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Old December 22nd, 2005, 05:32 AM   #581
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The new office building on Clark will have 30,000 sq ft retail? Man that is a blessing.
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Old December 22nd, 2005, 06:20 AM   #582
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Kind of a reiteration of what Victor told us:

From www.chicagojournal.com :

12/21/2005 10:00:00 PM Email this article • Print this article
West Loop tower gets green light
New highrise would mix office space with condos

By MAX BROOKS, Staff Writer


The West Loop will soon host a new 31-story story mixed-use high-rise at Washington and Des Plaines, following the approval of the plan by the Chicago Plan Commission last week.

Tim Sullivan, of the Cornerstone Group 70, LLC, the developer that is spearheading the project, said last week that he expects a groundbreaking for the tower to take place this summer and for the building to be completed by 2008.

The building, he said, will cost somewhere in the ballpark of $80 million, though some details about who will be financing the project remain to be resolved.

According to a presentation made to the Plan Commission by Kathy Caisley, a representative of the Department of Planning and Development, plans call for the building to include 190 condo units, 39,000 feet of office space, 394 parking spaces and retail on the building’s first floor.

The developers are building beyond the 7 floor-to-area ratio (F.A.R.) specified in the plot’s downtown district zoning by contributing $181,000 to the city’s affordable housing fund and providing a green roof on its seventh floor, where the tower switches from parking space to offices and grows significantly more slender. The tower will reach to 350 feet, well above the 155-foot limit standard in the zoning code.

Eric Sedler, president of the West Loop Community Organization, said it was within the developer’s rights to build such a tower and didn’t foresee a problem with its height.

"We recognize that, as we make our way west from the Loop, that there are going to be buildings that are going to be very high and very dense. We think it’s basically appropriate that there be a tapering of height and density in that area between Wacker and Halsted," Sedler said.

The inclusion of office space in the building, he said, boded well for the neighborhood’s vitality in the hours when most condo residents would be at work.

"There’s certainly value in having more people in the Near West side during the day," Sedler said.

Sedler said the hope for a well-designed building trumped most other issues neighborhood residents might have with the tower.

"Our overriding concern is that these projects be elegantly designed and that they turn out to be successful," Sedler said.

To that end, at least one Plan Commission member offered his endorsement of the building’s design, in which a glassy column rises from one side of the more opaque, 7-story base of the tower.

"I think this is one of the most interesting buildings we’ve seen in a while. I wish there were more like it," said 42nd Ward Ald. Burt Natarus, after the Plan Commission unanimously approved the building.
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Old December 22nd, 2005, 02:35 PM   #583
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I am lazy to find the River North development (if any) thread.

Commission Endorses $61M Multifamily Tower for River North
By Mark Ruda
Last updated: December 21, 2005 04:48pm

http://www.globest.com/news/439_439/.../141349-1.html

CHICAGO-A 182-unit multifamily rental tower will rise at 212 W. Erie St., but not at the expense of a River North loft building and three-story commercial property. The $61-million project will incorporate the six-story Huron Lofts at 217-35 W. Huron St. as well as the 5,500-sf Flair House.

Plan commission members Thursday endorsed the 350,000-sf project, including a density bonus increasing the total square footage of the development by 47%. In addition to rezoning, city officials are recommending an increase of 70,000 sf in exchange for Niles-based Newport Builders Inc.’s $1.4-million contribution to their affordable housing fund.

The 27-story building will include 210 parking spaces. “What’s there now is a vacant parking lot,” says 42nd Ward Alderman Burton Natarus. “They’re not very zany. They’re not very architecturally pleasing.”

On the other hand, Natarus is among those impressed by Joseph Antunovich’s design for the tower, as it complements the buildings remaining on the site. “This is a great Antunovich match,” Natarus says. “He’s creating a landmark here.”

Like other recent Downtown multifamily projects being launched or redrawn, units in Newport Builders’ will be on the smaller side, Antunovich says. More than half of the units will be one-bedrooms at about 850 sf, with another 10% being 600-sf studios. The remaining 35% of the mix will be 1,200-sf two-bedroom units, Antunovich adds. “They’re generally smaller units, but we think that’s the market,” he says.

