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Old February 13th, 2005, 09:59 PM   #21
ThirdCoast312
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CONDOS in FOREST PARK

Take the Blue Line to value

By Wayne Faulkner
Real Estate editor
Published February 13, 2005

When you think of the CTA's Blue Line, most think of the end of the line -- O'Hare International Airport. But travel to the other end of the line and you'll find a better real estate value -- Forest Park.

It's a village of about 15,500 residents whom one town official called "very loyal." They're augmented by home shoppers who have "discovered" the town after suffering sticker shock in neighboring Oak Park.

Now, developers have also discovered the draw of this near west suburb with excellent access to public transportation, via the CTA and Metra, and also the Eisenhower Expressway.

Forest Park may not have the cachet of Oak Park and River Forest, but it doesn't have eye-popping price tags, either. The average price of a single-family home was $253,259 in Forest Park in 2004, up 3 percent from $247,073 in 2003, according to the Chicago Association of Realtors. That compares with $435,933 in Oak Park, which saw a 21 percent jump from $361,293. Not that Forest Park is in an appreciation backwater: Over five years, prices in the suburb have more than doubled,.

The housing market "is strong and lively," said Catherine Deam, an agent with Gloor Realty in Oak Park. "It's very family-friendly because there still are sensibly priced homes there. You can get started in the upper $200,000s" and the taxes are moderate, too, she adds.

She and partner Patricia Bizzone, an artist and longtime rehabber, redid a three-bedroom, two-bath bungalow at 1026 Marengo for resale. It was listed at $347,000 and is now under contract.

A recent Internet check showed only 17 houses listed in Forest Park with at least three bedrooms and two baths. They were priced from $209,500 to $455,000.

Despite the village's strengths, many families leave when their kids finish middle school.

"One of the issues for Forest Park has been that people are not pleased with the local public high school district," said Nancy Hill, village community development director. "The district [209] has recognized that and is trying to make some changes to make it attractive."

Enter Proviso Central Math and Science Academy, which will open this fall at Roosevelt Road and 1st Avenue.

The school offers "a viable opportunity for those who want a higher standard," said Village Clerk Joan White.

"Good schools always add value," said Tim Anderson, president of Focus Development Inc., which built Forest Park's sold-out Madison Commons condo and retail project on Madison Street in a joint venture with Taxman Corp. The magnet high school is "just going to help make Forest Park more attractive for housing."

Focus and Taxman have also teamed up to build the Residences at the Grove on a 6-acre former industrial site just a hop, skip and a jump from the Blue Line terminus.

The development will have 140 condos and 60 town homes. Prices start in the $330,000s for the town homes. One-bedroom condos will start in the $170,000s and two-bedrooms at $249,900, Anderson said.

"People have discovered Forest Park because they want to have some of the amenities of an urban area," Hill said, describing the concept as "big city access with small town charm."

"Our residents are incredibly loyal," she said.

One of is Toni Khatib, who wrote to us to point out that "really great things have happened to this town."

But Khatib has her house up for sale. She cited the high schools as a reason to move, though she said and her husband may stay if a good offer doesn't come their way, and then try to get their children into the new magnet high school.

She pointed to the spirit of the community where she has lived for 20 years. Residents raised $10,000 to build a dog park, and it attracts people from all over, she said.

Buyers must share Khatib's enthusiasm. The average time on the market for houses last year was 48 days, up only 5 days from 43 in 2003.
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Old February 13th, 2005, 10:11 PM   #22
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West Loop loft building

has this thing been constructed yet?? anyways it's very sheek, modern, and cool. Designed by Brininstool + Lynch who were just on the cover of Metropolis Magazine

Loft Haus - 321 S. Sangamon - 9 stories 90 units

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Old March 6th, 2005, 02:52 PM   #23
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CITY REPORT
43 new homes planned near Gateway Plaza

Jeanette Almada
Published March 6, 2005

A 43-unit residential project is planned for former commercial space at Ashland Avenue and Howard Street on a site that includes the former Lerner Newspaper building.

