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Old September 19th, 2005, 05:12 PM   #21
HowardL
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Wacker Part II in works
Package includes riverwalk money


Jon Hilkevitch
Tribune staff reporter
Published September 19, 2005

The next phase of rebuilding Wacker Drive is only a few years away, and tagging along with it is a walk on the riverside.

Federal funding is falling into place to reconstruct the north-south section of Upper and Lower Wacker, from Randolph Street to Congress Parkway, probably in 2007 or 2008, according to the Chicago Department of Transportation. Washington is providing the first $25 million for the $280 million project. Increasing funding levels, still undetermined, are expected in subsequent years.

The new federal transportation bill Congress passed this summer also includes about a half-million dollars for the city to complete the design of a Chicago River walkway on the newly rebuilt east-west Wacker from Michigan Avenue to Lake Street.

The goal is drawing visitors to restaurants, shops and plazas on the water's edge. Floating parties made up of river barges featuring live music and other entertainment would pull up to dock walls under Mayor Richard M. Daley's plan to showcase the river as one of Chicago's greatest assets.

"We want to make the riverfront a destination," said Brian Steele, city transportation spokesman.

If funding is secured in the next year or two, construction of the riverwalk could start in 2008 or 2009, he said. The riverwalk is estimated to cost $40 million to $50 million.

City officials have visited several cities, including Pittsburgh, San Antonio and San Diego, to study how they developed their riverfronts, Steele said.

Although much work remains, the first section of what eventually will become Chicago's riverwalk will be ready by Veterans Day, officials said. Wabash Plaza, the river-level venue being completed between Wabash and State Streets, will be home to a new Vietnam veterans memorial. A "water wall" honoring the approximately 2,900 Chicago soldiers killed in action during the Vietnam War will be the memorial's centerpiece.

"The plaza will provide a good preview of what the rest of the riverwalk might look like," Steele said.

City procurement officials are set to issue a request for proposals this year from concessionaires interested in bidding to operate restaurants and retail stores on the riverwalk, Steele said. Officials haven't decided whether to go with a master concessionaire who would manage everything, or split the venture among several vendors.

The city previously had sought bidders for the riverwalk businesses in 2004. But only one company, Los Angeles-based Wilton Partners, responded. Wilton Partners, a developer with large donations to Gov. Rod Blagojevich's campaign fund, and Exxon Mobil are overhauling tollway oases for the Illinois State Toll Highway Authority.

Wilton's proposal for the riverwalk "didn't meet the vision of what we wanted," Steele said.

Meanwhile, some commuters who walk the north sidewalk on upper Wacker between Franklin and Lake streets are wondering why the city put up bulky concrete barriers there that reduce pedestrian space on the sidewalk.

"This barrier wall is both significantly wider than the fancier ones east of Franklin and it rests farther onto the sidewalk," complained Mike Scilingo, who navigates the high-traffic area on his way from his Metra station to his office on Wells Street.

City officials responded that the wall is temporary, although it will remain in place until the riverwalk is developed. Ultimately, the area will tie into the riverwalk via staircases and elevators.
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Old September 20th, 2005, 12:14 AM   #22
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Here's the nice image that went along with it:
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Old May 18th, 2006, 11:39 PM   #23
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http://www.suntimes.com/output/news/...s-river18.html

First step for city riverwalk
May 18, 2006
BY FRAN SPIELMAN City Hall Reporter


A five-block stretch of a Wacker Drive riverwalk that Mayor Daley hopes will someday rival San Antonio's will be open to the public next month, thanks to $800,000 worth of basic amenities now being installed.

"This stretch between State and Franklin -- there's no other space like it downtown. We really want to maximize public use of it," said Transportation Department spokesman Brian Steele.

With paving, fencing, railing, benches, and garbage and recycling bins going in along the stretch, Chicagoans will be able to enjoy the first major chunk of a riverwalk closed to the public since the $200 million reconstruction of Wacker Drive.

The work, expected to be completed in mid-June, is being done by F.H. Paschen, a construction giant the Daley administration once accused of minority contracting fraud and threatened to prohibit from doing business with the city.

The February 2005 "debarment" proposed by Interim Chief Procurement Officer Mary Dempsey was subsequently rescinded after investigators concluded that a Paschen employee who forged a signature did so to "expedite" paperwork -- not to mislead the city or inflate an invoice. The employee was fired. The proper signature was obtained.

Later this summer, City Hall also hopes to open a temporary urban market in an enclosed and finished, 10,000-square-foot space at Wacker and Wabash on the lower level of Chicago's new Vietnam War memorial.

The interim market is expected to open long before August, when boats participating in the Tall Ships Festival are displayed along the Chicago River's main branch. Last year the Tall Ships were at Navy Pier.

"It could be fruit or produce. It could be crafts or wares -- similar to some of the markets held on Daley Plaza. We just have to make sure it'll be of interest to the public and something we'll be able to manage throughout the summer," Steele said.

Daley's original plan for a riverwalk he calls Chicago's "second lakefront" called for the city to spend $40 million to $50 million in yet-to-be-secured federal transportation funds to build a river-level boardwalk from Michigan to Lake that would include 35,500 square feet of retail and restaurant space along with docks for tour boats and water taxis.

