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Old June 29th, 2006, 05:59 PM   #841
geoff_diamond
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Not all EIFS is bad
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Old July 7th, 2006, 07:33 PM   #842
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I guess this belongs here for the time being...

I'm a sucker for blogs and came across this:

Nicky O Hotels
Jul 7th 2006 10:02AM
by Nicole Weston

We already knew that Nicky Hilton was planning to launch her own hotel chain, but now the hotel heiress officially has an opening scheduled for the first in a chain of boutique hotels. Nicky O (her middle name is Olivia) will open its doors this November in South Beach, Florida. Hilton is a self-described fashionista and her intent is to have her hotels focus on design and designers. In keeping with this, she has had several famous designers decorate the suites. Roberto Cavalli will be doing the 5,000-sq. foot penthouse in the SoBe hotel in a gold theme that mimics his retail stores.

A second location is tentatively scheduled to open in Chicago in December, with 3 or 4 more locations to follow.

---------

December? Isn't that much too soon to open?

Edit:

Shortly after, her second Nicky O will open on Chicago's historic Printer’s Row. "Miami will definitely be a party destination, and Chicago will be a little more calm," she says.

Last edited by spyguy; July 7th, 2006 at 07:55 PM.
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Old July 7th, 2006, 08:48 PM   #843
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Where did you get that information about Printers Row? The fact that it may open by December makes me think it is a renovation of an existing building. A few other possibilities - A while ago I saw signage at 601-627 S Clark Street for request for variances. If they do not got for a PUD, and did not go before the plan commission, this one may have run right by us! Another possible location is about 745 S. Clark. A small parking lot at this location was just shut down and chained up without warning with signs saying it will no longer be accessible after July 1. Otherwise, I cannot even imagine where it would go! Maybe she is converting the Travelodge?
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Old July 7th, 2006, 09:15 PM   #844
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Here
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Old July 8th, 2006, 02:26 AM   #845
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^ You is the man, Spyguy
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Old July 11th, 2006, 02:10 PM   #846
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Next flood downtown will be of office space
Older buildings hurt as tenants move out

By Susan Diesenhouse
Tribune staff reporter
Published July 11, 2006
http://www.chicagotribune.com/busine...i-business-hed

Two big leases announced Monday will provide a boost for a new $400 million office tower scheduled to start construction this fall at 351 N. Clark St., but the news exemplifies the problems as well as the promise in the downtown commercial real estate market.

Like other recent leases, these are likely to leave the downtown office market, and its weak River North submarket, with empty space to fill and with a new building that will generate the same or less income than existing ones. That raises a cautionary note for the prospect of vibrant growth in a long-sluggish property market.

Although leasing activity so far this year has turned in one of its stronger performances since the office market peaked in 2000, companies are leaving behind big blocks of empty offices without necessarily taking more space or paying higher rental rates.

As a result, "several pending lease expirations and relocations over the next 12 months will pose significant short-term challenges to an overall market recovery," said Mark Parrish, director of leasing for Grubb & Ellis Co.

"They're leaving a lot of space to backfill," he said.

On Monday, for instance, Mesirow Financial announced that it had signed a lease for 345,000 square feet in the new tower at 351 N. Clark, which it also is developing and which is now about 75 percent preleased.

Its other anchor tenant is the law firm Jenner & Block LLP, which signed a lease to occupy 390,000 square feet in the proposed 1.1 million-square-foot building.

The firm already occupies the same amount of space in the IBM Building at 330 N. Wabash Ave., where it has 375 attorneys and support staff. But at the new building it can have 500 lawyers and pay somewhat lower rent, said Donald Resnick, a Jenner partner. "About the same amount of space will accommodate our growth for the next 15 years," said Resnick.

"Our rent will be about the same or a little less than it would have been at the IBM Building by then," he said.

Jenner's experience illustrates one of the problems facing the approximately 121 million-square-foot metropolitan office market. Parrish said the market is struggling to absorb the roughly 22.5 percent of the space that is available for lease or sublease or that is on the market because it will soon be vacated, up from about 11 percent six years ago.

Rather than signal a robust expansion, some of this year's downtown leasing activity involves tenants who are sliding into a similar size office that is newer yet cost the same or less than their old offices.

"Companies are moving into new, more efficient space and leaving behind big blocks of space to fill," said Parrish, who estimates that in River North about 24.5 percent of the office space is available.

More jobs needed

Meanwhile, by 2009, when 351 N. Clark and another new River North tower at 300 N. LaSalle St. are completed, "downtown landlords will face a supply-side challenge," said Parrish.