Burrell Restaurant Corp.'s project is a planned development, which subjects it to city oversight on density and building height. Burrell has owned the site for years, according to Jennifer LaSota, president of Single Site Solutions Corp., Burrell's project-planning consultant.

The Plan Commission approved the project late last month. It still must be approved by City Council and that is expected by summer, LaSota said.

Single Site Construction Corp., which is also headed by LaSota, will build the project and will begin demolition of the Lerner building soon after receiving City Council approval.

The for-sale residential project is going up in a neighborhood whose housing is about 70 percent rentals, city officials told plan commissioners.

The 1.05-acre site, at 7407-63 N. Ashland, is one block east of the new 500,000-square-foot Gateway Plaza shopping center and the Chicago Transit Authority's Howard Street elevated station.

"This project has been through an extensive and exhaustive community review process. The end product shows that," Ald. Joe Moore (49th) told the Plan Commission on Feb. 24. "It has been met with overwhelming approval from the community . . . and will bring people with disposable income to Howard Street to help support [businesses] and at the same time will provide affordable housing for people who otherwise could not afford to live in the neighborhood."

The units will be built in eight masonry buildings designed by Chicago-based P.F.B. Architects.

Those buildings will consist of two styles of housing, according to LaSota.

Thirty-three of the units will go up in seven rows of three-story town homes, at the south portion of the development site.

The two- to three-bedroom townhouses will range from 1,287 to 1,484 square feet with prices from $300,000 to $425,000.

A three-story building, facing Howard, will have 10 condominiums -- two one-bedroom units and eight two-bedrooms, with 976 to 1,195 square feet of space and prices of $200,000 to $300,000.

Four of the two-bedroom condos will be sold for $155,000 through the Chicago Department of Housing's Chicago Partners in Affordable Neighborhoods program, according to LaSota.

"All of this is really quite a jolt for Howard Street and the area," Ald. Bernard Stone (50th), a plan commissioner, said at the commission meeting. He championed the project but lamented an apparent loss of the Wisdom Bridge Theatre site.

Moore stressed that Wisdom Bridge Theatre will remain on its current site, immediately east of the development site.

"When Burrell bought the development site, it also bought the Wisdom Bridge Theatre site. Our original proposal was to tear down the Lerner Building and the Wisdom Bridge Theatre [at 1565 W. Howard], which has been vacant for years," LaSota explained. In response to community pressure, Burrell agreed to sell the Wisdom Bridge site to a community group that will either restore the vacant building or tear it down and build anew, LaSota said.

The developer will begin marketing the units by September, according to LaSota. She expects construction to begin by fall.

Copyright © 2005, Chicago Tribune
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Old March 6th, 2005, 09:40 PM   #24
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^ Yippidy do! Now I can buy a house next to a piece of shit strip center designed by some ass clown from Naperville who doesn't give 2 shits what the word "city" means. I hate the Gateway Center--it was a mistake from its inception. It's a lesson in urban MISTAKES.

At least the houses are near a CTA station, though. Too bad that stupid Naperville (or whatever) developer didn't consider proximity to transit when he built that craphole Super Center
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Old March 20th, 2005, 10:36 PM   #25
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Before you skip this apparantly boring (although not to me) article, you will notice something interesting I highlighted near the bottom:

CITY REPORT
City to subsidize Jewel/Osco store in River West

By Jeanette Almada
Special to the Tribune
Published March 20, 2005

The city will subsidize construction of a Jewel/Osco that will bring grocery services to the growing River West neighborhood.

A full-service food store is needed by residents who live in the burgeoning River West and West Loop neighborhoods, who currently must travel a mile to the nearest grocer, according to a Department of Planning and Development project manager, who spoke to the Community Development Commission.

Earlier this month, the commission approved $4 million in TIF (tax increment financing) subsidy for the $19 million project. The financing still needs City Council approval.

"We think there will be tremendous residential growth here, and this project will give us an opportunity to be a driving force in the design and development of a new neighborhood in the city," said Larry Wahlstrom, president of Melrose Park-based Jewel/Osco. "We know that residential projects being planned for the area will bring several thousand new residents to the area, and that residents who already live in the area are underserved," Wahlstrom said last week.

