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Old May 20th, 2005, 01:25 PM   #41
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Eco-friendly building fits right into Garfield Park

May 20, 2005

BY GARY WISBY Environment Reporter


Much of the new life in spring is green, so it's fitting that Bethel New Life's new $4.5 million center on the West Side is one of the greenest in Chicago.

From its roof -- half plantings, half photovoltaic cells to capture solar energy -- to its bridge to the CTA's Green Line, the two-story center at Lake and Pulaski qualifies for an unprecedented gold rating from the U.S. Green Building Council.

More about environmentally friendly features later. But Bethel Center, which officially opened Thursday, is also community-friendly. Intended as a hub of activity in Garfield Park, it offers employment services, day care, Head Start classes, a bank, dry cleaners and a sandwich shop.

Agitation, link to L station

Mary Nelson, president of Bethel New Life, the faith-based social service agency founded 26 years ago, said, "Rabble-rousing is how all of this started." Closing of the Green Line in 1994 was the impetus. The agency joined with many partners -- including Oak Park and six other western suburbs -- to demand its return, and in the uproar the seeds for the new center were planted.

One result, Nelson said, was that "the Center for Neighborhood Technology introduced us to transit-oriented development." A brownfield site next to the L line was chosen, and the renovated Pulaski stop includes a covered pedestrian bridge to the center's second floor. Travel by train, of course, is cleaner.

"An opportunity for our dollars to stay here and be recirculated" is one of the center's offerings, said Jewel Mandeville of Bethel New Life's board.

In addition to the dry cleaners and a soon-to-open Subway sandwich shop, a branch of the 1st Bank of Oak Park will "bank the unbanked [to help] put currency exchanges out of business," said bank president Mike Kelly.

Energy-saving features

Designed by Chicagoarchitects Doug Farr and Kevin Pierce, the building is eligible for the building council's gold rating and would be the city's first to earn it. It should use only half as much energy as a conventional commercial building.

The green roof, planted with six kinds of sedum and five flowering plants, will lessen storm water runoff, heat absorption in summer and heat loss in winter. Other features include "super" insulation, further reduced heat absorption because of the building's beige color and shading from trees, a sophisticated heat recovery system and automatic light dimmers.

At least 25 percent of the building materials contain recycled content. Twenty percent of the materials were shipped from within 500 miles of Chicago, reducing the emission produced by transport. And half the wood used came from forests that are grown and harvested with environmentally friendly methods.
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Old May 23rd, 2005, 05:04 PM   #42
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From Globest.com

Sterling Park Plans 1,200 More Units for Homan Square
By Mark Ruda
Last updated: May 23, 2005 08:18am

CHICAGO-Details of the plan are in flux, but the Homan Square area will get another 1,200 residential units over the next five years. The $200-million project includes a mix of rental and for-sale units, many of them in three current buildings formerly used by Sears, Roebuck & Co. and its Allstate Insurance Co.

The five-story Sears administration building, six-story MDL building and 10-story Allstate building total about one million sf in the 3200 and 3300 blocks of W. Arthington and Polk streets. Plans by Royal Imperial Development’s Sterling Park LLC, which acquired the 12.6 acres from Shaw Co., include 637 units in those buildings, another 467 in three new 14-story buildings, a 75-unit senior assisted-living facility and 21 townhouses.

Previous plans called for the buildings to be converted to office, commercial or manufacturing uses, but market forces made that unfeasible, suggests Fred Deters of the department of planning and development. Already, 500 residential units have been created in the Homan Square redevelopment project, along with community centers and a 1.7-acre park.


It’s a huge increase in the number of units, notes plan commission member Allison Davis. The project nonetheless received a unanimous endorsement Thursday and is expected to get city council approval.

Sterling Park LLC managing member Mordecai Tessler says the exact mix of for-sale and rental units, as well as financing, are among the details still to be worked out. However, he hopes work can begin before the end of the year.

Work at the former Sears administration building at 3333 W. Arthington St. is governed by the Commission on Chicago Landmarks. That building and the MDL building at 3301 W. Arthington St. are part of a district listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
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Old May 24th, 2005, 05:57 PM   #43
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Not any new construction, but good news still for the Near West Side.

From Crain's

May 24, 2005

Smithfield Properties to build 442-bed UIC dorm
Developer plans to convert old office building overlooking Eisenhower

By Alby Gallun
A Chicago real estate developer plans to convert an old office building overlooking the Eisenhower Expressway into a 442-bed dormitory for students at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Smithfield Properties LLC has a contract to buy the building at 1001 W. Van Buren St. and has asked the city Plan Commission to approve the conversion project at its June 16 meeting.

