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  #81  
Old Posted Jan 31, 2018, 2:19 AM
IrishIllini IrishIllini is offline
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Originally Posted by ardecila View Post
I still think this doesn’t belong here. The podium is admittedly well-designed, with an attractive facade and no parking visible (looks like a bit of office space as a liner).

However, I think it’s too important for Chicago to have a bonafide midrise neighborhood, with 2-4 story buildings mixed in. The city even put in the planning effort to make that happen. For various reasons, we’re unlikely to build this kind of environment anywhere else for the foreseeable future... Dearborn Park forced the South Loop into a total highrise development pattern, and River North/Streeterville are already full of highrises. Industrial areas along the river could be developed as midrise, but those areas have large lots and a very flawed street grid so they’ll never develop the same urban patterns.

What they should do is move this one to the Randolph/Halsted site behind Haymarket, as a proper architectural beacon for the main “entrance” of West Loop.
I agree for the most part. Chicago definitely needs a midrise neighborhood. What's happening in the West Loop is exciting to watch and is nothing like any other part of the city. That said, I think it's inevitable that more height finds its way into the West Loop.

I do think there are real opportunities along the river. It's close enough to downtown to warrant higher densities, but far enough from the core and lake (you're not getting lake views here unless you're talking 500+ ft, not happening) to discourage any serious height proposals. I don't think the street grid will be a hindrance. If anything it would make for a more interesting neighborhood IMO. The streets along both the north and south branch are mostly connected to the larger grid, although there are some quirks. The biggest obstacle for the areas along the river is transit. Funny enough, the south branch seems better equipped for transit improvements than the north branch. I wouldn't be surprised if someone high up at Sterling Bay was in Rahm's ear pushing for CTA service (minimally a bus, preferably below grade rail) along Clybourn.
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  #82  
Old Posted Jan 31, 2018, 3:28 AM
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I don't think one or two highrises will destroy the midrise aesthetic of the West Loop, much in the same way that 10 to 12 story buildings in the Loop proper don't take away from the highrise feel of the Loop. Variety is a good thing, and having one or two tall towers break the monotony of the 8 to 10 story canopy in the West Loop would be a good thing over all. Just look at the Landmark. I think it fits in very well with its surroundings.

I also think marothisu is right, this is merely to freak people out and then placate them with the *real* proposal, which would be roughly 30 to 35 stories. Its an efficient way to get what they want from a historically NIMBY neighborhood.
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  #83  
Old Posted Jan 31, 2018, 3:45 AM
230Roberto 230Roberto is offline
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Can anyone post any renderings i can't seem to find any

Edit:NVM
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  #84  
Old Posted Jan 31, 2018, 4:07 AM
LouisVanDerWright LouisVanDerWright is offline
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Originally Posted by Kngkyle View Post
It's insane just how many projects Related has their hands on in Chicago. They must be by-far the biggest developer in the city over the past decade and with what they have in the pipeline I don't see that changing for the next decade.
Nope, Magellan by a long shot (and thank god, their work is far better). Magellan did Coast, Hojo Tower, Gino's Tower, WPW, WPE, Vista, and I think a few others since the recession. That's not to mention all the other towers in LSE they built before the crash.


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Originally Posted by ardecila View Post
I still think this doesn’t belong here. The podium is admittedly well-designed, with an attractive facade and no parking visible (looks like a bit of office space as a liner).

However, I think it’s too important for Chicago to have a bonafide midrise neighborhood, with 2-4 story buildings mixed in. The city even put in the planning effort to make that happen. For various reasons, we’re unlikely to build this kind of environment anywhere else for the foreseeable future... Dearborn Park forced the South Loop into a total highrise development pattern, and River North/Streeterville are already full of highrises. Industrial areas along the river could be developed as midrise, but those areas have large lots and a very flawed street grid so they’ll never develop the same urban patterns.