The 52,000-square-foot store will be built on 2.6 acres on Kinzie Street between Union Street and Desplaines Avenue. Jewel is under contract to buy the land from Chicago-based CMC Heartland Partners, and will close on the transaction within the next three to six months, Wahlstrom said.

Originally, a Home Depot store was slated for the site, but that was opposed by nearby Blommer Chocolate Co., the city staff told commissioners.

The Jewel/Osco will be a two-story building with 42,800-square-foot shopping area at street level and 9,480 square feet of receiving, storage and food preparation space below ground level, according to Joseph McKeska, vice president of real estate and construction at Jewel/Osco.

Designed by Des Plaines-based Camburas & Theodore Ltd., the store "has an urban design, with a monumental entryway at Kinzie and Desplaines for pedestrian and neighborhood traffic," Walstrom said. "It doesn't look like a prototype grocery store. Instead, it has limestone cast panels and green patina copper squares that add a modern feel and look to the building.

The store will have an outdoor patio on Desplaines. "With that patio we will take advantage of a public park that the city is building across the street from our store, on the southeast corner of Desplaines and Kinzie," Wahlstrom said.

The city's TIF assistance will reimburse the developer for infrastructure improvement costs. The developer will have to build multiple 90-foot caissons in order to build the store and the parking deck at 24 feet above grade level. That plan allows for the Chicago Department of Transportation's eventual construction of a high-speed rail line to connect downtown commuters to O'Hare International Airport, below the food store. As part of the developer's agreement with the city, it will reserve right of way for construction of the high-speed rail line, according to McKeska.

The Transportation Department is planning to build the rail line in about 10 years, Planning Department staff told commissioners.


The TIF subsidy will also reimburse the developer for construction of a parking deck above the existing Metra commuter rail tracks, located on the southern boundary of the development site, but not part of it, according to McKeska.
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Old March 22nd, 2005, 03:37 AM   #26
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Quote:
Designed by Des Plaines-based Camburas & Theodore Ltd., the store "has an urban design, with a monumental entryway at Kinzie and Desplaines for pedestrian and neighborhood traffic," Walstrom said. "It doesn't look like a prototype grocery store. Instead, it has limestone cast panels and green patina copper squares that add a modern feel and look to the building.

The store will have an outdoor patio on Desplaines. "With that patio we will take advantage of a public park that the city is building across the street from our store, on the southeast corner of Desplaines and Kinzie," Wahlstrom said.

The city's TIF assistance will reimburse the developer for infrastructure improvement costs. The developer will have to build multiple 90-foot caissons in order to build the store and the parking deck at 24 feet above grade level. That plan allows for the Chicago Department of Transportation's eventual construction of a high-speed rail line to connect downtown commuters to O'Hare International Airport, below the food store. As part of the developer's agreement with the city, it will reserve right of way for construction of the high-speed rail line, according to McKeska.

The Transportation Department is planning to build the rail line in about 10 years, Planning Department staff told commissioners.

The TIF subsidy will also reimburse the developer for construction of a parking deck above the existing Metra commuter rail tracks, located on the southern boundary of the development site, but not part of it, according to McKeska.
First, it is awesome that care is being given to the urban environment integration of this structure.

Second. The part you bolded (not in the quotation) is awesome.

AWESOME.

READ: Awexome!
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Old March 24th, 2005, 06:45 AM   #27
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2 twelve story towers propsed for West Loop

Carnegie to build West Loop condos
Site is current location of Carmichael's Steakhouse


By Alby Gallun
Chicago-based real estate firm Carnegie Realty Partners LLC plans to build a roughly 350-unit condominium project on the current site of Carmichael’s Steakhouse in the West Loop.
A company formed by Carnegie has signed a contract to pay $10 million for the property at Monroe and Aberdeen streets, said Carnegie CEO John Thomas. He said he aims to start selling units in the project by the third quarter and break ground next year, assuming he sells enough units to obtain financing. Carmichael’s plans to search for a new location.