Demand for downtown student housing has boomed in recent years as Chicago universities have evolved from commuter to residential schools. Last year, Columbia College and Roosevelt and DePaul universities opened University Center, a 1,700-bed dorm in the South Loop, while Loyola University is building a 26-story dorm on its Water Tower campus.
Smithfield, primarily a condominium developer, has also jumped into the market, breaking ground late last year on a 580-bed dorm for DePaul University on West Fullerton Avenue in Lincoln Park.

Smithfield saw a similar opportunity at UIC, which is directly across the Eisenhower from the developer’s latest project. The university is not involved in the development.

We carefully examined the on-campus population of UIC, particularly at the freshman and sophomore level, and how it has increased over the last decade combined with the lack of other (housing) options in the neighborhood, said Smithfield Principal Robert Buono.

Including the cost of acquiring the property, Smithfield plans to spend about $40 million converting the 275,000-square-foot building into 145 units, he said.
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Old May 25th, 2005, 12:31 AM   #44
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A new TOD in the near west side

I don't know if this was ever posted, but I absolutely go ZONKERS when I hear news like this:

City Targets El Stop for Redevelopment
By Mark Ruda
Last updated: May 18, 2005 08:21am

CHICAGO-A 12,700-sf vacant lot at 5144 W. Lake St. is being eyed by the city, which owns a 4,000-sf parcel at 5158 W. Lake St., for a potential transit-oriented, mixed-use development. The 16,700-sf site is next to the Chicago Transit Authority’s Green Line stop at Laramie Avenue.


The city picked up the smaller lot through a 2003 tax sale and will attempt to negotiate a sale with the Mount Prospect-based owner of the larger property. If those attempts are unsuccessful, the department of planning and development has obtained acquisition authority from the community development commission, which would allow the city to use condemnation powers.


Department of planning and development project manager Benet Haller says the city could issue a request for proposals for the 16,700-sf parcel this summer. While located immediately west of a planned manufacturing district, the parcel is zoned C1-1, which would allow for a residential, office and retail building of about 20,000 sf.
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Old May 26th, 2005, 03:16 PM   #45
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Two Groups Adding 79 Units in East Garfield Park
By Mark Ruda (www.globest.com)
Last updated: May 25, 2005 12:28pm

CHICAGO-Gen One Group and Hispanic Housing Development Corp. will build 79 multifamily units on 35 scattered sites in the East Garfield Park community. The city will sell sites it owns, ranging from 1,900 sf to 7,200 sf, for a combined $1.1 million, near its target price.
The combined $19 million project will fill in vacant sites from California to Kedzie avenues, Grand Avenue and Washington Boulevard. Gen One Group will build 39 units, mostly in two-flat and three-flat buildings on 18 parcels while Hispanic Housing Development Corp. will build 40 units on 17 parcels. Hispanic Housing Development Corp. will make four of the units affordable under the city’s housing initiative, but company and city officials note the price range of $210,000 to $240,000 for 1,250-sf to 1,300-sf units already could be considered affordable. Meanwhile, Gen One Group plans to sell its condominiums, ranging from 1,400 sf to 2,300 sf, for an average of $230,000. However, it will offer a two-flat model at $330,000, which will include a rental unit that likely will offer an affordable housing opportunity, the developer says.

The land sale and project was endorsed Tuesday by the community development commission. “This development is long overdue,” says 27th Ward Alderman Walter Burnett. “This is an area that’s sort of hidden, but it’s a jewel to the community.”

Gen One Group and Hispanic Housing Development Corp. offered the two best proposals out of four received, says department of planning and development deputy commissioner Mary Bonome. Gen One Group, which includes former Chicago Park District chief executive officer David Doig, was formed last year to build multifamily projects in emerging neighborhoods, and is beginning one in the Austin community. Hispanic Housing Development Corp. has developed 1,800 affordable multifamily units and townhouses, and manages 3,500 units.

Although the sites are located in one of the city’s fastest-growing tax increment financing districts, Bonome says, the developers are seeking no city assistance for the projects.

The long-vacant sites have been used by “fly-dumpers” and are covered with weeds, says East Garfield Coalition president Clifton Cooper, whose group supports the projects.

