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Old July 27th, 2005, 02:11 AM   #1
The Urban Politician
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Riverside Park Development News

Okay, in the storm of excitement about the Fordham Spire, I thought I would start a thread about a new mega-community being built in Chicago--something that will be as big as Lakeshore East but will also reshape the downtown landscape in ways never seen before. This mega-development will arise on a massive and important amount of land that, to date, has remained completely vacant.

Here is Riverside Park--and THIS is its official thread. Here's an article re-announcing the project's return to the spotlight, from New Homes Magazine:


July 25, 2005
Rezmar to start Riverside District in 1st quarter '06
Rezmar Development Group will open residential sales at the Riverside District, a 62-acre mixed-use community planned for the South Loop, during the first quarter of 2006, according to Alexandra Korompilas, director of sales and marketing for the company.


The planned-unit development is far along, but Rezmar continues to work with the city on logistics for what will be a complicated project. The developer also has been trying to plan an optimal sales center that will include space for construction staff, company principals and sales people as well as unit models, probably at the corner of Clark and Roosevelt.


The massive development, formerly called Riverside Park, will include around 4,700 residential units and up to 670,000 square feet of retail space as well as parking, parks, plazas and a landscaped riverwalk on a site bordered by Roosevelt Road on the north, the Chicago River on the west Clark Street on the east and 16th Street on the south


The Riverside District is expected to take 10 years to complete and will include a wide variety of housing types, including highrise and mid-rise condos, townhouses and single-family homes.


The first residential offerings will be 322 townhouses and about 1,000 condominiums in low-rise and mid-rise buildings. Studios will start under $200,000, according to Korompilas, and townhouses will be priced from the high $500s. Planned buildings are being designed so that tiers can be combined easily. While the largest standard units are 1,100 or 1,200 square feet, units of more than 3,000 square feet can be created seamlessly by combining two or three condos at no extra cost.


Commercial components will be developed at the same time as the residential, and the response from retailers so far has been positive, Korompilas said.
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Old July 27th, 2005, 02:18 AM   #2
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The website has been completely revamped. For the first time on the new website there are a few pics of the development plan. They are definitely different from the plans published originally, over a year ago:





More info is available at www.riversideparkchicago.com
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Old July 27th, 2005, 02:18 AM   #3
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this has been floating around for a while and i was actually just gonna ask if it was dead cuz their website was down but apparently it got renovated, i heard there might be an ikea. but this was the most exciting project to me in chicago against lse and central station cuz this area was such an eyesore.
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Old July 27th, 2005, 02:20 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lower Wacker
this has been floating around for a while and i was actually just gonna ask if it was dead, i heard there might be an ikea. but this was the most exciting project to me in chicago against lse and central station cuz this area was such an eyesore.
Old news, buddy. Ikea was dead ages ago.

But the development lives on!
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Old July 27th, 2005, 02:23 AM   #5
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traffic is why i believe. but at least u dont have that ugly blue and yellow building
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Old July 27th, 2005, 03:15 AM   #6
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It actually had nothing to do with traffic - they wanted their second Chicagoland location to be open as soon as possible to help alleviate crowding @ the Schaumburg store. They learned that this site (Riverside) wouldn't be ready until 2007, whereas the store that they ultimately decided to build in Bolingbrook will be open within the next couple of months. I wouldn't be surprised if they do, eventually, build a store somewhere in the City limits - there is certainly sufficient traffic and demand for their products to sustain so many locations in such a small area.
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Old July 27th, 2005, 09:34 PM   #7
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Actually, this development is now being called Riverside District, as opposed to Riverside Park. If a mod could change this thread's title, that would be great.

Do any of you have any opinions about the initial plans of this development? If you visit the website, www.riversideparkchicago.com you can get a little bit more info

I think the new version connects to the Clark/ Roosevelt/ 16st streetgrid better than the former proposal did. I like how another connection to Clark will be created, along with a stoplight, which is good in that it will discourage Clark st's transformation into a high-speed expressway.

I just hope the architecture isn't neo-traditional like we've seen elsewhere
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Old July 28th, 2005, 01:25 AM   #8
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I just hope they rework the Clark bus to continue all the way into this development. It stopping at Polk is something that I've never understood, especially in light of the new Target at Roosevelt.
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Old July 28th, 2005, 02:35 AM   #9
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**** this
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Old July 28th, 2005, 11:42 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by geoff_diamond
I just hope they rework the Clark bus to continue all the way into this development. It stopping at Polk is something that I've never understood, especially in light of the new Target at Roosevelt.
^There's no doubt in my mind they'll rework the system to make transit accessible to a neighborhood full of potentially 5,000 housing units! I just don't think a single Target Store is enough to create a new transit extension.

Personally, I like the layout of the development. I just hope the architecture of the buildings is good. I also hope the market will support this project's completion. For all the bitching and moaning about Block 37 and parking lots, the huge swaths of grass and weed between south Clark St and the River are the biggest eyesore of all time!
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Old July 29th, 2005, 12:13 AM   #11
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There are many on the outside and a few on the inside that say this project is going to happen under Rezmar, and to date it has a lousy track record. They are still working on getting TIF at this point.
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Old July 29th, 2005, 12:50 AM   #12
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The Harrison station on the Red Line isn't too far away, either. Do you think it'll see increased usage?
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Old July 29th, 2005, 02:00 AM   #13
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Quote:
**** this
Very insightful.