What they should do is move this one to the Randolph/Halsted site behind Haymarket, as a proper architectural beacon for the main “entrance” of West Loop.
Screw that, let the market turn this into another River North. We already got a huge crop of midrises here, let's infill with even more density. We can build Midrises all the way to Oak Park in the shell of Garfield Park and Austin. I think crushing density is totally appropriate for the Lake Street corridor. This area is becoming more Loop like by the day. The "vendor village" over by McDonalds HQ is already going to be like 200'+ and that's halfway done. The other H2O site and Bridgeford food site are also 20 story plus buildings. This area is going UP and that's the way it should go. IF Chicago lands Amazon, Google, and/or Apple or any other major corporate relocations (even from our own suburbs) we are going to need the space.
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  #85  
Old Posted Jan 31, 2018, 4:39 AM
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Originally Posted by LouisVanDerWright View Post
Screw that, let the market turn this into another River North. We already got a huge crop of midrises here, let's infill with even more density. We can build Midrises all the way to Oak Park in the shell of Garfield Park and Austin. I think crushing density is totally appropriate for the Lake Street corridor. This area is becoming more Loop like by the day. The "vendor village" over by McDonalds HQ is already going to be like 200'+ and that's halfway done. The other H2O site and Bridgeford food site are also 20 story plus buildings. This area is going UP and that's the way it should go. IF Chicago lands Amazon, Google, and/or Apple or any other major corporate relocations (even from our own suburbs) we are going to need the space.
Hopefully if West Loop turns into River North 2.0 (which it probably will), hopefully it can be a more interesting place to hang out by then than River North.
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  #86  
Old Posted Jan 31, 2018, 5:01 AM
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That entirely depends on how much of the historic building stock the neighborhood retains. River North used to be a warehouse neighborhood too, but it all got demolished due to urban renewal, and then due to redevelopment pressure in the 90's.

The real test for the West Loop will be what happens once all the empty lots and nondescript 1 story industrial buildings have been leveled and redeveloped. I'm hoping the mistakes of the past won't be repeated...
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  #87  
Old Posted Jan 31, 2018, 6:08 AM
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Notes from the meeting

Related Midwest + Tucker Development
Stantec is AOR

300 units, condos
10 buildings preserved and restored
Retail at ground level
570'/51 floors
300 parking
Targeting LEED Gold
Bonus payment of ~$4.9 million
60 minimum affordable units

15' tower setback from Peoria (above podium)
4 story podium with terrace, podium aligns to streetwall. All active space hiding parking
Steel, aluminum brick and glass exterior
Emphasis on depth in facade

Taller and thinner to maximize solar access

-----

The design is great, I wish it would go forward as is, albeit with a reduced parking ratio. I foresee the West Loop becoming a dounut with a mid-rise center and high-rise edges, and I'm excitied at the prospect. I understand the desire for a mid-rise neighborhood, but honestly there is plenty of opportunity for that farther west and also in the lakefront neighborhoods where such development is already occurring.
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  #88  
Old Posted Jan 31, 2018, 6:23 AM
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Originally Posted by bcp View Post
It's interesting to read that there is some inherent need for a (mostly) midrise hood...or that they don't already exist.

Besides acting as a buffer and transition to urban residential areas... whats driving the belief that we must have them?
Highrise neighborhoods have quite a few downsides. The highrises limit the light that reached ground level. The buildings are massively expensive to build and maintain, so condo ownership (or rents) tend to rule out all but the wealthiest folks. For whatever reason, certain kinds of people (especially parents with children) often reject highrise living even if they might be open to a midrise or a 2-flat/3-flat. Midrise neighborhoods don't have these downsides to the same degree, but still provide density levels high enough to allow the neighborhood to be truely walkable, with amenities in short walking distance in every direction.

Basically, offering true midrise neighborhoods helps increase the "menu" of different living options that Chicago offers, which means the city is attractive to more people. Look at European cities, not the core areas but the actual neighborhoods where middle-class folks live... often these are midrise neighborhoods that have stood the test of time.