Burnett recalls the city once had another developer, the only one to respond to a previous request for proposals, lined up to build on the sites. “For whatever reasons, it didn’t go,” Burnett says. “I think he was overloaded with other projects.”
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Old June 2nd, 2005, 10:01 PM   #46
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Dorm days ahead for ‘mural building’
UIC students may be moving in to Ike landmark

By HAYDN BUSH, Staff Writer


UIC students could soon be housed in that funny-looking building off the Ike.

Near West
It’s long been a quirky, eye-catching diversion for motorists stuck in traffic on the Eisenhower Expressway. Now, an old West Loop warehouse adorned with a mural of a never-built Chicago civic center could be transformed a dorm serving UIC students a short walk down Morgan Street from campus.

The plan, developed by Smithfield Properties, calls for 145 units of student housing with a total of 442 beds, along with 71 parking spaces, at 1001-1057 West Van Buren. The building is currently occupied by Goodwill Industries, among other tenants.

While Smithfield Principal Robert Buono was unavailable for comment this week, the development company has applied for a Planned Development with the Chicago Plan Commission, which will vote on whether to approve the project at their June 16 meeting.

The project would be the first private residence hall aimed directly at UIC students. Michael Landek, interim vice chancellor for external affairs at UIC, said that the developer approached the school about a possible partnership. But with UIC planning its own 750-bed residence hall on its south campus, the university was not in a position to extend itself further financially, Landek said. Nevertheless, he said UIC enthusiastically supports the development.

“We certainly look forward to additional partnerships in any way we can put together,” Landek said. “...If we get to capacity, word of mouth will certainly direct students there.” Landek added that since several landlords service the community, UIC would likely steer clear of doing any marketing for any outside operators.

WLCO executive director Martha Goldstein met with the developer within the last month, and said this week that the building will be completely rehabbed on the inside, but that no exterior changes have been proposed. She said the developer plans to include first floor retail space, and would house three to four students in each room. Goldstein said the plan makes sense for the far southern end of the West Loop, and would enliven the are.

“This is a very good utilization of the buildings currently there,” Goldstein said.

Eric Sedler, president of the West Loop Community Organization, is also supportive of the redevelopment plan.

“We think it’s fine,” Sedler said. “We feel like it’s something beneficial to UIC, and we’re happy to support it.”

In 2003, the West Loop Community Organization opposed an effort to construct the Premier Center, a proposed, 29-story high rise just west of the mural building in 2003. That plan would have renovated the so-called mural building into a series of condominium lofts. Goldstein said the Premier Center developer ultimately sold the property to Smithfield. The current plan does not include any new buildings on the site.

We think it’s a better setup,” Goldstein said of the new plans, adding “we’re opposed to too much height in the neighborhood.

For now, Sedler said, the influx of a few UIC students into the West Loop does not pose any concern to the future development of the area. He added, though, that he would want to sit down with UIC and the University Village Association if a preponderance of student housing projects emerge north of the Ike.

“I’m not sure the prospect of a huge amount of student housing fits with what we’re trying to accomplish, “ Sedler said, adding “some level of housing is important to UIC.”

Goldstein agreed, saying she would like to monitor the success of the new project before any additional student housing proposals come forth.

“We’d like to see how this one goes,” Goldstein said.

As for the mural itself, it depicts a domed civic center dreamed up by Daniel Burnham in his famous 1909 Plan of Chicago. Burnham proposed constructing the never-built civic center at Congress and Halsted. The Civic Center was never built, and a related plan to construct a series of roads emanating from the civic center in every direction was later trumped by the construction of the Circle Interchange at the same location. The mural would apparently be left alone by the redevelopment plans.
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Old June 3rd, 2005, 07:46 AM   #47
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The new convention center and hotel in Scumburg is now topped out at 17 stories. Some pics from 5/31....

From the south





from the northeast


from the north


Hotel Entrance


Convention Center

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Old June 17th, 2005, 02:39 PM   #48
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236-Unit Project Pitched for Industrial Site
By Mark Ruda
Last updated: June 16, 2005 07:04pm

CHICAGO-A 5.7-acre trucking distribution center in Brighton Park will be redeveloped with 140 townhouses and 96 condominiums. Dubin Residential’s $60-million planned development, which is likely to be completed in 2008, was endorsed Thursday by the plan commission.

Construction of the 236-unit project at 3600-36 S. Western Ave., near a Chicago Transit Authority Orange Line stop, could begin next spring, president and chief executive officer David Dubin tells GlobeSt.com. “This is a site that’s been cited for illegal dumping, and has become an eyesore or sorts,” says 12th Ward Alderman George Cardenas. “(Western Avenue) is a great avenue that’s been neglected for some time. We’ve got to take a look at obsolete buildings and do something with them.”

