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Old January 20th, 2006, 01:32 AM   #41
The Urban Politician
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Ahhh, slowly but surely, suburbs are embracing density and TOD.

We are about 40 years behind Europe on this concept, but perhaps the American landscape can be salvaged...
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Old January 20th, 2006, 07:29 AM   #42
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Des Plaines is on the rise. I, in my professional 9-5 job, have worked with them in the development sector on a number of projects. A class act city to work with, this city is overcoming its flood problems and is/will be truly a city, not a suburb. A great place to live and work, its downtown continues to grow and it is in a great location on the train line in proximity to THE city. A step ahead of the other suburbs.
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Old January 21st, 2006, 12:23 AM   #43
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http://www.dailyherald.com/news/cookstory.asp?id=145068

Mayor expresses pride in city economic record

By Ames Boykin

Daily Herald Staff Writer
Posted Friday, January 20, 2006

Des Plaines Mayor Tony Arredia told business leaders Thursday he was proud of the city’s “aggressive” economic development record.

After his speech, however, the mayor found himself answering criticism that the city may be too aggressive.

Arredia delivered his annual address to businesses at a Des Plaines Chamber of Commerce & Industry breakfast, highlighting the city’s new downtown development and his work to spur long-dormant flood control projects.

Des Plaines “has begun to reap the benefits of an aggressive economic development plan,” Arredia said.

Metropolitan Square, a residential and retail complex downtown, opened last year, bringing the city its first downtown grocery store in years. The city used its condemnation powers to buy property for the project.

In another redevelopment project, the city is using tax dollars to build a new strip mall near the Allstate Arena that would feature the city’s first Starbucks coffee shop.

New city plans are targeting a nearly 100-acre site near the Five Corners area for redevelopment, although city officials haven’t said whether they will try to acquire property for the project.

When one of the breakfast attendees asked the mayor about condemnation, Arredia explained why municipalities turn to condemnation.

Sometimes property owners that the city has approached to negotiate with want “five times” the fair market value, Arredia said.

By a judge’s order, the city must pay fair market value for the property if it does condemn property, Arredia said.

“Is it pleasant? No. Do we enjoy doing it? No,” Arredia said. “Like I said, sometimes it’s the only way.”

Arredia pointed to New York City, where he said people probably didn’t support the construction of the Empire State Building. The building was finished in 1931. People probably complained that the art deco skyscraper would “ruin the contour” of the downtown, he said.

Likewise, the city has had to make some decisions for the greater economic good of the community, Arredia said.

The Des Plaines Public Library that opened in 2000 replaced a strip mall filled with struggling businesses, Arredia recalled. Redeveloping the area was important for the city’s economic welfare, he said.

“What was there before? Dying businesses,” Arredia said.

“It’s not easy being the mayor,” he added after the attendee hurled more questions.

The U.S. Supreme Court last year upheld the constitutionality of governments forcibly acquiring property for private redevelopment in some instances.
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Old January 21st, 2006, 04:38 AM   #44
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I love my old hometown. Des Plaines has really become a beacon of smart and well thought out leadership and planning. Des Plaines is also working with the city to expand O'Hare and even ceeded 160 acres of its city land to Chicago to help make it happen. My old neighborhood has gone mid-rise crazy like wild mushrooms after a spring rain, there is even a midrise looming over my old back yard. Unfortantley, many are pretty boring on the design front, but the benifits of this planning and development are great. I wish more suburbs would follow this path. *Cough* Bensinville *cough * Elk Grove Village


In other news, a new Metra station and 10 mile line extension to Elburn will open for service on Monday morning.
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Old January 21st, 2006, 05:36 PM   #45
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I agree. What is happening to Des Plaines is a good thing. It is truly becoming a city in itself. I have a client who was a victim to Arredia's condemnation. The angle taken was genuinely that they did not like doing it. They were very accomodating and helped him find another location. I think he ended up getting a good deal because they were able to work it out before going before a judge.

