estate sector.

After years of developers pleading with him to change the policy, the 27th Ward boss said today he will no longer automatically oppose construction of new residential buildings north of Lake Street in the former meatpacking district. Burnett has consistently blocked such plans in the northern portion of the gritty-turned-trendy corporate corridor and reserved that historically industrial section of the neighborhood for commercial use...

Developers have warned that requirements for including more affordable units into projects will keep investors away and stunt new development the city wants.

Burnett said developers have told him they would agree to making 20 percent of residential units affordable if he lifted his ban, higher than the citywide 10 percent requirement.
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  #47193  
Old Posted May 8, 2020, 1:24 AM
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Originally Posted by Darude_Sandstorm View Post
Well said.
Every time I drive Clybourn between North and Webster I get deja vu because there are three of these such strip malls and I’m pretty sure they all have a Mattress Firm.
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  #47194  
Old Posted May 8, 2020, 2:51 PM
west-town-brad west-town-brad is online now
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Originally Posted by ChiPlanner View Post
Alderman lifts ban on Fulton Market residential projects
Ald. Walter Burnett hopes the change will help maintain neighborhood's momentum during the pandemic slowdown.
https://www.chicagobusiness.com/comm...ntial-projects
whats the status on the PMD over there? I know it was changed but does this all now mean that there could be in time a continuous residential neighborhood from the west loop to west town?
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  #47195  
Old Posted May 8, 2020, 3:36 PM
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whats the status on the PMD over there? I know it was changed but does this all now mean that there could be in time a continuous residential neighborhood from the west loop to west town?
The PMD was repealed east of Ogden in 2017 and replaced with regular M zoning, opening the door for developer zoning changes on a case-by case basis. That section of the PMD lay in a strip between Carroll and Hubbard, roughly, and and between Ogden and Halsted in the east-west direction. South of Carroll (any properties on Fulton Market itself, or Lake) have never been part of a PMD, they are just regular M zoning, which again can be changed by developers on a case-by-case basis.

The "ban" that Burnett just lifted for residential north of Lake was never rooted in the zoning map, it was just an unofficial policy that Burnett adopted where he wouldn't support any zoning changes to residential in that area. Technically that area is still part of an "industrial corridor" which is not a binding zoning designation, but I think Burnett was concerned about new residents conflicting with the remaining industrial users in the area. He doesn't want to field angry calls from Becky and Chad about the trucks idling on their street or the smells from the meatpackers. I'm sure the plan all along has been to ease up on the ban at some point, as industrial users continue to move out... the pandemic just provided an opening.

Between Ogden and Ashland the PMD was downgraded into a "PMD lite" which allows midrise office but never residential or hotel.

So, yes, there could be continuous residential from West Loop NORTH to West Town in the Grand/Ogden area, but west of Ogden the industrial corridor and PMD will remain.

Also worth noting is that we're in a census year; parts or all of the West Loop may soon end up in a different ward with a less development-friendly alderman. Certainly the rapid growth of downtown-adjacent areas (River North, West Loop, South Loop) would suggest that a second and/or third "downtown ward" should be created so the (mostly white) residents of these areas aren't represented by black & Latino aldermen whose power base is miles away.
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Last edited by ardecila; May 8, 2020 at 4:00 PM.
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  #47196  
Old Posted May 8, 2020, 4:23 PM
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Watching the livestream plan commission meeting, the pushback against the Woodlawn Plan Consolidation Report by Ald. Taylor...good Lord.
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  #47197  
Old Posted May 8, 2020, 4:35 PM
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Watching the livestream plan commission meeting, the pushback against the Woodlawn Plan Consolidation Report by Ald. Taylor...good Lord.
Same, waiting for tribune east tower, and BMO tower.
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  #47198  
Old Posted May 9, 2020, 1:59 AM
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  #47199  
Old Posted May 9, 2020, 2:34 PM
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  #47200  
Old Posted May 9, 2020, 3:53 PM
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Definitely one of the better re-habs.
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