Dubin Residential will replace two buildings totaling 12,000 sf with one- and two-bedroom condominiums, priced from $170,000 to the low $200,000 range, in three five-story buildings facing Western Avenue. The prolific multifamily developer is offering 36 condominiums to buyers qualifying under the city’s affordable housing initiative. The two- and three-bedroom townhouses, likely to sell for $250,000 to $300,000, will be arranged in seven clusters.

The site, which Dubin Residential still must acquire from Garmat, LLC, is zoned M2-1 but would be rezoned to RM4.5. The project’s density is 25% less than the new zoning would allow.

One downside to the site is its neighbors to the south and west—the Chicago and Alton Railroad and Chicago Junction Railway Co. lines. “It’s not a high-speed rail line by any means,” says Cardenas, noting single-family homes are north of Dunin Residential’s site. “We don’t get a lot of complaints from the residents, and there are houses that are closer to the tracks.” Nonetheless, Dubin will consider landscaping along the property’s south and west borders as a potential buffer.
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Old June 17th, 2005, 08:34 PM   #49
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BVictor1
236-Unit Project Pitched for Industrial Site
By Mark Ruda
Last updated: June 16, 2005 07:04pm

CHICAGO-A 5.7-acre trucking distribution center in Brighton Park will be redeveloped with 140 townhouses and 96 condominiums. Dubin Residential’s $60-million planned development, which is likely to be completed in 2008, was endorsed Thursday by the plan commission.

Construction of the 236-unit project at 3600-36 S. Western Ave., near a Chicago Transit Authority Orange Line stop, could begin next spring, president and chief executive officer David Dubin tells GlobeSt.com. “This is a site that’s been cited for illegal dumping, and has become an eyesore or sorts,” says 12th Ward Alderman George Cardenas. “(Western Avenue) is a great avenue that’s been neglected for some time. We’ve got to take a look at obsolete buildings and do something with them.”

Dubin Residential will replace two buildings totaling 12,000 sf with one- and two-bedroom condominiums, priced from $170,000 to the low $200,000 range, in three five-story buildings facing Western Avenue. The prolific multifamily developer is offering 36 condominiums to buyers qualifying under the city’s affordable housing initiative. The two- and three-bedroom townhouses, likely to sell for $250,000 to $300,000, will be arranged in seven clusters.

The site, which Dubin Residential still must acquire from Garmat, LLC, is zoned M2-1 but would be rezoned to RM4.5. The project’s density is 25% less than the new zoning would allow.

One downside to the site is its neighbors to the south and west—the Chicago and Alton Railroad and Chicago Junction Railway Co. lines. “It’s not a high-speed rail line by any means,” says Cardenas, noting single-family homes are north of Dunin Residential’s site. “We don’t get a lot of complaints from the residents, and there are houses that are closer to the tracks.” Nonetheless, Dubin will consider landscaping along the property’s south and west borders as a potential buffer.
^Nice find, Butler. This is awesome news for the near southwest side. Also, it's near an Orange Line stop--spectacular.

I once started a thread complaining about the lack of TOD near orange-line stops. It's as if these developers are reading my mind (or visiting this forum )
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Old June 21st, 2005, 03:32 PM   #50
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Another example of how stupid some of Chicago's suburbanites are:

Warrenville stops downtown plan
By Harry Hitzeman
Daily Herald Staff Writer
Posted Tuesday, June 21, 2005

ADVERTISEMENT


Warrenville leaders Monday shot down a controversial plan to redevelop a stretch of the city’s downtown area with townhouses, condominiums and a splash of retail.

“People want to preserve the rural character of Warrenville,” said William Weidner, one of five aldermen who voted against the Warrenville Centre plan.

Joining him in voting no were: Aldermen James McGuire, Matthew Wiesbrock, Fred Bevier and David Schultz.

Aldermen Clare Barry and Dan Leonard voted in favor of the plan, which was unanimously recommended by the city’s plan commission earlier this year. Alderman George Safford was absent.

“Beauty is in the eye of the beholder,” Barry said. “Just because these buildings don’t look like the other buildings that are on that street doesn’t mean it’s wrong.”

Proposed by Aurora-based Dwight Avram Builders, Warrenville Centre contained seven luxury townhouses, 39 condominiums and 5,800-square-feet of retail space along 4.74 acres on the east side of Batavia Road, north of Warrenville Road.

Four homes and an old antique store would have been razed and the four buildings in the development would have been constructed with different facades to create the impression it was built over time like an old city block.

