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Old July 7th, 2007, 03:35 PM   #81
geoff_diamond
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I can only assume they are. I know that what I was doing was for the AMA and I doubt that, if they were going to have a second location in the City, it would be so far from the first.

Arde - those barriers are for buses, not cabs. So, I don't think the carriageway would have an effect on them either way.
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Old July 7th, 2007, 04:31 PM   #82
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No, but by adding TIF, the city gets a greater degree of control over what happens with this project... right? If left to their own devices, most developers would slap a pre-cast concrete, steel-framed lightweight tower on top of this thing. But since they are basically helping to pay for it, the city can mandate a more sophisticated design with real stone and proper columns, pilasters, and cornice.

I do disagree with the use of TIF to subsidize office towers in the surrounding area, though, when they could be used to fix the horrendous traffic situation on Canal in front of Union Station, or to provide some seed funding on the West Loop Transportation Center.
Not really; there are a share of developers who have received TIF money and then stiffed residents and the city with poor work. It's just that many of these have not been called out or investigated like they should have.
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Old July 8th, 2007, 05:10 AM   #83
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Not really; there are a share of developers who have received TIF money and then stiffed residents and the city with poor work. It's just that many of these have not been called out or investigated like they should have.

All this is missing the point (yes ErmDiego we all know you're one of these Ralph Nader consumer advocate types along with the NIMBY PDNA group on this ridiculous crusade to improve the quality of construction in the South Loop (this is a bizarre special interest peculiar to you and a few others). TIFs are for economic development - not to ensure somebody's standards for historic architectural compatability or some nonsence like that are followed...
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Old July 8th, 2007, 08:09 AM   #84
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TIFs are for economic development - not to ensure somebody's standards for historic architectural compatability or some nonsence like that are followed...
But the city would not consider giving TIF funds for this project if there was not historic architecture involved...
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Old July 15th, 2007, 07:09 PM   #85
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http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/l...,1739788.story

200 condos on track for rehabbed train station

By Jeanette Almada
Special to the Tribune

July 15, 2007

The redevelopment of the eight-story Chicago Union Station headhouse, or main terminal building, into a 26-story mixed-use building will include 300 hotel rooms and 200 condominiums.

Plans for the residential units were disclosed to the Chicago Community Development Commission, which approved $58.8 million in tax increment financing for the project in June.

The Lucien LaGrange-designed building will have a mix of studio and one- and two-bedroom units with 575 to 1,600 square feet of space, Cathy Caisley, a Chicago Department of Planning and Development project manager, told commissioners.

The developers expect to price those units from $260,000 to $760,000.

Union Station comprises operating rail functions below a building at 222 S. Canal St., east of Canal between Adams Street and Jackson Boulevard, and the landmark headhouse, across the street at 210 S. Canal. The headhouse, with the Great Hall at ground level and offices on the upper floors, is considered an integral part of Daniel Burnham's 1909 Plan of Chicago.

Roughly 60 percent of the headhouse has been vacant for more than two decades, according to Caisley. The site is owned by the Chicago Union Station Co., a wholly owned subsidiary of the National Railroad Passenger Corp. (Amtrak), Caisley said.

Union Station Development Co. LLC will rehab the headhouse and enter into a long-term ground lease with CUSCo, according to Caisley.

The project will create a 26-story modernized structure with 600,000 square feet of renewed office space, 85,000 square feet of retail space, 300 hotel rooms and 200 market-rate condos, Caisley said.
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Old July 16th, 2007, 04:30 AM   #86
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This evening I noticed a space called "Union Gallery" in part of the old restaurant area off the southwest corner of the Great Hall. It was locked up at 7.30 pm but there seemed to be a bunch of historic photos on the wall, and it went all the way back to a window overlooking Clinton Street. Anyone know anything about this? Is it something the developer is doing as part of a sales center or something?
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Old July 16th, 2007, 06:24 AM   #87
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Mr Downtown is asking us a question?

Egad! I think I see a pig near my window!
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Old July 16th, 2007, 09:47 PM   #88
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Anyone know anything about this? Is it something the developer is doing as part of a sales center or something?
Possibly. It's either a sales center, or it's an a stopgap use of space so that the first floor doesn't look abandoned.
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Old September 9th, 2007, 09:07 PM   #89
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http://www.nearwestgazette.com/Archi.../News0907g.htm

Union Station, other development addressed at WCA luncheon

By Susan Fong


Ambitious plans for developing the old Union Station took center stage at the West Central Association luncheon meeting on Aug. 22, which focused on West Loop development.
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Old March 5th, 2008, 07:44 AM   #90
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Lucien Lagrange posted some updated renderings... not too different from the old ones, but the detailing on the addition has changed a bit. The portion above the last setback now has inset balconies.



