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Old January 4th, 2005, 07:20 PM   #201
BVictor1
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Loeb Partners Buys Michigan Plaza
By Mark Ruda
Last updated: January 3, 2005 07:43am

CHICAGO-Two East Loop office buildings have been acquired by New York-based Loeb Partners Realty, which promises to take a hands-on approach to upgrading the 1.9-million-sf Michigan Plaza to class A status. With the buildings at 205 and 225 N. Michigan Ave. 70% occupied, Loeb Partners Realty reportedly paid $280 million, or $145 per sf, and $15 million less than their 1998 sales price.

“We think that Chicago is an interesting market right now and the timing on this purchase is very advantageous,” says Loeb Partners Realty president and chairman Joseph S. Lesser. “Michigan Plaza has a solid tenant base, is well maintained yet it still offers a significant number of opportunities to update and improve. Our goal is to build Michigan Plaza into an ‘A’ building again and make it once again competitive with every other class A building in Chicago.”

New York-based Witkoff Group, previous owner of the property, did not respond to a call seeking comment. Among the tenants are Channel 32, the local Fox Network affiliate, as well as Blue Cross Blue Shield, MCI, Midas and Unilever. The two buildings, part of the Illinois Center development, were constructed in the early 1980s by Metropolitan Structures.

Loeb Partners Realty plans to meet with tenants and brokers before embarking on an improvement project, Lesser says, as part of its buy-and-hold strategy. “We have always been long-term holders of quality real estate and have no intention of ‘flipping’ this property,” he adds. “Our intention is to enhance the level of service and our relationship with our tenants as we upgrade this important property and hold it long-term as we do with CBD office buildings nationwide.”
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Old January 4th, 2005, 08:44 PM   #202
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5430 N. Sheridan-Edgewater



Sierra Lofts-River North

820 W. Superior


Adams Place
New townhomes near the United Center


Last edited by LA1; January 4th, 2005 at 08:56 PM.
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Old January 5th, 2005, 09:48 PM   #203
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Well, I just got a phone call from a representative of One Museum Park, and she informed me that the sales center will be opening Monday January 10, 2005. I will be making an appointment to go down to the sales center and scrounge up any information that I can.

If you of you want to make an appointment, the number that she left for me was (312) 799-2847.

Also if there are any questions that you'd like me to ask when I go down there, please put them in this thread. You have about 5 days to do so.
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Old January 5th, 2005, 11:02 PM   #204
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new development/demolishment

At the northwest corner of Wabash and Van Buren there is/was an old and possibly architecturally significant parking garage. This morning work crews began to demolish it. It’s nestled inside the turn of the L tracks at the southeast corner of the Loop. I say it’s arguably significant architecturally because of its age and its decorative elements. Mainly, I say it because a couple of years ago I took the free architectural loop train and the speaker pointed the structure out for its notable features. It was made of brick and, I believe, it was one of the oldest multilevel parking garages in the country/world.

The crew didn’t appear to be touching the newer parking garage next door to the north. I could still see cars parked in that structure.

Anyone know what’s planned for this space? It’s right across Van Buren from the recently installed surface parking lot that I think is owned by DePaul.
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Old January 6th, 2005, 02:30 AM   #205
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^As much as I prefer preserving architectural structures, I will never be a fan of stand-alone garages.

Given the current trends, I suspect both sites will eventually be the location of mid-to-highrise residential projects, perhaps with lower level University space.

I just hope they don't linger about as vacant lots for too long.
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Old January 7th, 2005, 05:32 AM   #206
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The Hotel LaSalle Parking Garage is definately one that should be preserved, but isn't likely to be standing much longer. Built in 1918, it is considered to be the oldest standing multi story building built specifically for parking automobiles.



Here are tidbits from an article I found on the web by Mary Beth Klatt / Oct. 8, 2004

Dust coats the upper windows, rust flakes off the 60-year-old neon sign, and rickety scaffolding protects passersby from debris from the brick-and-terra-cotta facade of Chicago's—and perhaps the country's—oldest parking facility, the Hotel LaSalle garage.


Built in 1918 when Model T cars reigned and motorists sported goggles and scarves to keep road dust at bay, the Hotel LaSalle garage could go the way of Pierce Arrows and Crosley automobiles.

The city's Commission on Chicago Landmarks recommended Oct. 7 that the building, which it contends is the nation's first multi-level parking garage, be denied landmark status. The commission had awarded preliminary landmark status in 2002 to the six-story facility designed by famed architects Holabird & Roche.


"There is no way to update to make it useful," says city spokesman Tony Binns. "It was built for Model Ts, and only one car could get it in and out at a time, not for traffic constantly coming in and out today."

Local preservations are disappointed with the commission's decision. "It is quite disappointing when the commission takes action to save an important historical building and then reverses itself in the 11th hour," says Jonathan Fine, president of Preservation Chicago. "This action only ensures that the building will definitely be demolished."

The building's manager, Dennis Quinn, didn't want landmark status. "The garage is very inefficient," says Quinn, president of System Parking Inc., which manages the facility. "It takes a ton of valet parkers to get cars in and out of the garage in the morning and the evening." He says the garage hasn't turned a profit in seven years. "In today's market, there's no way we can compete with the self-park garages."

Parking garages began as one-story brick affairs at the end of neighborhood alleys of residents who could afford automobiles. But the hotels, particularly in downtown Chicago, revolutionized parking, making garages a critical part of the urban landscape. While automobiles were invented in the 19th century, they didn't become common until 1905. when hundreds of companies churned out "horseless carriages." In cities everywhere, these early automobiles jockeyed for space with carriages, horses, and trolley cars, and there simply wasn't enough street parking available to accommodate them all. There was only one way to go: up.