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Old May 19th, 2006, 04:00 AM   #24
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sweet, i hope this river walk consept realy comes out well, iv been looking forward to it
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Old January 31st, 2007, 04:12 PM   #25
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I was looking at the Cordogan, Clark and Assoc. web site and found these images of the Chi Riverwalk on there. I don't remember having seen these before has anyone else?

http://www.cordoganclark.com/project...ront/page.html





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Old January 31st, 2007, 04:38 PM   #26
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Nice:

Quote:
Originally Posted by nomarandlee View Post
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Old February 2nd, 2007, 05:17 AM   #27
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If you think the Cordogan, Clark and Assoc. concept for the riverfront is something, scroll down to Masterplanning and click on Chicago Development to view a Franklin Point concept of six towers. Granted, a little goes a long way and this kind of looks like a 21st century version of Carl Sandburg Village. But what a concept for outlining the east bank of the south branch of the Chicago River! I remember back in the 70's when there was talk of constucting 3 60-story towers there that looked an awful lot like Marina City, but they were all connected at higher floors. I think it might have been Harry Weese who designed that concept.
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Old February 2nd, 2007, 05:40 AM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chimaster View Post
If you think the Cordogan, Clark and Assoc. concept for the riverfront is something, scroll down to Masterplanning and click on Chicago Development to view a Franklin Point concept of six towers. Granted, a little goes a long way and this kind of looks like a 21st century version of Carl Sandburg Village. But what a concept for outlining the east bank of the south branch of the Chicago River! I remember back in the 70's when there was talk of constucting 3 60-story towers there that looked an awful lot like Marina City, but they were all connected at higher floors. I think it might have been Harry Weese who designed that concept.
Yea, I saw those as well, pretty amazing stuff. Though cool I am weary of such redundant mega-projects even as cool looking as those. I am guessing these renders/ideas are pretty old and am not sure how likely we are to see either the riverwalk/Franklin Point to come to fruition but they are intreasting indeed. Now that I think about it I do want to see I have seen these all before someplace else around here but its always intreasting to take another look...

Here are the Franklin Point renders......
http://www.cordoganclark.com/project...ment/page.html




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Old February 2nd, 2007, 06:00 AM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nomarandlee View Post
Yea, I saw those as well, pretty amazing stuff. Though cool I am weary of such redundant mega-projects even as cool looking as those. I am guessing these renders/ideas are pretty old and am not sure how likely we are to see either the riverwalk/Franklin Point to come to fruition but they are intreasting indeed. Now that I think about it I do want to see I have seen these all before someplace else around here but its always intreasting to take another look...

Here are the Franklin Point renders......
http://www.cordoganclark.com/project...ment/page.html




Wow, Franklin Point looks amazing. I agree in that it may not be overly likely that this project comes to fruition...but I really hope that whatever does eventually get developed on this site is something special. It's too big a parcel of a land in a downtown location right on the river to be just an ordinary condo development.
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Old February 2nd, 2007, 07:18 AM   #30
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OMG!!!!!

BUILD IT NOW!

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Old February 2nd, 2007, 08:27 AM   #31
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Not the best design, especially the huge parking podiums, but certainly interesting to think about.
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Old February 2nd, 2007, 03:40 PM   #32
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I don't see any 'riverwalk'. and there looks to be very limited public access to the water. Best that this one got put on the back burner and reworked.
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Old February 2nd, 2007, 07:13 PM   #33
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Originally Posted by jpIllInoIs View Post
I don't see any 'riverwalk'. and there looks to be very limited public access to the water. Best that this one got put on the back burner and reworked.
Did you look at the pictures????
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Old February 2nd, 2007, 07:45 PM   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sir Isaac Newton View Post
Did you look at the pictures????
I did, and he looks to be right, the townhomes come right down to the rivers edge. There appears to be some public access, but no walk to speak of...

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Old February 2nd, 2007, 11:37 PM   #35
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I did, and he looks to be right, the townhomes come right down to the rivers edge. There appears to be some public access, but no walk to speak of...

I think you two are mistaking the Riverwalk renderings with the Franklin Point renderings. The Riverwalk renderings are on post #25. Franklin Point is totally different - it's the large, undeveloped area on the Southwest corner of Wells and Harrison....directly north of River City. The Riverwalk would be further north - on the stretch of the river that goes East/West, between State and Franklin.
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Old February 3rd, 2007, 12:22 AM   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sir Isaac Newton View Post
I think you two are mistaking the Riverwalk renderings with the Franklin Point renderings. The Riverwalk renderings are on post #25. Franklin Point is totally different - it's the large, undeveloped area on the Southwest corner of Wells and Harrison....directly north of River City. The Riverwalk would be further north - on the stretch of the river that goes East/West, between State and Franklin.
Actually the plan for the riverwalk does extend that far South.....

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Old February 3rd, 2007, 01:11 AM   #37
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I thought in the infamous Central Area Plan, the riverwalk was to extend all the way to Chinatown? Are they not going to retrofit this stretch of the river with a pedestrian riverwalk?
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Old February 3rd, 2007, 02:33 AM   #38
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I thought in the infamous Central Area Plan, the riverwalk was to extend all the way to Chinatown? Are they not going to retrofit this stretch of the river with a pedestrian riverwalk?
According the the lecture on Thursday, it's still in the plans. In fact, I highly doubt those town homes would get approved as is. I believe DPD has a rule saying that any new development has to be set back 30' from the river.

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Old February 3rd, 2007, 06:44 AM   #39
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Fine - treat the tower bases differently (keep the massing, ditch the facade), and remove the townhouse component.

THEN BUILD IT NOW!

To be honest, I wouldn't mind these townhouses. The riverwalk would continue behind them as a pedestrian street. The stairs leading down to the water allow public access and views and things like canoe/kayak rentals, paddle boats, etc.
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Old February 26th, 2007, 12:03 AM   #40
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Just to keep this thread going

The Hyatt Regency renovation by Gensler (shown at Massive Change)




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