Unfortunately our zoning code has a "downtown area" where highrises are explicitly encouraged, and neighborhood zoning outside of that where anything above four stories is essentially banned. There's not really a way for a midrise neighborhood to spring up outside of the downtown area, and this is basically the only neighborhood within the downtown area that hasn't already been overrun by highrises. If we had a more organic process where, say, Wicker Park or Lakeview could slowly grow into a forest of midrises and the process continuing outward, the West Loop wouldn't be so precious, but that's not the system we live under...
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  #89  
Old Posted Jan 31, 2018, 8:40 AM
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Love it. Don't drink the West Loop Nimby Kool-Aid. This idea that no high-rise should exist west of Halsted was always nimby BS. It's right by the L a few blocks from Halsted. It's not going to ruin the mid-rise vernacular of the neighborhood. It's one building by a very thoughtful experienced architect. It probably won't be that tall in the end but really why shouldn't it be? The idea of this area staying a mid-rise utopia forever is unsustainable. Development around here is happening so fast and land is getting snatched up so quickly. If we don't start building up there will be nothing left soon. This is being presented now because there are people out there that understand the future of the city and the need to take advantage of the opportunity this neighborhood currently represents. It's not going to last forever.
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  #90  
Old Posted Jan 31, 2018, 1:43 PM
Skyguy_7 Skyguy_7 is offline
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Originally Posted by Kngkyle View Post
Love it. Looks to be inspired by Morris Adjmi AND the L

Doesn't even seem too out of place when looking East, juxtaposed with the skyline.
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  #91  
Old Posted Jan 31, 2018, 2:20 PM
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Originally Posted by marothisu View Post
Hopefully if West Loop turns into River North 2.0 (which it probably will), hopefully it can be a more interesting place to hang out by then than River North.
I’m in favor of preserving whatever we can, but otherwise River North 2.0 or bust. But this time let’s do it right. No beige, and no massive ugly podiums.

Having said that, in order to get massive numbers of people to the West Loop, you will have to have at least some parking. That means suck it up and build a few public garages
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  #92  
Old Posted Jan 31, 2018, 2:25 PM
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Originally Posted by ardecila View Post
Highrise neighborhoods have quite a few downsides. The highrises limit the light that reached ground level. The buildings are massively expensive to build and maintain, so condo ownership (or rents) tend to rule out all but the wealthiest folks. For whatever reason, certain kinds of people (especially parents with children) often reject highrise living even if they might be open to a midrise or a 2-flat/3-flat. Midrise neighborhoods don't have these downsides to the same degree, but still provide density levels high enough to allow the neighborhood to be truely walkable, with amenities in short walking distance in every direction.

Basically, offering true midrise neighborhoods helps increase the "menu" of different living options that Chicago offers, which means the city is attractive to more people. Look at European cities, not the core areas but the actual neighborhoods where middle-class folks live... often these are midrise neighborhoods that have stood the test of time.

Unfortunately our zoning code has a "downtown area" where highrises are explicitly encouraged, and neighborhood zoning outside of that where anything above four stories is essentially banned. There's not really a way for a midrise neighborhood to spring up outside of the downtown area, and this is basically the only neighborhood within the downtown area that hasn't already been overrun by highrises. If we had a more organic process where, say, Wicker Park or Lakeview could slowly grow into a forest of midrises and the process continuing outward, the West Loop wouldn't be so precious, but that's not the system we live under...
Sorry but you’re right in theory, but so far in the West Loop midrise=ground floor parking. To hell with that.

If that’s my option, I’d rather have a highrise with ground floor commercial space, a few levels of parking, and residential above. Plus, these days developers are getting more creative with podiums, such as the Related proposal above. They often look better or have liner units.

I’m fine with a midrise neighborhood, but ground floor parking with opaque windows facing the sidewalk? BAN that shit.
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  #93  
Old Posted Jan 31, 2018, 5:14 PM
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As much as I support a well-utilized piece of land, this is a flagrant disregard of the established area and landmark district. Which doesn't make an automatic transgression, I guess, but it's still a little preposterous. 300 units for the whole block doesn't seem particularly burdensome, and it's not office where there's daily regular vehicular access, so I don't think it's overly dense.

However, 50 stories would set a weird precedent of exceedingly taller towers mixed in with protected low-rise buildings. And their looming symbolism will quickly erode the feel that the area has now.

