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Old July 28th, 2005, 04:22 AM   #1
Frumie
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MoMo - 409'/31 fl (Com)

Height: 409 ft
Floor count: 31
Location: North State and East Randolph
Construction end: 2007
Architect: Booth Hansen Associates
Developer: Smithfield Properties LLC


Website




Condos Set for Retail, Theater Crossroads

By Mark Ruda of GlobeSt.com

Monday, July 25, 2005 - CHICAGO-A city-owned site at 151 N. State St. is just south of the Chicago Theater, across Randolph Street from Marshall Field’s flagship store and on the opposite corner of the Mills Corp.’s “Block 37” redevelopment project. Tough competition for any building, not to mention a lackluster two-story structure with a ground-floor Walgreen’s outlet and office space upstairs.


However, Smithfield Properties has sold nearly 75% of the 208 condominiums in its proposed $82-million project, which includes 34,000 sf of retail space. Additionally, Booth Hansen’s steel and concrete design for the 32-story building, with a glass curtain wall and three-story hole, drew mostly praise Thursday, when the plan commission endorsed the project as well as a zoning change.


At 390,000 sf, the project is 27% larger than allowed by current zoning. However, Smithfield Properties received bonuses from the department of planning and development, says assistant commissioner Nori Greenstein, for putting all 68 parking spaces below grade, a $299,000 contribution to the city’s affordable housing fund and upper-level setbacks.


Principal Robert Buono tells GlobeSt.com Smithfield Properties hopes to begin construction in October, with completion scheduled for October 2007. The one-, two- and three-bedroom units range from $285,000 to $600,000, he adds, with pre-sales beginning in February.


Smithfield Properties agreed in 2003 to buy the 0.44-acre site for $9.58 million. However, the company’s original plan called for 124 condominiums and 66 rental units. Smithfield Properties was one of three developers to answer a request for proposals by the city. “You have no idea how many attempts have been made to improve this corner,” says 42nd Ward Alderman Burton Natarus, noting one plan called for a fruit market.


Construction will be staged on site, Buono says, rather than requiring the closing of State Street or disrupt events at the Chicago Theater. The four-story base will be built out last, he explains. Geneva Capital is financing the project, he says.
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Last edited by i_am_hydrogen; October 8th, 2007 at 11:00 PM. Reason: Added project info.
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Old October 15th, 2005, 04:20 PM   #2
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Oh, no! It cannot be happening......

State Street parcel stirs suit
Developer sues city for canceled closing

By Thomas A. Corfman
Tribune staff reporter
Published October 15, 2005


Developer Bill Smith is accusing the Daley administration of breaking an agreement to sell him a key parcel across from Block 37 where he has proposed an $86 million condominium tower.

The city at the last minute and without explanation canceled a Sept. 29 closing on the sale of the site at 151 N. State St., according to a lawsuit filed by a Smithfield-controlled venture.

The lawsuit is an apparent attempt by Smith to push back on city officials who were leaning on him to make a deal with the cash-strapped Joffrey Ballet of Chicago to move its headquarters to the project.

Earlier this year negotiations broke down between the ballet and Smith, a principal with Chicago-based Smithfield Properties LLC. At that time, the troupe couldn't afford a move to the 32-story tower, which is expected to be completed in 2007.

The Blagojevich administration released a long-delayed $4 million grant to the Joffrey three days before what was supposed to be the most recent closing date. The grant renewed the city's interest in the Joffrey deal, said Jennifer Hoyle, a Law Department spokeswoman.

"Basically, it is because of this grant that we are able to now discuss actually bringing the Joffrey to that location, which is something that we'd really like to do," she said.

She admitted that the city did not give Smithfield an explanation when it canceled the closing but later told the company it was because of the grant.

Yet Smithfield alleges that further delays could "sound the death knell" for a project that the Planning Department once called a "shining example" of the administration's vision for a "24-hour . . . downtown."

Most of the nearly 1,300 tons of raw steel for the project have been delivered, and key financing commitments are about to expire, the complaint says. Pending condo sales contracts are said to total more than $60 million.

At a court hearing Friday, Cook County Circuit Court Judge Mary Anne Mason said the case presented an "urgent situation" and ordered an expedited trial later this month.

"We are going to continue talking to both the developer and the Joffrey Ballet, and hopefully we can resolve it without proceeding to trial," said Hoyle.

