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Old August 18th, 2009, 06:22 PM   #161
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http://www.chicagorealestatedaily.co...ws.pl?id=35101

Retail leases launch Presidential Towers redevelopment
By Eddie Baeb, Aug. 12, 2009


A health club and a trendy breakfast restaurant have signed leases to become the first new retail tenants at Presidential Towers in the West Loop, paving the way for a major redevelopment to take place beginning later this year.

Chicago-based Fitness Formula Ltd. has leased 52,043 square feet that will be spread over two levels along Clinton Street, where a glass-enclosed, three-story atrium will be built to replace a loading dock there now.

The restaurant Yolk has leased 4,200 square feet just south of the new gym that will also front Clinton between Madison and Monroe streets.
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Old August 19th, 2009, 12:01 AM   #162
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That looks like a nice development to right some of the wrongs of Presidential Towers terrible street-level design.
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Old August 19th, 2009, 01:51 AM   #163
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I agree. And this project brings up a question. Is there an opportunity to do the same thing on one or two of the other sides of Presidential Towers?
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Old August 19th, 2009, 11:26 PM   #164
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http://news.prnewswire.com/DisplayRe...5079967&EDATE=

Diverse Local Artisans to Make Chicago French Market an Enticing Culinary Destination

From locally grown fruits and vegetables to freshly-baked breads to artisanal made cheeses, Chicago will finally have a year-round, European-inspired fresh market to call its own. To be comprised of more than two dozen individual vendors, Chicago French Market is poised to become Chicago's newest and most enticing culinary destination, featuring Pastoral, Espression by Lavazza, Sweet Miss Giving's, Flip Crepes and the award-winning Vanille Patisserie, among many others.

Chicago French Market is the heart of MetraMarket, a new vibrant, street-level restaurant and retail complex developed by U.S. Equities Realty, a full-service real estate firm based in Chicago. Connected to Ogilvie Transportation Center's suburban commuter concourse, MetraMarket will enliven two underutilized city blocks bounded by Lake, Canal, Washington and Clinton Streets in Chicago's West Loop. Six days a week, alluring aromas from fresh baked goods and other delectable items will fill Chicago French Market at 131 N. Clinton Street, making it an exciting fresh food destination for local residents, downtown office workers, commuters, tourists and Chicagoans alike.

Managed and operated by the Bensidoun family, the largest market operator in and around Paris, Chicago French Market is the latest in a growing number of Bensidoun French Markets throughout the Chicagoland area. To date, the family manages eleven weekly outdoor markets throughout Chicagoland during the summer.

The combined passion and vision for Chicago French Market has enabled the Bensidoun family and U.S. Equities to assemble a unique collection of local vendors that were hand selected for their individual passions, high-quality products and competitive prices. Bringing together the best-of-the-best from Chicago neighborhoods and outlying areas, Chicago French Market will be largely comprised of entrepreneurs, family-owned businesses and accomplished purveyors, including:

