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Old May 28th, 2005, 07:56 AM   #21
ChicagoLover
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I never thought the 4th Presbyterian tower looked all that impressive from the renderings, so I think this loss is very minor. The design for the tower was no better than the Lancaster. Average, nothing sensational. I don't know what Natarus is talking about in fawning over the design of this proposed tower. There are many other buildings under construction or proposed that far exceed this tower in quality.

This news is actually good in a way. We don't want mediocre-to-average buildings soaking up residential demand, thus indirectly jeopardizing the viability of better-designed buildings on the drawing boards.

Also, I'd rather demand be spent on buildings on streets that most need it, namely Wabash.

All of that said, SOAR is a case of intelligent people being dishonest or foolish or both.
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Old May 28th, 2005, 08:12 AM   #22
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^We should remember that it is unlikely that all of the buildings on the drawing boards will get built. The absence of competition from 4th Presbyterian will make it more likely that demand is high enough to bring FAR superior buildings like 65 East Huron into existence.

I think one of the reasons forumers have been routing for this building in such a strong way has less to do with the merits of the building's designs than with the desire to defeat the enemy SOAR.
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Old May 28th, 2005, 07:05 PM   #23
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I honestly don't even remember what 4th Pres looks like at this point (that can't be a good sign - I always remember good buildings). I do agree wit ChicagoLover though, we should be using the demand to spark development in places that need it. No sense in cramming another high-rise somewhere it's not needed when there's pleanty of surface lots just screaming for redevel.
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Old May 28th, 2005, 09:52 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by geoff_diamond
This is a big surprise. I can't remember the last time I saw Natarus shoot down such a prominent project. At the same time, I imagine he's looking toward the future and election-time, at which point an angered SOAR and Connor's Park group might be all that's needed to oust him.

Personally, this sort of opposition still makes me gag - if you're concerned about losing your view, buy a condo on Lakeshore. Otherwise, shut up. If you're concerned about too much traffic and density, buy a house in Naperville. If you're concerned about your property values faling to appreciate at a high enough level for you, at least have the balls to admit it.

SOAR makes me ******* sick... this project isn't even IN Streeterville, yet they find a way to stick their noses in it and probably get it shelved. And, for those people in the Hancock complaining about losing a view... what, exactly, are you losing a view of? Chicago's beautiful west side? Give me a ******* break.
What effect will Natarus's oppositon have on the project?
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Old May 29th, 2005, 02:09 AM   #25
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I was under the impression that the alderman's decision was final, and that the other procedures were formalities. So the alderman's letter would be the death knell for 4th Presby. tower. Am I wrong?
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Old May 29th, 2005, 03:21 AM   #26
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[QUOTE=Chi_Coruscant]http://www.artic.edu/aic/visitor_info/groundbreak.html

Groundbreaking Ceremony for the Art Institute’s New Building
May 31, 2005
Celebration begins at 8:30 a.m. in the North Garden

Opening in spring 2009, the glass, limestone, and steel structure will add a 21st-century architectural identity to a museum best known for its grand 19th-century building on Michigan Avenue.

What's the deal with ground breaking on this on Monday and it not being finished for 4 years? Is this thing really going to take that long (Sears, JHC, Aon, Trump all took or will take less)? Or is this some sort of cermonial groundbreaking and real work won't start for awhile like Feeedom Tower?
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Old May 29th, 2005, 06:27 AM   #27
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Alderman opposes tower by landmark church

May 26, 2005

BY DAVID ROEDER AND FRAN SPIELMAN Staff Reporters
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Downtown's alderman Wednesday issued a thumbs-down review of the most controversial development on the city's agenda, the plans for a 64-story tower immediately west of the landmark Fourth Presbyterian Church at Michigan and Delaware.

Far from just another commentary on the project, the letter from Ald. Burton Natarus (42nd) diminishes chances it will win city approval, at least in its current form. The developers need a zoning change for the tower, and the City Council usually follows the wishes of the local alderman on such matters.

In a two-page letter, Natarus said the project's design has merit. But he assigned great weight to the opposition letters he received from those who live near the project. The letters supporting it, he said, tended to come from residents outside the Streeterville area.