"Cities had to develop a new type of building, and Chicago was famous for rethinking the building as more than just a utilitarian structure," says Tim Samuelson, Chicago's cultural historian. The Hotel LaSalle was among the first hotels in the country to meet this challenge. It built a free-standing garage, a red-brick, multi-level facility with enclosed windows to keep out the rain and a ramp to ensure speedy parking. The hotel touted it as "America's finest garage."
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Old January 7th, 2005, 06:13 AM   #207
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Not terribly sure if this is the right thread for this, but I found it interesting within the context of the development that has been going on. Slightly boring, but still good to see how Millenium Park will evolve.

From the Sun-Times:

Millennium Park to get exhibit areas, concessions

January 6, 2005

BY ANDREW HERRMANN Staff Reporter

Fences are up around the Bean as workers begin ironing out the sculpture's wrinkles but other changes also are in store for Millennium Park: two new exhibit areas and new concession stands designed by architect Frank Gehry to complement his billowy stage.

The exhibit areas, in which granite and sycamore trees will replace grass and bushes, are the result of crowds trampling the original vegetation in the park's inaugural year. They will be built in the area known currently as the north and south terraces, adjacent to the legume-like Cloud Gate sculpture popularly known as the Bean.

The concession stands are planned for the music stage area, where fans lounge on blankets during summer concerts.

Millennium Park project supervisor Ed Uhlir said the decision to replace grass with granite came after officials saw thousands of people ignore paved paths and cut through bushes and lawns.

"Everyone seems to want to walk that way so we figured, let's let them walk,'' Uhlir said.

Donations needed
The exhibit areas will host temporary sculpture exhibits and rotating displays similar to last year's "Earth from Above'' and "Family Album'' photo essays, said Uhlir.

If park officials can cover the estimated $5 million cost, which includes an endowment, with private donations, work will begin this spring, said Uhlir.

There is no cost estimate yet on the Gehry concession stands, said Uhlir, but park officials hope that by signing a long-term lease, the winning vendor will help cover the bill for the structures. Those won't be ready until the summer of 2006.

As for whether the stands will mimic the soaring flourishes of Gehry's Jay Pritzker Pavilion, Uhlir said the architectural style would be "sympathetic'' to the anchor structure.

The look is "up to Frank but I don't think he would try to compete with himself. It's more a matter of tying it all together with finishes as opposed to big curvy panels,'' said Uhlir.

Gift shop opens in spring
This spring, a welcoming center and gift shop will open inside the Exelon pavilions behind the Pritzker stage, off Randolph. The center will offer guides to the park and wheelchairs.

Though, according to park estimates, Millennium has attracted more than 1 million visitors since it opened last July, few souvenirs are to be had. The new gift shop will sell an "exclusive product line'' of T-shirts, hats, scarves, books and images, with proceeds going into the park's operating fund, said Uhlir.

Don't look for Bean paperweights, though.

The contract with Cloud Gate's creator, Anish Kapoor, prohibits three-dimensional reproductions.

In what Uhlir called "on the list but not a major priority,'' a roof for the seating area of the Pritzker Pavilion has also been discussed. Such an addition would be expensive and require a re-engineering of the spider web-like trellis that spreads from the stage over the Great Lawn.

Uhlir seemed disinclined to launch that addition. "When people come to concerts, part of the appeal is to sit out under the stars with the skyline of Chicago. With a cover, you'd lose that,'' Uhlir said.

Uhlir said private funds are still being raised for the endowment for the $475 million park but he was confident money for the improvements will be covered. About $270 million for construction of the park came from city dollars from parking garage revenue and downtown property taxes.
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Old January 7th, 2005, 11:06 AM   #208
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Quote:
Originally Posted by InTheLoop
The Hotel LaSalle Parking Garage is definately one that should be preserved, but isn't likely to be standing much longer. Built in 1918, it is considered to be the oldest standing multi story building built specifically for parking automobiles.
if they cant find a way to make it profitable, why not preserve the facade and gut it? its got a nice brick facade, and it should be saved. id like for it to remain a garage, since thats what its historically important as, but if that cant happen, preserve the facade. Chicago needs to save more of its history. And we need more brick in general. We dont want to become all glass and steel here... thats for Houston
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Old January 7th, 2005, 01:10 PM   #209
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Hey folks, the point of creating a P&C forum was to stop having to cram it all into one thread.

You guys can create compilation threads for different districts, or create a thread for each project, or just create threads whenever you feel like it... But if folks are going to just keep posting about everything mainly in this one thread, then I'm going to merge this subforum back with the main forum.
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Old January 7th, 2005, 04:56 PM   #210
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jasonhouse
Hey folks, the point of creating a P&C forum was to stop having to cram it all into one thread.

You guys can create compilation threads for different districts, or create a thread for each project, or just create threads whenever you feel like it... But if folks are going to just keep posting about everything mainly in this one thread, then I'm going to merge this subforum back with the main forum.
Oh, Please don't do that, we will begin new threads, we promise. It's just this is all new to us!
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Old January 8th, 2005, 01:23 AM   #211
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jasonhouse
Hey folks, the point of creating a P&C forum was to stop having to cram it all into one thread.

You guys can create compilation threads for different districts, or create a thread for each project, or just create threads whenever you feel like it... But if folks are going to just keep posting about everything mainly in this one thread, then I'm going to merge this subforum back with the main forum.
^GOSH NO! I love this subforum. I have an idea. Why not just get rid of this thread? It's obviously not necessary any more
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Old January 8th, 2005, 09:07 PM   #212
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^Good idea, but there's too much info in it to just delete it.

However, I will close it, and then archive it in a week.
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