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Old January 23rd, 2007, 05:17 AM   #201
globill
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well, it already seems to have the most replies of any thread. just seems like there are now dozens of suburbs working on either TOD or general multi-family downtown developments and as someone who has been watching this trend gather strength....I pretty much think it's a sure bet that it will continue to further gather steam.

This project in Aurora would I'm guessing be even big news were it proposed for the city.

I wouldn't be surprised if by 2010, you begin to see 15 plus story projects popping up not just in Aurora and Evanston and Skokie, but in places like Wheeling....oh, that already happened.

The 312 crowd might not find these developments interesting.....yet....but they will.
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Old January 23rd, 2007, 05:50 AM   #202
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here's a bit of news from up Northbrook way...

Center of Northshore hearing Tuesday

January 11, 2007
By KEN GOZE Staff Writer

Developers of the Center of the Northshore retail, hotel and condominium complex proposed for 14 acres at Skokie Boulevard and Dundee Road plan to ask for larger floor plans and taller buildings next week when Northbrook's Plan Commission holds its first public hearing on their revised plan.

The meeting is set to begin at 7 p.m. Tuesday at Village Hall, 1225 Cedar Lane, but the matter is not expected to be heard before 7:30 p.m., following other items, said David Schoon, assistant director for community planning.

Presentations by village staff and the developer are to be followed by public input and deliberation by commission members, who are to advise the Village Board on whether to accept the plan, Schoon said. He said it's likely the public hearing will be continued beyond Tuesday night, and only after that hearing ends will the commission begin its deliberations on the revised plan's merits. "I don't expect them to vote on it next week," he said.

The consortium of investors led by Ed Renko told trustees in May that it wants to add floor space to the condominium and hotel portions of its proposed development, in part to tap into market research findings, and in part because the $5 million in tax increment financing available through the village is an amount smaller than the group had anticipated.

Trustees responded then that they would be open to considering a larger plan, but twice since then they have refused to grant the consortium's request to begin site work before its plan wins final approval.

Negotiations over how the developer might receive any tax increment financing have been assigned to the Village Board's Finance and Administration Committee and are not to be the subject of Plan Commission deliberations, Schoon said.

No date has been set for those tax increment financing negotiations, he added.

The new plan calls for more floor space than outlined under the original concept plan trustees approved in November of 2005 and for taller buildings than zoning code now allows in the O-4 Zoning District.

Total floor space has increased, from 408,000 square feet to 517,000 square feet, and the consortium wants a text amendment to the zoning code that would allow it to build up to 10 stories, or 130 feet, 20 feet more than zoning code allows.


The new plan for the site also includes 168,433 square feet of Commonwealth Edison-owned land west of the original site. The consortium said the additional land won't hold buildings, but makes it possible for the plan to meet Northbrook's floor area ratio requirements.

The developers want to provide 25 percent fewer off-street parking spaces than are typically required by Northbrook's code. They also are seeking a raft of special permits so their hotel can have 190 rooms, a planned restaurant and a banquet hall can offer live entertainment and al fresco dining, and so signs for the center can be larger than code allows.

Schoon said developers proposed such features when presenting the initial concept trustees tentatively approved in 2005.
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"I told you what I thought about that when I said I do not trust Obama and I probably never will. He hasnn't proven anything to me or you yet but he has flapped his lips plenty. And that I guess, is enough for some of you smarties in here." nygirl
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Old January 23rd, 2007, 05:52 AM   #203
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I like this whole concept of a "312 crowd". A unique way to define our uber-central area.... An imaginary boundary defining our urban core instead of a geographical boundary like the Hudson/East Rivers defining Manhattan.

Does any other major city refer to its central area by its area code?
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Old January 23rd, 2007, 07:50 AM   #204
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This Aurora plan looks tremendous.