The Huron Lofts already includes 18,741 sf of retail space. Newport Builders will add 12,480 sf with development of the apartment tower
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Old December 28th, 2005, 08:23 PM   #584
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good news.
__________________

for the Pelasgians, too, were a Greek nation originally from the Peloponnesus
The Roman Antiquities of Dionysius of Halicarnassus
http://penelope.uchicago.edu/Thayer/...assus/1B*.html

Macedonia, of course, is a part of Greece". Strabo, VII, Frg. 9
http://penelope.uchicago.edu/Thayer/...ragments*.html

But north of the gulf, the first inhabitants are Greeks called Epirotes....
Procopius
http://books.google.com/books?id=9m6...page&q&f=false
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Old December 30th, 2005, 12:47 AM   #585
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http://www.crainschicago.com/cgi-bin/news.pl?id=18949

Appeals court rules against Draper high-rise--again

Chicago-based developer Draper & Kramer Inc. has lost another round in its long-running court battle to build a 30-story condominium tower along Lake Shore Drive in the Gold Coast.

In its fourth ruling in the case, the Illinois Appellate Court on Wednesday upheld a Cook County Circuit Court judge’s ruling that Draper & Kramer did not have a “vested right” to build the high-rise at 1320 N. Lake Shore Drive even after the city rezoned the site in 1999 to ban the development. The project has faced heavy opposition from Gold Coast residents.

The appeals court disagreed with the developer’s argument that it had a right to build on the site because it had already spent more than $300,000 on the project before the city downzoned the property. The court took issue with Draper & Kramer’s cost estimate, determining that the developer spent only $36,300 before it became apparent that the project was in peril.

Draper & Kramer “is certainly not an entity for whom $36,300 could arguably be considered a substantial expenditure,” the court said. “Based on the evidence presented, we cannot say that the circuit court’s finding that (the developer) failed to establish that it incurred obligations or expenses substantial enough to give rise to a vested right.”

Draper & Kramer executives and the firm’s lawyer were out of the office and unavailable for comment.
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Old January 1st, 2006, 11:03 PM   #586
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IBM Building going condo, too?
Owner mulls residential redo as two major office tenants head for the exits


The owner of the landmark IBM Building is considering joining the growing ranks of downtown office buildings that are converting in whole or in part to residential condominiums.

After losing its two largest tenants, and with the office market in a deep slump, landlord Prime Group Realty Trust would likely find it easier to sell condos than lease commercial space in the 52-story tower, one of famed architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe's most celebrated buildings. The high-rise is 32% vacant after the departure of IBM Corp. Law firm Jenner & Block LLP, which leases 22% of the building, moves out in 2010.

[IMG]http://www.***************************/random/og010206o.gif[/IMG]
Condo buyers at the IBM Building would live next door to Donald Trump's new skyscraper, which will block most east views but bring the neighborhood more restaurants and retail and another health club.



Prime Group would start out by redeveloping vacant space on the lower floors into condos, with the option of converting the rest of the tower later on, say people familiar with the plans. Jeffrey Patterson, CEO of the Chicago real estate investment trust, did not return calls.

APPEALING OPTION

Amid a booming downtown condo market, condo conversions have become an appealing option to office landlords with big chunks of vacant space. After the largest office tenant at 900 N. Michigan Ave., WPP Group PLC, relocated to another building, the landlord, an affiliate of JMB Realty Corp., decided to convert the vacant space into 48 luxury condos (Crain's, March 21). A conversion is also in the works at 55 E. Monroe St., which is losing its second-largest tenant, law firm Seyfarth Shaw LLP.

Yet the IBM Building, on the Chicago River at 330 N. Wabash Ave., would be the most prominent downtown office building to go condo. It's lost some of its cachet as the West Loop, with its proximity to the train stations, has become a more attractive location for office tenants.

"I think it's a challenging location" for office space, says Todd Lippman, an executive vice-president in the Chicago office of broker CB Richard Ellis Inc.

POTENTIAL SELLING POINT

Prime Group plans to spend more than $100 million to renovate the building and remove asbestos, costs that will be difficult to recoup by leasing office space.

Condo buyers would live next door to Donald Trump's new skyscraper, which will block most of the IBM Building's east views but will bring more restaurants and retail and add a health club.

