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Old February 27th, 2007, 09:23 PM   #41
wickedestcity
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Developer plans new tower
Carley to obtain site at Columbus, Illinois

By Susan Diesenhouse
Tribune staff reporter
Published February 27, 2007


Christopher Carley, a longtime Chicago developer who was thwarted in his efforts to build the nation's tallest building in the city, has an option on another high-profile downtown site.

Carley, chief executive of Fordham Co., agreed in January to pay $60 million to HBE Corp. of St. Louis for an approximately two-acre parcel at Illinois Street and Columbus Drive. He plans to close on the property, now being used for surface parking, in June.

No longer chasing the cachet that he would get from the 2,000-foot-tall, spire-shaped tower that he hired famed Spanish-born architect Santiago Calatrava to design on Lake Shore Drive overlooking Lake Michigan, Carley said Monday that he still must determine what kind of tower he will build on his new land.

"I'm not out to set any height records," he said, "but I do want something tall, slender and spectacular," such as the spire fashioned for him in 2005 by Calatrava.

Unable to secure financing for that 124-story building, Carley withdrew from the project last summer, and it was taken over by Shelbourne Development Ltd. of Dublin.

The new site, which provides easy access to North Michigan Avenue, the lake and the Chicago River, could accommodate as much as 2 million square feet of buildings. The northern portion might be sold to help finance a major project on the southern side of the site, Carley said.

HBE did not return calls seeking comment.

While still under study, one concept might be to develop an approximately 70-story, $325 million tower, with a hotel of about 250 rooms on the bottom, Carley said. Above it would be perhaps 300 condominiums priced at roughly $750 a square foot, he said.
If this idea gets a green light, the nearly three-year construction project would start in 18 to 24 months. It could be ready for occupancy in 2011, and by then, Carley said, "despite concerns about overbuilding, by the time my project is complete there wouldn't be a lot of unsold product left."

Although it is realistic and prudent to worry about the near-term prospects of the downtown property markets, both residential and commercial, Carley's long-term perspective gives him comfort.

In 1987, when he worked as a partner for the real estate firm Trammell Crow, he said, he tried to buy a 40-acre parcel that encompassed his new site for $50 million. But the owner decided not to sell at that time.

"Now, just two acres has sold for $60 million," Carley said.

The price appreciation is entirely warranted, he said. In addition to a handful of new offices, an abundance of housing is being developed in the heart of the city.

"The transformation of downtown into a residential location is just beginning," he said. "The giant Baby Boomer generation is coming downtown in a trickle now, but that will turn into a flood.

"Just wait five years. The number of housing units in development will triple or quadruple."

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http://www.chicagotribune.com/busine...i-business-hed
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Old February 28th, 2007, 12:36 AM   #42
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^I actually thought that this was the most important info in the article:

Quote:
"I'm not out to set any height records," he said, "but I do want something tall, slender and spectacular," such as the spire fashioned for him in 2005 by Calatrava.
Even though he's not going to try for records, there's certainly a good possibility for another 800-1000+ ft tower, especially since he wants it slender. I'm really hoping for him to approach another outside architect for this project.
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Old February 28th, 2007, 01:26 AM   #43
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Does anyone other than me think that this might be a good spot for a Norman Foster design? I'd really like to see what he might bring to Chicago, it could be interesting.
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Old April 12th, 2007, 03:15 PM   #44
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Lakeshore club in danger
(http://www.suntimes.com/business/337...lake12.article)

April 12, 2007

BY DAVID ROEDER
The prospective buyer of the old Lakeshore Athletic Club, 850 N. Lake Shore Drive, plans to raze the 19-story building and construct new luxury residences in its place, despite claims by preservationist groups that it should be a landmark.

The new structure would be the same height as the old one and thus wouldn't need a zoning change, Alan Schachtman, senior vice president at Fifield Cos., said Wednesday. He said Fifield has a contract to buy the property from Northwestern University.

The contract is contingent on Fifield securing a demolition permit. Schachtman declined to discuss other terms, but sources said the building sold for more than $40 million.

Both Preservation Chicago and Landmarks Illinois have listed the old club as among the most endangered, notable buildings in Chicago, and have called for it to be saved. Some neighborhood residents have spoken in favor of the old building, but that sentiment is based party on suspicions that a high-rise would replace it.

Fifield is betting it can blunt some of that opposition by agreeing to abide by height limitations already written into the site's zoning.