Local residents, under the umbrella of such groups as the Streeterville Organization of Active Residents and the Connors Park Neighborhood Coalition, complained the tower would block views. They also said it would overwhelm the serenity of the church, whose sanctuary and garden offer a refuge amid the rush of Magnificent Mile shopping.

"What is proposed is a beautiful architectural piece, which should be built elsewhere -- on a site with open space," Natarus wrote. "The overwhelming opposition to this development by nearby neighbors clearly indicates that the public health and welfare of the community will be impaired; and thus, I am obligated to report that I cannot support this application for development as outlined above."

The condominium tower would have gone up on land the church owned. Last year, it struck a deal with developers Edward James Partners LLC and Opus North Corp. to be paid $25 million for a long-term lease on the property.

The Rev. John Buchanan, pastor of Fourth Presbyterian, said Natarus' decision disappointed him because the project fit the guidelines published in the city's own central area plan. Buchanan and Jack Guthman, the zoning lawyer for the project, said they'll ask for a city hearing despite Natarus' opposition.

That would mean bringing the project before the Chicago Plan Commission, of which Natarus is a member. If it's approved there, it would go to the City Council.

"We understand there's a history of following the alderman's advice, but we'll have to deal with that issue because we believe in our cause here," Guthman said. He also said resorting to the courts is possible if the zoning isn't granted.

The developers said the high-rise would have been shorter than most of the other signature buildings along Michigan Avenue, such as Park Tower, Water Tower Place, the 900 N. Michigan tower and the strapping John Hancock Center. Many saw irony in Hancock residents complaining about the height of an adjoining structure.

Jim Houston, president of the Streeterville residents group, said Natarus respected local concerns about density and traffic. The building would have overwhelmed the block and "created a density that is unprecedented anywhere else in the city," he said.

Natarus could not be reached. The language in his letter indicated he'd be open to a compromise involving a smaller building.

Development is a constant issue in his ward and during the most recent aldermanic election in 2003, Natarus had a tough race. He won a relatively low 56 percent of the vote against a challenger who accused him of being too accommodating to builders.

Asked about drafting a compromise, Buchanan replied, "We haven't even begun that conversation yet."

The church's contract with the developers foresaw the possibility of city rejection. It provided for a lower payment, down to $13 million, if the city insisted on a smaller building.

As proposed, the 64-story tower would have included 240 condos plus about 74,000 square feet for the church's use.
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Old May 29th, 2005, 06:29 AM   #28
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[QUOTE=2PRUROCKS!]
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chi_Coruscant
http://www.artic.edu/aic/visitor_info/groundbreak.html

Or is this some sort of cermonial groundbreaking and real work won't start for awhile like Feeedom Tower?
perhaps donald trump thought the new addition to the Art Institute was ugly and lacked class.
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Old May 29th, 2005, 10:29 AM   #29
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[QUOTE=edsg25]
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2PRUROCKS!

perhaps donald trump thought the new addition to the Art Institute was ugly and lacked class.
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Old May 29th, 2005, 06:53 PM   #30
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Like ChicagoLover said, what Natarus says pretty much goes. If he gave the project, in its current state, a thumbs down - don't expect to see it built unless some major changes are made and he approves them.
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Old May 30th, 2005, 12:00 AM   #31
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I have a question on legality. I'm going to assume it is a non-issue, but pose it just the same.

Bernie Natarus publically let 4th Pres and the developers what guidelines he'd accept for this tower to proceed.

the church and the developers operated on good faith in redesigning the tower to meet the city's needs.

that's a helluva lot of time, effort, and, most importantly, $$$$$$$$$ that is used to design a major building. I realize there is a certain amount of "you buy your ticket and you take your chances" to this situation.

Still, the alderman had made it clear what it would take to gain approval.

Do the church and developers have any legal options here? Can they sue on this basis of their costs? also on the lack of good faith on Natarus's part?

Hey, it's a relatively short walk from 4th Pres to the other side of the river on LaSalle.....I believe there are some great legal minds there who could answer my question.
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Old June 1st, 2005, 03:27 AM   #32
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"I have a question on legality. I'm going to assume it is a non-issue, but pose it just the same."

It is a non-issue. Chicago zoning, especially in the 42nd ward, follows no rhyme, logic, or reason (much less a comprehensive plan, which it is legally required to do), and very few Illinois courts are going to rule against the city even though it clearly violates the federal courts' dictum that law may not be "arbitrary or capricious." In any case, the above applies only to as-of-right zoning; denying a Planned Development application would never be grounds for a suit.