Mr. Thomas said he has hired architecture firm Fujikawa Johnson & Associates to design the building and plans to form a joint venture with a residential developer to build it. He’s currently in talks with three developers that have been busy in the West Loop.
Mr. Thomas estimates the project would cost $80 to $100 million. It would include two 12-story towers and street-level retail space for a supermarket and drug store, he said.



Does anyone know what kind of building this Carmichael's Steakhouse is? Is it a poor urban use of space or not?
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Old April 16th, 2005, 08:47 PM   #28
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Article from last week. Is this geographically correct for you, ThirdCoast?

First phase of Roosevelt Square moves forward

Project will create mixed-income residential units and new retail space

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Mayor Richard M. Daley introduced a plan to the Chicago City Council today to build an $84 million development known as Roosevelt Square that will include residential units and retail space.


"This development will greatly benefit community residents by creating more affordable housing for individuals of all income levels as well as job opportunities because of new businesses coming into the area," Mayor Daley said.


The plan is the first phase of an overall redevelopment of the ABLA Homes public housing development. The first phase will consist of 233 for sale mixed-income units in a variety of sizes and building types on property bounded by Racine Avenue, Arthington Street, Blue Island Avenue, 13th Street, and Lytle Street.


The development also calls for 3,000 square feet of retail space along Taylor Street.


In addition to jobs created during the construction phase of the development, retail employment opportunities will be available upon the completion of the commercial portion of the project.


The City plans to provide the developers, RS Homes I LLC, RS Pointe LLC and RS Square LLC, with up to $9.7 million in Tax Increment Financing (TIF) assistance.
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Old April 20th, 2005, 08:06 PM   #29
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This is Chicago's new Hellenic Museum, a model by Pappageorge/Haymes. It is moving from Michigan Avenue to Greektown, on Halsted. Does anybody know what is going on with this development? Has it already been built, or is it at least u/c? And what site is it being built on--a former parking lot, stores, etc?

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Old April 21st, 2005, 07:09 PM   #30
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Wow, a museum in Greektwon. Where on Halsted? This is pretty cool (even if the design is a bit post-modern-classical ostentatious).
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Old April 22nd, 2005, 07:58 AM   #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Urban Politician
This is Chicago's new Hellenic Museum, a model by Pappageorge/Haymes. It is moving from Michigan Avenue to Greektown, on Halsted. Does anybody know what is going on with this development? Has it already been built, or is it at least u/c? And what site is it being built on--a former parking lot, stores, etc?

This will be on the northeast corner of Halsted and Van Burean. A vacant True Value hardware store sits on the site now. That store sucked too, you couldn't even buy a roll of duct tape without the cleark searching through the back room, where all the merchandise was located for 10 minutes.

The Hellenic Musuem is currently located on the 4th floor of a loft building at Halsted and Adams Streets.
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Old April 22nd, 2005, 02:52 PM   #32
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City Hopes Land Sales Spur Mixed-Use Building
By Mark Ruda
Last updated: April 21, 2005 08:15am

CHICAGO-Mixed-use developers have a chance to buy 63 city-owned lots in North Lawndale, mostly along Ogden Avenue as well as side streets between Kedzie and Pulaski avenues. The department of planning and development has set target prices totaling $1.9 million for three blocks of properties, totaling 6.6 acres.

The department’s request for proposals has a June 23 deadline, according to project manager Joseph Lopez. The land sale was approved recently by the community development commission.

Although the city may write down land prices from appraised value and consider tax credit deals, no tax increment financing is available, Lopez says. However, he adds the sites offer “prime opportunities” for developers willing to build mixed-use projects that could include retail, office and institutional space, as well as multifamily units. Sites range from 1,360 sf to 17,400 sf. Target prices average $6.54 per sf, but are higher in the 3200 and 3300 blocks of Ogden Avenue, decreasing to the west.

The city already has invested in the area, building a 10th district police station in the 3200 and 3300 blocks of W. Ogden Avenue. Zoning of the sites along Ogden Avenue is expected to be rezoned to B2-3, which would allow for 9,000-sf buildings on 3,000-sf lots. Zoning for residential lots on the side streets is expected to be RT-4, which would allow for a 3,750-sf building on a typical city lot.
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Old April 22nd, 2005, 04:19 PM   #33
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Push to land a Trader Joe's puts local retailers on edge

By Liam Ford
Tribune staff reporter
Published April 22, 2005


Amy Donati thought she had found her dream job when she bought 0Morningfields, a specialty grocery, deli and bakery in Park Ridge.