"Issues related to the Joffrey Ballet have nothing to do with the city's contract to sell the property to Smithfield, and the city has no legal right to hold up the closing," said attorney Stephen Novack, a partner in Chicago-based Novack and Macey, which represents the developer.

Since 1998, the city has been trying to spark development on the site, located diagonally across the street from Block 37. Smithfield was selected in 2003, after the collapse of another proposal that included a trendy food market. The company's other State Street projects include the redevelopment of the old Woolworth's building at Washington Street, and a residence hall for the School of the Art Institute at Randolph Street.

The city agreed to sell the site to Smithfield for nearly $9.6 million and a contract was signed in December 2004 . The project would not receive a city subsidy.

But shortly after the city signed the agreement, the Joffrey abandoned plans to develop its own building at 6 E. Lake St. because of construction costs, and began negotiations with Smithfield about 151 N. State.

Those negotiations also fell apart because of costs. In March, the Joffrey said it would move into renovated space at 17 N. State St., an antiquated office building.

In 2002, a venture that includes Smith won a lawsuit against the city that challenged the zoning of a site near North and Clybourn Avenues. And in 1999, Smith and one of his attorneys, former Chicago alderman William Singer, criticized the Chicago Transit Authority's selection of a rival bid for a Lincoln Park development site.

Singer, of law firm Kirkland & Ellis, also represented Smith in negotiations with city officials on 151 N. State.

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Old October 15th, 2005, 07:12 PM   #3
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That sucks. Badly. Thanks for the bad news when I wake up
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Old October 15th, 2005, 07:55 PM   #4
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Hmmm I imagine the city wouldn't be holding this up if they thought they couldn't arm twist Smithfield into a deal with Joffrey. I had no idea Joffrey had backed out of the project. .. This could be a blessing in disguise, in that Smithfield might just need a little more pressure to accept a lower price from Joffrey.

If the city can't get Smithfield into a deal, they'll probably cave and let this go through. How can the city say no to such a beautiful development in the heart of the city?
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Old October 15th, 2005, 08:00 PM   #5
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I'll agree with that. I have similar suspicions. I think this project is far from being over.
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Old October 15th, 2005, 08:21 PM   #6
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Smithfield should request an increase in height because of the delay I think everything will be fine with this one.
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Old October 16th, 2005, 05:11 AM   #7
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I went by the sales center today to talk to them about the situation, and they had already prepared a backup plan for when Joffrey fell apart. They have converted floors 3 and 4 into duplex "loft" units that are much larger than those found in the upper portions of the tower while commanding lower prices per square foot. The units ranged from about $350k for a 1 bed 1.5 bath to about $650k for a 2/2.
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Old October 16th, 2005, 05:33 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by geoff_diamond
I went by the sales center today to talk to them about the situation, and they had already prepared a backup plan for when Joffrey fell apart. They have converted floors 3 and 4 into duplex "loft" units that are much larger than those found in the upper portions of the tower while commanding lower prices per square foot. The units ranged from about $350k for a 1 bed 1.5 bath to about $650k for a 2/2.
^Awesome. And what did they say about this issue actually holding up construction?
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Old October 17th, 2005, 04:07 PM   #9
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They actually didn't (and wouldnt') mention it. They promised that demo on Walgreens was still impending.
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Old October 17th, 2005, 05:47 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by geoff_diamond
They actually didn't (and wouldnt') mention it. They promised that demo on Walgreens was still impending.
^I'm not sure what to make of this.

Does this mean that if MoMo gets the shaft we'll be stuck with yet another vacant lot on State St? Our Emperor Daley surely wouldn't let such an atrocity happen...
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Old October 18th, 2005, 12:05 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Urban Politician
^I'm not sure what to make of this.
Hey TUP, perhaps you could organize a children's crusade.
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Old October 18th, 2005, 01:38 AM   #12
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as much as i liked momo , i think the location calls for somthing a bit more substantial. somthing that would add to the comming block 37 concept
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Old October 18th, 2005, 07:11 AM   #13
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Are you kidding --^????

