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Old February 24th, 2006, 10:38 PM   #101
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^ I'd be surprised if Austin improved markedly over the next several years. Of course that's just conventional wisdom. I suppose investing in Austin is a typical high risk / high return situation.
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Old March 16th, 2006, 02:51 AM   #102
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Old March 16th, 2006, 07:01 PM   #103
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205 homes coming to 50-acre city site

March 16, 2006
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Old March 17th, 2006, 03:06 AM   #104
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At the Plan commission meeting, this and several other proposals were brought up (retail centers with parking, housing, etc). How did they look?
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Old April 5th, 2006, 06:07 PM   #105
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Builders See Condo Potential Near United Center
By Mark Ruda
Last updated: April 4, 2006 10:20am

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

CHICAGO-Delwar Construction Co. is paying the full appraised value for a 2,482-sf lot at 2243 W. Warren Blvd. to build a four-unit, $1.3-million condominium building. The $165,000 sale of the city-owned lot, next to property the north suburban developer already owns, was recently endorsed by the community development commission.

The project will bring additional market-rate for-sale housing to an area four blocks from the United Center and just south of the Chicago Housing Authority’s Henry Horner Homes, part of the agency’s $1-billion “Plan for Transformation” that is replacing the former housing project with a mixed-income neighborhood. The 1,800-sf, three-bedroom units will range from $300,000 to $400,000, with spaces in a four-car garage selling for an additional $10,000, according to Department of Planning and Development project manager Kimberly Cook.

Delwar Construction Co., whose new construction includes a 7,000-sf home in Lincolnshire and a 4,500-sf home in Inverness, is financing its West Side development with a $1-million loan from Beneficial Financial.
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Old April 5th, 2006, 06:43 PM   #106
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The beginning of the end of all those godforsaken parking lots??
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Old April 8th, 2006, 12:42 AM   #107
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Illinois Medical District announces expansion plans
By Jane Lawicki

The Illinois Medical District Commission (IMDC) has raised $40 million by selling taxable and tax-exempt bonds backed by the Illinois Finance Authority to help fund commercial development in the Chicago Technology Park and its District Development Area. Announced Feb. 21 by Governor Rod Blagojevich, the cost for planned projects within the Illinois Medical District (IMD) is estimated between $150 and $200 million and will be funded through private investment in addition to the bond financing. “As the global economy continues to evolve, we are investing in the technologies of today and tomorrow,”

Blagojevich said. “Biotechnology serves to improve everyday life by finding solutions to everything from human illnesses and safer food products to cleaner environments and reducing public health threats. It’s also creating high-paying, high-tech jobs.” Projects funded by the bond proceeds will enable the IMDC to acquire and develop additional land and facilities. These investments will provide infrastructure for growing and established life science companies from within Illinois and attract other companies to the area, with the ultimate goal of creating new jobs and economic opportunity in this rapidly growing industry.

The IMD’s expansion project includes the acquisition, construction and renovation of two sizeable properties and several smaller parcels within the boundaries of the Illinois Medical District Commission’s (IMDC) Chicago Technology Park. Plans include the construction of a graduate medical/biological research facility and the provision of “greenfield” sites in the District
Development Area (DDA) south of Roosevelt Road for future development.

The project will complement existing facilities by providing serviceable lab areas and other necessities to accommodate the expansion of existing and prospective new tenants consistent with the IMDC’s mission. The developed properties will be used for office space, laboratory space, ancillary parking, record retention, and for other academic, healthcare, emergency management and medical research related purposes. Key components of the project include the purchase and redevelopment of the American Society for Clinical Pathologists (ASCP) building at 2100 W. Harrison St. the construction of a graduate research facility and greenhouse on a site currently owned by the IMDC at the southeast corner of south Leavitt Street and west Lexington Street; the purchase of a 7.5 acre vacant site at 2020 W. Odgen Avenue that, when combined with an adjacent two-acre site the IMDC currently owns, will provide a 9.5 acre “greenfield” site suitable for future development; the leasing of the property at the southwest corner of south Leavitt Street and west Roosevelt Road to Jupiter Realty for the development of a seven-story, 170,000 square foot professional, office, research and medical building; and land acquisition of two separate blocks in the DDA south of Roosevelt Road which will be combined with currently owned parcels to pro-vide contiguous sizeable properties to be used for future development.