* Albano's Deli: Recently voted as "Favorite Deli" by West Suburban Living Magazine readers, Albano's Deli, an authentic Italian specialty store, will provide Chicago French Market customers with imported and domestic meats, tomato products and other Italian favorites. It will also offer an assortment of freshly made sub sandwiches, salads and soups, as well as deli tray catering.
* Canady Le Chocolatier: Professional chocolatier, Michael Canady, who attended Richemonte School in Lucerne, Switzerland and studied in Antwerp, Belgium, will be offering his broad selection of delicious rich dark, milk and white chocolate creations. Headquartered in Chicago's South Loop, Canady Le Chocolatier will boast mouth-watering specialties such as truffles, chocolate-coated orange slices, marzipan, nougat, ginger slices and a variety of ganache.
* Chicago Organics: An organization dedicated to the expanded production, marketing and distribution of locally grown and responsibly produced products, Chicago Organics will offer an exceptional array of fresh and certified organic produce, meats, dairy and other local delicacies.
* Completely Nuts: Completely Nuts began as a small roaster at a local fair back in 1991 and evolved into one of Chicago's most renowned nut shops. It will offer a variety of roasted almonds, cashews, pecans and peanuts, as well as scrumptious candied options.
* Espression by Lavazza: In addition to its 2,045-square-foot space within MetraMarket, the 114 year old, family-owned Italian cafe will also offer its award-winning espresso and coffee drinks, as well as authentic gelato, at its French Market location.
* Flip Crepes: For breakfast, lunch or dinner, the tastes of authentic France can be found in Flip Crepes, a creperie offering a variety of healthy and original recipes wrapped in an all-natural wheat crepe. It's traditional French food at its best: chocolate, dulce de leche, fresh fruits, goat cheese, roasted mushrooms and caramelized onions are among the palette of flavors that will please food connoisseurs at Chicago French Market.
* Fraternite Notre Dame: The nuns of the Fraternite Notre Dame have created a loyal following for their sweets and baked goods. A large selection of handmade items will be available, including fresh breads, creme brulees, quiches and beignets, among dozens of other sweet and savory baked goods. Additionally, a portion of their profits will fund the Fraternite Norte Dame's charitable work with families in need throughout Chicago.
* Pastoral Artisan Cheese, Bread & Wine: Chicagoans Ken Miller and Greg O'Neill own and operate this European-inspired, authentic neighborhood cheese shop, offering the highest quality fine and artisan cheeses from America and around the world, select small production wines and freshly baked breads, along with a full complement of related items such as charcuterie and olives. Pastoral also offers custom gift collections, gourmet sandwiches and salads, picnics and catering. Pastoral operates successful locations in Lakeview and in the Loop and is known for its approachable and knowledgeable staff.
* Sweet Miss Giving's: Sweet Miss Giving's Bakery and Gifting is a premier bakery and jobs program that offers rich, decadent baked goods while providing a new reason to feel good about sweet indulgences: more than 50 percent of all profits go to help the formerly homeless and HIV/AIDS-affected men, women and children of Chicago House. Opened in November 2008, this new bakery with a great story has garnered attention from local foundations and news outlets as an innovative business with a social mission.
* Vanille Patisserie: Owned by Dimitri Fayard, the World Pastry Champion of 2008, and Keli Fayard, an accomplished cake designer, this husband and wife team has built an award-winning French pastry shop that melds classic European traditions with modern flavors. Appealing to the contemporary palette, Vanille Patisserie specializes in wedding and special occasion cakes, handmade chocolates and candies, mousse cakes and luscious tarts.
* Wisconsin Cheese Mart: Headquartered in Old World Third Street in downtown Milwaukee, the Wisconsin Cheese Mart is a 70 year old tradition. Offering a wide collection of Wisconsin-produced sheep, cow and goats milk varieties, Wisconsin Cheese Mart's hand-crafted offerings will appeal to cheese lovers in search of the Midwest's finest cheeses.

"Chicago French Market has assembled the area's best vendors to create a dynamic market experience that boasts a range of local and international flavors," said Sebastien Bensidoun, executive vice president of Bensidoun Investment LLC and a fourth generation Bensidoun market expert. "With its collection of vendors and a public space for cooking demonstrations, events, mingling and dining, we're certain that Chicago French Market will be solidified in the minds of Chicagoans as a culinary and shopping destination unlike anything else in the city."

"Chicagoans will finally have a true marketplace right in the heart of downtown offering the exciting experience of a farmers' market six days a week, 52 weeks a year, rain or shine," said Camille Julmy, vice chairman of U.S. Equities. "From a Metra commuter or nearby worker looking to pick up a healthy, fresh meal on-the-go to a city resident looking to pick up ingredients for a tasty, home cooked dinner, Chicago French Market will appeal to a broad range of consumers looking for a unique shopping experience and high-quality products."

