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Old July 19th, 2008, 09:41 PM   #1201
Mr Downtown
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The developer is US Equities (Bob Wislow). They're not in any danger of failing, and are pretty savvy and risk-averse players. This is their first big retail or market project, though. I find myself more doubtful with each passing year.

I suspect the reasons are simply that the US doesn't have a tradition of suburban station market halls. This space is out of the travel path for commuters, and serves a pretty modest number of commuters compared to Grand Central, the only other US example. There are relatively few surrounding office buildings for lunchtime business; the Ogilvie food court already blankets that market. Tenants selling groceries or ready-to-eat meals see the surrounding market as small, the commuter market limited, and the rent high. In addition, those kind of tenants are often small locals who are poor credit risks for the developer. Real restaurants also see little nearby market and an odd atmosphere and buildout challenges compared to Randolph Street.

I don't think B37 makes much difference one way or the other.
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Old July 19th, 2008, 09:52 PM   #1202
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I walked past the site 2 weeks ago. I've always felt it was a bad location for a public market. Call me crazy but I believe that it makes more sense to locate a public market on Navy Pier. I also like the Fulton Market District.
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Old July 20th, 2008, 12:13 AM   #1203
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I think this is a phenomenal location for a public market and an outstanding location for the sidewalk cafes, wine bars, etc. I would love to know what's holding this project back.
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Old July 20th, 2008, 02:27 AM   #1204
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Urban Politician View Post
I see no reason to pull the plug on the project. A delay is a delay, but ultimately I think it's a fantastic idea. Truth is, the city has invested much more time/energy & publicity on Block 37. Perhaps when Block 37 is completed, and if it's successful, there will be a larger focus/effort on Metra Market.
absolutely agree: fantastic idea. By "pulling the plug", I was thinking more emotionally rather than governmental action as in "do I really believe this will happen?"

I also can see the B37/MM link you suggest. Both take advantage of the number of commuters in the Loop daily as well as its growing residential populaiton.

Still....taking this long? There is something not quite kosher in this market.
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Old July 20th, 2008, 02:43 AM   #1205
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr Downtown View Post
The developer is US Equities (Bob Wislow). They're not in any danger of failing, and are pretty savvy and risk-averse players. This is their first big retail or market project, though. I find myself more doubtful with each passing year.

I suspect the reasons are simply that the US doesn't have a tradition of suburban station market halls. This space is out of the travel path for commuters, and serves a pretty modest number of commuters compared to Grand Central, the only other US example. There are relatively few surrounding office buildings for lunchtime business; the Ogilvie food court already blankets that market. Tenants selling groceries or ready-to-eat meals see the surrounding market as small, the commuter market limited, and the rent high. In addition, those kind of tenants are often small locals who are poor credit risks for the developer. Real restaurants also see little nearby market and an odd atmosphere and buildout challenges compared to Randolph Street.

I don't think B37 makes much difference one way or the other.
What about Redding Terminal Market in Philly; it's in the heart of downtown and near both commuter rail terminals and subways system?
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Old July 20th, 2008, 06:59 AM   #1206
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Could be. I guess I thought Reading Terminal Market was more of a farmers market than is planned for Ogilvie; more like Grand Central Market in LA or Saint Lawrence Market in Toronto.
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Old July 20th, 2008, 10:56 AM   #1207
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Why would we pull the plug on MetraMarket? I can't think of a better way to use that space... might as well let US Equities ride it out until they can fill the retail spaces. They may need to launch a new advertising campaign, since people have already tuned out the signs.
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Old July 20th, 2008, 12:17 PM   #1208
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Could be. I guess I thought Reading Terminal Market was more of a farmers market than is planned for Ogilvie; more like Grand Central Market in LA or Saint Lawrence Market in Toronto.
no, it's a variety of different type of venders, a much larger version of Milw's Public Market.
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Old July 20th, 2008, 12:20 PM   #1209
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Why would we pull the plug on MetraMarket? I can't think of a better way to use that space... might as well let US Equities ride it out until they can fill the retail spaces. They may need to launch a new advertising campaign, since people have already tuned out the signs.
my fault, ardecila. i was totally unclear in the title of the thread. "Pulling the plug" was the wrong term since I used it more in the sense of "these guys have no credibility;why believe them."

of course this is a good idea and I wasn't suggestion any action other than our skepticism about why this has yet to open.
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Old July 21st, 2008, 02:39 AM   #1210
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Quote:
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Could be. I guess I thought Reading Terminal Market was more of a farmers market than is planned for Ogilvie; more like Grand Central Market in LA or Saint Lawrence Market in Toronto.
^ Reading Terminal a farmers market? Not even remotely.