Also, Natarus is just one alderman *but* City Council tradition says aldermen defer to one another on "local" matters like land use.

Not that I really care in this case: I've enjoyed many a lunch hour sunning at the Hancock plaza, and the tower would have completely blotted out that one rare bit of urban breathing room.
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Old June 2nd, 2005, 09:41 PM   #33
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Though insignificant, it is interesting to read this:

State will renew tax break for movies and TV

By Bob Tita (www.chicagobusiness.com)
Illinois plans to extend a tax incentive to attract movie and television productions to the state.
The General Assembly this spring approved a one-year extension of a tax credit for motion pictures and television shows filmed in the state. Gov. Rod Blagojevich says he’s satisfied with the results of the tax program and plans to sign the extension.

“We’ve always had the locations, local talent and expertise to compete with any other location as a top-flight destination for motion pictures and television productions,” the governor said in a written statement.
The legislation was enacted in 2003. State officials say production companies spent $77 million in the state last year and employed 15,000 people, compared to 2003 when $25 million was spent and 5,000 people were employed. The state attributed the 2004 increase to several motion pictures filmed in the state.

Among the major studio pictures filmed in Illinois last year were “Ocean’s 12,” the latest installment of the “Batman” movie series and “The Weather Man.”

The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity says at least five movies will use Illinois locations in 2005, plus a new Fox network television show will be filming in the shuttered Joliet Correctional Center.

The tax legislation allows production companies to receive a tax credit equaling up to 25% of the wages paid to Illinois residents employed in movie and TV productions. To qualify, the productions must be at least 30 minutes long and incur Illinois labor costs of at least $100,000.

Jack Lavin, commerce and economic opportunity director, said companies would look elsewhere if Illinois abandoned the tax incentive.

“We’re competing with other states and communities,” he said Wednesday. “If they would not have gotten this tax credit they wouldn’t be coming here.”
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Old June 3rd, 2005, 02:23 AM   #34
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6/1/2005 10:00:00 PM
Developers aim at Target range
Potential new neighbors eye Clark and Roosevelt



Photo by Haydn Bush
Target could soon share Clark Street with two modern condo towers and an upscale grocery store.


By HAYDN BUSH, Staff Writer


South Loop
For now, Target sits alone atop the Roosevelt Road bridge, the first anchor of a looming retail explosion on the busy South Loop thoroughfare. Across Roosevelt lies former swamp land proposed as the future home of the Riverside Park mixed-use development, which is currently being reviewed by the Chicago Department of Planning and Development.

And surrounding Target are a handful of parcels that comprise one of the largest remaining undeveloped South Loop spaces. But not for long.

Just up Clark Street from Target, the South Loop-based D2 development firm has an option to buy a swath of vacant property near Taylor, which would be the future site of two mixed-use developments anchored by retail on the ground floor and several floors of condos above.

And plans are afield for Target’s next-door neighbor as well. According to a report last week in Crain’s, Centrum Properties is proposing a new retail center at Roosevelt and Wells, which would likely compete with Riverside Park and other nearby retailers. Centrum officials did not return calls for comment this week.

D2 principal David Kleiman, who lives on Wells Street in the South Loop, envisions two modern towers rising up on the part of Clark Street just north of Target. Kleiman, who is partnering with Atlanta-based developer Norman Radow and his Radko firm, is unimpressed by the high-rises going up in Museum Park and elsewhere in South Loop, and is close to signing an architect who will be charged with designing two modern new towers.

“We like modern architecture,” Kleiman said. “We think the buildings that have been going up [in the South Loop] are so utterly retro-uninteresting. It’s just a shame. It will be a fantastic building. “

Kleiman said the buildings would likely include a retail base, parking, and an amenity deck with health club facilities. He added that D2 is hoping to hire an architect within the next few weeks, and hopes break ground on the project by next fall.

Kleiman hopes to land a full-service grocery along the lines of Trader Joe’s, and expects to draw customers who stop in at Target before hitting up his stores.

“Target is almost our anchor,” Kleiman said.