Set to open this fall, Chicago French Market will be open Monday through Saturday from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. For additional information on joining Chicago French Market, please contact Katherine Loring, leasing associate for U.S. Equities' MetraMarket and Chicago French Market leasing team, at 312-456-7061. To stay up-to-date on the latest news on Chicago French Market, join the e-mail list to receive details on opening festivities and additional vendor information at www.chicagofrenchmarket.com.
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Old August 19th, 2009, 11:27 PM   #165
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Pastoral Press Release (***PDF***)

PASTORAL® ARTISAN CHEESE, BREAD & WINE WILL OPEN THIRD LOCATION
AT THE FRENCH MARKET, PART OF METRAMARKET IN THE WEST LOOP


...In addition to PASTORAL’s prominent location at the French Market, customers can enjoy indoor
dining tables, plus outdoor café tables
adjacent to PASTORAL’s location near the French Market
entrance on Clinton Street. The new shop will reflect the same distinctive PASTORAL style
featured at the stores on Broadway in East Lakeview and Lake Street in the East Loop. Local
farm antiques, including a functional 1918 McCray solid oak cooler and a barn door made from
reclaimed wood, will complement PASTORAL’s pastel color palette, soapstone counters, custommade
millwork and additional design elements drawing on inspiration from Pike’s Market in
Seattle, Reading Market in Philadelphia and Atwater Market in Montreal while still remaining
authentic to PASTORAL.

Offerings will include PASTORAL’s full line of fare including approximately 75 small batch wines
and 150 artisan cheeses, charcuterie, organic breads
from the award-winning Jory Downer of
Bennison’s Bakery, sandwiches, salads, cheese & charcuterie plates-to-go, picnics for one or
more, signature and custom gift collections and an expansive variety of accompaniments, sweets,
small batch beers and spirits, non-alcoholic drinks and distinctive side dishes.
To meet the needs
of busy commuters and area workers, PASTORAL will also offer an enhanced focus on fast
convenience and accessibility specialty grab-and-go options for lunch and dinner, light snacks,
picnics for Millennium Park, Ravinia and other outdoor festivals, easy party planning and lastminute
gift ideas.

PASTORAL’s catering options, including gourmet sandwich platters and cheese trays, will also be
available for the rapidly growing business and residential market in the West Loop and beyond.
The French Market location will also host in-shop events and free tastings, plus offsite private
parties for area businesses, residents and all Chicagoans interested in exploring wine, cheese
and specialty food.
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Old August 20th, 2009, 01:21 AM   #166
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Metra Market seems like it is going to turn out pretty nice. I'm a big fan of Pastoral. It should do pretty well considering the residences close by, office workers, and commuters.
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Old August 20th, 2009, 02:40 AM   #167
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And Vanille is also an exciting addition. If you haven't tried out their croissants, make your way over to their north clyborne shop... NOW!
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Old September 12th, 2009, 12:00 AM   #168
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Chicago West Loop Park’s Green Urban Design

Not sure if the news i saw from the following website is real. But the park looks really cool.

http://www.thecoolist.com/chicago-we...-urban-design/


Chicago West Loop Park’s Green Urban Design

Posted by thecoolist

31/08/2009



If you’re like us, most of the time you’ve spent in Chicago’s West Loop has been stuck in traffic on the Kennedy Expressway. Thanks to a design by Perkins + Will Architects, that West Loop –and the Kennedy itself– are due for a green upgrade. Perkins + Will have designed a green urban park spanning many city blocks in the West Loop, zig zagging over the freeway below it and skirting up to the highrises throughout. It is designed to give the West Loop’s patrons a green front yard with plenty of park space to escape the hustle-and-bustle of the busy work week. Additionally, this park will naturally clean the pollution rising from the expressway, both for the inhabitants above ground and the travelers below. This is still just a proposed design, but knowing Chicago’s focus on green architecture– you never know, this could one day be a reality. [thanks inhabitat]



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Old September 12th, 2009, 01:42 AM   #169
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it's not really news since it's not a formal plan but just some concept sketches. where would the city get the money for something that intense? already too stretched out.

also, i love how that map misses highlighting the actual highway by a block or two.
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Old October 14th, 2009, 03:54 AM   #170
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After many, many years of delays, MetraMarket's first tenant finally opened a few weeks ago.