The new 40,000-square-foot graduate research facility will provide laboratory and administrative space for companies in the
research center that are outgrowing their existing space and for other biotechnology companies in Illinois and from elsewhere. Lab sizes in the new building will range from 3,000 to 10,000 square feet
. “This critical step forward by the Illinois Medical District is another strong example of why our state can not only lead the nation but also become the biotech capital of the world,” Blagojevich added. “With Chicago hosting BIO 2006 in just a couple of months, the rapid growth of biotech in the district and throughout Illinois will certainly continue.”

The annual BIO convention is the industry’s largest gathering of researchers, major international and domestic biotech corporations, start-ups, regulators and investors. Business Facilities magazine recently rated Illinois number one for biotech growth in 2005, thanks in part to the innovative work of the Illinois Medical District. BIO 2006 marks the first time the convention will be held in the Midwest, and more than 20,000 people from around the U.S. and more than 60 countries are expected to attend. As the nation’s largest urban medical district, the IMD is charged with governing coordinated growth and enhancement of the specially designated 560 acre district on the Near West Side. The IMD houses some 2,200 hospital
beds, employs 20,000 people, and generates $220 million in research annually.
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Old April 8th, 2006, 01:12 AM   #108
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Originally Posted by CPD
The beginning of the end of all those godforsaken parking lots??
Hopefully they won't drive away all the prostit...never mind.
There are six phases to every project 1) enthusiasm, 2) disillusionment, 3) panic, 4) search for the guilty, 5) punishment of the innocent, 6) praise for the non-participants. - Guy Tozzoli
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Old April 8th, 2006, 09:40 AM   #109
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Originally Posted by STR
Hopefully they won't drive away all the prostit...never mind.
Madison avenue??? brother we gotta point you to a better class of prostit...never mind...
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Old May 14th, 2006, 08:15 PM   #110
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Retail, condo project being planned for land on city's Near West Side
By Jeanette Almada

Special to the Tribune
Published May 14, 2006

Long-vacant land on the Near West Side will become part of a mixed-use project that will include residential units and ground-level retail space.

Chicago builder Chris Karbowski of Madison Developers Inc. is buying the city-owned land at 2434 W. Madison St. He will pay the appraised market rate price of $200,000.

Madison Developers will build a four-story building, with 1,300 square feet for retail on the ground floor and three condos on the other floors.

The condos will be a mix of two- and three-bedroom units with two baths. Each of the units will have about 1,300 square feet, said Frank Tholke, project manager for Madison Developers Inc.

The developer will sell them for $299,000, including a parking space, Tholke said.

Madison is working with a consortium of five private landowners and developers who are building on contiguous parcels on West Madison--from 2428 to 2444.

Chicago-based Hannah Architects Inc. is designing all of the project's buildings for a uniform look, Tholke said.

The other developers will build four-story buildings with ground-floor retail and upper-level condos that mirror the Madison Developers plan, according to Tholke.

The city land sale was approved last month by the Community Development Commission.

City Council approval is expected by June, he said.

Last edited by spyguy; May 14th, 2006 at 08:21 PM.
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Old May 14th, 2006, 11:49 PM   #111
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^ Always good news. More of that stuff is needed in that area.

I'm not a huge fan of side-ways slanting buildings, but the fact that the ground-level retail is flush and doesn't form an angle with the street saves it. Besides, a little variety in the streetscape doesn't hurt, as long as designs like as that aren't overdone
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Old June 2nd, 2006, 11:56 PM   #112
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CBP to the rescue?

Neighbors resist ****** Center dorm plans

By Susan S. Stevens

Ald. Danny Solis (25th Ward) said if the community next to the University of Illinois at Chicago campus does not want an eight-story, 300-student dormitory, he will not let a new Pope John Paul II ****** Center be built.

A petition opposing the dorm on the site of the current ****** Center at 700 S. Morgan St. drew more than 200 signatures in five days. Every homeowner who spoke at one meeting, called by Adam Walker, president of the owners' association at Town Homes of Vernon Park, opposed the dorm. All but two community residents at another meeting, called by the ****** Center's Rev. Patrick M. Marshall, spoke out against it. Each meeting drew more than 100 people.

