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Old July 19th, 2006, 11:51 PM   #861
dvidler
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Urban Politician
^ 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
I can not agree more with your view. I would love for my current neighborhood, south loop, to go the route of smaller grocer venues. We have a Jewel about 4-5 blocks away but the reason I support 830 Park Michigan so much is because they are putting a grocery store in as part oftheir retail section. I love walking to and from the grocery store but I wont mind that I will have a closer option.

But in regards to downtown it is generally the other way of "When they come, they will build it"
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Old July 20th, 2006, 07:26 AM   #862
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I would think a full-sized grocer would do well in the Loop. Aside from all of the permanent residents that now call the area home, you've also got the commuters who would probably rather grab a few necessities on their nightly walk to Union Station than have to stop at a full-fledged parking-lot-involved grocery store when they got home to suburban hell.
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Old July 26th, 2006, 12:05 AM   #863
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http://www.chicagotribune.com/busine...i-business-hed

Blue Cross HQ to go higher

By Bruce Japsen

Tribune staff reporter
Published July 25, 2006, 3:01 PM CDT

Another 24 floors will be added to the top of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois' Chicago-based headquarters on East Randolph Street to accommodate the health insurance company's major growth in recent and coming years.

Health Care Service Corp., parent of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois, said today that construction will begin later this year at the building site at 300 E. Randolph, pending approval of various permits.

The existing 33-story building already has 3 stories below Randolph and 30 stories above, and was erected in 1997 with the idea that Blue Cross would have the ability to add to the top. The structure was originally "designed and prepared" for an additional 24 stories to meet an expected need for more office space, the insurer said.

Since 1997, Health Care Service Corp., the fourth-largest health insurance company in the country, has expanded through mergers and acquisitions, adding Blue Cross and Blue Shield health insurance plans in Texas, New Mexico and Oklahoma since that time. Upon completion in 2010 to its "designed height of 57 stories" the building will accommodate 8,000 workers, the company said today.
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Old July 26th, 2006, 05:28 AM   #864
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Quote:
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I hope they do this right, if the facade doesn't match it is going to look terrible...

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Old July 26th, 2006, 07:50 AM   #865
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That is strange. I was just talking to a friend last week about how much I liked BCBS but looked forward to the day when they added the rest to it because I thought it looked just a bit on the squat side. This makes me happy and will look fantastic in between Aon and 340.
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Old July 26th, 2006, 07:56 AM   #866
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Grabbed these shots today from the corner of Dearborn and Hubbard. I don't remember which project this is for - is it that 30-something hotel?





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Old July 31st, 2006, 05:53 PM   #867
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Another tech store on Michigan Avenue

http://biz.yahoo.com/prnews/060731/nym096.html?.v=38

Garmin Showcase to Open on Chicago's Famed Michigan Avenue
GPS leader brings innovative technology to the masses

Monday July 31, 5:00 am ET

Garmin International Inc., a unit of Garmin Ltd., today announced it will open a retail product showcase on the world-renowned "Magnificent Mile" in downtown Chicago, located at 669 North Michigan Avenue -- in time for the 2006 holiday shopping season. Garmin is the only GPS manufacturer to unveil a location specifically devoted to giving customers the world's most comprehensive GPS experience through hands-on product demonstrations and interactive kiosks, training, seminars, sales, and product support.

"This new Garmin presence on Michigan Avenue will allow us to promote our brand and our products in an entirely new way. We want to use this location as a destination to excite and energize our customers, generate buzz, and further propel sales among all of our retailers," said Dr. Min Kao, Garmin's chairman and CEO. "Whether you're searching for an address across town, traveling overseas on business, hiking in the woods, or running a marathon, GPS devices have become a 'must-have' because they improve people's everyday lives."

ProTen Realty Group, a leading tenant representation firm headquartered in Chicago, was instrumental in bringing Garmin to the Magnificent Mile. According to the Greater North Michigan Avenue Association, the district offers over 3.3 million square feet of retail space, 460 stores, 275 restaurants, two unique museums and entertaining attractions to more than 22 million visitors each year.

"This is an extremely exciting addition to Michigan Avenue that everyone will enjoy," said Camille Julmy, vice chairman of U.S. Equities Realty who represents 669 N. Michigan Avenue. "Garmin will fit perfectly in this block filled with other major long-term tenants."

