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Old February 18th, 2007, 10:35 AM   #161
creil
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And why would Whole Foods move from their current site?
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Old February 18th, 2007, 05:43 PM   #162
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Originally Posted by spyguy View Post
"Right now, there's a lot of traffic and the retailers are doing well," says Bruce Kaplan, president of Chicago's Northern Realty Group Ltd., a retail brokerage. "If you add several hundred thousand square feet of space to the mix, will traffic get oversaturated? There is a point at which the traffic will become so congested that customers will begin to shy away."

This statement bothers me. The Clybourn corridor already has a large Red Line station. If/when the Circle Line is built, it will also stop here at North/Clybourn, allowing access from all neighborhoods surrounding downtown. The retailers should be encouraging mass transit use, thereby avoiding the whole congestion issue.
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Old February 18th, 2007, 07:22 PM   #163
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I think some of the buying spree on Clybourn is because of the future Circle Line connecting with the Red line.
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Old February 18th, 2007, 08:04 PM   #164
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Originally Posted by ardecila View Post
This statement bothers me. The Clybourn corridor already has a large Red Line station. If/when the Circle Line is built, it will also stop here at North/Clybourn, allowing access from all neighborhoods surrounding downtown. The retailers should be encouraging mass transit use, thereby avoiding the whole congestion issue.
Not that it bothers me personally, but the North/Clybourn station itself is kind of on the grimier side. I wonder if spending a little money to beautify it would be well-spent...it might be more welcoming to shoppers and encourage more of them to take the el as opposed to drive.
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Old February 19th, 2007, 02:35 AM   #165
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ardecila View Post
This statement bothers me. The Clybourn corridor already has a large Red Line station. If/when the Circle Line is built, it will also stop here at North/Clybourn, allowing access from all neighborhoods surrounding downtown. The retailers should be encouraging mass transit use, thereby avoiding the whole congestion issue.
^ Even with mass transit, congestion will inevitably be an issue. Cars, delivery trucks, cabs, etc etc. Pedestrians will need to be better protected. I wouldn't be surprised if, within 10 years, police officers will be directing traffic in the area.
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Old February 19th, 2007, 02:58 AM   #166
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Well, the subway entrance is isolated from all the shopping by the 4-lane expanses of North & Clybourn Avenues. It was originally designed with a second staircase/mezzanine on the west side of Clybourn, which was subsequently shut down in the 60s. It may be time to reactivate this.

I REALLY think the DPD needs to step in here and set some pedestrian guidelines for new developments. Right now, it's semi-tolerable, but if one more surface lot gets built, it will be horrible.
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Old February 19th, 2007, 03:06 AM   #167
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I REALLY think the DPD needs to step in here and set some pedestrian guidelines for new developments. Right now, it's semi-tolerable, but if one more surface lot gets built, it will be horrible.
^ The second generation of retail buildings built there are much better than the first. And now, the third generation (as I call it) of buildings is also looking promising (British School and adjacent retail building).

The problem is two-fold. One is how to correct the mistake of the original set of strip centers that were built at this site--I don't see how that can happen without demolishing and rebuilding. The second problem is that, even with garage parking, you're going to have a traffic problem here. Plus, the North Avenue bridge is being widened, making this area even more car accessible. What a nightmare!

This place is headed off a cliff. We should just be thankful that this place has transit access at all.
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Old February 19th, 2007, 07:11 AM   #168
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Transit for retail trips is a pretty hard sell for most people once they're out of grad school. Look at the entire Clybourn strip, for which transit is completely irrelevant. I think a better parking situation is part of the reason Whole Foods is moving (also for a larger store).

We should be grateful that North/Clybourn/Sheffield at least has the subway station and two frequent bus lines. Though I wish the sidewalks were wider, at least the new buildings along North Avenue are pulled up to the street.

The experience along Clybourn in the 90s was very discouraging, as the ordinary strip centers did better than the more urbane site plans at 1800 (the Turtle Wax Factory, now Goose Island Brewery/Erewhon/BedBath&Beyond) and Market Square (Treasure Island). So the dense, downtown way that North Avenue has developed is actually quite astonishing.
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Old February 19th, 2007, 09:06 AM   #169
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.....I wouldn't be surprised if, within 10 years, police officers will be directing traffic in the area.
They already are, on weekends and during holidays! And it is still traffic madness!
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Old February 19th, 2007, 09:12 AM   #170
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Does anyone know what is going in across the river from Home Depot and just next to Circuit City and Sams Wine and Spirits? There is construction going on. The road from North Ave to Kingsbury has been reconstructed, but I don't know what the development plan is.
Are you thinking perhaps of the North Avenue Bridge project, replacing the current span over the N. Branch?
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Old February 19th, 2007, 10:33 AM   #171
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Are you thinking perhaps of the North Avenue Bridge project, replacing the current span over the N. Branch?
No. I'm talking about the development just to the north of North Ave as it crosses over the river.