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Old March 5th, 2008, 08:01 AM   #91
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Aside from updated renders, is this project moving ahead ?
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Old March 6th, 2008, 01:23 AM   #92
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^I'm guessing yes because AMA is planning to move into the office portion.

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Old March 6th, 2008, 02:05 AM   #93
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^I guessing yes because AMA is planning to move into the office portion.
Sounds like a good sign.
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Old May 25th, 2008, 06:00 PM   #94
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I received two separate emails from two individuals from Jones Lasalle Lang that are working on this development. They both said that they are moving forward with the project, but they also both said that there aren't any condos in the plans anymore.

I'm guessing that the scope of the project has changed a bit? I'll have to drop them a line in a few months to ask about the projected start-date of construction.
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Old May 26th, 2008, 09:00 AM   #95
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I'm guessing that the scope of the project has changed a bit? I'll have to drop them a line in a few months to ask about the projected start-date of construction.
Would this mean they will not get any TIF money anymore? I would be pretty pissed if they still got the TIF money for only office space...
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Old May 27th, 2008, 12:06 AM   #96
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Would this mean they will not get any TIF money anymore? I would be pretty pissed if they still got the TIF money for only office space...
I'm overjoyed. No residential means no balconies.

The purpose of the TIF funding is not to add financial viability to the project, but to fund high-quality design and finishes on the project like real limestone or terra-cotta, as supposed to precast concrete or something glassy.

At least, this is how I understood it.
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Old May 27th, 2008, 02:06 AM   #97
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I'm overjoyed. No residential means no balconies.

The purpose of the TIF funding is not to add financial viability to the project, but to fund high-quality design and finishes on the project like real limestone or terra-cotta, as supposed to precast concrete or something glassy.

At least, this is how I understood it.
Well if that is the truth, that is garbage. I find it hard to believe that the additional property taxes generated by adding quality finishes will offset the rather large TIF dollar amount. Union Station is a historic building and the City could easily tell the developer to beat it if they don't want to pay for the high end finishes the project deserves themselves. This area is not in need of additional office and/or hotel space. It is projects like this that gives TIF a bad name. Do you want to tell the mothers of the kids who are failing at the CPS that they did not get the funding because it was being used to repay a loan for money that the city gave away to make a nicer looking office building downtown? Someone should tell Amtrak that if they want government subsides, they should knock on the fed's door - it is not the children of Chicago that need to suffer to help these guys.
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Old May 27th, 2008, 05:59 AM   #98
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^ Fair argument. And in principle, you're entirely right.

But I really want to see this project happen. It would be nice to see a newly built neoclassical building in Chicago that actually uses high quality materials. Plus, the effect this would have on giving Chicago's premiere train station some major cache bears some mentioning.

Chicago needs something on the order of DC's Union Station or NYC's Grand Central terminal, and while this office building won't change the station itself it should go a huge way towards increasing Union Station's presence.
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Old May 27th, 2008, 07:06 AM   #99
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Chicago needs something on the order of DC's Union Station or NYC's Grand Central terminal, and while this office building won't change the station itself it should go a huge way towards increasing Union Station's presence.
Nice point, but we lost the opportunity to do this by tearing down Union Station's concourse back in 1969.

Both DC Union Station and Grand Central have grand, soaring interior spaces - these are what make the whole experience of these stations into something memorable. True, Union Station in Chicago has a Great Hall that's pretty grand and soaring, but virtually nobody goes through it anymore because it's far easier and more convenient to use the concourse stairs a block east, which are actually closer to the platforms and closer to most offices and tourist destinations across the river to the east (nobody goes west from Union Station). Amtrak has reinforced the emptiness in the Great Hall by cramming everything into the underground concourse - ticket counter, waiting room, passenger queuing for Amtrak trains, retail, restrooms, etc.

The underground concourse used to be topped with a soaring Beaux-Arts structure, but in 1969 it was torn down and replaced with the first of many Gateway Center towers, turning the concourse beneath into a claustrophobic rat's warren not unlike Penn Station in NY. I'm surprised that Chicago, which had such a huge role in forming the preservationist movement, has not really lamented this building like we did for the Chicago Stock Exchange, the Garrick Theater, etc.

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Old May 29th, 2008, 02:52 AM   #100
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Very well put. But I think two things are at work in the lack of reaction you mention: Cynical resignation on the part of many (this IS Chicago after all, largely Richie's Chicago) who would like to care more; and disinterest on the part of many who couldn't care less.
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