Customers visiting Garmin will be greeted by a knowledgeable team that can answer questions and demonstrate a wide variety of Garmin products. Regularly scheduled training and seminars will also be held to educate current and future customers about the benefits of GPS and Garmin products. Customers may also purchase Garmin units and accessories at this location. In addition, the site will serve as a meeting and training facility for the Garmin retail network.
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Old August 1st, 2006, 07:45 PM   #868
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http://www.suntimes.com/output/busin...n-build01.html

Apartments planned at Millennium Park
August 1, 2006
BY DAVID ROEDER AND FRAN SPIELMAN Staff Reporters


In the latest sign of Millennium Park's drawing power for real estate, investors have proposed a 40-story apartment tower for the northeast corner of Michigan and Randolph.

The building would occupy one of the most prominent spots in Chicago, overlooking the park and joining a row of distinctive towers along Randolph. Planned to have 80 units, or only two per floor, the building would arise on a skinny 6,000-square-foot parcel that now includes the La Strada restaurant.

Owners of the parcel, BJB Partners, have applied for a zoning change needed because of the building's height. It would be about as tall as the neighboring building, the former Doral Plaza at 151 N. Michigan, which is now called Millennium Park Plaza.

Developers have scrambled to capitalize on the park's success in drawing crowds. Many believe it has made the East Loop a showcase that will attract tourists, new residents and office tenants.

A BJB partner, Sean Barry, said his firm is undeterred by a slowdown in the housing market. The location and its views allow for a rental building that can charge premium rents, he said.

"The rental market is the best we've seen in five, six years," Barry said. "The demand at our other properties has just been unbelievable."

Park Ridge-based BJB owns many properties near the lakefront from downtown to Evanston, primarily apartments. Millennium Park Plaza is part of its holdings. It owns buildings with rooftop concessions on Waveland Avenue across from Wrigley Field.

Barry said his firm has hired the architectural firm Solomon Cordwell Buenz to design the building -- with a modern glass-and-steel facade that will justify its place in the skyline.

The zoning request starts a review process by city agencies leading to public hearings and a vote by the City Council. The process could take months. Barry, who said financing has not been secured, is hoping to break ground by spring of 2008.

La Strada, a popular Italian restaurant, would close but could reopen in the new building, Barry said. He said the restaurant has about a year to go on its lease.

Michael Mormando, an owner of La Strada, said he wasn't aware of plans for a new building. "I've been here for 26 years, and I don't plan on going anywhere," he said.

Bob O'Neill, president of the Grant Park Advisory Council, said the quality of the architecture will make or break the project. "Millions of people will be looking up at that building. It should be close to a work of art."

It would join a vista from the park that includes the One and Two Prudential Plaza buildings, Aon Center and the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Building that is due for a 24-story addition. A block to the north are two development sites: one due to get a 65-story Mandarin Oriental hotel and another that's a possible expansion site for the Fairmont Hotel.
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Old August 1st, 2006, 07:50 PM   #869
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..

Last edited by Loopy; June 20th, 2010 at 05:14 AM.
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Old August 5th, 2006, 04:15 PM   #870
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http://www.chicagotribune.com/busine...i-business-hed

New towers to rise near Scottish Rite

By Susan Diesenhouse
Tribune staff reporter
Published August 5, 2006


The Scottish Rite Cathedral in the Gold Coast neighborhood has had its share of lives.

Built as the Unity Church in 1869, it survived the Great Chicago Fire two years later but with extensive damage. It rose again, rebuilt in Joliet limestone as a towering Gothic presence at North Dearborn Parkway and Walton Street. In 1911, the Scottish Rite, part of the Masons fraternal order, purchased it for $125,000.

Now, this Chicago landmark is poised to become the cornerstone of an approximately $450 million, 500-unit residential complex, one of the largest to go up in this tony North Side neighborhood in many years. The developers are seeking final city and community approvals, and hope to start construction in early 2007 or as soon as about 40 percent of the planned condominiums are sold.

Two weeks ago, the Enterprise Cos. and Mesirow Stein Real Estate Inc. signed a contract to pay about $60 million for the entire city block, 77,000 square feet, occupied by the cathedral, three 19th Century mansions and a parking lot.

The development team wants to put up two 40-story towers for the condominium units that will be priced from about $400,000 to $1.2 million. The project will conform to current zoning requirements, said Ron Shipka Sr., a principal of Enterprise.