565 Quincy
Empty retail spaces


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Old October 15th, 2009, 02:03 AM   #171
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Other West Loop project updates

^The red brick building (former CHA headquarters) in the last photo of the last post has been rehabbed and turned into office space. IDEO moved their offices here from Evanston, and a few other deal were mentioned some months ago. The ground floor consists of a new modern lobby as well as yet to be filled retail space.

The old Igoe Building on Van Buren is slowly being renovated. Unfortunately, the fire escapes have been removed in the process. Apparently Panera is opening on the first floor, which is good news for the area but strange considering a)the general dearth of retail nearby b) this is Panera's only location west of the river (not including the South Loop).



Tailor Lofts aka International Tailoring Company Building aka White Tower Building
847 W Jackson
Student housing and retail






The new Adams/Sangamon park's groundbreaking ceremony was about a week ago


And finally the Hellenic Museum site

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Old October 16th, 2009, 10:56 PM   #172
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French Market - opening mid-November

http://www.frenchmarketchicago.com/dl/vendors.pdf

SIXTEEN NEW VENDORS JOIN CHICAGO FRENCH MARKET AND
CVS/PHARMACY OPENS AT METRAMARKET IN THE WEST LOOP


Abbey Brown Soap Artisan
Founder and proprietor Deborah Kraemer brings handmade cold-pressed olive oil soaps, soothing body
oils and relaxing bath essentials to Chicago French Market. All products are made in-house at the first
Abbey Brown location in Chicago with fair trade ingredients including herbs grown organically and locally
by Smits farm. Abbey Brown soaps and bath products are truly 100% natural, and are balanced for all
skin types. Abbey Brown also offers classes on soap making, plus makes most packaging in-house.

Bowl Square
Young Sun Jang and her husband, Gwang Ho Jang, will make traditional Korean dishes such as
Bibimbap (seasoned beef and white rice topped with namul / sautéed vegetables and gochujang / chili
pepper) and Bulgogi (marinated barbequed beef). The Jangs will offer a simple menu that gives
consumers an opportunity to sample and experience Korean fare, widely viewed by top chefs and food
trend experts as one of the hot new cuisines in the U.S.

Buen Apetito
Buen Apetito is a family owned taqueria that specializes in traditional Mexican favorites with modern flair
and a focus on healthy, fresh and flavorful ingredients. The menu features grilled steak, chicken, salmon
and vegetarian tacos and tostadas, plus burritos. All dishes are flavored with fresh herbs and distinctive
spices of Latin America. For a sweet side of Buen Apetito, guests can also enjoy Dona Mona’s signature
cheesecake flan.

Chundy’s Gourmet
David Chundy will bring Indian-fusion dishes, plus a variety of quality grab-and-go meals, salads, snacks
and drinks to Chicago French Market. Menu highlights include cold sandwiches, meat and vegetarian
Panini, soups such as green curry coconut, traditional Indian mulligatawny and lentil, salads, side dishes,
a selection of chutneys and slaws. Chundy’s Gourmet will also serve a collection of fruit and vegetable
sweet breads, flatbreads, plus fresh fruit smoothies, milkshakes and iced fruit teas.

City Fresh Market
Brothers Danny and Ray Kovacevic opened the first City Fresh Market location in 2004, a Europeanstyled
grocery shop in Chicago. Now both brothers will open a second, smaller location within Chicago
French Market with a focus on fresh poultry and grass-fed beef raised without antibiotics and hormones,
plus a variety of other meats, fruits, vegetables, cheese and meat pies, grab-and-go salads, freshsqueezed
orange juice and a selection of grocery items including olive oils, vinegars, salad dressings and
more.

Delightful Pastries
In 1998, mother and daughter Stasia Hawyrszczuk and Dobra Bielinski opened the first Delightful
Pastries bakery in Chicago and now will open another location within Chicago French Market. The bakery
specializes in authentic European pastries, using local, natural and sustainably grown ingredients. The
majority of Delightful Pastries’ products are also made low-sugar and include seasonal breads, cookies,
bars, cakes and morning pastries, plus traditional Polish and French savory specialties such as pierogi
and quiches.