Near South Planning Board Executive Director Bonnie Sanchez-Carlson, who has not seen the plans for either project, is nonetheless enthusiastic about bringing one of the last remaining bits of South Loop wilderness to the city tax rolls.

“The idea of retail along Roosevelt definitely fits in with what we had proposed,” Sanchez-Carlson said. “ ... We feel Roosevelt Road would make a great retail corridor.”

In the meantime, Kleiman is hoping the city will do its part to spruce up a somewhat forbidding corridor for pedestrians, on a street that takes more than its share of traffic linking the South Side with downtown. He’d like to see Dearborn Park opened up to pedestrians, and a crosswalk connecting the development with the other side of Clark Street would help as well.

“Clark Street is kind of a superhighway,” Kleiman said. “ ... You could do 70 miles per hour and nobody would ever notice.”

And despite the years of planning at nearby Riverside Park, which has lain fallow since a bend in the Chicago River was straightened in the 1930, Kleiman is optimistic that he can break ground far before his neighbor to the south, and potentially sign up retailers far ahead of Rezmar.

“We can walk into the building department for a permit,” Kleiman said, without any need for new streets and sewers.
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Old June 3rd, 2005, 10:01 AM   #35
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^Dude, somebody's not reading my posts....

I already posted that!
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Old June 3rd, 2005, 05:08 PM   #36
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Wednesday, May 11, 2005
Plan approved to redevelop Loop Toys R' Us site

54,500-square-foot building to be subdivided for smaller tenants

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

The Chicago City Council today approved an ordinance that would redevelop and lease the now vacant three-level retail space at 10 S. State St. that once house Toys R' Us.

The $16.2 million plan calls for the 54,500 square foot building to be subdivided, allowing for the creation of smaller retailer spaces, an upgraded storefront system and improved signage.

The developer, Ten South State LLC, is working with several retailers, including Urban Outfitters, which will occupy a portion of the first and second floors, and Office Depot, which plans to operate out of the basement level, leaving approximately 17,000 square feet for other retailers.

The redevelopment also will include the creation of 50 full-time and 30 part-time positions when the retailers open, as well as 65 full-time jobs during the construction phase of the project.

The building was constructed in 1995 and was entirely occupied by Toys R' Us until 2002. The redevelopment plan includes a green roof, covering 75 percent of the available roof area, to assist in the city's on-going environmental efforts to improve air quality, reduce surface temperatures and conserve energy.

The developer also will donate $25,000 to the Christopher House, a seven-site family resources center devoted to child and youth development, parent enrichment, literacy, counseling and emergency services.

The project is being assisted with $2.5 million in Tax Increment Financing from the city.
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Old June 5th, 2005, 02:28 PM   #37
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CITY REPORT
19-story condo building is set for 13th and State

By Jeanette Almada

Special to the Tribune
Published June 5, 2005

Construction of a mixed-use, 19-story building will begin this summer at 13th and State Streets in the South Loop.

The building, to rise on 0.81 acre at 1255 S. State St., is being developed by 13th & State LLC., which consists of a partnership of Chicago-based Park Development Group, Westchester-based Renaissant Development and Chicago-based Construction Consulting Services.

The company has owned the site since 2000, Renaissant principal Warren Barr said in an interview last week.

"I have developed extensively in the South Loop before, and believe that there is a resurgent market for units there. It is a wonderful location that is at a mid-point of the South Loop neighborhood with good access to public transportation, with many good restaurants right in area, a new Jewel [Food Store] next door, and a lot of night life," Barr said.

The Plan Commission last month approved the project as a planned development. City Council must still give its approval.

Called Vision on State, the building will consist of mostly one-bedroom units, with some two- and three-bedrooms, according to Barr. The WiFi-ready units will have from 610 to 1,602 square feet with based prices from $170,000 to $300,000.

Parking spaces are an additional $30,000, Barr said.

Designed by Pappageorge Haymes Ltd., Chicago, the building will have 14,000 square feet of ground-floor retail space.

The units being sold by @ Properties and a sales center is scheduled to open on site by August, according to Barr, who added that 50 percent are spoken for.

