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Old December 11th, 2006, 04:00 AM   #41
ardecila
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Well, a more pricy solution is to tear down the viaduct and replace it with ground-level CTA, thereby avoiding the encroaching development. I don't like the idea either, but it's there.

Or even better - tear down the viaduct, then dig a cut-and-cover subway underneath it, and put parkland above it (ground level), creating a linear park along Bloomingdale. As I understand it, cut-and-cover is substantially cheaper than tunnel-boring, since you can use whatever heavy machinery you want.
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Old January 19th, 2007, 08:33 PM   #42
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http://www.wwd.com/notavailable/dotc...ustryKw=retail


Marc by Marc Jacobs Signs Lease in Chicago

By Beth Wilson

Published: Friday, January 19, 2007

Marc by Marc Jacobs has found a home here after a more than two-year search.

The company has signed a lease to open a 4,000-square-foot store in the city's eclectic Bucktown neighborhood this summer, making it the first major retailer on a street filled with independent boutiques, trendy restaurants and funky coffee shops.
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Old January 20th, 2007, 01:18 AM   #43
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Great news! Keep em' comin' - the more retailers the better.
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Old January 20th, 2007, 02:06 AM   #44
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CHIsentinel View Post
Great news! Keep em' comin' - the more retailers the better.
Yup.

What bugs me is that a lot of important (and now fairly common) luxury retailers still do not have their own store(s) in Chicago while they set up shop in cities with a fraction of the propulation. I find it hard to believe that these stores would not have enough wealthy customers from the city, suburbs, and region.
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Old January 22nd, 2007, 12:27 AM   #45
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i predict that Wicker Park meets Soho's fate. Ask anyone living in Downtown Manhattan and they will agonzie over the homogenity chain retailers create in NYC, that the Lower East Side is in fact the Upper West Side. So do we need an Oak st. II? Do we want these same problems plaguing chicago?
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Old January 25th, 2007, 09:22 PM   #46
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spyguy View Post
Yup.

What bugs me is that a lot of important (and now fairly common) luxury retailers still do not have their own store(s) in Chicago while they set up shop in cities with a fraction of the propulation. I find it hard to believe that these stores would not have enough wealthy customers from the city, suburbs, and region.
Don't worry. Chicago ranks high up that list for luxury retailors. Many smaller communities are full of luxury retailors because the main industry is tourism.

For example, I was in Aspen last week. The tiny town has a Gucci, Dior, Prada etc.. It is all for the high end touist trade.

Chicago's demographics will allow for more conservative, luxury retail. Versace closed its doors here years ago because Chicago's conservative, anti-ostentatious manner was not a good match for the flashy clothing.
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Old January 26th, 2007, 06:02 AM   #47
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trvlr70 View Post
Chicago's demographics will allow for more conservative, luxury retail. Versace closed its doors here years ago because Chicago's conservative, anti-ostentatious manner was not a good match for the flashy clothing.
^ I don't see how that's a positive quality in the least. It's sad that a millionaire living in Chicago has to travel elsewhere if they want to go to Versace.
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Old January 26th, 2007, 06:33 AM   #48
ardecila
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That was "years ago", like you said. Who's to say Versace wouldn't do well now?

Believe it or not, the city is opening up.
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Old January 26th, 2007, 06:57 AM   #49
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Urban Politician View Post
^ I don't see how that's a positive quality in the least. It's sad that a millionaire living in Chicago has to travel elsewhere if they want to go to Versace.
I agree,
dont worry urb we are going back ( i think ) toward that,

and get rid of this akira bullshit.

how many akira shops are on north ave?
its an eyesore.