I love it! It reminds me of Bethesda, MD, one of the greatest urban suburbs of all time
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Old January 24th, 2007, 06:10 AM   #205
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Bethesda's only gotten that way in recent years, but I agree - I drove through there at 10pm and it has hopping, lots of restaurants, shops, street traffic. Try finding that in downtown Waukegan or Joliet. Hopefully Aurora will now get that way.

Also, the height limit in the District spreads demand for offices out into NoVa and Maryland, allowing for centralized places like Bethesda or Rosslyn to be built.
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Old January 24th, 2007, 08:42 PM   #206
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There are many important differences, starting with the household income in and around Bethesda being literally double what it is in Aurora or Joliet. Its situation relative to central DC is more like Evanston, with rapid transit (not suburban rail) central to Bethesda. And finally, Bethesda has spent many millions and three decades of serious planning work transforming its downtown into a regional destination. We're not familiar with that concept (serious planning) in Illinois.
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Old January 24th, 2007, 11:26 PM   #207
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True. I never suggested that Aurora or Joliet WAS like Bethesda, only that they had the potential to become like that city.

I agree that the average income in most of our satellite cities is not very high, but there is a place for higher incomes in those cities. I'm glad that that place is finally being filled, and I'm glad that it's helping to bring vitality to those downtowns.
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Old January 25th, 2007, 06:12 AM   #208
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Quote:
Originally Posted by globill View Post
He noted that developers are now approaching railway companies to serve new residents, as opposed to rail companies asking developers to build around stations.

"I'm going to bring people in to put butts in your seats," he said, aiming his comments at the rail companies. "All you need to do is stop the train so that the butts can get on."
^ This is a wonderful change that is on the horizon. It's good to see that Metra is turning into such an engine of development for the burbs (and city neighborhoods?) around it.
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Old January 25th, 2007, 04:40 PM   #209
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I didnt see this posted anywhere so here goes....

Developers offer glimpse into plan

January 22, 2007
By Kristen Schorsch Staff writer
Imagine a bustling main street where you can drop off your dry cleaning or grab a cup of Joe before hopping on the Metra.

Maybe you need to snag some quick cash around the corner at the bank or pick up a prescription at the nearby pharmacy. You might even live close enough to walk from your home to enjoy these services.

That's the idea for an aging Oak Forest business district at 159th Street and Cicero Avenue. The developer and architect who aim to re-energize part of this busy corner recently offered a glimpse into what they envision for the estimated $28 million transit-oriented development slated to become a mix of shops and condominiums.

City officials hope the project will be a catalyst for future development along 159th Street and Cicero Avenue.

"It opens the doors for other developers to see what's going on," community development director Adam Dotson said. "It's the beginning. You've got to have something that's going to springboard (future development)."

While plans are preliminary, so far they include a business-rich main street that leads into the Metra station and two five-story, mixed-use buildings with retail on the bottom and condominiums on the top. Potential customers also will have their pick of services in up to 25 standalone retail shops or restaurants.

"We would be able to cash in on all these dollars," Oak Forest plan commissioner LuAnne Blatchfordcq, adding that commuters will help boost sales.

The two five-story condominium buildings would have 39 units each, with one to three-bedrooms each, Legat principal architect Alan Bombick said. Retail will be on the bottom floor, parking on the second and housing on the top three floors, he said.

There could be more condos to come if Oak Forest wants to convert some land set aside for parking near the station into housing later, Bombick said.

The overall idea of the pedestrian-friendly project is to use Metra as something residents and people driving through Oak Forest can connect with, the developer, RSC & Associates CEO Rich Curto, said.

The Metra station and hundreds of parking spaces are inside the triangular space developers plan to redefine.

Proposals call for building a new Metra station and moving the parking across 159th Street. Earlier this month, workers began demolishing the former Arbor Park Middle School to make room for the new commuter lot.

But some residents who live near the former school are concerned their neighborhood once filled with students and school traffic will become a safety hazard for Metra commuters and residents.