The IBM Building's architecture could be a selling point. "For the people that love Mies, it might have an attraction," says residential broker Tricia Fox.

[IMG]http://www.***************************/random/og010206p.gif[/IMG]
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Old January 2nd, 2006, 05:22 AM   #587
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Metropolitan Tower is only 48% sold? That's disappointing, considering it's one of the easiest to spot from Grant Park.
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Old January 2nd, 2006, 07:13 PM   #588
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New Construction from the Chicago Tribune

Chicago--MoMo, 151 N. State St., 32-story mixed-use building, March, $19.19 million.

Chicago--Center on Halsted, 4630 N. Halsted St., 55,000-square-foot mixed-use complex, April, $5.5 million.
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Old January 2nd, 2006, 07:23 PM   #589
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I think the problem with Metropolitan Tower is the damn construction delays. They've been working on that ****** for like four years. They probably had a lot more units under contract at one point and people simply got sick of waiting. Given its location, if they ever get their asses in gear and finish the rehab, it will sell quite quickly, I would imagine.
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Old January 2nd, 2006, 08:07 PM   #590
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Ah man, I don't want the IBM building to go residential!

When did IBM leave the building---and where did they go?
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Old January 2nd, 2006, 08:41 PM   #591
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It is only a matter of time before the river is a barrier between residential and office. The same could be said about State/Wabash and Congress St. It seems office is shifting into the West loop towards the train stations even more and more.
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Old January 2nd, 2006, 10:19 PM   #592
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^ But recent proposed office buildings are north of the river..

Pottebaum -- I don't want IBM to go condo either. That sort of conversion really symbolizes the failure of the Chicago office market to grow. IBM moved to the new Hyatt Center, I believe.
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Old January 2nd, 2006, 11:20 PM   #593
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^ It better not go residential... If it does, that would be a bad omen for its terra cotta neighbor...
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Old January 3rd, 2006, 05:45 AM   #594
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Its not a failure of the office market in Chicago, but merely represents the shift in concentration of offices in different sections of Chicago. Three new large office buildings were built on Wacker Drive last year and they have excellent vacancy rates. Offices are consolidating in the loop and still expanding west. And it is not like the loop is completely saturated... new office buildings are going up (i.e. the 3 on Wacker, 1 S Dearborn, Bank One Center, B37, the UBS Tower, and the new federal buildings going up). Not many of the loop buildings are converting with the exception of the buildings near Millenium Park (East of State). Again, I consider the loop between the Eisenhower and the River. Also, about a dozen office buildings ranging from 16-42 stories have either been built or proposed in the last 5 years in the West loop. The office market has never been better downtown. Office buildigns are being bought at record prices. I, personally, am excited at the new attitude towards Chicago... it used to be where businessmen commuted to work and went home afterwards and now is a great place to live, work, and play. This attitude is making Chicago the greatest city in the world.
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Old January 3rd, 2006, 09:12 AM   #595
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^ You can't ignore the fact that the office market is incredibly soft. Demand for new office towers is being created by blue-chip tenants desiring top of the line spaces who leave big gaping vacancies in their wake. Its common knowledge that job growth in the Loop has been mediocre at best, and that demand for office space is not improving. Granted, some other cities are grappling with high office vacancy, e.g. Houston and Minneapolis, but some cities are now improving dramatically from previous lulls, e.g. San Francisco. Projections for Chicago's office market are not good. This is something to be worried about, I think.

Like you, I'm very excited about the downtown residential growth -- impressive relative to the nation, as confirmed by the recent Brookings report.