Donati and her husband, Terry, say they have a niche in the northwest suburban food market and hope a city plan to revamp downtown will help their business.

"The plans are gorgeous of what they want to do. ... It's going to bring people to the area, and how can that be bad for me, right?" Amy Donati said recently, sitting at a table in her store in the 800 block of West Devon Avenue.

But the couple's enthusiasm could diminish if Park Ridge taxpayers help bring in a competitor, such as Trader Joe's. The national specialty grocer could open in Uptown, the village's main shopping district, which is about a mile north of the Donatis' store and the focus of a major redevelopment plan.

In the wheeling and dealing of redevelopment, chain stores whose name recognition lures shoppers often beat out homegrown businesses for government help. While Park Ridge readies a downtown facelift, critics from the Chicago area and across the nation are fuming at the prevalent use of local tax dollars and other incentives to help developers snag national chains.

But downtowns often stagnate without government intervening to buy enough land to make new buildings profitable for developers, say officials in towns such as Park Ridge. Even when they don't give direct tax breaks, cities are trying to make it easier for large chains to come in because their high-volume sales translate into quick spikes in sales-tax revenue. And popular brand names can mean fewer vacancies in downtown buildings and higher property values for everyone.

Still, citizens groups across the country question the growing use of urban renewal policies in the suburbs. The apparent progress sometimes comes at the expense of people who have invested their lives in their businesses, critics say.

"Does Borders or Barnes & Noble really need a subsidy? If there's a local specialty food store, do we really need to be subsidizing Trader Joe's?" said Jacqueline Leavy, executive director of Chicago's Neighborhood Capital Budget Group, citing some of the companies that are among possible tenants for new retail space in Park Ridge.

Filled with restaurants and boutiques, Uptown Park Ridge grew up around what is now the city's main Metra commuter rail station. It's dominated by the Pickwick Theatre, an Art Deco gem built in 1928 that has thrived as other suburban movie houses have closed.

Under its redevelopment plan, the city spent $5.3 million to buy land in the area and set up a special tax fund to help developers build townhouses and attract retailers. For years, Park Ridge's residents had debated a plan to breathe new life into downtown.

Mid-America Asset Management, the town's chosen developer, has been negotiating with Trader Joe's and other retailers to fill new storefronts in the area, said Mid-America President Michael George. The grocer is expected to decide by summer whether to move to Park Ridge, he said.

The California-based chain has expanded aggressively in recent years, in part by taking advantage of city incentives or moving into subsidized shopping districts in such places as Redlands, Calif., and Oak Park.

"The only thing I have a problem with is if they give assistance to the new businesses, don't forget the businesses that have been here," said Morningfields' Terry Donati.

Critics of similar redevelopment policies say the Donatis should be concerned. Similar plans have forced homegrown businesses in other cities to close.

"You've got an ice cream shop owner that's been there for 20 years, and then, all of a sudden, you've got a Ben and Jerry's coming into downtown," with the help of village subsidies, said Nile Wendorf, president of an Oak Park-area watchdog group, REDCOOP. "If you're the small ice cream shop owner, you're paying tax dollars that make it easier for your competition."

In Oak Park the village cut land acquisition costs nearly in half for a new health club and promised to expand a village parking garage. The owner of a long-established health club said it will result in unfair competition.

"They tend to bring in national firms, like Trader Joe's, because they're easier to finance," said Al Berggren, one of the owners of the Tennis and Fitness Centre in Oak Park. "And in the process they drive out of business small companies."

But many business owners in Park Ridge are cheering for Uptown. And both candidates in the recent mayoral election supported the project.

City Manager Timothy Schuenke said the redevelopment plan has taken almost a decade to launch, in part because the city wants to do it right--without hurting existing businesses.