The recent trend is the trainline towns are starting to do exactly what Des Plaines is doing: Condemn the land downtown near the train station, create it as a TIF district, bid it out to developers for designs usually not sparing much cost, and then build a new downtown. Downers Grove, Park Ridge, Naperville, Arlington Heights, Vernon Hills, to name a few. Towns like Elk Grove Village do not have a train station so they really dont have the epicenter potential like Des Plaines and Bensenville is on a train line that does not run frequently I do not think. I believe I read somewhere that more trains will be added to that line soon with towns like Schaumburg growing. It might create a window of opportunity for Bensenville to grow economically and build a downtown.
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Old January 22nd, 2006, 07:31 AM   #46
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There's actually a lot of midrise condo construction going on. I've got tons more bookmarked but I forget to post them. Actually, I stumbled across sites with large amounts of projects listed for both suburbs and Chicago, but it's hard to tell if some are real or just concepts.

The New Central Station
3212 S. Grove, Berwyn
5 floors


Blue Stem
1905 S. Wolf Road, Hillside
6 floors


I don't really like this one. Quite depressing.

Last edited by spyguy; February 3rd, 2006 at 02:33 AM.
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Old January 22nd, 2006, 09:48 PM   #47
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http://www.dailyherald.com/news/cookstory.asp?id=145796

Developer wants to meet with residents of Rolling Meadows

By Nadia Malik

Daily Herald Staff Writer
Posted Sunday, January 22, 2006

A developer trying to bring a large retail and housing complex into Rolling Meadows will once again meet with area residents to explain the project.

Officials with Bristol Chicago Development will have their second community meeting at 7:30 p.m. Thursday at the Rolling Meadows Library, 3110 Martin Lane.

The company wants to build on the empty site at the corner of Kirchoff Road and Meadow Drive in downtown Rolling Meadows, where a Dominick’s used to stand.

Bristol is proposing The Residences on Meadow development that would include row houses along the back of the lot — where the empty storefront currently sits — and a four-story apartment complex in the center of the 11-acre site.

The front of the lot facing Kirchoff Road would include condominiums with retail stores on the first floor, named The Shoppes on Meadow. Much of the retail would include current shops on the site that would be moved closer to the street.


At the first community meeting, and at prior city council meetings, some residents were concerned that the apartment complex was not appropriate for downtown Rolling Meadows.

One worry was that the apartments wouldn’t rent because of the high prices, ranging from $1,000 to $1,700 a month. Residents also said condominiums would be more attractive since apartments would bring “transient” occupants.

However, Walsh said most residents at the first meeting seemed interested in the project.

“I think there were very few people who opposed it and there were very few people who recommended it highly,” he said. “I guess virtually everybody there stood in the middle someplace.”

Walsh said Bristol did act on some of the resident input, including a traffic study for Meadow Drive, where many students walk to get to nearby schools.

Bristol, this time around, will meet with those who live within 1,000 feet of the site, as opposed to those at the first meeting, who lived within 500 feet of the empty lot.

Letters will be mailed out to those invited to the meeting.

This will be the final community meeting before Bristol Chicago goes in front of the plan commission on Feb. 1 for preliminary approval of the development. If all goes as planned with both the plan commission and the city council, construction on the site could begin this summer.
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Old January 23rd, 2006, 09:32 PM   #48
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Don't forget about the construction that takes place at Seven Bridges in Woodridge (neighboring Naperville from east for those who don't know). At least 10 story bulding is under constraction as well as retail. Across the street the developer is in progress of preparing site for the houses that starting price will be mid 600's. In my opinion that is the biggest and most prestigious suburban development as of now.
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Old January 23rd, 2006, 11:41 PM   #49
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Didn't know about that. I don't see the 10 story building on their site though...they have a hell of a lot of parking surrounding this large development though.
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Old January 25th, 2006, 01:19 AM   #50
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Not huge

http://ww2.dailyherald.com/news/dupa....asp?id=146498

Wheaton selects largest downtown plan

By James Fuller

Daily Herald Staff Writer
Posted Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Downtown Wheaton may be just a bit better off if the city council approves a plan the city staff characterized as a potential “bonanza.”

If it works, that is.

Wheaton council members looked to address two downtown problems Monday night in selecting a grandiose development proposal for the area commonly known as the old Chicago Title and Trust property near Willow and Main streets.