To absorb the available space, he added, "the big question is will the economy produce enough jobs."

That seems unlikely, said Dennis Shubert, a real estate economist for Boston based Property Portfolio Research.

So far this year, he said, jobs in law firms are up 5 percent compared to a year ago, but those in business and financial services are up only 1.5 percent.

"It's disappointing that business and financial services, a major engine of this economy, isn't firing on all cylinders," said Shubert. "Chicago only just showed up for the economic boom the rest of the nation's been experiencing, but it's last call and the party is almost over."

Furthermore, about 75 percent of the new jobs are temporary ones that might or might not turn into permanent placements, said Mitchell Daniels, a labor economist for the State of Illinois.

Meanwhile, added Shubert, new office projects "are cannibalizing the market."

The irresistible lure to develop comes from an abundance of cash eager to invest in real estate, said Earl Webb, chief executive officer for capital markets at Jones Lang LaSalle.

"Strong sales have created a schizophrenic market where there's new construction yet a high vacancy rate," he said.

Interest rate factor

But the drive to build could dim with rising interest rates and heftier prices for construction materials.

And that could be a boon for Mesirow in its role as the developer of 351 N. Clark.

By 2009, when Mesirow plans to move to its new headquarters tower from two neighboring buildings where it currently occupies about 250,000 square feet, the leasing landscape might change.

"It will be hard to create new space and we'll present a good value for high-quality tenants," said Mike Szkatulski, a senior managing director at Mesirow Financial Real Estate Inc. "That's an opportunity."
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Old July 11th, 2006, 02:54 PM   #847
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Millennium-Art Institute bridge gets public airing

July 11, 2006

BY KEVIN NANCE Architecture Critic
http://www.suntimes.com/output/news/...-millen11.html

The Art Institute of Chicago's proposed $25 million bridge would soar above Monroe Street between Michigan and Columbus in the summer of 2009, connecting Millennium Park with the museum's new Modern Wing.

It would be 620 feet long and 15 feet wide. It would be 23 feet above grade as it begins to cross over Monroe, and 30 feet high at the point of its junction with the museum.

And unlike the park's BP bridge, it would be open year-round, thanks to a heating system that would melt any ice or snow that accumulates on its aluminum floor.

Art Institute and Millennium Park officials doled out these and other tidbits about the bridge, which was first announced last year, at a Monday night meeting of the Grant Park Conservancy and the Grant Park Advisory Council. The event was one of a series of meetings with community groups at which the museum hopes to build support for the bridge before seeking final city approval for the project later this summer.

"We're excited about the opportunity to connect these two great cultural institutions in Chicago," said Meredith Mack, the Art Institute's vice president of operations.

Response mostly positive

If Monday's meeting is any indication, the museum appeared to have little to worry about. Reaction to the bridge, which would start at the southwestern edge of the Pritzker Pavilion's Great Lawn and end up on the Modern Wing's third-floor sculpture terrace, was mostly positive.

The Grant Park Conservancy's Bob O'Neill, for example, hailed the plan for the views it would offer pedestrians of the city, the lakefront and the Michigan Avenue streetwall. "You can't get those views from anywhere else," he said. "I think it'll be incredibly well-used and a huge success."

Millennium Park's Ed Uhlir agreed, noting that the bridge will offer a spectacular and currently unavailable view of the park's Lurie Garden, which slopes down toward Monroe.

A minority opinion came from downtown resident Greg Reid, who lives in the nearby Harbor Point Condominiums, which overlooks the park. Reid said he was concerned about the bridge's potential to obstruct views of and from the lake, and about the broader issue of overcrowding and noise in the vicinity of the park.

"A lot of people do live here in the neighborhood," he said. "I don't want to turn Grant Park into Navy Pier, where people come down to
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Old July 11th, 2006, 07:10 PM   #848
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chi_Coruscant
Millennium-Art Institute bridge gets public airing
A minority opinion came from downtown resident Greg Reid, who lives in the nearby Harbor Point Condominiums, which overlooks the park. Reid said he was concerned about the bridge's potential to obstruct views of and from the lake, and about the broader issue of overcrowding and noise in the vicinity of the park.

"A lot of people do live here in the neighborhood," he said. "I don't want to turn Grant Park into Navy Pier, where people come down to
This guy bothered me the second he started talking, you just knew no matter how many complements he put out there, the "BUT....." was comming.