“Nothing is going to pass until you tell me it is something you can support,” Solis said, referring to zoning changes necessary for the project. “There is nothing going to be passed behind your backs.”

Solis spoke at a May 11 meeting called by the owners association of the Vernon Park townhouses, located directly west of the ****** Center. An aide to Solis, Stephen Stults, re-stated that message at a May 17 meeting scheduled at ****** Center while Solis was in Washington.

“This is not a done deal,” Stults said. “There is no reason to get very concerned at this moment."

Stults said those who want to voice an opinion can call the Alderman’s office at (773) 523-4100 and have their comments recorded for the Alderman to listen to later. People also can write to Solis's office at 2439 S. Oakley Ave., Chicago, IL 60608 and e-mail [email protected].

Vernon Park townhouse owners also encouraged area residents to contact Mayor Richard M. Daley, UIC Chancellor Sylvia Manning, and the Archdiocese of Chicago.

Fr. Marshall, ****** Center chaplain and executive director, is president of a new not-for-profit foundation that owns the property, which recently was transferred to the foundation by the Archdiocese of Chicago.

"UIC can be a very cold, uninviting place," Fr. Marshall told the audience at the most recent meeting. “****** Center provides warmth, welcoming."

Students who participate in ****** Center programs are good neighbors already and last year donated 10,000 hours of community service, he said, although some at the meeting questioned that figure.

At an earlier meeting at ****** Center, which was publicized so little that only five neighbors attended, neighbors saw preliminary artist sketches of the building and adjacent 300-seat chapel. Those drawings were not shown at the second meeting.

The plans are so tentative that proponents did not want the distraction of visuals at the meeting, said Joseph F. Zosky, president of Zcorp Services construction company and secretary-treasurer of the new not-for-profit foundation. Zosky and Fr. Marshall promised better notification of the next meeting, which they said probably would be in June.

Residents expressed admiration for Fr. Marshall but noted they object to the plan because the community cannot absorb higher density, the eight-story height is out of scale for the area, access is limited, traffic will be congested, and parking is not provided.

By the time of the latest meeting, several residents had concrete suggestions.

Sell the land, put up five single-family houses and make $3 million, said one.

Why not move the ****** Center to one of the Catholic churches in the area that are hurting for members, another person asked, naming Our Lady of Pompeii, Holy Family, and St. Francis of Assisi.

Why not on Roosevelt Road, asked another, noting the extensive tracts of vacant land on the south side of that street.

Negotiate something that is acceptable to the community, several said.

Form a committee of five to seven members to seek a compromise, suggested University Village Association board member Oscar D’Angelo, who said he had “reservations” about bringing 300 additional students into the neighborhood.

Keep an open mind, said Sunny Chico, who lives four blocks away on Loomis Street. Chico is another UVA board member and has raised money for the ****** Center. She offered to be on a committee.

“A better course of action is to find another pathway,” said Jack Weinberg, who offered to join a committee to negotiate alternatives. He moved to a nearby townhouse because it is a “green, quiet place” that 300 students and trucks hauling food and trash out would "destroy," he said.

“This is a low rise, un-dense community,” Weinberg said. “A dorm would change the residential character of the neighborhood.”

Weinberg and more than a dozen other people in the audience at ****** Center expressed opposition to the current plan.

“This is the wrong place at the wrong time,” said Bill O’Neill, a UIC professor who has lived in the neighborhood for half of his 40 years of teaching.

Marshall and Zosky said plans are not firm, though the dorm needs 300 students to pay its way. They vowed to continue listening to area residents.

“This is an initial meeting, not a one-time thing,” Marshall said.

The project would cost $25 million, Marshall and Zosky said. No financing has been arranged, Zosky commented, claiming "a few" investment bankers have come forward to express interest.

The ****** Center is poised to acquire another property: the owner of the first townhouse south of the center, at 800 S. Morgan St. just south of the park where Polk Street dead-ends, has been transferred to California and plans to sell the townhouse to the ****** Center for $660,000, Zosky said. If the new building is approved, the townhouse will be used for some of the ****** Center staff. He also noted the ****** Center might buy another property "if we can afford it," Zosky said. "We want our staff and our priest to live in the neighborhood."