It's one of my favorite "downtown markets". Great food of all types, and awesome Philly cheesesteaks.

Yet I wouldn't consider Reading to be in any more prominent or vibrant location in Philly than MetraMarket would be in Chicago. Reading is near a large hotel & convention center, which helps I guess..
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Old July 21st, 2008, 02:43 AM   #1211
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Lets not forget, MetraMarket will also have around 100 parking stalls. So it's even accessible to those with low transit IQ's.

Come to think of it, I have have no friggin idea why this project is having so much trouble..
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Old July 21st, 2008, 03:55 AM   #1212
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Urban Politician View Post
^ Reading Terminal a farmers market? Not even remotely.

It's one of my favorite "downtown markets". Great food of all types, and awesome Philly cheesesteaks.

Yet I wouldn't consider Reading to be in any more prominent or vibrant location in Philly than MetraMarket would be in Chicago. Reading is near a large hotel & convention center, which helps I guess..
no doubt helped by Philadelphia's comuter rail system working its way smack into the heart of downtown, as opposed to the Chicago terminals (like Ogilvie) that remain more on the fringe.

Implications for Chicago? The direction of big business within the CBD is definitely to the west with areas west of the river destined for a lion's share of new development. This area already has considerable commerical and residential high rises, but Metra Market and other such projects are needed to take adantage of the prime business location and all those commuters to create the critical mass that Urban is talking about, point is the business/residential complexes and the lifestyle institutions like MetraMarket can create the best kind of symbioltic relationship with each other. And like the hotels Urban mentions in Phila near Reading, these need to be part of the mix here too.

Last edited by edsg25; July 21st, 2008 at 04:02 AM.
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Old July 21st, 2008, 05:10 AM   #1213
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Perhaps I should use a different term. Traditional public markets are what I would call "raw food" markets. You can buy fish, meat, and produce that's ready to take home and cook. The few "restaurants" are essentially sandwich stands, though they may sell local specialties such as crab cakes or fish and chips or cheesesteaks. I would put LA's Grand Central Market, St. Louis's Soulard Market, Portland's Saturday Market, and Toronto's Saint Lawrence Market in this category. These markets are more substantial than traditional "farmer's markets," which are little more than covered tables beside trucks.

A slightly different breed are "home meal replacement" markets that sell mostly prepared food to go or cater to a lunchtime crowd. I would call New York's Grand Central Market and the beautiful (but now failed) Portland (Maine) Public Market examples of these. It's what I thought Metra Market was aiming to become.

Seattle's Pike Place Market, West LA's Farmer's Market, and Vancouver's Granville Island eventually grew to encompass both raw food and restaurants.

What category would you put Reading Terminal market in?
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Old July 21st, 2008, 10:58 AM   #1214
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr Downtown View Post
Perhaps I should use a different term. Traditional public markets are what I would call "raw food" markets. You can buy fish, meat, and produce that's ready to take home and cook. The few "restaurants" are essentially sandwich stands, though they may sell local specialties such as crab cakes or fish and chips or cheesesteaks. I would put LA's Grand Central Market, St. Louis's Soulard Market, Portland's Saturday Market, and Toronto's Saint Lawrence Market in this category. These markets are more substantial than traditional "farmer's markets," which are little more than covered tables beside trucks.

A slightly different breed are "home meal replacement" markets that sell mostly prepared food to go or cater to a lunchtime crowd. I would call New York's Grand Central Market and the beautiful (but now failed) Portland (Maine) Public Market examples of these. It's what I thought Metra Market was aiming to become.

Seattle's Pike Place Market, West LA's Farmer's Market, and Vancouver's Granville Island eventually grew to encompass both raw food and restaurants.