It also will include 12,000 square feet of commercial space, and parking for about 570 cars of the building's residents and some neighbors. The historic mansions will be preserved, renovated and then sold as residences. The church facade will be restored and the building donated to a non-profit organization for its own use, Shipka explained.

"We started with the idea of a modern building, but it will be more traditional to accommodate neighborhood concerns and be consistent with the block's historic landmark structures," Shipka said. The Chicago firm Pappageorge/Haymes Inc. will be the architect.

Some neighbors still have issues to resolve. "We have to have a hearing and work it out with the community," said Ald. Burton Natarus (42nd).

But it's an opportunity to increase public revenue, he added, saying "it's a piece of property that has always been tax-exempt."

Frank Roth, chairman of the Scottish Rite real estate committee, expects the deal to close in October.

"We're excited about the sale, the future of the property," he said. "The developers care about the community, about keeping the structures and adding to them."

Equally as pleased are preservationists such as David Bahlman, president of Preservation Illinois, a private non-profit organization that saves historic architecture and sites.

Long aware that this is a prime development site, "we were worried that any plan would include demolition," Bahlman said. "We're delighted it doesn't. It's very important to the city and its architecture to save this Chicago landmark."

While the project might have great historic and artistic merit, it is also likely to have great market value as the largest luxury residence being created in that long-built-out neighborhood in recent years, explained Gail Lissner, vice president of Appraisal Research Counselors.

"The Gold Coast is a mature market with very little new product besides the occasional infill project," she said. "What makes the Scottish Rite site so good is that there's so little land available for development."

Indeed, during the past 10 years, only about 1,400 new units have been built in the Gold Coast, which has about 25,000 existing residential units. Meanwhile, in the South Loop about 10,000 units have been built since the mid-1990s, she estimated.

Two boutique luxury projects are among those now under construction in the Gold Coast. At 50 E. Chestnut St., there is a building going up with 34 units priced from $2.3 million to $3.1 million. At 50 Oak St., there is a project with 46 units priced from $600,000 to $3.5 million.

"In the Gold Coast, there's excellent demand for condominiums," Lissner said, "The trick is offering units of varying size so they're affordable to a wide range of buyers."

The Scottish Rite project, however, has a rare commodity among these buildings. At 40 stories, it can offer stunning views, said Tere Proctor, the sales director for the Trump International Hotel and Tower.

"That's a tremendous draw," she said. "At these prices, buyers want it all and should have it all."

To compete with thousands of luxury residential units going up in other city neighborhoods, Proctor added, the developers must offer "all the bells and whistles, and then some."

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Old August 10th, 2006, 06:53 AM   #871
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I posted this elsewhere, but whaddya gonna do? I figured some of you may not visit the general Chicago page:

Well, the Chicago Journal now has a new format and it is possible to post a comment to every article, opinion, etc posted.

This could be advantageous, if you think about it. If there is a particular topic or issue of interest (ie a lopsided pro-NIMBY article or viewpoint) it may not be a bad idea to chime in. Not a bad way to educate the public about the benefits of density/TOD as long as it's done in moderation and in a respectful manner.

Anyhow, you guys will certainly be seeing my comments there from time to time. The more people we reach, the better..
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Old August 15th, 2006, 04:17 AM   #872
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spyguy
In the latest sign of Millennium Park's drawing power for real estate, investors have proposed[B] a 40-story apartment tower for the northeast corner of Michigan and Randolph.
If the market is so strong, why not make it 80?
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Old August 15th, 2006, 06:02 PM   #873
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I think if there's anywhere in the City that could support an 80 story rental building it would be precisely this location. The rental market has been so much stronger than ever before following the conversion of several buildings to condo in the past few years - I think they could absolutely fill this thing up no matter how tall it was.
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Old August 15th, 2006, 08:24 PM   #874
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But the footprint is so small...
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Old August 16th, 2006, 09:15 PM   #875
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Old August 17th, 2006, 01:10 AM   #876
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^ That's one good lookin showroom...
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Old August 17th, 2006, 03:11 AM   #877
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I like how there's cars on upper floors. I'll hold off final judgement until I see a larger shot though.
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Old August 17th, 2006, 05:26 AM   #878
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There's another image as well
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Old August 17th, 2006, 06:11 AM   #879
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^ The fact that this is a multi-layered showroom is really cool, in my eyes. It is definitely eye-catching to see a bunch of luxury autos stacked up in a huge well-lit lobby overlooking the street. Bravo!
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Old August 20th, 2006, 02:50 AM   #880
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