The plan also hinged upon the city and Avram agreeing on how much financial assistance the city would provide from a special taxing district designed to spur redevelopment.

Avram, who declined to comment after the no vote, had said the plan could not go forward without assistance from the Tax Increment Financing District, but he couldn’t specify exactly how much money was needed.

Some council members were uncomfortable with that unknown variable. “I feel like I’m buying a car. It looks real good and pretty, but I don’t know the price and you want me to sign the agreement,” McGuire said.

More than 60 residents packed city hall to protest the plan. Like most people that spoke, Linda Salek said the plan was just too big.

“This (project) changes the entire feel of our town,” Salek said. “I don’t mean to be facetious, but if we wanted to move to Naperville, we would have moved to Naperville. We moved to Warrenville because of its small-town charm.”

Others opposed to the plan feared setting precedent for multifamily housing, increased traffic and high density. They also complained the city granted numerous zoning exceptions to accommodate Avram and opposed the developer’s request for city funding.

A few people spoke in favor of it, saying the city has had a long-range goal of redeveloping the downtown area, Avram’s plan was the best so far and had been scaled back from nearly 70 units because of public concerns.
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Old June 21st, 2005, 06:48 PM   #51
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Urban Politician
“This (project) changes the entire feel of our town,” Salek said. “I don’t mean to be facetious, but if we wanted to move to Naperville, we would have moved to Naperville. We moved to Warrenville because of its small-town charm.”

Others opposed to the plan feared setting precedent for multifamily housing, increased traffic and high density. s.
If you "little town" doesn't grow, the kids go. Maybe Chicago?
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Old June 21st, 2005, 08:42 PM   #52
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Oh my goodness ! Multi family housing... EVIL! It might attract criminals. Yes, its definitely a good idea to preserve and promote Warrenville's rural character. They should continue in their quest to preserve and promote Warrenville's rural character by tearing down all those office buildings along the I-88 corridor. I heard they are multi-tenant ( I know, its shockingly evil) , which is a dangerous precedent and may also lead to more crime.
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Old June 23rd, 2005, 10:48 AM   #53
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6/22/2005 10:00:00 PM
Tall tales
Could a couple of felons really be building a 29-story tower in the West Loop?


By LAURA PUTRE, Editor

When the developer of a downtown condo tower is a convicted felon awaiting sentencing, all kinds of curious questions arise. For instance, will the guy have to wait in line for the phone to talk to contractors? And what effect does an orange jumpsuit have on securing financing?

Eric Sedler, president of the West Loop Community Organization, never expected he’d be wondering such things, but that was before he learned through a newspaper article that a pair of convicted felons might be building a 29-story high-rise in an area where 15 stories is usually enough to raise a fuss.

John Thomas and Louis Giordano, transplants from New York who were recently convicted in a billboard fraud scam, told the Sun-Times last week that they planned to build the tower at 1052 W. Monroe under the auspices of Carnegie Realty.

Sedler said he first learned about the development from a blurb in Crain’s Chicago Business prior to the Sun-Times article.

“Usually, the developers come to us,” Sedler said. “We learn about projects from them, not the paper. But in this case, what I know is based on what I read in the paper. We haven’t seen anything specific.”

The site of the proposed development is not zoned for a 29-story tower; developers would have to obtain a variance from the city. Current zoning in the immediate area limits building heights to 155 feet.

Sedler said the WLCO would likely oppose anything taller than zoning allows. “We have made our views very, very clear,” Sedler said. “And we’re hopeful that [Second Ward Ald. Madeline Haithcock] will support our position. She supports whatever her constituents want.”

But any worries may be premature. Martha Goldstein, the WLCO’s executive director, said she doubts that Giordano and Thomas have any claims at all on 1052 W. Monroe.

“I do not believe they are the developers,” Goldstein said. “This is their M.O. They throw things around, say they’re doing projects” that they aren’t involved in. Goldstein said the WLCO had plans to meet Thursday with another developer, Bob Horner of Winthrop Properties, regarding a possible development on the Carmichael’s site. Horner’s previous developments include 111 S. Morgan.

Phone messages for this story left for Thomas, Giordano, and Carmichael’s owner Mel Bechina were not returned. Horner also did not return calls seeking comment.
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Old July 6th, 2005, 09:16 AM   #54
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This Chicago highrise will soon be gone forever:

Henry Horner Homes 2, the last CHA highrise of this group on the West Side....