"People old and young, they're going to do it," resident and former downtown Chicago commuter Donna Wylliecq said about riders who she thinks will dart across 159th Street to make their trains.

Oak Forest officials have invited residents to meetings to talk about their concerns related to the planned parking lot. Dotson said the city is studying traffic and pushing for ways to make the area safe for commuters and residents. Ideas include stationing a police officer or traffic signal near the planned parking lot to help people cross 159th Street.

Metra commuters are scheduled to have 53 spots along the tracks, between 70 to 100 more spaces near the train and 465 spots in the planned lot on the site of the former middle school. The existing Metra lot has 535 parking spaces.

Retail and restaurant customers are expected to have about 200 parking spots and condominium residents about 120 spots, which will be in their buildings.

Curto said he would like to begin construction next fall. Retail space most likely would be finished in fall 2008 and housing in spring 2009, he said.
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Old January 25th, 2007, 04:44 PM   #210
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I am always interested in the south town area, ie south and west suburbs
cuz i dont know them hardly at all,
i know the north and north west burbs quite well,
was just in lagrange i think for the first time this past weekend, cool area,

anyways this plan for oak forest sounds cool, dont know if ive been there though.
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Old January 26th, 2007, 02:25 AM   #211
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If they are concerned about excessive pedestrian traffic, then just put a ******* crosswalk in. You don't need an intersecting street to have a crosswalk. More traffic planners need to learn that.
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Old January 26th, 2007, 06:53 AM   #212
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Quote:
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If they are concerned about excessive pedestrian traffic, then just put a ******* crosswalk in. You don't need an intersecting street to have a crosswalk. More traffic planners need to learn that.
I always love to hear the nimby/dinosaur comments in every development news clip,
I agree with you wholeheartedly,

why would anyone care about EXCESSIVE PEDESTRIAN TRAFFIC,
oops i forgot this is the suburbs were talking about,
thats why they escaped from the city.......
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Old January 27th, 2007, 09:06 PM   #213
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Few more images of Clearwater in Oak brook

Retail



Highrise condos and midrise aloft hotel
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Old January 28th, 2007, 09:37 PM   #214
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mohammed wong View Post
I am always interested in the south town area, ie south and west suburbs
cuz i dont know them hardly at all,
i know the north and north west burbs quite well,
was just in lagrange i think for the first time this past weekend, cool area,

anyways this plan for oak forest sounds cool, dont know if ive been there though.
This is great news for Oak Forest ; The 159th/Cicero intersection is in need of a face lift.
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Old January 29th, 2007, 01:47 AM   #215
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spyguy is that oakbrook project a new building?
cuz i was just at oakbrook and it appears that they are just spiffing up the professional building that is already there,

perhaps i missed the article on this one, what going on with it?
it would be great to have people living on site
at oakbrook or old orchard, chicago areas two best outdoor malls,

what other chicago malls are outdoors?
i dont think any other are of the old orchard/oakbrook vintage.
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Old January 29th, 2007, 03:08 AM   #216
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I'm pretty sure it's a new highrise, right now all that's on the site is a lowrise building (maybe a warehouse or office building).

The project has a 16 story condo tower, an aloft hotel (midrise) and lowrise retail, with plenty of parking for all
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Old January 31st, 2007, 12:41 AM   #217
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http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/l...slocalwest-hed

2 builders have big dreams for Northbrook boulevard

By Andrew Schroedter

Special to the Tribune
Published January 29, 2007

A stretch of Skokie Boulevard in Northbrook could undergo a dramatic makeover.

Developers have presented two proposals that could add 400 condominiums and more than 300,000 square feet of office and retail space within a half-mile stretch of the well-traveled north suburban road.

The latest idea, submitted by Focus Development, would transform 18.5 vacant acres at 1000 Skokie Blvd., south of Dundee Road, into a housing, office and retail center.

The land could accommodate a grocery store, restaurant and roughly 100,000 square feet of office and retail space. Housing options include 57 townhouses and 357 condominiums.