I WOULD LOVE IF WICKERPARK WAS MORE LIKE SOHO<
sorry but i dont think anything about soho is bad,
NOTHING,

i would love to be able to be able to live on prince street
or christopher street in the west village,
ESPECIALLY christopher street with its AMAZING array
of awesome boutique stores,
i dont care even if i could/couldnt afford the great stuff they have,
just knowing that its there would make me sleep better at night,
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Old January 26th, 2007, 08:27 PM   #50
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Urban Politician View Post
^ I don't see how that's a positive quality in the least. It's sad that a millionaire living in Chicago has to travel elsewhere if they want to go to Versace.
It's not really positive or negative. Midwesterners generally are simply less ostentatious than those on the coasts. Chicago millionaires are notoriosly unpretentious. You'll rarely see a Bentley parked in a tacky, 3-car garage in Chicago, including Lake Forest and Winnetka. Versace is a very flashy and loud...pretty much the antithesis of Chicago style. Apparently, the Versace store on Oak St. was pretty much only kept in business by professional sport players as it was.

Anyhow, no worries. Versace label is still available at Niemans and Saks....we only lost the freestanding boutique.

Chicago has a flourishing, some may say even avant garde, retail scene. We are quite well represented. I have no problem losing tacky Versace.....which IMHO, was a gain for Chicago.
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Old January 28th, 2007, 09:56 AM   #51
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A little bit about the Cooper Lamp factory from westnorth.com:

Green Exchange

David Roeder in the Sun-Times casts a skepitcal glance at the Green Exchange:

ECO- ECHO: In Logan Square, there’s an alderman, Manny Flores (1st), who has insisted that anybody who wants to redevelop the old Cooper Lamp factory, 2545 W. Diversey, at least replace the 125 jobs lost when it closed last year. This stance has been somewhat inconvenient for developers, who see any usable old factory inside the city as a place to live, not as a place to make something.

Despite this obstacle, an affiliate of Baum Realty Group Inc. bought the 250,000-square-foot building for $7.5 million in 2005.

With Flores’ blessing, principal David Baum has announced plans to turn the building, a familiar sight to drivers stuck on the Kennedy Expy., into a kind of Merchandise Mart for businesses that promote environmental sustainability. He calls it the Green Exchange and his marketing materials say he has tentative lease deals with Greenmaker Supply, which provides ecologically friendly building materials, and a so-called “green” printer, Consolidated Printing Co.

Baum has asked for zoning that would let him build “live-work” units in the building strictly as residents for people who have a business on the property. He has stressed that he wants most of the space to be commercial because it’s cheaper than residential to refurbish.
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Old January 28th, 2007, 05:08 PM   #52
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^ ^
Thats cool, we need more of this.
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Old February 9th, 2007, 09:01 PM   #53
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Ward races zone in on development plans
Rivals target North Side's hot real estate market


By Ray Quintanilla
Tribune staff reporter
Published February 9, 2007


At the spot where the Artful Dodger once stood in Bucktown, a City Council hopeful spoke recently to potential voters about the demolition of the popular bar and its replacement with a huge new house.

"That mansion is so out of place among the two- and three-flats and, what's worse, there is another one being built around the corner," said Scott Waguespack, who is challenging Ald. Ted Matlak (32nd) in the Feb. 27 election.

The shape of development is the major issue in the 32nd Ward race and in other North Side wards that include some of the hottest real estate markets in the city.

The gentrification debate isn't new to neighborhoods such as Wicker Park and Lincoln Park. But the focus has shifted from the displacement of the poor to whether giant homes should supplant older houses and apartment buildings.

Matlak's opponents have seized on the 2006 demolition of the Artful Dodger, which stood for more than a century at Wabansia and Hermitage Avenues, and a zoning change to allow a single-family home at the former site of the bar.

Waguespack, 36, has characterized campaign contributions to Matlak from builders as "pay-to-play zoning."

Matlak said his campaign receives many donations from real estate interests because many developers live in the ward and "they like what's going on in the neighborhood."

Matlak's other challenger, 34-year-old lawyer Catherine Zaryczny, said the incumbent is "more concerned with pleasing developers" than heeding the wishes of 3,000 people who signed a petition to save the Artful Dodger.



Incumbent defends demolition

Matlak, 41, defended his handling of the controversy.

"The building was falling apart. No one came forward realistically to purchase it," Matlak said, adding that many of those who signed petitions to save the building did not live in the ward.