"We're trying to keep open lines of communication with the remainder of the Uptown [merchants] because we hope that this project will act as a catalyst and benefit those other areas as well," Schuenke said.

Some business owners fear competition from national chains. Others hope new condominiums and townhouses in Uptown will mean new theatergoers, diners and customers.

"I'm excited," said Dino Vlahakis, an owner of the Pickwick and a member of the task force that recommended the Uptown plan to the City Council.

So far, Morningfields has benefited from changes that also could help their competitors. Park Ridge changed its liquor laws in February, allowing Morningfields and similar groceries--like Trader Joe's--to start selling wine.

And some point out that Morningfields has a booming catering business, bakery and made-to-order takeout meals--services Trader Joe's doesn't match.

Schuenke said he knows from experience that having a more convenient Trader Joe's won't keep people from shopping at local stores.

"My wife shops at Trader Joe's," he said, "and because we don't have one in Park Ridge, she can't shop there in Park Ridge," where the suburb would get the tax benefits.
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Old April 25th, 2005, 07:41 AM   #34
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Where exactly is Park Ridge?
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Old April 27th, 2005, 09:39 PM   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BVictor1
City Hopes Land Sales Spur Mixed-Use Building
By Mark Ruda
Last updated: April 21, 2005 08:15am

CHICAGO-Mixed-use developers have a chance to buy 63 city-owned lots in North Lawndale, mostly along Ogden Avenue as well as side streets between Kedzie and Pulaski avenues. The department of planning and development has set target prices totaling $1.9 million for three blocks of properties, totaling 6.6 acres.

The department’s request for proposals has a June 23 deadline, according to project manager Joseph Lopez. The land sale was approved recently by the community development commission.

Although the city may write down land prices from appraised value and consider tax credit deals, no tax increment financing is available, Lopez says. However, he adds the sites offer “prime opportunities” for developers willing to build mixed-use projects that could include retail, office and institutional space, as well as multifamily units. Sites range from 1,360 sf to 17,400 sf. Target prices average $6.54 per sf, but are higher in the 3200 and 3300 blocks of Ogden Avenue, decreasing to the west.

The city already has invested in the area, building a 10th district police station in the 3200 and 3300 blocks of W. Ogden Avenue. Zoning of the sites along Ogden Avenue is expected to be rezoned to B2-3, which would allow for 9,000-sf buildings on 3,000-sf lots. Zoning for residential lots on the side streets is expected to be RT-4, which would allow for a 3,750-sf building on a typical city lot.

^There was another article about that in the Tribune a few days back. They were saying that the "mixed-use" could either be in the form of residential with ground-floor retail, or residential side-by-side with retail.

The "side-by-side" thing worries me, because I have yet to see Chicago build stand-alone retail in a form other than strip malls....
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Old April 27th, 2005, 10:41 PM   #36
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Simulcra --

Park Ridge is a middle / upper-middle class suburb near O'Hare. Hillary Rodham Clinton grew up there.
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Old May 10th, 2005, 07:01 PM   #37
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Empty lot on Division to get condos, retail


By Aiysha Hall


(5/5/05) – Exotic restaurants, modish boutiques, lavish apartments, quality businesses, and—a vacant lot?
For more than a decade, an empty parcel of land in the 2000 block of west Division Street has distorted the otherwise picture-perfect view of the bustling and thriving West Town community. Now, Betancourt Realty, a local real estate and development company at 2131 W. Division St., is giving that vacant lot a brand new look in the form of a four-story mixed-use building.
“I felt like I hit the Lotto,” Joseph Betancourt, the company’s founder, said of acquiring the parcel. “We’ve been trying for over a year and a half to get this land.”

Earlier this year, Betancourt finalized its $1.1 million deal with the City of Chicago’s Department of Planning and Development. Amidst restaurants and boutiques, the company will develop a four-story building along 2041-47 W. Division Street, which will house two commercial units on the ground floor and nine condominiums on the second, third, and fourth floors.
“We’re happy and excited about the development because there’s no other building like ours in the area,” Betancourt said.
While the new development obviously is not the only mixed-use building in the community, Betancourt said the building’s details will make it stand out from all the rest and serve as an example for future construction in the area.
“This is a luxury development,” Betancourt said of the project.
Prices range from $280,000 to about $569,000 for condominium choices consisting of one- and two-bedroom units and a three-bedroom penthouse, all of which will offer a deck or balcony overlooking the city. Also, an attached indoor garage will provide 22 parking spaces for residents.