The council had three proposals to choose from. Two were modest and less risky than the plan council members eventually selected.

The plan, supported by the council, calls for negotiations to start with Wheaton Property Partners LLC for a five-story office and retail building with both underground parking and a parking structure.

The project’s size, increase in workers at the site and a boost in sales tax from the retail portion of the property would give the city much more revenue than the other two plans.

The parking structure would have upward of 500 parking spaces that would allow for some downtown parking relief.
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Old January 25th, 2006, 07:16 AM   #51
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The construction of a 10 story apartment complex will be finished really soon, and is visible when you travle on IL-53
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Old January 27th, 2006, 01:06 AM   #52
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I'm glad

http://www.dailyherald.com/news/kanestory.asp?id=147158

Developers take surprise hit in Elgin

Senior housing development, Wal-Mart plans sent back for more study

By Christine Byers

Daily Herald Staff Writer
Posted Thursday, January 26, 2006

Wednesday was not a good day for developers looking to build in Elgin.

First, city council members tabled a proposed Sam’s Club/Super Wal-Mart project along Randall Road, despite the developer’s promises to make roadway improvements and boost sales tax revenues.

Then, developers planning a senior living complex along McLean Boulevard watched helplessly as some council members demanded a financial study for the plan to replace Schock’s Nursery with two four-story apartment and condo buildings for seniors.

“This is bureaucratic government at its worst in my opinion, to require someone to obtain research we already know,” said Elgin Mayor Ed Schock, who voted along with Councilman John Walters against Councilman Tom Sandor’s request for the study. “It’s like saying, ‘We’re going to make you do it just because we can.’æ”

The city council has required developers of all projects to provide fiscal analysis studies.

“To change that policy on the fly in the middle of a public hearing is troubling,” Sandor said.

Also troubling to Sandor was a planned Sam’s Club/Super Wal-Mart project at Bowes and Randall roads. If built, the Wal-Mart near Royal Boulevard would close and be redeveloped, said attorney Rob Gamrath.

“Elgin deserves better,” said Sandor, who questioned why the city could not attract a high-end retailer to the site. “Our income revenues are rising, but are sales tax revenues are not rising at the same rate.

“Wal-Mart is not going to be the magnet that attracts residents to spend their money in Elgin. It’s just one more of the same thing we already have.”

Audience members applauded Sandor’s remarks
, but representatives for Wal-Mart weren’t amused.

“I’m surprised,” said John Bisio, a spokesman for Wal-Mart. “There wasn’t any indication of these sentiments beforehand.”

The developers had to provide $4.5 million in road and intersection improvements to the Kane County Department of Transportation to make the project work. Elgin agreed to reimburse $500,000 of the sales tax revenues annually for five years to cover half of the cost.

“Find another retailer who is going to front that money,” Schock said. “It’s excessive, but required improvements that have driven other developers away.”

City staffers estimate that the retail giant could bring an additional $1.5 million annually to the city’s sales tax revenue bottom line — auto dealers that account for half of the city’s sales tax base now can’t even come close to that, Schock said.

“It’s a cash cow for a city that’s looking for money to pay for things,” he said.

Councilman Bob Gilliam’s request to table the vote until Feb. 22 was unanimously approved. Schock said he voted to table the vote fearing that the needed five votes for the annexation agreement were in jeopardy.

“It’s not what we wanted,” Bisio said. “But it might give us the opportunity to better discuss the merits of the project and answer questions and provide assurances.”
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Old February 3rd, 2006, 01:07 AM   #53
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Something is going on

http://www.dailyherald.com/news/cookstory.asp?id=149799

City wants to add 4 hotels near arena

By Ames Boykin

Daily Herald Staff Writer
Posted Thursday, February 02, 2006

Des Plaines is hoping to add four hotels totaling 1,000 rooms along Mannheim Road near the Allstate Arena.

Madison, Wis.-based Raymond Management Co., which developed the Hilton Garden Inn, 2930 S. River Road in Des Plaines, wants to add two hotels on a site that now houses a budget hotel and a rental car facility.

Sixth Ward Alderman Tom Becker, who chairs the city’s community development committee, said he expects to reach a tentative redevelopment agreement with Raymond today at a committee meeting.