"If someone would have come over and realistically said, `Let's rehab the Artful Dodger,' we would have," he said.

Matlak, whose ward includes sections of Bucktown, Wicker Park, Lakeview and Ukrainian Village, was the top aide to former Ald. Terry Gabinski. Mayor Richard Daley appointed Matlak to replace Gabinski in 1998. He since has been one of the most dependable votes for the mayor in a council that rarely bucks the administration.

In the 43rd Ward, where the debate over gentrification has raged along the lakefront for three decades, a plan to replace the shuttered Columbus Hospital with an upscale condo tower has been a hot topic in the campaign.

"We don't need a 36- to 38-story high-rise" at the edge of Lincoln Park, said Michele Smith, a former federal prosecutor and one of four challengers to Ald. Vi Daley, who joined the council in 1999.

"The alderman doesn't take leadership on development in the ward," said Smith, 51. "Lincoln Park has resisted efforts at becoming so dense."

Daley, 63, said plans for the high-rise on the hospital site were bigger until she stepped in.

"This has had plenty of community input over 18 months, including two public meetings," she explained. "The people who were most affected were involved."

The 43rd Ward challenger with the deepest pockets may be Tim Egan, vice president and executive director of the Norwegian American Hospital Foundation. Egan is married to a daughter of cosmetics mogul Marilyn Miglin, and he has lent his campaign at least $70,000, state records show.

Egan said the ward needs a new alderman who is strong enough to stand up to powerful developers.

Loyalty to mayor criticized

He also suggested that the alderman is too loyal to the mayor, who recently campaigned for the incumbent. Vi Daley is not related to the mayor, but she has voted with him 90 percent of the time in the last four years, according to a University of Illinois-Chicago study.

"The mayor is a global thinker, but if doing a good job in the ward means challenging the mayor here and there, then you have to do it," said Egan, 39.

Also in the race are Peter Zelchenko, 44, and Rachel Goodstein, 54.

Zelchenko, a writer, said ward development has been run by "a small cabal of 15 to 20 people and power players." He said it's time to "bring more people into the discussion" on development and other issues such as wage equity, transit, parking, renters' rights and seniors.

Goodstein actively opposed the mayor's demolition of Meigs Field.

Development also is a key issue in the 35th Ward, which includes the Logan Square and Avondale neighborhoods.

This year's campaign there will mark the third straight election-day clash between the incumbent, Rey Colon, and his predecessor, Vilma Colom. Colon lost to Colom in 1999, but unseated her four years ago in a rare victory against an incumbent backed by the mayor.

Colon touts his creation of an advisory panel of neighborhood residents to review zoning-change requests. Since taking office, Colon said, he has denied 20 percent of 240 requests for zoning changes.

"I've posted all these requests on my Web site so the community can be involved," said Colon, 45. "This zoning process in my ward is very transparent."

Colom, a protege of powerful Ald. Richard Mell (33rd), said her successor has done little to promote construction of affordable housing or senior housing.

"He's not looking at the right kinds of development," said Colom, 52. "The result is that we have lots of new banks going up, but there are no plans for adding affordable housing.

Colon's other opponent is Miguel Sotomayor, 39, a plaza operations manager with the Illinois State Toll Highway Authority. Sotomayor called the alderman's advisory panel "so much show." It did little, he said, to prevent demolition of a nursing home in the 2600 block of North Hamlin Avenue.

"I think it's more than a little strange the decision on what to build in that spot will be decided after the election," he said.

Copyright © 2007, Chicago Tribune
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Old February 9th, 2007, 10:57 PM   #54
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^ reading articles like that is really bad for me,
it makes my blood boil,
well people like him will get whats coming to them
some day.

bad karma for the people involved in the demolition
of the artful dodger is a certainty.
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Old February 28th, 2007, 06:34 AM   #55
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Um, I'd hate if my neighborhood became SoHo. Let River North or the West Loop go there; that's what they're seeking. Personally, I used to like the fact that I didn't feel I had to dress up just to leave the house -- but no more, what with the boutiques selling $1,000 sundresses and $400 jeans shoving aside the tacquerias. Yeah, I know that I'm part of the gentrification problem, but at the same time, this has gotten a bit out of hand.