I mean, Bridge to Art Museum = Ferris Wheel, bit of a stretch.
Furthermore, he was concerned with how it would look from his boat on the lake. I guess it takes all kinds.....
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Old July 12th, 2006, 12:46 AM   #849
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Bridge

Quote:
Originally Posted by headcase
Furthermore, he was concerned with how it would look from his boat on the lake. I guess it takes all kinds.....
And I have been concerned about how the bridge will look from my Lear Jet.
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Old July 12th, 2006, 03:45 AM   #850
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http://www.chicagobusiness.com/cgi-bin/news.pl?id=21280

City proposes $550M LaSalle Street revival
July 11, 2006
By Greg Hinz

Chicago's financial district suffers from 'deterioration' and 'obsolescence'

(Crain’s) — City Hall Tuesday unveiled a half-billion-dollar plan to subsidize the rebirth of a huge swath of the Loop financial district, saying that Chicago’s traditional financial heart suffers from “deterioration” and “obsolescence.”
After months of rumors, the Daley Administration formally proposed to designate a 40-block section centering on LaSalle Street south of the river as a tax increment financing (TIF) district.

The city did not immediately spell out who would get money or in what amounts. But under an overview proposal submitted to the Community Development Commission, at least $550 million in property-tax receipts would be diverted from the Board of Education and other local governments over the next 23 years and instead be used to clear land, subsidize new building and redevelopment, and pay for public projects in the area, possibly a proposed Monroe Street express busway.

The proposed new TIF includes most of the Loop that is not already in the Central Loop TIF district to the north and east. Included are such landmark properties as the Board of Trade Building, City Hall, the Inland Steel Building and the Rookery, as well as the Riverbend site at Lake and the river that has been eyed for new growth.

Though many buildings in the area have historic charm, a lot of them “need help,” said Lori Healey, the commissioner of the city Department of Planning and Development. Only by modernizing mechanical and other systems will such buildings be able to compete with newer structures to the west and in the suburbs, she said, and building owners may not be able to afford to do that without city assistance.

United Airlines reportedly has considered at least two buildings in the proposed district for its new corporate headquarters. United is considering moving downtown, out of state, or staying in suburban Elk Grove Township.
The biggest budget item in the plan proposed Tuesday was $200 million for public works and related improvements. Ms. Healy said that could include a wide range of projects but said the city is particularly eyeing transit projects to fight increased downtown congestion.

Another $200 million is allotted for rehabilitation of existing buildings, with $50 million for property assembly.

The projects would be funded by growth of property-tax receipts within the TIF area. The city argues that much of that growth would not occur if not for the subsidies, but some civic groups have argued that it is not wise policy to strip schools of even inflationary growth in tax receipts.

Ms. Healey said the city “continues to review” what to do with the Central Loop TIF district, which is due to expire after next year.

That district originally was proposed as a means to help East Loop landlords modernize their buildings, but more than $100 million ended up being diverted to pay construction cost of Millenium Park.

The Community Development Commission took the plan under review, but is expected to approve it later this year.
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Old July 12th, 2006, 07:11 AM   #851
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chi_Coruscant
[/URL]
Why can't they extend it a little farther north to Wolf Point to help persuade the Kennedies to develop that shit?
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Old July 12th, 2006, 09:12 PM   #852
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http://www.chicagobusiness.com/cgi-bin/news.pl?id=21290

CDC approves $8M in TIF money for 188 W. Randolph
Approval to fund redevelopment moves to full city council


The Chicago Community Development Commission on Tuesday approved $8 million in tax-increment financing to help pay for the redevelopment into apartments of a crumbling office tower at 188 W. Randolph St.

The 47-story Gothic tower, infamous for its falling terra cotta several years ago, will undergo a $78 million renovation by Michigan-based apartment investor Village Green Cos., which bought the property with local firm Everhardt & Nesis Co. last year.

Under a redevelopment agreement with the city, Village Green plans to convert the office space into 297 apartments, 20% of them affordable to lower-income residents.

The request for tax-increment financing must be approved by the City Council. A company spokeswoman says the company plans to begin in the project in first quarter 2007.

Built in 1929, the high-rise drew the ire of City Hall in 2001, when chunks of terra cotta from the building began falling off. The property went into bankruptcy in 2002 and was auctioned off last year.
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Old July 12th, 2006, 09:13 PM   #853
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http://www.chicagobusiness.com/cgi-bin/news.pl?id=21289

Whitehall Jewellers to move HQ to 125 S. Wacker Dr.
High-capacity vault and secure elevator system support deal


With its current Wacker Drive headquarters destined to become rubble, Whitehall Jewellers Inc. is moving to a high-rise down the street.

The jewelry retailer has signed a lease for 52,000 square feet at 125 S. Wacker Drive, with plans to move there in September from its current offices at 155 N. Wacker.