Schachtman emphasized that the plans will be open for community review, even though Fifield is under no legal obligation to do that. "We're not trying to fight with anybody about it,'' he said. "People will see that we will do a very, very high-quality and very nice-looking building."

The firm of noted Chicago architect Lucien Lagrange will design the new building, Schachtman said. It will sit on a prime corner alongside Lake Michigan, between two towers designed by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe and Lagrange buildings that went up in the late 1990s.

"The intent is to build something that looks like it's always been there," Schachtman said.

He said the old club, which dates from 1927, is unsuitable for renovation, because much of it was designed as open, public space. A pool, gym, squash courts and rifle range all were on the lower floors of the club, which Northwestern converted into student housing before shuttering the building in 2005.

Preservationists argue those interior features, including murals and a marble lobby, are the top reasons to save the building. It was designed by Jarvis Hunt, and hosted many society galas in its early years.

Michael Moran, vice president of Preservation Chicago, called on City Hall to declare the building a landmark. He said his group will start a petition campaign on the building's behalf.

The plan emerges as 42nd Ward Ald. Burton Natarus, who has opposed landmark designation for the club, gives way to incoming Ald. Brendan Reilly. Moran said Reilly's defeat of Natarus in the February election showed residents are tired of policies that favor developers.

Schachtman said his firm has shown the plans to Reilly, who made no commitments and urged him to set up community meetings. A spokesman for Reilly said he was unavailable Wednesday.

Any request to demolish the building triggers a 90-day review by the city's planning department. That's because the building was flagged in a property survey a few years ago that it had potential architectural or historic importance.

The Fifield firm is an experienced residential and commercial developer known for new office buildings in the West Loop and a 1990s renovation of the Civic Opera Building. Founder Steven Fifield has expanded the Chicago-based company's activities in California.

He tussled with preservationists a few years ago over his plan, never implemented, to put a condominium tower on top of the Medinah Temple on the Near North Side.
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Old April 12th, 2007, 05:17 PM   #45
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I really hope this wonderful building does not come down. Why can't it just be renovated? The location is prime and a condo conversion could occur similar to what was done at the Palmolive Building.

I'll be very pissed if this gets razed.
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Old April 12th, 2007, 05:55 PM   #46
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trvlr70 View Post
I really hope this wonderful building does not come down. Why can't it just be renovated? The location is prime and a condo conversion could occur similar to what was done at the Palmolive Building.

I'll be very pissed if this gets razed.
I saw a presentation yesterday of the new design and it's not bad. They are saying that it isn't cost effective to renovate the old building. The column spacing is too close, windows too small and the floor to ceiling height too low. The new building will be the same height and square footage as the old building. There was an agreement that a structure of a larger size would not be built there. Northwestern wouldn't sell to anyone who wanted to change the zoning. The new design is classical in style. It has a rounded bay on the corner and other bays along the east and north facades. It reminds me of the Marshall & Fox designed building on E. LSD around the corner. The base and top will be stone while the mid section material is up in the air. it could possible be pre-cast similar to the LaGrange designed building directly to the south. My preference is that they use real limestone, or at least a limestone veneer. I tried to get a rendering, but was told that it's too early in the process to release it.
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Old April 12th, 2007, 06:11 PM   #47
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BVictor1 View Post
I saw a presentation yesterday of the new design and it's not bad. They are saying that it isn't cost effective to renovate the old building. The column spacing is too close, windows too small and the floor to ceiling height too low. The new building will be the same height and square footage as the old building. There was an agreement that a structure of a larger size would not be built there. Northwestern wouldn't sell to anyone who wanted to change the zoning. The new design is classical in style. It has a rounded bay on the corner and other bays along the east and north facades. It reminds me of the Marshall & Fox designed building on E. LSD around the corner. The base and top will be stone while the mid section material is up in the air. it could possible be pre-cast similar to the LaGrange designed building directly to the south. My preference is that they use real limestone, or at least a limestone veneer. I tried to get a rendering, but was told that it's too early in the process to release it.
I still don't think it should happen. I'd rather it be renovated into a SRO. Any deleloper can make generalizations about why an antiquated structure is innapropriate for renovation. A good architect could handle the concerns sucessfully.
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Old April 12th, 2007, 07:46 PM   #48
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It really doesn't matter what sort of design LaGrange is proposing for the new building. That's irrelevant. The historic building simply should not come down.