Of the building’s ground floor commercial units, one will be a “full-service, fine-dining restaurant,” though Betancourt is unsure exactly what type of restaurant it will be. Besides the restaurant will be a new real estate office housing a larger facility for Betancourt Realty.
“We’ve been in the neighborhood for more than ten years, and we decided it was time to expand,” Betancourt said. “Everyone in the current office will be transferring to the new building.”

First Ward Alderman Manny Flores believes the building will improve the area.
“You generate more tax revenue and at the same time add to the community,” Flores said, noting he reviewed plans for the new development even before the purchase was complete. “I think it’s exciting and in line with a lot of others we’ve seen in the ward…and what’s happening in the rest of the community.”

City of Chicago Department of Planning and Development spokesperson Connie Buscemi agreed.
“The proposal is appealing because it’s going to take vacant land, enhance the community, and eliminate blight,” she said. “The development will benefit residents and stimulate the economy.”

“The City wants to see beautification,” Betancourt said. “We want to make this the most beautiful building in the whole area. That’s why there will be green roofs and decks and a fountain in front of the building” as well as luxury upgrades and all brick renaissance stone with custom detail on the building’s facade.
“Our building definitely provides an addition to the community,” Betancourt said. “It offers more home ownership, and it offers more jobs.” Between his company’s expansion and the new restaurant, Betancourt expects to bring at least 30 more jobs to the area.
With the land in his possession, Betancourt hopes to have permits in hand soon and break ground next month. Like Flores, he hopes the project will be completed by the end of the year.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------
On another note, sales for West Village homes in the west side just opened up--here is a rendering:


Last edited by The Urban Politician; May 10th, 2005 at 07:07 PM.
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Old May 11th, 2005, 01:17 AM   #38
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City Seeks Rehabbers for 1,297 Affordable Units
By Mark Ruda
Last updated: May 9, 2005 11:53am

CHICAGO-With 1,297 affordable rental units headed toward foreclosure, the city’s department of housing is seeking multiple developers willing to buy, rehab and manage the Lawndale Restoration and Douglas Lawndale multifamily projects on the West Side. The department has issued a request for qualifications, due May 16, and is negotiating with HUD on arranging a sale of the properties.

HUD has initiated foreclosure proceedings against the current owners, according to the department of housing, and officials from the federal department hope to begin disposing of the properties in August, city officials say. The city is looking for developers with rehab, affordable housing and property management experience. Besides putting the properties into the hands of several new owners, the department of housing envisions some of the one- to four-unit properties converted to owner-occupied units.

“It is our belief that this development, as a single entity, is too large and needs to be divided into smaller units so it can be more effectively managed and that is what we hope to achieve with this development plan,” says housing commissioner John G. Markowski. “By acting now, the City will identify who its partners will be as a strategy is worked out to preserve this as affordable housing.”

The 1,240-unit Lawndale Restoration was built in five phases, with a mix of properties ranging from two- to four-flats up to corner multifamily buildings. HUD provides project-based Housing Choice Voucher assistance to tenants. The 96 buildings are scattered in an area bounded by Madison and 19th streets, Kostner and Albany avenues. Inspections done by HUD earlier this year estimate the cost of repairs at $44.8 million, which breaks down to $44,333 per unit and $36 per sf. As a result, department of housing officials expect to sell properties for $1 each.

The 57-unit Douglas Lawndale development is spread over seven properties ranging from three-flats to a 21-unit building.
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Old May 15th, 2005, 02:35 PM   #39
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CITY REPORT
12 homes to rise in West Englewood

By Jeanette Almada

Special to the Tribune
Published May 15, 2005

Construction is scheduled to start on a 12-unit housing development on long vacant land in the West Englewood neighborhood.