Developer John Buck Co., which acquired 155 N. Wacker last year, plans to raze the aging building and build a new skyscraper in its place, but it must land an anchor tenant first.

"That essentially was the driver," says Rick Schuham, executive vice-president and branch manager at Studley Inc., the tenant representation firm that advised Whitehall. "It was pretty clear that Buck wants to clear the building."

Whitehall, with about 360 stores in 38 states, recently was bought out by two hedge funds, Prentice Capital Management L.P. and Holtzman Opportunity Fund L.P. The firm will occupy the 26th and 27th floors at 125 S. Wacker, which is owned by Tishman Speyer Properties L.P.

The 31-story tower is 65% leased, according to CoStar Group Inc. It was one of the few downtown buildings with a high-capacity vault and secure elevator system to store and transport Whitehall's jewelry, Mr. Schuham says.
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Old July 14th, 2006, 07:22 AM   #854
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Just spotted a snippet from Crains. United Airlines is officially moving their headquarters to downtown Chicago - 77 West Wacker (the former RR Donnelley building) to be exact.
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Old July 19th, 2006, 06:34 PM   #855
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I think the Heritage thread was deleted

http://www.chicagobusiness.com/cgi-bin/news.pl?id=21391

LA Fitness plans club in the Heritage at Millennium Park
California chain hopes to have 50 facilities in Chicago area within 5 years


LA Fitness International LLC plans to open a health club in the Heritage at Millennium Park as part of an aggressive push into the Chicago area, where it aims to have nearly 50 clubs within five years.

The Irvine, Calif.-based fitness chain is negotiating a 50,000-square-foot lease at the Heritage, a 57-story condominium project at the corner of Wabash Avenue and Randolph Street that opened last year, sources said.

LA Fitness would be the largest tenant in the development's 86,000-square-foot retail component, which includes Ann Taylor Loft, Intelligensia Coffee, McDonald's and Fifth Third Bank.

Dan Tausk, vice-president at Oak Brook-based Mid-America Real Estate Corp., which represents LA Fitness, declined to comment on the Heritage transaction, but says the chain is working on leases in the West Loop, South Loop and East Loop, where the Heritage is located. Another 10 city locations are planned.

The chain has already signed leases in Tinley Park, Alsip, Hanover Park and at Evanston's Sherman Plaza, which is being developed by a partnership including Klutznick-Fisher Development Co., also a partner in the Heritage.

LA Fitness plans 35 locations in the Chicago suburbs over the next five years.

The company, which has yet to open its first club here, is a few steps behind another newcomer to the Chicago market, Big Rock-based XSport Fitness. XSport has already opened 19 gyms in the area, mostly in the suburbs.

"We see it as direct head-to-head battle between LA Fitness and XSport Fitness," Mr. Tausk said.

Representatives of LA Fitness, XSport and the Heritage did not return phone calls for comment.
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Old July 19th, 2006, 08:37 PM   #856
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^ That's probably the first sign that this particular area is being recognized as a neighborhood and not just a shopping/tourist destination.

Now if only they could get a few grocery stores
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Old July 19th, 2006, 09:56 PM   #857
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I agree. A grocery store is a must. But they are opening a gourmet market in both Marshall Fields and at Lake/Wabash apartment building. Plus with Trader Joes going in at LSE its somewhat close by. I guess the next two closest would be Jewel at Roosevelt/Wabash and the Dominicks in Streeterville.

But there is steady progress in the business/residential development for the East Loop. Can't build a neighborhood overnight so once more of the residential projects are completed the more business will be developed.
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Old July 19th, 2006, 10:04 PM   #858
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^ Not a bad start, but not enough.

The presence of a large amount of grocery and convenience stores everywhere is paramount to the development of an urban, pedestrian-oriented community.

The current model of very large grocers establishing space in a few select spots downtown is a suburban mentality that will ultimately worsen traffic and undermine downtown living. These people need to do their homework.

In my current neighborhood in New York, there are no fewer than 8 grocery stores within a 2 block radius of me. When Chicago's downtown becomes more densely populated, smaller grocers and convenience stores need to be established to follow suit. The "1 mega-grocer serves all" mentality has to go
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Old July 19th, 2006, 10:34 PM   #859
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I thought Whole foods was setting up shop at LSE? Trader Joes is already UC at Ontario and Wabash...
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Old July 19th, 2006, 10:36 PM   #860
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Treasure Island is going to be in LSE. Also, Macy's is looking to open a gourmet food store at the State Street store.

Last edited by spyguy; July 19th, 2006 at 11:18 PM.
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