"Not economically feasible" to reuse the Lake Shore Athletic Club building? Baloney. Of course the building can be converted. What Fifield is really seeking is a demolition windfall that it does not deserve. Their plan for the building is their mistake....a mistake that presumes a "right to demolish" that does not exist. Historic buildings that are important to the character of our city are different from vacant lots.

I'd also guess that Fifield is paying Northwestern a sum that they do not deserve. The building that Northwestern is selling is not a vacant lot. Mandated preservation, where it serves the public good, is a well-known priniciple of real estate investment and development. Future generations should not pay the price of Fifield's and Northwestern's wrong assumptions about historic buildings.
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Old April 12th, 2007, 09:18 PM   #49
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NO!

Im against this 100%.

It makes absolutely no damn sense to tear down this building for yet another beige faux-Parisian POS that doesnt have an ounce of the quality that its replacing. We are raping what historic streetscape we have left and I am officially sick of it!
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Old April 13th, 2007, 01:48 AM   #50
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Bleh, sounds boring already. Hopefully this project will be delayed by a month or so, long enough to get Natarus out before he signs off on it.
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Old April 13th, 2007, 03:38 AM   #51
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BVictor1 View Post
I saw a presentation yesterday of the new design and it's not bad. They are saying that it isn't cost effective to renovate the old building. The column spacing is too close, windows too small and the floor to ceiling height too low. The new building will be the same height and square footage as the old building. There was an agreement that a structure of a larger size would not be built there. Northwestern wouldn't sell to anyone who wanted to change the zoning. The new design is classical in style. It has a rounded bay on the corner and other bays along the east and north facades. It reminds me of the Marshall & Fox designed building on E. LSD around the corner. The base and top will be stone while the mid section material is up in the air. it could possible be pre-cast similar to the LaGrange designed building directly to the south. My preference is that they use real limestone, or at least a limestone veneer. I tried to get a rendering, but was told that it's too early in the process to release it.
There you have it gentlemen! Those opposed need put up their own counter architectural, engineering, cost estimates arguments to be convincing. The reference to "historic" needs support as well. I too would be pleased to see this building retrofitted successfully, economic realities permitting.
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Old April 13th, 2007, 04:04 AM   #52
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..

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Old April 13th, 2007, 04:25 AM   #53
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..

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Old April 13th, 2007, 04:52 AM   #54
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^There needs to be real justification for destroying these buildings as well. Simply stating that it can't be done doesn't help, and neither does an alderman who care very little about preservation. Buildings like these require creative solutions, but I'm sure it can be done with a little effort and thought. Unfortunately, whenever that occurs developers and city officials typically give up and take the easiest road, demolition.

There are good examples of reuse in Chicago and other cities, and we must learn to adopt them even if they cost a little more or require some sort of city incentive to off set preservation costs.

If our attitude is to only preserve the structures that are most easily adaptable, then I fear what's going to become of things like the Wrigley Building or Tribune Tower and most of our architectural legacy in the next few decades.

One other thing to mention is that these buildings are all in fairly wealthy areas that are booming. I think this opens up a lot of possibilities that wouldn't be there if it were in an economically depressed area.

Last edited by spyguy; April 13th, 2007 at 04:57 AM.
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Old April 13th, 2007, 05:08 AM   #55
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Yet another building of historic value Lagrange claims can't be saved. It's hard to take their word at face value in light of how much money they stand to make from this project and Residences at Ritz-Carlton. I might consider supporting this project if it were much taller, but it'll be the same height as the building it replaces and definitely not as architecturally significant. "The intent is to build something that looks like it's always been there." Yeah. We all know how that will turn out after they cheap out on the materials.
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Old April 13th, 2007, 05:18 AM   #56
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Just a random proposal to throw out there, but, would it make sense to at least partially convert the building into a hotel? I assume most of the upper 2/3 or so of the building are fairly normal since it was recently student housing.

I don't know the full extent of weird rooms in the building or their size, so I'm just making guesses

Rooms like the above could be transformed into meeting spaces, restaurants or tea rooms, possibly rentable spaces.

Quote:
A pool, gym, squash courts and rifle range all were on the lower floors of the club
Pools and gyms and squash courts all sound like nice amenities for guests. The rifle range is strange, but depending on how that room looks I'm sure something could be done with it.

Quote:
including murals and a marble lobby
This would make for a very grand entrance.