Construction will begin in early next month and first occupancies will be in fall 2006, Barr said.
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Old June 5th, 2005, 02:32 PM   #38
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CITY REPORT
Condos to rise near Brown Line in River North

By Jeanette Almada

Special to the Tribune
Published June 5, 2005

The River North neighborhood will get another 235 condos and 12,000 square feet of retail in the form of a $70 million mixed-use development slated for Ohio Street, between Franklin and Orleans Streets.

Through a development entity called Woodlawn Development LLC, Oakbrook-based Stonegate Development will build a condo tower in a project that will also rehab the 80-year-old, seven-story Bowne Building, at 325 W. Ohio St.

The project won Chicago Plan Commission approval last month as a planned development, which was needed because of the project's size.

Woodlawn Development has owned the 0.74-acre site (at 301-33 W. Ohio; 541-49 N. Orleans; and 540-48 N. Franklin) since 2003, Stonegate Development President Sam Persico said in an interview last week.

Sixty percent of the condominiums will be one-bedrooms and one-bedrooms with dens, and the remaining 40 percent will be two-bedrooms. The units range from 750 to 1,250 square feet with based prices from $250,000 to $500,000, Persico said.

The tower at 303 W. Ohio, designed by Chicago-based Hartshorne + Plunkard, "will be a glass sculpted building, and so all of the units will have 10-foot glass from the floor to the ceiling," Persico said, adding that every unit will have a terrace or a balcony.

In lieu of including affordable units in the project, the developer will contribute $1.2 million to the Chicago Department of Housing's Affordable Housing Fund, which the department uses to subsidize construction of affordable units elsewhere in the city.

The developer received a density bonus -- that is, approval to build more units than normally would be allowed -- because of the donation, because the developer agreed to rehab and thus save the Bowne Building; and because it has agreed to build a green roof on the condo tower.

A 10th-floor "sky lobby" will have a fitness room and a common area that building residents can use as a meeting or party room, Persico said.

Stonegate will rehab the Bowne Building into a mix of retail and office space. The project will add about 12,000 square feet of retail space to the neighborhood, Planning Department staff told the Plan Commission.

"We have not selected retail tenants yet and are looking for retailers who will serve residents and the neighborhood," Persico said. Oakbrook-based Mid-America Asset Management Inc. is marketing the retail.

Condo sales will begin in late summer from a center in the Bowne Building, Perisco said. Construction is scheduled to begin by February.
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Old June 5th, 2005, 02:39 PM   #39
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High-living seniors

June 5, 2005

BY LARRY FINLEY Real Estate Reporter


When the Clare at Water Tower is completed in 2007, it will look like a gleaming 53-story residential high-rise just off of Michigan Avenue.

It will be that, but it also will be a new idea in senior living in the midst of the city.

"We have a wonderful corner," said Campbell Palfrey III, marketing director. "There are other high-rise communities in other cities. But, there is nothing that is located the equivalent of just a block off of North Michigan Avenue right in the heart of it all."

Tens of thousands of homes have been sold to seniors in age-restricted communities in the suburbs in recent years. But, there are also enough members of the senior generation with the desire, and the capital, to afford being "in the heart of it all" with all of the additional deluxe services of a luxury hotel.

More than half of the 253 units in the independent-living section of the tower have been sold at prices ranging from about $520,000 to $1.2 million for 1 to 3 bedrooms.

"About 60 percent of the buyers are couples," Palfrey said. "Most couples are going for the 2 bedrooms. A few want the 1 bedrooms."

In greater demand than expected has been the large, 3-bedroom, 2-bath Hampton model with a view of Lake Michigan. It faces east from the master-bedroom suite, the 12-by-16-foot living room and the 11-foot-wide balcony. A large dining room, with a fireplace, and a separate breakfast area adjoin the living room.

Sizes start at about 800 square feet for a 1-bedroom unit and range to 1,800 square feet for 3 bedrooms. The units have washers and dryers, all-electric kitchens, individual heating and cooling, sprinklers, smoke detectors, extra storage areas, high-speed Internet, cable TV and 24-hour emergency service.

Sample rooms and displays of carpets, tile and other materials are available at the Clare at Water Tower sales suite set up on the 36th floor of the nearby John Hancock Center. Call (312) 951-5690.

Demolition for the new tower will begin this spring at the southwest corner of Rush and East Pearson. The current building there, the Pere Marquette Center, was part of the Loyola University Water Tower campus.