“I’m pleased with it,” Becker said of the plan.

The community development committee will discuss the proposal at 4 p.m. today at city hall, 1420 Miner St. Plans also would have to go before the city council.

The city also has plans from Lombard-based Harp Group, which would build two hotels on the site where it had proposed just one La Quinta Inn & Suites.

Under the new plan, a La Quinta would share the space with another hotel chain to be determined, Becker said.

All four hotels are proposed in a tax increment financing area.

The city has been working to acquire the Raymond property, and has condemned Ace Rent-A-Car, 2985 Mannheim Road, and Travelodge, 3003 Mannheim Road, for its redevelopment plans.

Just to the north on Mannheim, the city also has lured a strip mall that will feature the first Starbucks Coffee in Des Plaines.

With the new hotels, the city expects to receive some $80 million in taxes over the 23-year span of the tax increment financing district, Becker said.

The projects are to the east of Allstate Arena, and a Rosemont development anchored by a Target.

Through the special taxing district, the city hopes to recover what it spent to acquire property through increasing property values from the new development.

For up to 23 years, other taxing bodies, such as schools, won’t get a share of the added money from the development’s taxes. Instead, the extra money will go to the city so it can recoup what it spent on the development.
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Old February 4th, 2006, 12:58 AM   #54
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http://www.dailyherald.com/news/dupa....asp?id=150265

Downtown plan upsets residents

By Michael Wamble

Daily Herald Staff Writer
Posted Friday, February 03, 2006

Home and building owners say a revitalized Lisle downtown is a good idea.

But they don’t think they should be forced to sell their property in five years to make that happen.

That idea is part of a rezoning proposal before the village’s planning and zoning commission.

The proposal would change a residential area that surrounds downtown, giving roughly 33 homeowners five to 10 years to leave an area rezoned for businesses.

Insurance companies, along with architectural design firms and fortune tellers, also would be required to evacuate street level offices to make space for future retail occupants. They could remain downtown if they move to a second floor or higher in a building.

The proposal will be discussed at a 7:30 p.m. Feb. 15 planning and zoning meeting at village hall, 925 Burlington Ave.

General comments on this issue will be part of the upcoming Lisle village board meeting, 7:30 p.m. Feb. 6 at village hall.

Though the proposal hasn’t been sent to village trustees for consideration, Mayor Joseph Broda has said making changes downtown might take some “bold steps.”

Some home and building owners already say they’ll attend the Feb. 15 meeting to speak out against the idea.

Already, changes in the proposal are being discussed to lengthen any relocation time due to zoning changes to 10 years or indefinitely.

Still, residents say they’re wary about any changes.

Pam Kimbro, who lives on Lincoln Avenue in an area that would be impacted, said that during a recent planning board meeting, village leaders “had this brainstorming about rezoning, then there was confusion about what to do.”

Community Development Director Tony Budzikowski said the proposal has its roots in the village’s 1999 master plan.

Budzikowski said Thursday that he’s heard making changes within five years is a bad idea.

“I probably agree with that,” Budzikowski said.

“Maybe we’ll accomplish what we want,” he said, “without upsetting those homeowners and businesses.”

Jim Van Ham, who owns a building on Main Street, doesn’t think that’s possible.

“There is no reason to make any changes,” said Van Ham.

Such a proposal, Van Ham said, doesn’t recognize prior contributions to downtown.

“These are people who’ve made a commitment to this village during lean years,” Van Ham said.

Yet some service business owners say they know that change is inevitable, since village leaders made it clear they’re not part of Lisle’s master plan.

Rezoning, coupled with continuing property purchases by the village along Garfield Avenue, located a block west behind Main Street, have raised the ire of Mary Ann Johnson.

Johnson, who lives on Lincoln Avenue, said she’s upset rezoning plans might push her out.

“Lisle is a service community. Lisle is not retail,” Johnson said.