At any rate... TUP - I would hardly consider allowing a bus to travel four or five blocks further south as a "transit extension." I'm not asking them to rework the green line so it runs through the store - I just want the damn bus to go there. If you ever had the opportunity to walk down Roosevelt between State and the Target on Clark you'd realize that the demand for better transit is there - pedestrian traffic along that horrible stretch is out of control.
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Old July 29th, 2005, 02:27 AM   #14
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This development is moving forward. I saw the drawings/plans at CDOT yesterday.
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Old July 29th, 2005, 04:21 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by geoff_diamond
If you ever had the opportunity to walk down Roosevelt between State and the Target on Clark you'd realize that the demand for better transit is there - pedestrian traffic along that horrible stretch is out of control.
Excellent! Roosevelt between State and Clark used to be DESOLATE when I was there. Only cars racing past you. Those elaborately carved books with the globes on them finally have someone to look at them. I'm thrilled to hear its bustling now. That view from the bridge is stupendous.
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Old July 29th, 2005, 08:42 AM   #16
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The view from the bridge is fine as long as you're not on the north side of Roosevelt... if you are, you're completely blocked by those horrible privacy fences they have in place. Other than that... the area is still horribly desolate... that is, aside from those walking westbound, empty-handed, and then returning eastbound Target in tow.
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Old July 29th, 2005, 09:32 PM   #17
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I was looking at a map, and I'm sure the CTA will easily rework a bus route into this development.

Also, pedestrians from the green and red lines (from the Roosevelt stop) can access it.

But what do you guys think about Metra adding some stations? Not remembering the names of the Metra Lines, here's what I think would work:

The 1st line runs right adjacent to this development and ends at LaSalle St. Station. How about creating a Metra station about a block south of Roosevelt on this line? That would be roughly 0.6 to 0.7 miles south of LaSalle St. Station, thus long enough that a lot of people would prefer using the train to get to the loop.

The 2nd line runs just west of the river, but east of Canal St. (the Burbank line or something?) and ends at Union Station. WHAT A PERFECT SPOT TO PUT A STATION--right at Roosevelt. Considering the Riverside District that is planned, as well as the huge amount of shopping centers being built in the immediate area, Metra would be crazy not to put a station here.

Any thoughts?
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Old August 7th, 2005, 07:14 PM   #18
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I am assuming this will slow down the development of Riverside District:

City tells developer not to count on $140 mil.

August 5, 2005

BY FRAN SPIELMAN City Hall Reporter


Chicago taxpayers cannot afford to subsidize a massive South Loop development to the tune of $140 million, a top mayoral aide said Thursday, demanding that Gov. Blagojevich's chief fund-raiser Tony Rezko lower his sights.

Further complicating the issue, according to Planning and Development Commissioner Denise Casalino, is Crucial Inc.'s decision to forfeit its three O'Hare Airport restaurants rather than fight City Hall's contention that the concessionaire purportedly owned by an African American is a "front" for Panda Express and Rezko.

"Anybody who looks for public money has to file an economic disclosure statement and, if there's anything wrong on there, they're not gonna get public money," Casalino said.

"We're working with Law and evaluating that -- what the liability is, if any. That's another part of the equation that has to be looked at."

Earlier this year, a partnership co-owned by Rezko asked City Hall for a $140 million subsidy to finance the road, sidewalk, sewer and other infrastructure improvements needed to pave the way for Riverside Park.

The ambitious plan calls for the 62-acre-site at Roosevelt and Clark to be developed with more than 4,600 residential units and 670,000 square feet of retail space.


If the Daley administration granted the request, it would be the largest tax-increment-financing (TIF) subsidy in Chicago history -- far exceeding the $95 million TIF subsidy that bailed Millennium Park out of a sea of cost overruns.

But don't count on it. On Thursday, Casalino essentially told Rezko to get real.

The city wants to make sure the project would generate enough revenue to cover the subsidy, and fears handing over $140 million upfront would be too much.

"We have to look at the estimates of what the infrastructure costs," she said. "We have somebody evaluating that now."

Neither Rezko nor Judi Fishman, senior project manager for Riverside Park, could be reached for comment on Casalino's remarks
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Old August 7th, 2005, 07:59 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Frumie
There are many on the outside and a few on the inside that say this project is going to happen under Rezmar, and to date it has a lousy track record. They are still working on getting TIF at this point.
To reiterate my July 28th post: this "development" has behind-the-scene issues that make it unlikely that this organization will ever bring this development on line.
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Old August 7th, 2005, 08:46 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Frumie
To reiterate my July 28th post: this "development" has behind-the-scene issues that make it unlikely that this organization will ever bring this development on line.
^All of this is too bad.

All of the wrangling over finances and corruption, and we're still stuck with an enormous swath of vacant, ugly land between Clark St and the river
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