"Several of our depositors attended classes in those buildings," Palfrey said. "So there is a nostalgic touch involved there."

The depositors thus far have been fairly representative of a cross section of older buyers who might have looked for a home in a luxury condominium in the Gold Coast.

"We have a lot who live downtown and want to remain downtown," Palfrey said. "They see the Clare as the perfect way to do that. We also have people who went to school at Loyola or spend a lot of time downtown now. Others spent some of their youth working or living downtown, but went to the suburbs to raise a family. They are empty-nesters and want to come back to where the action is."

A small number have never lived downtown, but want to be close to Lake Michigan, the shops, the museums and the theaters, he said.

"Many of our owners will have two homes," he said. "One here and the other down in Florida or Arizona or one of the sunshine states."

The building is senior restricted, at least one member of a couple must be 62 years of age or older. The monthly fees start at $2,395 and will go to $4,590. All utilities except telephone are included. There will be no real estate taxes or special assessments.

"The second person is always $895 a month, regardless of the apartment," he said. "That is for a service package that is quite extensive. That includes as many meals a month as there are days in the month. They don't have to use them one a day. They can use them any time they want to. We will service a complimentary continental breakfast daily."

In addition to luxury-hotel style meals, the package includes weekly housekeeping and linen service, valet parking, concierge and doorman service, a bank and postal center and planned social events and activities.

"We will have a full-time 'lifestyle coordinator,' which is a fancy phrase for an activities coordinator," Palfrey said. "That person will organize events to visit museums, theaters and other cultural and entertainment venus around the city. We will also have lectures and other activities in the community, based on their interests and input.

"We will have the whole 9th floor as the fitness level," he added. "There will be a beautiful outdoor terrace, the fitness center, a swimming pool and a day spa. We will have 35,000 square feet of commons area throughout."

There will be a beauty salon and barbershop on the 9th floor also. The kitchen and main dining room will be on the 17th floor, along with a private dining room and a large lounge area. The 19th floor will have a performance center, art gallery, media and computer room, business center and library. At the top, on floor 52, there will be a large terrace area and a clubroom with views of the lake and the city.

In addition to the units for independent adults, there will be residences for assisted-living and private nursing care as well as a center for memory enhancement.

The Clare at Water Tower is a partnership between the Franciscan Sisters of Chicago Service Corporation and Loyola University, which will maintain a small classroom and educational area on the ground floor.

"The Clare is non-denominational and ecumenical," Palfrey said. "We already have reservations from many different faiths."

The Clare at Water Tower information center is in suite 3660 at the John Hancock Center, 875 N. Michigan. (312) 951-5690.
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Old June 5th, 2005, 07:03 PM   #40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BVictor1
CITY REPORT
19-story condo building is set for 13th and State

By Jeanette Almada

Special to the Tribune
Published June 5, 2005

Construction of a mixed-use, 19-story building will begin this summer at 13th and State Streets in the South Loop.

The building, to rise on 0.81 acre at 1255 S. State St., is being developed by 13th & State LLC., which consists of a partnership of Chicago-based Park Development Group, Westchester-based Renaissant Development and Chicago-based Construction Consulting Services.

The company has owned the site since 2000, Renaissant principal Warren Barr said in an interview last week.

"I have developed extensively in the South Loop before, and believe that there is a resurgent market for units there. It is a wonderful location that is at a mid-point of the South Loop neighborhood with good access to public transportation, with many good restaurants right in area, a new Jewel [Food Store] next door, and a lot of night life," Barr said.

The Plan Commission last month approved the project as a planned development. City Council must still give its approval.

Called Vision on State, the building will consist of mostly one-bedroom units, with some two- and three-bedrooms, according to Barr. The WiFi-ready units will have from 610 to 1,602 square feet with based prices from $170,000 to $300,000.

Parking spaces are an additional $30,000, Barr said.

Designed by Pappageorge Haymes Ltd., Chicago, the building will have 14,000 square feet of ground-floor retail space.

The units being sold by @ Properties and a sales center is scheduled to open on site by August, according to Barr, who added that 50 percent are spoken for.

Construction will begin in early next month and first occupancies will be in fall 2006, Barr said.
^Wow, that's fast. They just announced the motha-f$%ker and it's already starting construction in 1 month? I wish all projects took off that fast!
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