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Old July 6th, 2005, 05:34 PM   #55
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There are times when it gives as much pleasure to see some buildings coming down as it does to see others going up.
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Old August 10th, 2005, 10:19 PM   #56
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Correct me if I'm wrong, but won't this development eventually be right next to the United Center station of the Paulina Connector (ie Circle LIne)?

Here it is (from www.globest.com )


Condos Planned for Parking Lot Near UC
By Mark Ruda
Last updated: August 10, 2005 09:53am

(To read more on the multifamily market, click here.)


CHICAGO-While the once forlorn Near West Side neighborhood surrounding the United Center continues to see a redevelopment boom, a site at the northeast corner of Madison and Paulina streets has been a laggard. However, a developer has plans for a five-story, 16-unit condominium building with two ground-floor retail spaces.

The city is selling the 7,466-sf site to McVan, LLC, which has done several small-scale residential developments on the West Side, for its appraised value of $672,000. The partners’ $4.6-million development will receive no city assistance, says Kimberly Cooke of the department of planning and development.

The project could fuel additional development on privately-held properties now used as parking lots during Bulls and Blackhawk games, says 27th Ward Alderman Walter Burnett. The site at 1660 W. Madison St. has been the subject of six previous proposals, including one that called for construction of a Walgreen’s pharmacy. “This is a piece of property right around the corner from my home,” Burnett says. “With all the traffic that comes from the United Center, the fences catch all the debris…My neighbors are very excited someone’s trying to do something.”


Each of the upper four floors will have a single one-bedroom unit, expected to sell for $250,000, as well as three two-bedroom units, ranging from $313,000 to $343,000. Although it was not required because no city assistance is being offered, one of the two-bedroom units will be available to buyers qualifying under the city’s affordable housing initiative.

The ground-floor spaces, expected to be priced at $260,000 each, are likely to be bought by a coffee shop chain and convenience store, Cooke says. Construction, which is expected to take 18 months, is being financed by a 90% loan from State Bank of Countryside, she adds.


“It’s a little more ambitious than anything we’ve done,” says developer John VanKooten. “I’m excited about doing a project in a neighborhood where I live.”
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Old August 10th, 2005, 11:19 PM   #57
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The last time I drove through the West Side this past April, I was struck by the amount of vacant land between the poor West Side neighborhood and the "Near West Side." It was like a demilitarized zone between two warring factions. I'm so excited by the potential... I wonder if the (relatively) new Technology "incubator' park has enough employees to start fueling residential development in that area.
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Old August 11th, 2005, 11:28 PM   #58
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West Loop highrises raise concerns at meeting

By Monica Staton and Susan S. Stevens


(8/05/05) - Halsted Street in Greektown will keep its low-rise look even after a new development replaces the Chicago Christian Industrial League (CCIL), the developer said.
A new design specifies a 1 1/2 story façade on the site of the building that contains a store selling used clothing and furniture and a building that shelters women and children.
“Zoning is now such that it would only permit a lower building to be built,” said Eric Sedler, president of the West Loop Community Organization (WLCO), which has been pushing to reduce highrises in the area and which drew community residents to a June 27 meeting to discuss strategy.
The developer disagreed. “Mar-ket conditions, not zoning, led to the redesign,” said Rick Filler, development director of Harlem Irving Cos., which is buying the almost one full block from CCIL.
Two 11-story buildings will sit on the west side of the land at 123 S. Green St., where a shelter for men currently exists, Filler said. On Halsted, a 1 1/2 story structure will replace the three-story CCIL store with a scale “in keeping with the street,” he said.
The taller buildings will contain 180 condos, down from the 280 originally planned.
“There is a very strong majority of people in this neighborhood who don’t want highrises,” Sedler said. The WLCO is on alert because of other planned highrise projects; the group opposes construction of any development exceeding 115 feet high.


Highrise for Carmichael’s site?
One such project is a proposed 29-story building on the site of Carmichael Steakhouse, 1052 W. Monroe St, sought by the Carnegie Realty Group, which plans several other projects in the Loop and West Loop.
A “happy medium” is what Alderman Madeline Haithcock (2nd Ward) intends to achieve, according to her chief of staff, Robert L. Anderson, concerning the highrise.
The Carmichael site is not zoned for a 29-story tower; developers would have to obtain a variance from the City. Current zoning in the immediate area limits building heights to 155 feet.
Sedler said his group would oppose anything taller than current zoning allows.
Many residents would oppose a 29-story development, believing it would change the character of the neighborhood because changing the landscape invariably affects its intimacy. A West Loop resident attending the meeting cited Lakeview as a community that is growing yet retaining its community charm. Lakeview has a building height restriction of 80 feet.
“Perhaps West Loop residents are not aggressive enough” in using the law to mandate height restrictions,” said Mike Liddell, a West Loop resident. Neighbors have started a petition that will be sent to the City in a show of solidarity.