What category would you put Reading Terminal market in?
Sounds like a good concept, but I have to wonder: is it practical and profitable in this day and age? When such structures were originally built in downtown areas, weren't they there because they were the only areas (due to the critical mass of customers) that could support such complete enterprises? They were the magnets for all forms of urban pleasure. For all the improvements in great downtown areas like Chicago's Loop and Midtown Manhattan over the years, their degree of centralization in their own metropolitan areas may be less important due to the technology that allows the joy of the center to be spread over a wide area (car transportation alone is responsible for much of this).

BTW, Chicago used to have an enormous lower level market between State and Dearborn, where Block 37 is today It was one of the great urban markets in the nation..
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Old July 21st, 2008, 09:44 PM   #1215
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Hillman's/Stop&Shop? That's funny. I remember it as a small, dark, cramped ordinary supermarket--though I was still sorry to see it close. I certainly don't remember it having particularly notable meat, produce, or baked goods.

It appears that post-Fire Chicago didn't really have a strong tradition of public markets as you find in Eastern cities like Baltimore, Philadelphia, and Washington. I've often wondered if this was the result of immigration (housewives wanting to buy from a local merchant who spoke her language) or of technology (chain stores with centralized purchasing and storage) being able to establish a presence in the rapidly growing city faster than public markets could be started.
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Old July 22nd, 2008, 01:31 AM   #1216
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Quote:
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Hillman's/Stop&Shop? That's funny. I remember it as a small, dark, cramped ordinary supermarket--though I was still sorry to see it close. I certainly don't remember it having particularly notable meat, produce, or baked goods.
I didn't remember a time when hillman's owned it. It was definitely gourmet in selction and I thought it was set up with different stalls but it's been so long I might be a little off. I know it did have a great reputation.

I goggled it and all I got was bits and pieces, even in Ency of Chgo.

Maybe someone else knows about it and could offer some info.
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Old July 22nd, 2008, 10:16 AM   #1217
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It appears that post-Fire Chicago didn't really have a strong tradition of public markets as you find in Eastern cities like Baltimore, Philadelphia, and Washington.
There's Soulard Market in St. Louis, which definitely isn't Eastern. From what I understand, there's also a similar market in Detroit. I always assumed Chicago had several large public markets back in the day, but that they had fallen victim to 20th-century progress.

Didn't South Water Market sell produce to the public? Today, of course, those functions have been moved to a big warehouse out in Cicero that's open only to restauranteurs.

My favorite "raw food" market is in Lancaster, PA, where many booths are run by Amish. Best sub sandwich I've ever had.
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Old July 22nd, 2008, 01:11 PM   #1218
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Isn't Farmers Market in LA (which really ceased being a farmers market early in its history), though far removed from the city's core, one of the absolutely best examples of the type of market we're talking about and one that if replicated even on a small scale at MetraMarket would be great to see? I think the place is incredible and a real sign of the urban nature of LA that some people may not be aware of.
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Old July 29th, 2008, 07:43 PM   #1219
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http://www.suntimes.com/business/107...072908.article

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Reports: Bennigan's shuts down Chicago locations

BY SANDRA GUY Staff Reporter
July 29, 2008

Bennigan's restaurants are closing throughout the Chicago area, including those on North Michigan Avenue in Chicago and in Bolingbrook, Calumet City and Deerfield and possibly others, according to media and eyewitness reports...
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Old July 29th, 2008, 10:28 PM   #1220
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Anyone know if it's real or just conceptual?

Conservatory Tower
Chicago, Illinois

Conservatory Tower aspires to set a precedent for environmentally sensitive tall buildings in Chicago’s urban context. The 1.1 million sf project is composed of two distinct yet complementary components, a conservatory or enclosed winter garden, and an 80 story hotel and condo tower rising above.

The 28,000 sf winter garden is enclosed by a high efficiency glazing system, protecting a lush landscape and occupants from inclement weather, noise and air pollution, while optimizing natural air ventilation. The tower’s thin profile makes full use of natural light, while minimizing heat gain during summer months and shadow effect on neighboring spaces. Natural light can reach the interior spaces, reducing energy consumption year round. Topping the tower is a Sky Garden containing a number of condominium amenities and an enclosed garden.



posted by "SpyGuy" over at SSP....
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