That additional property will not be Agape House, a Protestant ministry one block west, Zosky added. Agape has been undergoing a reorganization and is searching for a new Protestant minister to direct it.

One resident alleged the ****** lawyer is the nephew of an Alderman on the City Council Zoning Committee. Zosky shot down that rumor by insisting ****** does not have a lawyer, although two have approached the organization.

Zosky’s company, Zcorp, has built numerous senior housing complexes and parking garages. It also built the current O’Hare Airport control tower and the UIC Hospital.
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Old June 9th, 2006, 07:14 PM   #113
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102 homes planned in N. Lawndale

June 9, 2006

BY BILL CUNNIFF Real Estate Reporter

A groundbreaking ceremony recently was held for Heritage Homes of West Village, a mixed-income development at Polk and Kedzie.

"This is something North Lawndale can be proud of," said Ted Mazola, president of New West Realty, the developer working with the City of Chicago. "In place of vacant lots, there will be homes that offer residents the chance to be homeowners. It's a part of the American Dream, and New West is thrilled to work with the city to make it happen."

U.S. Rep. Danny Davis (D-Ill.) agrees with Mazola about the importance of creating opportunities for home ownership. "Giving people a chance to own a home is an important step in the continued rejuvenation of this neighborhood," Davis said. "Pride in the homes and the neighborhood as a whole is necessary for helping North Lawndale thrive as a community."

Ald. Michael Chandler (24th) is also enthusiastic about the development. "We will continue to build this neighborhood, block by block," he said.

A total of 102 homes -- town houses, duplexes and walk-up condominiums -- are planned. Twenty-five of the homes will be offered starting in the low-$100,000s under the City of Chicago's affordable housing program.

Market-rate 3-bedroom condos will start in the $230,000s. Two-bedroom duplexes are priced from the $260,000s. Three-bedroom town houses begin in the $320,000s. Amenities will include 1- or 2-car garages. Some plans have decks or balconies.

More than 10 percent of the market-rate homes were sold in the first week, said Terrie Whittaker, president of sales and marketing for New West Realty. "That shows this is a viable area with a lot to offer," Whittaker said.

There is a waiting list of qualified applicants for the 25 affordable homes.

"Heritage Homes of West Village is a great example of our philosophy at New West," Mazola said. "We often build in up-and-coming areas, where there is the unmet demand for new, for-sale housing. We like to be a part of developing a neighborhood."

Heritage Homes of West Village, Chicago. A temporary sales center, with a decorated model, is located off-site at 2112 W. Madison, at the corner of Madison and Hoyne. New West Realty, (312) 491-1930, www.heritagehomeschicago.com.

North Lawndale graystones

Neighborhood Housing Services of Chicago recently announced a new initiative designed to help homeowners in North Lawndale affordably rehab and preserve their 100-year-old graystones.

"North Lawndale is home to nearly 2,000 graystones, more than any other Chicago community," said Bruce Gottschall, NHS executive director. "The Historic Chicago Greystone Initiative will build community pride, stimulate reinvestment, increase home ownership and promote property improvement throughout North Lawndale.

"The Historic Chicago Greystone Initiative is an exciting opportunity for homeowners to rehab their homes and for home buyers to purchase new homes with affordable loans from our Neighborhood Lending Program," he said.

Since 1975, NHS has helped to create about 2,600 new homeowners and assisted about 158,000 low- and moderate-income families with their housing needs, he said.

"Some of the exterior facades of these beautiful, limestone-faced brick structures are crumbling," said Charles Leeks, director of NHS North Lawndale. "NHS has money available to support rehabbing. We also have experienced NHS construction specialists to assist owners in obtaining bids from licensed, insured contractors, and to monitor the home-improvement projects."

As part of its revitalization efforts, NHS provides affordable financing for families who want to buy, fix, or keep their home.

"The City of Chicago's Department of Housing is glad to support this initiative because it will help preserve these beautiful, historic buildings and bring improvements to the North Lawndale community," said Chicago Housing Commissioner John G. Markowski. "Preservation of Chicago housing stock is an important part of keeping neighborhoods affordable."