And 50 stories of hokey industrial pastiche is never welcome.
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  #94  
Old Posted Jan 31, 2018, 5:55 PM
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Originally Posted by Jibba View Post
As much as I support a well-utilized piece of land, this is a flagrant disregard of the established area and landmark district.
But the tower site was specifically drawn out of the landmark district.
The tower makes the restoration and preservation of the block's historic buildings possible.
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  #95  
Old Posted Jan 31, 2018, 6:03 PM
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But the tower site was specifically drawn out of the landmark district.
The tower makes the restoration and preservation of the block's historic buildings possible.
That's because the entire eastern half of the block, save the Randolph frontage, is a vacant lot and non-contributing building. You don't need to build to 50 stories to have a successful enough development to keep and preserve what's there (all of which is in little to no need of rehabilitation at this moment).
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  #96  
Old Posted Jan 31, 2018, 6:47 PM
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Originally Posted by Jibba View Post
You don't need to build to 50 stories to have a successful enough development to keep and preserve what's there (all of which is in little to no need of rehabilitation at this moment).
Because they were just rehabbed by Related's co-developer!
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  #97  
Old Posted Jan 31, 2018, 7:05 PM
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^Case in point. They knew that the prospective leases alone would recoup the investment in the rehabs, irrespective of the high-rise component.
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  #98  
Old Posted Jan 31, 2018, 7:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ardecila View Post
I still think this doesn’t belong here. The podium is admittedly well-designed, with an attractive facade and no parking visible (looks like a bit of office space as a liner).

However, I think it’s too important for Chicago to have a bonafide midrise neighborhood, with 2-4 story buildings mixed in. The city even put in the planning effort to make that happen. For various reasons, we’re unlikely to build this kind of environment anywhere else for the foreseeable future... Dearborn Park forced the South Loop into a total highrise development pattern, and River North/Streeterville are already full of highrises. Industrial areas along the river could be developed as midrise, but those areas have large lots and a very flawed street grid so they’ll never develop the same urban patterns.

What they should do is move this one to the Randolph/Halsted site behind Haymarket, as a proper architectural beacon for the main “entrance” of West Loop.
That ship has sailed. You can really only hope to slow this growth and development towards this neighborhood having an average height of 200-300 feet for buildings. We should take the good designs when we get them I say.
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  #99  
Old Posted Jan 31, 2018, 7:13 PM
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@ardecila ...I'd argue that chicago has created the ability for new midrise neighborhoods with the TOD zoning. that enables 12 stories (see division and ashland) with low parking...get enough of that within 1/4 of transit stations and we get a string of pearls.

that said...totally agree that the spread of 'middle ground' (not highrise, not SFH or even 3 flat) zoning is needed...as the downtown footprint expands, so should the footprint of midrise / TOD zoning expand into the neighborhood edges
Not really, TOD zoning only applies along commercial corridors outside of downtown. Residential blocks are still sacrosanct, which means even TOD zoning can only theoretically increase the overall density of a neighborhood by 15-20%. Plus, that's offset against the deconversion phenomenon in places like Lakeview, Wicker, Logan so it's debatable whether we get much of a density increase at all.

TOD zoning is really only enough for a neighborhood to hold its ground, population-wise.


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Originally Posted by Kumdogmillionaire View Post
That ship has sailed. You can really only hope to slow this growth and development towards this neighborhood having an average height of 200-300 feet for buildings. We should take the good designs when we get them I say.
I'm not following you. Where is there a building taller than 200' in the West Loop, excluding the boundary areas along Halsted and south of Van Buren? Even the H2O development tops out at 180' to the roofline - admittedly this stretches the definition of midrise and it's a hair taller than I'd prefer for this area, but still a tiny fraction of the 900 W Randolph behemoth.
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Last edited by ardecila; Jan 31, 2018 at 7:24 PM.
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  #100  
Old Posted Jan 31, 2018, 7:51 PM
LouisVanDerWright LouisVanDerWright is offline
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If all we are doing is treading water by building TOD in Logan Square, then surely the same applies here where you have lowrise historic district mixed with midrises. There is an upper limit to how much density that fabric allows and the West Loop is approaching that. If this is going to become an office district, it's going to need residential density too or we will just end up with another Loop, bustling during the day, dead at night. Or we can build a whole new neighborhood from scratch that preserves old historic industrial buildings and makes room for both new commercial and residential density.
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