Exodus Development Co. will build the project on 10 currently city-owned parcels at 5831-45 S. Wolcott Ave. and at 5830-36 S. Honore St.

Chicago-based Exodus is a family-owned development company that consists of Lewis W. Powell III, Larry W. Powell and their mother, Ardell M. Powell.

The company has built and rehabbed homes throughout the city since it was founded in the mid-1990s and is preparing to build six housing units at 1800 S. Trumbull Ave. in a project called Ogden Courts in the North Lawndale neighborhood, Lewis Powell said in an interview last week.

The city has owned the vacant West Englewood land since 1998, according to Michelle Nolan, a Department of Planning and Development project manager who last week won Community Development Commission approval to sell the land to Exodus.

The developer has agreed to pay $93,000 for the land, which is the appraised fair market value, Nolan told commissioners. City Council must also approve the sale.

Exodus will build three 1,560-square-foot houses with three bedrooms and 2 1/2 baths; and three houses with 2,045 square feet and four bedrooms and 2 1/2 baths. It also will build six 2,400-square-foot two-flats.

"We designed the two-flat buildings so that one-bedroom rental units will be on the first floor, and three-bedroom, 2 1/2-bath duplex [owners] units will be on the second and third level," Powell said. All the units will have a parking pad; a garage is an extra, he added.

Base prices for the houses will range from $215,000 to $250,000 and the two-flats are $325,000, Powell said.

Architects at Chicago-based Campbell Tiu Campbell designed the project.

City officials anticipate the project will spur further commercial and residential development nearby, Nolan told commissioners.

"There is a lot of development going on in Englewood, and we want to be a part of that, want to be a part of development in all parts of the Englewood neighborhood," Powell said.

Sales will begin by August. "We expect that City Council will approve the land sale by the end of summer and will start building soon after that, about fall," Powell said.

One neighborhood leader urged the development commission on Tuesday to include the community in the planning process.

"We heard about this project for the first time on April 21," Henry Wilson, chairman of the Empowerment Zone Housing Committee, said. "And while we are anxious to find housing coming into Englewood, we would appreciate it if the project could be presented to the community so that the community could have some input into these kinds of projects."
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Old May 17th, 2005, 11:47 PM   #40
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From Crain's
May 17, 2005

Rush University Medical Center gets $20M gift
Contribution from chairman of Boler Co. for medical imaging center

By Brett Chase

Rush University Medical Center is getting a $20 million gift from an Illinois businessman, the largest individual contribution in the hospital’s history, for a state-of-the-art medical imaging center.

The gift from John M. Boler, the 71-year-old chairman of Itasca-based Boler Co., will help the teaching hospital compete on a national level for imaging diagnostics, Rush CEO Larry J. Goodman said at a press conference held on the Rush campus today.

This is absolutely a red-letter day for Rush, Dr. Goodman said. The donation comes at a critical time for Rush, which is raising money for a massive 10-year building project and competes with other top medical centers, such as University of Chicago Hospitals and Northwestern Memorial Hospital. The imaging center will be a cornerstone of what Rush is now estimating will be a $640 million capital expansion. That figure was estimated at $500 million when it was announced a little more than a year ago.

A joint venture firm Skidmore, Owings, Merrill/SmithGroup/Environmental Systems Design has been hired to develop Rush’s building plan. Construction is expected to begin in 2007 on new hospital buildings, including an emergency center. Some structures dating back to the 1800s will be torn down. With Mr. Boler’s gift, Rush has raised more than $100 million of a $300 million fund-raising campaign.

Mr. Boler, a trustee and patient of Rush, said he wanted to give back to an institution that saved his life. Mr. Boler had a bacterial infection that he said destroyed a heart valve. Rush’s doctors inserted an artificial valve in its place. The imaging center funded with Mr. Boler’s gift will be named the Mary Jo and John Boler Centers for Advanced Imaging.

Donors like Mr. Boler are crucial to Rush’s fund-raising campaign. Richard M. Jaffee, the Rush trustee in charge of the capital program, said large donations will make it easier for the school to tap the debt market later to help pay for the expansion.
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