And obviously it has lakefront views and pretty close to Michigan Ave shopping and what not.
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Old April 13th, 2007, 06:33 AM   #57
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The wooden tile wall is beautiful. Damn the partnership of Fifield and LaGrange!
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Old April 15th, 2007, 07:48 AM   #58
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1924 Lake Shore Athletic Club Being Railroaded to Extinction?
Are the skids being greased for the destruction of still another of Chicago's vintage 1920's buildings?

-by Lynn Becker


[April 12, 2007] Chicago's preservation bureaucracy appears well on the way to allowing demolition of the elegant 1924 Lake Shore Athletic Club, designed by architect Jarvis Hunt. It's classically inspired facade fronts a richly ornamented interior, including a handsome marble staircase, two-story foyer, and carved marble fireplace. Its 35 by 75 foot swimming pool and its striking mural was the site of 1928 Olympic trials. Originally built as both a private club and apartment building, it was acquired by Northwestern University in the 1970's and used for student housing until it was closed in 2005.

The building is not an official Chicago landmark, but is rated "Orange" on the Chicago Historic Resources Survey, indicating that it "Possesses potentially significant architectural or historical features." This means that if an application is filed for demolition, a 90 day hold is automatically invoked to allow consideration of whether the structure merits being designated a landmark.

Apparently new owner, Fifield Companies, most recently the creator of the relentlessly graceless and laughably named Left Bank at K Station can't wait to replace the Lake Shore Athletic Club with a similar temple of banality. Currently, the site's zoning sets the club's crest as the current maximum height, but you can be sure Fifield will be coming around for a zoning change to build a megatower similar to those that have popped up just to the south.

Michael Moran of Preservation Chicago reports that Fifield slipped into the group's mailbox a notice that they plan to demolish the Athletic Club. Moran released the contents of an email he sent to Brian Goeken, Deputy Commissioner, Landmarks Division, Chicago Department of Planning and Development:

“Several months ago, we requested that your department grant preliminary landmark status to the Lake Shore Center because the building was being marketed for sale. . . There is no reason for DPD to have declined our request that this building be given preliminary landmark status. This is the Central Area, a area that should deserve more than the usual "aldermanic prerogative" for landmark designations. This is not an outlying neighborhood. This building appears on postcard views of our Skyline. This is a highly visible historic building. Accordingly, this project deserves more scrutiny prior to approval. . . . Why is DPD allowing Alderman Natarus, in his waning days of public office, to aid in the demolition of this building? Why is DPD not doing its job? . . .

It is clear that Alderman Natarus, by blocking landmark designation, is not acting in the best interests of our city. When such a situation arises in the Central Area, it is time for DPD to override the usual aldermanic prerogative. It is time for the Daley Administration to do the right thing.

Again, please work to have this building granted preliminary landmark status until Alderman-elect Reilly can review any potential plans for the building.”

Michael Moran, vice president, Preservation Chicago


After over three decades in office, Natarus was defeated for re-election in February by newcomer Brendan Reilly, in a campaign in which Natarus's often rubber-stamp closeness to deep-pocketed developers was a key and possibly deciding issue.

The Lakeshore Athletic Club is on Landmarks Illinois' 2007 Ten Most Endangered list, from which we've cribbed the three photos adorning this article. You can see the their information on the building here. Preservation Chicago has also put up a detailed account of the Lakeshore Athletic Club and its history here. Last December, Gail Spreen, president of SOAR (Streeterville Organization of Active Residents) told Chicago Sun-Times real estate reporter David Roeder that her group was opposed to demolition or any zoning change.

Of course these same three groups, plus the National Trust for Historic Preservation, were also all aligned against the demolition of an official 1920's landmark, Michigan Avenue's Farwell Building, but the Landmarks Commission ignored their testimony in favor of Burton Natarus's shilling for the building's destruction only days after his election defeat. Will history repeat itself? Will the destruction of the Lakeshore Athletic Club be Natarus's parting gift to his ward and the city?


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Old April 16th, 2007, 09:38 AM   #59
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I'm not gonna get into the Farwell Building thing (for which the proposal seems quite acceptable to me) but this is absolutely horrible, a wholesale demolition of this building.
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Old April 18th, 2007, 04:39 PM   #60
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I'm not gonna get into the Farwell Building thing (for which the proposal seems quite acceptable to me) but this is absolutely horrible, a wholesale demolition of this building.
^ I quite agree (on both your points).
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