The City of Chicago Department of Housing and Department of Planning and Development have committed $1 million in funding through its TIF Neighborhood Improvement Program to help fund grants for homeowners in the Greystone Initiative.

Gerald Earles and his wife, Lorraine, own a graystone in the area. "Our graystone has all of its original exterior details and interior woodwork, cabinetry, moldings and fixtures," Gerald said.

"We have repaired the roof, installed new windows and gas heating, replaced dry wall, fixed the plumbing, and tuckpointed," he said. "We encourage everyone to improve their properties. Use the services of NHS. They are a reputable, nonprofit housing organization that helps families achieve their dreams of home ownership."

Historic Chicago Greystone Initiative. NHS, (800) 482-4090, or visit www.nhschicago.org. For information on purchasing a graystone or other home, call the NHS Redevelopment Corp. at (773) 568-1020.

For information on City of Chicago housing programs, call 311, or visit the Web site, www.cityofchicago.org/housing.

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Old June 9th, 2006, 07:44 PM   #114
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hey URB since when doesnt uic get their way?
they have pretty much had carte blanche with the neigborhood it seems,
almost completely destroying the surrounding area,
but this is atleast a step in the right direction,
overall i like uic and how its doing though.

these nimbies crack me up, they act like they are suburbians,
what stands at the current site right now?

and the north lawndale greystone initiative sounds great
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Old July 4th, 2006, 03:34 AM   #115
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West Side draws Sundance Kid
Redford eyes Fannie May site for theaters

Robert Redford's start-up movie theater chain is in talks to anchor a retail complex planned for the former Fannie May factory site on the Near West Side, a deal that would add celebrity glitz to a once-gritty area now brimming with new condos and townhouses.

Sundance Cinemas LLC is close to signing a letter of intent to open a six- to eight-screen theater in a 266,000-square-foot, multistory development proposed for the site just north of the Eisenhower Expressway and east of Racine Avenue, according to people familiar with the negotiations. A Chicago location would be a key step in a planned nationwide rollout of movie theaters featuring the artsy independent films and brainy documentaries that have gained wider popularity thanks in part to Mr. Redford's non-profit Sundance Film Festival.

Photo: Erik Unger

Sundance Cinemas was launched last year by Oaktree Capital Management LLC, a Los Angeles investment firm with $30 billion in assets, and Provo, Utah-based Sundance Group LLC, which oversees Mr. Redford's business interests, including a cable channel, a catalog company and a resort. Sundance has already signed theater deals in Madison, Wis., and San Francisco and is interested in the South Boston Waterfront, an area targeted for redevelopment.

"Sundance Cinemas is looking at many sites all across the country," says President and CEO Paul Richardson, declining further comment. Mr. Richardson is a former top executive with Los Angeles-based Landmark Theatres, the country's largest art house chain with 57 theaters nationwide, including the Century Centre Cinema at 2828 N. Clark St.

Negotiations started about a month ago between Sundance and a venture that includes two low-profile Chicago development firms, IBT Group LLC and Structured Development LLC, sources say.

"We are getting a really positive response from a lot of retailers. Unfortunately we're not at a point where we can disclose any of the names of the tenants that we are talking to," says IBT President Gary Pachuki. An announcement is expected "in the next short period of time," he adds. Michael Drew, a principal in Structured Development, declines comment.


The developers have been working on the project for nearly two years, after paying $12.2 million for the nearly four-acre site at 1137 W. Jackson Blvd, part of the liquidation of the historic Chicago candy company. Called Metro Center 290, to play up the location along Interstate 290, plans for the project also include a specialty grocery store and a health club.

Even so, the Near West Side would at first seem an odd choice for Sundance, compared with trendier neighborhoods such as Bucktown or Lincoln Park. In the late 1990s, as part of a failed first launch of the movie house chain with General Cinemas, Mr. Redford planned a theater at North and Clybourn avenues, but never went ahead with the deal.

But retailers are slowly following a West Side housing boom that's moving westward from Halsted Street's Greektown past the United Center.