Frietkoten
Netherlands-native Jeroen Hasenbos will bring Amsterdam’s traditional Frietkoten ‘fry shack’ experience
to Chicago for the first time, with Belgian fries that are served in a cone and distinguished by a crisp
outside and soft, delicious potato inside. In keeping with the popular ‘fry shacks’ in Amsterdam, Frietkoten
will offer these traditional Belgian fries with up to 20 different sauces and aiolis to choose from on any
given day. Soon after the grand opening, Frietkoten will also offer Dutch and Belgian beers to
complement these traditional grab-and-go Belgian fries of the Netherlands.

Fumare
Dick McCracken left banking to pursue his love of good food and sharing his culinary finds with others.
Fumare ('smoke' in Italian) brings traditionally cured and smoked meats from local producers to Chicago
French Market. Items include locally made prosciutto, hams, smoked sausages, bacons and other
delights. Menu highlights include an old-fashioned, Montreal-style smoked meat (think pastrami) cured
and naturally smoked, peppered and slow-cooked to a well-marbled tenderness. Sandwiches and sides
are also available.

Juicy Orange
The Gasienica family, who moved to the U.S. from Germany in 2001, will serve fresh, squeezed-to-order
fruit and vegetable juices, plus smoothies homemade with seasonal fruits. All juices are 100% juice, with
zero added sugar or concentrates.

Les Fleurs
With more than 35 years in the floral business, Les Fleur proprietor Dean Futris will bring a colorful
collection of fresh-cut flowers, potted plants, orchids and European-style floral arrangements to Chicago
French Market. Les Fleurs will offer grab-and-go bouquets, plus custom arrangements. The Les Fleur
team works with area residents and companies throughout Chicagoland, including well-known movie
production teams that have trusted the Les Fleur team with floral arrangements for various film sets.

Necessity Baking Company
Chicago-born Ellen Carney Granda enjoyed a successful career in non-profit fundraising and a brief stint
in corporate America before turning her love of artisan bread baking into a growing bread company
serving North Suburban farmer’s markets and now Chicago French Market. Ellen and the Necessity
Baking Co. ‘Hive’ (a team of bakers, market tote makers and worker bees) bring the art of old-fashioned
bread baking techniques back to bread making, delivering hand-shaped and seasonally flavored breads
to market goers. Specialties include sweet and savory French boules, olive oils from around the globe,
aged balsamic vinegars and market bags constructed from oil cloth and vintage linens. Necessity Baking
Co. uses only natural ingredients and infuses flavor through the most premium ingredient: time.
‘Hive-made’ fresh pasta will also be available everyday soon after the market opens.

Pop This!
Lauri Bourgeois was inspired to launch her Pop This! popcorn business by her dad, Art Hixson (aka ‘The
Popcorn Man’), who started his own popcorn business in the 1980s selling at Chicago art festivals, Navy
Pier, Taste of Chicago and eventually at his own storefronts in Chicago and Denver. The Pop This! team
will make their gourmet popcorn onsite at Chicago French Market. They will offer more than 17 flavored
popcorn varieties, and specialize in personalized, custom popcorn creations.

Produce Express
Fourth generation farmers in Chicagoland, the Jeffrey family will offer a variety of seasonal and locally
grown fruits and vegetables, plus grab-and-go and made-to-order fruit baskets for holiday gifts and
throughout the year.

Provo’s Village Bake Shoppe
After immigrating to the United States in the 1980s and working for several bakeries, Wesley Kuras
purchased the Village Bake Shoppe in 2000. Now focused on selling his family’s homemade baked goods
at farmer’s markets throughout Chicago, Wesley will open a year-round location at Chicago French
Market with a variety of breads, coffee cakes, sweet rolls, pastries, cookies, cakes and pies made with
seasonal ingredients from local farmers. Provo’s offerings are all free of high fructose corn syrup and
preservatives.