And judging by conversations she’s had with other residents, Johnson said, “We want our sleepy little town.”
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Old February 4th, 2006, 02:21 AM   #55
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PrintersRowBoiler
Des Plaines is on the rise. I, in my professional 9-5 job, have worked with them in the development sector on a number of projects. A class act city to work with, this city is overcoming its flood problems and is/will be truly a city, not a suburb. A great place to live and work, its downtown continues to grow and it is in a great location on the train line in proximity to THE city. A step ahead of the other suburbs.
I went to highschool and junior high in des plaines,
my exile from shytown was dreary and dark,
but its not too bad of a burb, but to me at the time i didnt like it too much
i remember reagan or bush had stopped by the sugar bowl downtown there,
it sure does have flood problems it flooded pretty good in 87 and one other time i was there, funny to think its booming cuz i would never want to live there, no offense,
too far from the lake,
but could you post what projects are being planned there,
it will be interesting to see the change,
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Old February 4th, 2006, 02:53 AM   #56
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This has been UC, don't know why I didn't post it before

Metropolitan Square
Des Plaines
7 floors
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Old February 9th, 2006, 12:30 AM   #57
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It's like it's nothing to Des Plaines

http://www.dailyherald.com/search/se....asp?id=152091

Des Plaines to study downtown parking

By Ames Boykin

Daily Herald Staff Writer
Posted Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Des Plaines has hired a Detroit-area consultant to study the parking needs of its downtown area.

Aldermen voted 7-0 to pay $84,947 to Rich and Associates Inc., of Southfield, Mich., which would work with T.Y. Lin International, a San Francisco-based firm with Chicago offices.

The team was the second-highest bid of four proposals. Tim Angell, deputy director of community and economic development, said Rich’s track record of similar studies in Arlington Heights and Highland Park set it apart.

Rich also designs and manages parking decks, which made it a great candidate, Angell said.

At 1st Ward Alderman Patricia Beauvais’ suggestion, the study will look at residential areas north and northwest of the downtown district.

Since the area is within a current tax increment financing district, the city plans to use $74,947 from those funds — plus $10,000 from the city’s general fund.

Mayor Tony Arredia said he believed city officials want the study to say that the one-half of a parking space the city requires developers to include for condo visitors be used only for visitors.

“In my opinion, that beats a parking deck,” he said.

Many developers sell off the spaces.

After that, 6th Ward Alderman Tom Becker said the mayor didn’t speak for everyone.

Richard Grosse, a condo dweller, said he believes the 1.5 per condo unit requirement that the city now uses should be increased.

“I could tell you right now two parking spaces per unit is not sufficient,” Grosse said, earning applause from other residents at the city council meeting.

Aldermen on Monday also approved a new nine-story, 144-unit condo development along River Road at River Street.

Aldermen backed a proposal by Beauvais, which would force Chicago-based River Associates to reserve 18 spaces for visitors. Her plan also calls for developers to offer additional parking along River Street without any city tax incentives.

Aldermen voted 6-1 in support of the project.

Eighth Ward Alderman Rosemary Argus opposed the plan, saying the city should instead talk with them before approving the project.

The project has the city council’s final approval for its preliminary plans, but will need aldermen’s OK for its final plans.

Beauvais said she would oppose those final plans if the developer didn’t agree to provide additional parking.
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Old February 12th, 2006, 03:11 AM   #58
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Wood Dale Station
6 floors


Near a Metra Station
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Old February 24th, 2006, 02:48 AM   #59
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Palatine - a real (quality) downtown developing

http://www.dailyherald.com/search/se....asp?id=159363

Time to weigh in on Block 27’s future

It"s down to two visions for downtown; Palatine wants your thoughts

By Andrew Schroedte

Posted Thursday, February 23, 2006

Two builders have presented their ideas for a massive redevelopment of an area known as Block 27 in downtown Palatine.

......

The Focus plan calls for 120 condo units, 19,200 square feet of commercial space and buildings that range in height from two to six stories. The development would have 299 on-site parking spaces.

The Hummel proposal would add 104 condo units and 15,600 square feet of commercial space. The U-shaped building would range in height from three to five stories and include 192 parking spaces.
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Old February 24th, 2006, 02:57 AM   #60
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Palatine: Past, Present, Future

Brownstones:








Block 31:



Block 27 (as mentioned above):
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