Re: Bloomingdale. One of the big advantages of this as a bicycle route is that it's literally above traffic. Plus, tearing down the embankment (which doesn't hinder mobility in any way, since it has so many bridges) would cost much more than leaving it up -- especially given the remediation costs of trucking away soil that's been contaminated with decades of leaky trains. The route doesn't work as a rail line, either; better bus service on North would get people closer to where they want to go.
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Old February 28th, 2007, 08:24 AM   #56
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Quote:
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. The route doesn't work as a rail line, either; better bus service on North would get people closer to where they want to go.

I'm all for this. I ride this bus everyday to work and can never depend on it to be on time. Along with the Chicago Ave and Divison St bus, this has to be the worst in the city. Problem is, North Ave is so screwed up, I don't see how they could fix it unless the removed all street parking and made bus only lanes (which wouldn't be effective through the North/Clybourn area anyway).
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Old March 4th, 2007, 07:19 AM   #57
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Crosstown bus routes are always tough to manage, but there are ways to improve bus operations without adding road capacity. Far side bus stops, limited stops, signal priority, and better traffic enforcement (things like parking in bus stops, or turning right in front of a bus) can improve timing and, more importantly, reliability. Around North/Clybourn, small changes like closing certain driveways, district-managing parking, and improving use of the network would help traffic flow immensely.

Hey, if you live in the 32nd, be sure to get out the vote on April 17! (Everything in the paragraph above could be done by the 32nd Ward alderman, fwiw.)
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Old March 29th, 2007, 08:51 PM   #58
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Some news from Friends of Bloomingdale Trail.

Community Visioning Kick-Off a Great Success
by Paul Smith on Mar 27, 2007

This past Saturday was a landmark day in the history of Friends of the Bloomingdale Trail and the Trail project, not just because the torch (or is it the spike?) of President of the Board was passed from Josh Deth to Ben Helphand; and not only because we welcomed three new members to the Board (expanding from 9 to 12); and not only because Rails-to-Trails Conservancy presented FBT with our biggest grant to date, a check for $20,000; and not only because Trust for Public Land was on hand to report the terrific news that they are going to convey the land of the future park and trail access at Whipple & Albany to the City of Chicago soon. It was a big day for all of those reasons, but also because we kicked off a process that will culminate in a community vision for the Trail that will flow into the City of Chicago's official design process.

Over 70 community residents and activists, along with design and architecture experts and Alderman Manny Flores of Chicago’s 1st Ward were on hand to brainstorm, discuss and collaborate on their ideas for the Trail. They marked points and drew routes on maps of the area, came up with lists of interesting uses and features, and with the help of the experts, began to flesh out what the Trail might look through sketches.

This process will continue over the next 6 months or so, in smaller settings throughout the neighborhoods. A report will be drafted over this time and revised with the ideas incorporated from each session. Ultimately, the final report will be presented to the City of Chicago. If you or your organization would like to get involved, contact Ben Helphand, email or phone (773-677-7970).

Check out our photos of the event over at Flickr. Thanks to everyone who came out and gave a part of their Saturday to help bring the reality of the Trail a little bit closer.
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Old April 27th, 2007, 08:21 AM   #59
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woah! Chi Journal this week:

1. say hello to Ald. Waguespack!
http://chicagojournal.com/main.asp?S...ArticleID=2949

2. suspiciously hush-hush new proposal for "coyote building" condos -- with a huge parking garage next door
http://chicagojournal.com/main.asp?S...ArticleID=2948
(they're doing this as a zoning change, not a PD, so it could happen before Matlak hands over the keys in May -- with a nice big gift from MCM to the 32nd's RDO, still under Matlak's control?)

3. drawings published for proposed building to replace Walgreen's:
http://chicagojournal.com/main.asp?S...ArticleID=2947
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Old April 27th, 2007, 03:03 PM   #60
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Aren't NIMBYS great!?! That Walgreens replacement is great!
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