Developers’ pasts
Two members of the Carnegie group, John Thomas and Louis Giordano, are awaiting sentencing following their convictions in New York City for stealing credit-card numbers and forging documents. They could receive terms of up to five years.
“It’s not a positive,” Sedler said. He noted, however, that he has had “positive dealings” with a third developer in the group, Bob Horner, who erected an earlier building.
“We want developers who are well qualified, who have good track records, and who have the ability and the vision to put up something we can look at with pride in 50 years,” Sedler said.
Officials at Carmichael and Carnegie did not return repeated phone calls.
Other sites that concern Sedler and the WLCO are the Helix Camera building at 310 S. Racine St. and a vacant lot at 150 N. Halsted St. “Carmichael’s is the one that’s farthest along,” he said.
The organization also is keenly interested in the fate of the century-old office building and bank at 1 S. Halsted St., which MB Bank vacated last month when it moved into a new building across the street. “It’s a very important project,” Sedler said, though he has no idea what will be done with the building.
“There is no ordinance limiting building height in the West Loop,” Lori Bush, project manager with the Chicago Department of Planning and Development, told the West Central Chamber of Commerce after a community meeting. “Basically, development rights (density, use, etc.) are dictated by the zoning of a particular site.”

The City reviews projects only if the applicant or developer seeks a zoning change and if the size of the project triggers a “planned development” under the zoning ordinance, Bush said. In that case, the community will join in reviewing the project.
“Very generally, the City’s neighborhood plan for density in this area is outlined in the Near West Side Area Land Use Plan, which calls for higher density development along the expressways (both along Halsted and Van Buren), stepping down to lower densities in the rest of the West Loop/Near West Area,” she said. “This neighborhood plan was approved in 2000 and involved input from area residents and business owners in addition to neighborhood community organizations, the aldermen, and various city agencies.”



Old infirmary to become park
To increase the open-space feel of the community, the Chicago Park District board has approved a new 1.4 acre park at Sangamon and Adams Streets. A five-story building used for storage by the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) now occupies the site and will be torn down after park officials use $7.3 million in state and city dollars to buy the land from UIC.
The building once housed the Eye and Ear Infirmary; some preservationists have been trying to save the structure because of its architectural and historical value.
“The university originally acquired the property from the State of Illinois many, many years ago, and in its most recent useful life it served as offices for several programs of our College of Education, a home for UIC’s ROTC program, and as a storage depot for university property,” said Ellen M. Hamilton, UIC’s director of real estate planning and services.

“A number of factors led to our vacation of the building—functional obsolescence of the structure, consolidation of programs on campus, and acquisition of a central storage facility at 15th and Laflin Streets being the main considerations,” she said. “Right about the time the building became empty, CPD [Chicago Park District] approached us about acquiring the property.”

Gazette, Inc
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Old September 30th, 2005, 12:51 AM   #59
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Web Site: http://www.op2mize.com
Phone: 312-543-2900


Headline: U.S. House Speaker Hastert Dedicates DuPage National Technology Park

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

Full Release: OAK BROOK, Ill. (September 29, 2005) – U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert was the keynote speaker at the dedication of the DuPage National Technology Park in West Chicago, Ill.

Joined by state and local officials, Hastert addressed more than 200 guests and noted that the 800-acre master-planned, mixed-use business park will stimulate investment, advance research and bring quality, high-paying jobs to the region.

“This day is only possible because of the tireless efforts of individuals and organizations throughout government and the private sector,” Hastert said at the ceremony. “As a result of this collaborative effort, our region will continue to grow into a world-class center for technology and research, fuel our local economy and create good jobs for our residents.”

He continued: “The park’s fully improved roadways, utilities and landscaping were funded by a $34 million grant through the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity.”

“Gov. Blagojevich and the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity have made a significant contribution in making this a state-of-the-art business park and a first-class home to the international technology community,” said Michael Mullen, CEO of CenterPoint Properties. “The park’s communication and technology infrastructure has been engineered from the ground up to provide the most advanced connectivity for a wide variety of users and offers an extraordinary environment for innovation and growth.”