RAW
Raw food-enthusiasts Polly Gaza and Carole Jones will offer a variety of meals, drinks and snack items,
all made onsite at Chicago French Market and based on a raw food diet of uncooked and unprocessed
vegan foods. Featuring all organic ingredients, RAW’s menu highlights include fresh salads, pizzas,
pastas, muffins and granola, with a focus on nut-free. RAW will also offer a selection of super food
smoothies, sunflower sprouts, vitamins, wheat grass shots, coconut water and rejuvelac, plus host onsite
classes.

Saigon Sisters
Two sisters, Mary Nguyen Aregoni and Theresa Nguyen, along with their mother Suu Nguyen will offer
signature Vietnamese cuisine with French accented flavors. The menu includes traditional summer/spring
rolls (Goi Cuon), the quintessential Pho soup, salads and Banh Mi, Vietnamese sandwiches which have
garnered significant attention in Los Angeles and New York City. The ingredients will focus on healthful,
flavorful and aromatic herbs, spices, vegetables, seasoned meats and seafood from locally sourced
farmers and purveyors.
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Old November 3rd, 2009, 01:07 AM   #173
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Jefferson and Washington rental tower
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Old November 3rd, 2009, 02:46 AM   #174
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I like
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Old November 24th, 2009, 01:58 AM   #175
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Presidential Towers retail redevelopment (excuse the crappy pics)
McDonald's, Potbelly, and the Thai restaurant will be joined by Yolk, Fitness Formula, and others.
Clinton & Monroe


Jefferson & Monroe - they've cut down some small trees to make way for the retail addition. A Crain's article mentioned they were talking to a gourmet market for this space, although Presidential Market could renew and expand.


Clinton side - horrible loading dock will be replaced by this 3 story gym atrium/ entrance

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Old November 24th, 2009, 03:30 AM   #176
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oh god, what a much needed street-level upgrade that would be.
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Old December 3rd, 2009, 03:29 PM   #177
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http://www.chicagojournal.com/News/1..._looking_glass

Through the looking glass
By MICAH MAIDENBERG
12/02/2009 10:00 PM


A commercial glazier with headquarters in South Suburban Alsip will continue its foray into retail glass products in the West Loop.

Trainor Glass bought land at 938 W. Lake this summer, spending $2.5 million for the purchase, according to property records.

Last edited by spyguy; December 5th, 2009 at 01:58 AM.
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Old December 4th, 2009, 01:07 AM   #178
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The French Market in MetraMarket has finally opened!

A cold, grey, slightly snowy day is the perfect time to try an indoor market. Even though I didn't get much time to spend inside, it was pretty cool to see this thing come to fruition. There was a steady stream of customers and curious onlookers, and even a giant mural of the Eiffel Tower in case you forgot where you were. I also noticed several new LED display boards mounted to the ceiling in the concourse level. Should be interesting to see how this all develops in the years to come.
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Old December 4th, 2009, 01:19 AM   #179
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spyguy View Post
http://www.chicagojournal.com/News/1..._looking_glass

Through the looking glass
By MICAH MAIDENBERG
12/02/2009 10:00 PM


A jpg[/IMG]
Your photo didn't show up for me Spyguy. Anyone else have that problem?
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Old December 5th, 2009, 01:58 AM   #180
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Retail Roundup

Clinton Street has changed dramatically within the last year or so:
  • Powerhouse became New Line Tavern and Prairie Fire
  • MetraMarket is now open with the French Market, CVS, and soon Lavazza
  • Presidential Towers redevelopment with FFC and Yolk so far
  • Chipotle replaced White Hen at Clinton and Monroe. While not exactly exciting, it's probably needed since it's the only one west of the river. Specialty's Cafe and Bakery will open their second store in Chicago in the same building
  • 547 W Jackson's first floor went from empty just a few years ago to now having a Potbelly, Dunkin' Donuts, and Beggars Pizza

Also, the ugly yellow West Loop Cafe on Jefferson is becoming an Al's Beef.

There's room for improvement though. There are still vacancies at the USG and Quaker Oats buildings. It would also be nice to see Union Station redeveloped somehow, and longer hours at night for all of these places.
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