Still, we should be cautious about being polyanna about the situation, paying attention to the bad as well as the good.
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Old January 3rd, 2006, 06:31 PM   #596
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ChicagoLover i'll somewhat agree with PrintersRowBoiler. im not at all conserned with the office vacancy rates its a mer reaction to the growing numbers of relocating businesess from the loop to the west loop. the vacant buildings like any smart business are adapting to the reality and change of the markets. They realize that they are in what’s becoming a stronger residential location than a business location and there a adapting to there environment by going condo. Were not loosing businesses really its just that were seeing a strong change in the markets and were seeing the transformations and all the things that come along with it like vacant office buildings rates on the rize, tenants moving , new buildings going up, condo conversions on the rize, hotel conversions, etc. That’s the diferance Between the Chicago market and other cities. While there vacancy rates are diminishing or holding well, our city although at face value is losing were actually growing in leaps and bounds far more even than these average cities. I like PrintersRowBoiler am very excited about this all. In the end i thinc well have an realy strong business and residential cores. once the buildings stop going up and the businesses all made there moves and all the east loop buildings have been converted. thats when youll see the vacancy rates go down. but to me the numbers were seeing now are very deceving.
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Old January 4th, 2006, 12:00 AM   #597
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There was a nice article about the $20 million renovation of Meis' Federal Center

http://lynnbecker.com/repeat/fedplaza/fedplaza.htm
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Old January 4th, 2006, 12:03 AM   #598
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http://www.crainschicago.com/cgi-bin/news.pl?id=18991

120 S. Riverside to be renamed CDW Plaza
Technology firm boosts lease space to 252,000 square feet


Technology firm CDW Corp. today said it plans to lease additional office space at 120 S. Riverside Plaza and consolidate its two downtown sales offices into one, making it the building’s largest tenant.

CDW also received naming rights in the deal, with the property to be called CDW Plaza.

The firm will now occupy 252,000 square feet after bringing together space at both 120 S. Riverside Plaza and 10 S. Riverside Plaza.

Building owner Trizec Properties Inc. also said today that another tenant, law firm Arnstein & Lehr LLP, renewed its lease and added 10,000 square feet, bringing the 22-story building to full occupancy. Terms of the leases with the law firm and CDW were not disclosed.

“This has been a really complicated, really emotional, really sensitive deal,” says Nancy Fendley, vice president of leasing at Trizec, who worked on the transaction with CDW. “We had to come up with some creative mechanisms for meeting their needs.”

Ms. Fendley said CDW had been considering a move to the Sears Tower, a move rumored in the real estate industry for some time. CDW said it looked at several downtown locations, but would not comment specifically on the Sears Tower. A call to owners of the Sears Tower were not returned.

Trizec sweetened the CDW lease by offering the company signage inside and outside the building, including at the entrance to Union Station, according to Ms. Fendley.

CDW Plaza and 10 S. Riverside are identical buildings, both with 685,000 square feet of office space and designed by Skidmore, Owings and Merrill. The 10 S. Riverside building is more than 90% leased, according to Ms. Fendley. Arnstein & Lehr now occupies 94,000 square feet at CDW Plaza. The building’s largest tenant after CDW is consultancy Hewitt Associates Inc, with 73,000 square feet, followed by law firm Welsh & Katz Ltd., with 50,000 square feet.

CDW’s corporate headquarters remains in Vernon Hills, where the company just signed a lease for a new three-story building at 300 N. Milwaukee Ave., immediately north of its existing office. Founded in 1984, the company sells information technology products to corporations. CDW has 4,100 employees.

Trizec is a Chicago-based real estate investment trust (REIT) and one of the largest owners and managers of office space in the U.S, with 37 million square feet in seven major cities. The company owns 2.4 million square feet of office space in Chicago, including the two Riverside buildings, 2 N. LaSalle and 550 W. Washington.
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Old January 4th, 2006, 02:58 AM   #599
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^ Hmm... I thought that had already happened, but maybe CDW is leasing more than they had originally planned to?
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Old January 4th, 2006, 04:23 AM   #600
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I think alot of the problems w/ the Central Loop's office market have also to do with downsizing and the relatively weak economy of the past 4 years (housing market aside). However, I think there are two potential positive influences that may change the situation.

1) The economy, over the past year, has certainly shown signs of leveling off and even improving slightly... things certainly couldn't get too much worse than they had been as of late.

2) As residential desirability and growth continues to turn downtown into an even more thriving place to live; more and more people are going to begin refusing the reverse-commute and many businesses that left the City in the preceeding decades may be forced to return in order to keep the best talent at their disposal.

Of course, I'm no economist and this is all merely conjecture, but, on the surface, it certainly seems feasible enough to me that these factors could turn into a real boon for a struggling market.
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