“Our state’s tremendous medical, agricultural, industrial and environmental assets make us an ideal national hub for greater technology exploration and advancement. We’re committed to providing the aggressive leadership and support that builds on those great assets to create an environment where tech innovation can thrive like never before. The DuPage National Technology Park is expected to generate some 2,000 jobs and nearly $500 million in wages during its first phase and is an excellent model of how we can use innovative public/private partnerships to unleash the enormous potential of this industry and help ensure a stronger and better future for Illinois,” Gov. Blagojevich said.

“We’re excited and proud to be part of this successful public/private partnership with DuPage County, the DuPage Airport Authority and the State of Illinois,” Mullen said. “This park is a classic in intergovernmental cooperation and bipartisan cooperation. It took vision and leadership from both sides of the aisle to get to where we are today. I am proud to say today that the DuPage National Technology Park is open for business.”

Dan Goodwin, who chairs the DuPage Airport Authority, told the guests that the vision for the park sought to leverage the innovative strength of the two national laboratories in DuPage County – Argonne National Laboratory and Fermi National Laboratory – in order to create a premier location where public and private research and development facilities, high-technology- and science-based companies and multi-institutional education and training facilities could reside. Goodwin thanked DuPage National Technology Park board chair Gerald Gorski and executive director Jack Tenison for helping to develop an innovative business model to sustain the park in the future without continued reliance on federal or state funding.

CenterPoint was chosen as the master developer in December 2004, and with recent approvals, is ready to construct technology and industrial build-to suits. Key tenants expected at the park include Argonne National Laboratory’s Center for Advanced Technology, the NASA Illinois Commercialization Center, the University of Illinois Technology Research Education and Commercialization Center and the Illinois Technology Development Alliance.

DuPage County Chairman Robert Schillerstrom spoke about the unique opportunities for advanced research and praised collaborative efforts between government, the education community and the private sector. Schillerstrom noted that tenants planned for the park will develop new technologies that will focus on national security, energy technology, environmental implications and complex transportation and communications technologies. The park will bring together entities that have vast expertise in science, engineering, academia and the social sciences. Great emphasis will be on technology transfer and commercialization, according to Schillerstrom.

“This will be a dynamic location for research, applied technology and business. The high-quality employment opportunities coupled with the world–class research greatly enhances the quality of life for our region. For generations, the Chicago region has been the crossroads of the nation. Now, thanks to Hastert’s vision, Gov. Blagojevich’s commitment and the expertise of CenterPoint Properties, the DuPage National Technology Park will be the crossroads for advanced and applied technology for the world,” Schillerstrom said.

About CenterPoint
CenterPoint is a publicly traded real estate investment trust (REIT) and the largest industrial property company in the 1.4-billion-square-foot Chicago regional market. As of June 30, 2005, the company owned and operated approximately 38 million square feet. The company and its affiliates owned or controlled an additional 3,342 acres of land upon which approximately 50 million square feet could be developed. The company is focused on providing unsurpassed tenant satisfaction and adding value to its shareholders through customer-driven management, investment, development and redevelopment of warehouse, distribution, light manufacturing buildings and logistics infrastructure. The first major REIT to focus on the industrial property sector, CenterPoint had a total market capitalization of approximately $3 billion as of June 30, 2005.

Contact:
Geoffrey Kasselman
[email protected]
312-543-2900
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Old September 30th, 2005, 02:14 AM   #60
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I've said it before, and I'll say it again... I 'm just not hearing enough stories of Denny Hastert's clout positively benefiting the area. (Say, nothing like Dan Rostenkowski.) Since the feds are now essentially 'maxing out the national credit card", hell, Denny better bring home the bacon. With CERN in Switzerland soon to surpass Fermilab as the largest particle accelerator, Fermilab's continued (inter)national prominence hinges on some next generation technologies that require serious multi-billion dollar federal funding. Given that Fermilab is within Denny's district, it would shock me if the Speaker of the f-ing House, the man 2 heartbeats away from Leader of the Free World, didn't provide for his own district in this case. Even if Denny's doesn't give a rat's arse about Chicago, if he helps DuPage out big time with federal tech dollars, the potential for the region as a whole is tremendous. As many have said before, Illinois lags well behind in venture capital funding *BUT* effectively the Feds are the biggest venture capital funder, especially for basic research that doesn't have any immediate business application, but whose seeds, when spread, can create many wealth-creating offspring. In this way, Illinois has a huge *POTENTIAL* advantage with Speaker Denny. Now it just has to be leveraged. Denny, bring it home baby, and the whole region should be kissing your feet!
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