MoMo is a ******* fantastic building... one of the best to be announced in Chicago in some time. This project needs to happen and I'm not giving up on it until I hear anything for sure.
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Old October 19th, 2005, 06:30 AM   #14
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I'd be pissed if this doesn't get built. I love the design. It's beautiful, yet down to earth. I'm afraid of what might come up if this doesn't get built.
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Old October 20th, 2005, 03:54 AM   #15
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its a great building but i think we can do better for that location thats all.
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Old October 21st, 2005, 12:05 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pottebaum
I'd be pissed if this doesn't get built. I love the design. It's beautiful, yet down to earth. I'm afraid of what might come up if this doesn't get built.
^yeah. Maybe they should build a double-story drive-thru Walgreens
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Old October 21st, 2005, 06:33 PM   #17
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Quote:
its a great building but i think we can do better for that location thats all.
Give me one example of something that's been seriously proposed here that's better than MoMo.
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Old October 21st, 2005, 07:20 PM   #18
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for that particulare location , momo is so far the best but what i was saying is that we can do better. you have to think big. mabey im just a picky guy but i dont like setteling for anything short of perfection for a prime location like that. the same way trump,waterveiw,fordham, that helmut one all for the river front, each one is nothing short of spectaculare.this location is prob the most central location pos. sandwiched between block 37 and the whole south state street the theater district, the riverfront, michigan ave.,millenium park,the L, and many other major chicago amenities.this location deserves to host a 1000 footer or a building with amazing architecture,mabey somthing inovative and new .yeh MOMO was unique but not unique enough for me.
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Old October 22nd, 2005, 02:56 PM   #19
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Good new!!!!!!

State Street parcel dispute is settled
Ballet headquarters issue unresolved

By Thomas A. Corfman (www.chicagotribune.com)
Tribune staff reporter
Published October 22, 2005

The Daley administration has quickly settled a lawsuit filed last week by Chicago developer Bill Smith after city officials abruptly canceled the closing on the sale of a key parcel across from Block 37 where he has proposed an $86 million condominium tower.

The settlement sets the stage for the construction of a project that would be an important part of the revitalization of State Street, but doesn't resolve the question of whether the Joffrey Ballet would move its headquarters to the 32-story tower at 151 N. State St.

City officials at the last minute called off the Sept. 29 closing in a hard-nosed bid to push though a Joffrey deal. The possibility of such a transaction didn't surface until after the city agreed last year to sell Smith the site, which until recently housed a Walgreens drugstore.

Negotiations between Smith and the Joffrey broke down earlier this year over costs. But the Blagojevich administration released a long-delayed $4 million grant to the troupe three days before what was supposed to be the most recent closing date. The grant renewed the city's interest in a Joffrey deal, but isn't nearly enough to finance the transaction.

The suit, filed Oct. 13, claimed that delays could have sounded "the death knell" for the project because financing commitments were set to expire this month.

The settlement was reached after Cook County Circuit Court Judge Mary Anne Mason put pressure on the city by ordering an expedited trial in the case for Oct. 28.

As a result of the deal, the city on Friday completed the $9.58 million sale without a Joffrey deal, though discussions continue, a Law Department spokeswoman said.

Smith, a principal in Chicago-based Smithfield Properties LLC, declined to comment on the negotiations, except to say, "We are still very interested in bringing the Joffrey to our building."

Yet the troupe still faces a significant challenge to finance the move, even though its balance sheet has improved. And Joffrey Executive Director Jon Teeuwissen said a permanent home is just one of the company's needs.

"On the list is a permanent home, an endowment and also a cash reserve because our business is very cyclical," he said.

Locally, the company performs at the Auditorium Theater. It leases studio space at 17 N. State St., while its offices are located at 70 E. Lake St. That arrangement has eliminated the "sense of urgency" about consolidating into a single location, Teeuwissen said.

The talks at 151 N. State have centered on buying a condominium interest of about 47,000 square feet, Teeuwissen said.

Sources said the cost, including the purchase price, would be about $17 million. Teeuwissen declined to confirm that figure.

Smithfield has offered to contribute about $2.5 million, sources said.

The building, to be completed in 2007, would include 28,000 square feet of retail space and about 190 condos.

Earlier this year, the Joffrey sold off a site at 6 E. Lake St., where the company once planned its own building. The transaction allowed the ballet company to eliminate its hefty debt and create a $3 million reserve.

Moreover, Joffrey has had an operating surplus in three of the last four years, Teeuwissen said, adding, "What's different for us now is we are completely debt free, and that's huge."
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Old October 22nd, 2005, 06:20 PM   #20
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!!!

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