The Village Board reviewed but did not approve the proposal last week.

Based on comments from trustees, Focus Development would need to lower the height of three nine-story condominium buildings that officials said would create an undesirable canyon effect.

Assuming some details can be reworked, Trustee Julius Kole said the plan held promise.

"If we can work something out, I think it's going to be great for Northbrook," he said.

In 1997 Costco approached the village about building a store on the site, but that deal never happened.

Today, the property is owned by Michael Krasny, founder of CDW Corp. in Vernon Hills, a direct seller of computers and other technology equipment.

Focus Development isn't opposed to working with Northbrook to improve its plan, said Anita Olsen, director of sales and marketing.

"We feel that the initial reaction was favorable," she said.

If the plan is approved, Focus Development would build on the same street as another developer seeking to bring more housing, office and retail shops to Northbrook.

Developer Edward Renko wants to construct the $150 million Center of the Northshore at Skokie Boulevard and Dundee Road.

The Village Board hasn't approved Renko's proposal, which includes 200,000 square feet of retail space, an outdoor skating rink and a 190-room hotel.

The Plan Commission will hold a public hearing on the Center of the Northshore project at 7 p.m. Tuesday in Village Hall, 1225 Cedar Lane.
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Old January 31st, 2007, 12:43 AM   #218
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http://www.dailyherald.com/news/cook...78&cc=c&tc=&t=

Des Plaines won’t commit public funds to senior housing project

By Ames Boykin

Daily Herald Staff Writer
Posted Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Des Plaines aldermen Monday night refused to give their blessing to doling out public dollars for a planned $129 million faith-based retirement community.

Nick Mitchell, owner of Grazie! Ristorante in Des Plaines, had requested at least $10 million from the city, asking Des Plaines to designate the area a special taxing district. Mitchell wants to build Riviera Christian Retirement Resort adjacent to his restaurant, 1050 Oakton St. He had hoped to get the city’s financial support because he said the project would help serve as a “catalyst” for redeveloping the Oakton Street area.

After the council’s 5-1 vote to deny a second phase of looking into the proposal, Mitchell said he wants to continue. But Mitchell, who has put $13 million of his own money toward the project, had told the council that the project couldn’t proceed without public dollars.

“I’m going to continue to move forward with the project and look at other options,” Mitchell said after the meeting. “I think it’s a great project.”

He declined to elaborate on what he meant by other options.

Aldermen last year gave Mitchell the OK to proceed with the first phase of plans to look at creating a tax increment financing district at the 10-plus-acre site, including Grazie. A TIF district freezes property tax payments to local governments for up to 23 years. The extra tax revenue collected from owners as the property is developed and increases in value is used to pay off the original improvements.

Study results found the plan could be feasible, but aldermen on Monday rejected the results of that study by a 3-3 vote.

Due to rules that the mayor may only break a tie vote if it is 4-4, Mayor Tony Arredia was unable to weigh in, City Attorney David Wiltse said.

Only 6th Ward Alderman Tom Becker, who will be forced to step down this year due to term limits, supported going forward with the proposal. Becker saw it as a way to jumpstart redevelopment. First Ward Alderman Patricia Beauvais, and 2nd Ward Alderman Thomas Christiansen were absent.

Mitchell has vowed to repay the city for the first phase of the study, which cost up to $7,500. He also had committed to paying for a second phase, which would have cost $25,000, but that plan died Monday night with the council’s rejection.

Fifth Ward Alderman Carla Brookman, who has opposed the Riviera project since it was first proposed about six years ago, said it would be a bad precedent and questioned why Mitchell would buy property that now seems to meet the state’s definition of blighted.

Mitchell bought the property because the buildings would be demolished to make way for the senior community of condo units.

Eighth Ward Alderman Rosemary Argus also voted against the plan. “The bump in the road for me is the TIF,” Argus said.

Of the nearly dozen residents who spoke Monday, three supported the project.