"It's hard for some retailers to have the vision to imagine what this thing is going to look like when it's built, much less all the residential around it," says Paul Bryant, a principal in Oakbrook Terrace retail brokerage Mid-America Real Estate Corp., which isn't involved in the project.

In Madison, as part of the redevelopment of Hilldale Shopping Center, Sundance is planning a six-screen, 1,200-seat theater that would include a bar, restaurant and shop for Sundance-themed merchandise, says Andrew Stein, vice-president of development at Palatine real estate firm Joseph Freed & Associates LLC, which owns Hilldale. "Sundance is the premier name in independent art films. That's what we're banking on," he says. Announced in November, the theater is expected to be opened early next year.

©2006 by Crain Communications Inc.
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Old July 13th, 2006, 05:55 PM   #116
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Oak Park may bring back brick streets

not big news, but I kinda like this tid bit about Oak Park


Oak Park may bring back brick streets

Oak Park may bring back brick streets

July 13, 2006


Already known for being the birthplace of Ernest Hemingway and the architectural playground of Frank Lloyd Wright, Oak Park may soon claim another mark of distinction from its neighbors: brick roads.

The village is considering a proposal to convert some of its residential streets to brick from asphalt. Wilmette restored some of its bricks as part of a four-year restoration project that wrapped up last year.

In addition to adding character, brick streets would be more in line with the suburb's historic homes, Oak Park Village President David Pope said.

A bicyclist rides on brick-paved Michigan Avenue in Wilmette on Tuesday. Oak Park is considering a similar look for some streets. (TOM CRUZE/ SUN-TIMES)
He's also hopeful the bumpier surface would slow motorists down or, better yet, keep them on major arterial and feeder streets.

"Using bricks for local residential streets will help to preserve them as more pedestrian in character," Pope said. "They give you an immediate sense that you're in a residential area."

Brick streets also tend to enhance property values because they are so desirable.

Only one street in the west suburb, the 700 block of Woodbine, has an exposed brick surface.

Most of the major streets that had brick surfaces were paved over with asphalt beginning in the late 1940s and early 1950s, according to Frank Lipo, executive director of the Historical Society of Oak Park and River Forest.

Ideally, Pope wants to see eight to 12 streets a year get their grooves back.

1st major repair 40 years away

Oak Park wouldn't be the first to switch to brick. In addition to Wilmette's conversion in 2005, Champaign and Davenport, Iowa, also have brick restoration programs.

Though it comes with a heftier price tag up front, brick is more durable and requires less long-term maintenance than asphalt.

Asphalt streets require repaving every 15 to 20 years, and total reconstruction every few decades, said Brigitte Mayerhofer, Wilmette's engineering director.

The first significant maintenance for a brick street comes in about 40 years when the bricks need to be flipped over. Individual bricks may also need to be replaced from time to time.

Mayerhofer said the response to the bricks in Wilmette was overwhelmingly positive. The only complaints, she said, were that the brick roads are noisier than asphalt and rough on bikers.

Lipo said the return of brick streets in Oak Park is an intriguing prospect.

"People do a kind of a double take when they see that rich red brick," he said. "It kind of takes you back a little bit."

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Old July 27th, 2006, 12:36 AM   #117
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new condo project going up in berwyn, oak park's neighbor to the south

Century Station, mixed use, 5 story, 52 condos. Across the street from the Metra/BNSF train station.

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Old July 27th, 2006, 01:11 AM   #118
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^ Ahhh, a breath of fresh air.

TOD in the 'burbs.

Boring architecture, but functionally EXACTLY what more of the region needs
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Old July 27th, 2006, 07:57 AM   #119
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Originally Posted by The Urban Politician
^ Ahhh, a breath of fresh air.

TOD in the 'burbs.

Boring architecture, but functionally EXACTLY what more of the region needs
LOL, the only boring on here is you!
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Old July 27th, 2006, 10:02 PM   #120
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Originally Posted by ChicagoSkyline
LOL, the only boring on here is you!
^ Launch 1 more personal attack on me and I'll report you to the mods.

EDIT: Nevermind, I already reported that comment.

I will report every rude personal comment made towards me by you--just thought you should be aware..

Last edited by The Urban Politician; July 27th, 2006 at 10:12 PM.
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