Resident Dennis Sotos said the community would benefit from the new development and thanked Mitchell for giving back to Des Plaines by hosting a large dinner for the needy during the holidays.

But the majority of residents opposed the plan to let Mitchell use public dollars.

“Just make sure you don’t borrow any money,” former Alderman Carmen Sarlo said, “because you’re not developers; you’re aldermen.”
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Old January 31st, 2007, 01:28 AM   #219
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mohammed wong View Post
what other chicago malls are outdoors?
i dont think any other are of the old orchard/oakbrook vintage.
while under different ownership today, both Old Orchard (late 50's) and Oakbrook (early 60's) were built by the same developer to serve the northern and western suburban markets respectively. River Oaks was later built in Calumet City to serve south suburbia. All three had the same type of architecture and RO was outdoors like OO & OB. It has since been turned into an enclosed mall.

The same thing has been done to other major malls that started outdoors, including Evergreen Plaza and Golf Mil and I believe Harlem Irving was once outdoors too.
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Old January 31st, 2007, 01:40 PM   #220
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spyguy View Post
http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/l...slocalwest-hed

2 builders have big dreams for Northbrook boulevard

By Andrew Schroedter

Special to the Tribune
Published January 29, 2007

A stretch of Skokie Boulevard in Northbrook could undergo a dramatic makeover.

Developers have presented two proposals that could add 400 condominiums and more than 300,000 square feet of office and retail space within a half-mile stretch of the well-traveled north suburban road.

The latest idea, submitted by Focus Development, would transform 18.5 vacant acres at 1000 Skokie Blvd., south of Dundee Road, into a housing, office and retail center.

The land could accommodate a grocery store, restaurant and roughly 100,000 square feet of office and retail space. Housing options include 57 townhouses and 357 condominiums.

The Village Board reviewed but did not approve the proposal last week.

Based on comments from trustees, Focus Development would need to lower the height of three nine-story condominium buildings that officials said would create an undesirable canyon effect.

Assuming some details can be reworked, Trustee Julius Kole said the plan held promise.

"If we can work something out, I think it's going to be great for Northbrook," he said.

In 1997 Costco approached the village about building a store on the site, but that deal never happened.

Today, the property is owned by Michael Krasny, founder of CDW Corp. in Vernon Hills, a direct seller of computers and other technology equipment.

Focus Development isn't opposed to working with Northbrook to improve its plan, said Anita Olsen, director of sales and marketing.

"We feel that the initial reaction was favorable," she said.

If the plan is approved, Focus Development would build on the same street as another developer seeking to bring more housing, office and retail shops to Northbrook.

Developer Edward Renko wants to construct the $150 million Center of the Northshore at Skokie Boulevard and Dundee Road.

The Village Board hasn't approved Renko's proposal, which includes 200,000 square feet of retail space, an outdoor skating rink and a 190-room hotel.

The Plan Commission will hold a public hearing on the Center of the Northshore project at 7 p.m. Tuesday in Village Hall, 1225 Cedar Lane.



The only problem with these Northbrook proposals are that they are nowhere near any transit. Northbrook tried to redo the downtown a long time ago but was met with a wall of resistance. The Dundee/Skokie intersection is already a nightmare in terms of traffic. Can't imagine these developments helping, unless the condos are purchased by people who work along Skokie blvd.

Ideally, with the retail companent, residents won't need to hit the roads. And if they are built it seems as if Northbrook will, like Glenview have 2 "downtowns".

What puzzles me is why they don't redevelop Deerbrook Mall into a real "Heart of Northshore". There's already a rather underutilized Metra station there. Most of the mall is vacant anyways surrounded by swaths of usually empty parking lots.....
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"I told you what I thought about that when I said I do not trust Obama and I probably never will. He hasnn't proven anything to me or you yet but he has flapped his lips plenty. And that I guess, is enough for some of you smarties in here." nygirl
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