Speaking of the North Ave. bridge, it looks as though they are almost finished taking apart the old bridge.
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Old February 19th, 2007, 10:09 PM   #172
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Quote:
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The experience along Clybourn in the 90s was very discouraging, as the ordinary strip centers did better than the more urbane site plans at 1800 (the Turtle Wax Factory, now Goose Island Brewery/Erewhon/BedBath&Beyond) and Market Square (Treasure Island). So the dense, downtown way that North Avenue has developed is actually quite astonishing.
^ That's an interesting observation, and that reinforces my belief why strip centers with parking lots in front should not be built in urban areas. I believe that they cannabalize retailers around them by providing such easy and convenient parking for themselves, automatically putting others without such an asset to a disadvantage.

I say level the playing field--give nobody the opportunity to provide cheap and convenient parking in front of the store.
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Old February 19th, 2007, 10:15 PM   #173
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Transit for retail trips is a pretty hard sell for most people once they're out of grad school.
^ That's quite a generalization. That may be the status quo for Chicago circa 2007, but I think we deserve a bit more vision than that for the future. Otherwise, why plan around transit at all? Chicago may as well just give up on its own existence, level its neighborhoods, and rebuild itself as Houston or Phoenix.
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Old February 20th, 2007, 05:04 AM   #174
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Originally Posted by The Urban Politician View Post
^ That's quite a generalization. That may be the status quo for Chicago circa 2007, but I think we deserve a bit more vision than that for the future. Otherwise, why plan around transit at all? Chicago may as well just give up on its own existence, level its neighborhoods, and rebuild itself as Houston or Phoenix.
I agree with both observations to an extent. I use transit when I can, but the three things I rely on my car for are:
-grocery getting
-other large retail purchases
-going to the laundromat

I think that some of the big box retailing taking place on the Clybourn Corridor is simply not conducive to transit. That area is the closest thing we have to sa uburban-style shopping experience in the city. It's a shame, because some of the big boxes like the newer Best Buys and Targets seem to be doing a slightly better job.

It's just too many large retailers in too small of a place. You mention Houston and Phoenix, but from a planning standpoint, that's exactly what this area resembles. I think it's natural that the traffic outcome is the same too.
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Old February 20th, 2007, 05:59 AM   #175
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I agree with both observations to an extent. I use transit when I can, but the three things I rely on my car for are:
-grocery getting
-other large retail purchases
-going to the laundromat

I think that some of the big box retailing taking place on the Clybourn Corridor is simply not conducive to transit. That area is the closest thing we have to sa uburban-style shopping experience in the city. It's a shame, because some of the big boxes like the newer Best Buys and Targets seem to be doing a slightly better job.

It's just too many large retailers in too small of a place. You mention Houston and Phoenix, but from a planning standpoint, that's exactly what this area resembles. I think it's natural that the traffic outcome is the same too.
^ Big Box does not have to be synonymous with suburbs or even the car, for that matter. I believe we need to keep that in mind
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Old February 20th, 2007, 08:06 AM   #176
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That's true. If some of the stores started offering competitively-priced delivery service, then there wouldn't be such a reliance on the auto here.

Although it is a little bit of a stretch in this day and age to get all your groceries delivered, most other large retail purchases (electronics, furniture, etc) can be easily delivered. Then, you don't have to worry about hauling the purchase up/down your apartment stairs, up your elevator, etc.

As for how strip centers can be made pedestrian friendly - turn them into something like an outlet mall. Erect other 1-story buildings facing the existing ones, creating "streets". These streets could be pedestrian or real streets. They can be narrow, covered, wide, landscaped, etc. Any way you scramble it, they'd accommodate pedestrian traffic pretty well. One of the first major New Urbanist developments was Mashpee Commons on Cape Cod, which did exactly this.
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Old February 20th, 2007, 08:50 AM   #177
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Originally Posted by The Urban Politician View Post
^ Big Box does not have to be synonymous with suburbs or even the car, for that matter. I believe we need to keep that in mind
I agree with you here. We only need to look at the Best Buy and Home Depot on Clark/Wrightwood and Halsted/Wrightwood as examples. Still not beautiful, but they've integrated into the pedestrian ways well.

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Urban Politician View Post
The problem is two-fold. One is how to correct the mistake of the original set of strip centers that were built at this site--I don't see how that can happen without demolishing and rebuilding. The second problem is that, even with garage parking, you're going to have a traffic problem here. Plus, the North Avenue bridge is being widened, making this area even more car accessible. What a nightmare!
This is my concern. We've got a million sqf of retail tucked into nooks and crannies everywhere with football fields of parking lots in front of them. Sam's location is ridiculous. If you create a wall of multi-level stores on North and Macy, you've essentially sealed off everything else. Short of blowing it all up, I don't see easy solutions to make it any better.

The irony of all of this is that the PMDs in this no-man's land were designed to promote easily-accessible urban jobs for non-white collar types, but none of the jobs tucked away on Elston and Goose Island are transit friendly. People taking these jobs generally can't afford to live near them. The city either needs to do a better job of integrating housing in the area, or they need to bite the bullet and woo the industry in the area away from the city center (presumably closer to home for many of the workers).
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Old March 17th, 2007, 07:16 AM   #178
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Taken this past weekend:
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Old March 27th, 2007, 06:27 PM   #179
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25, 11, 10 story buildings

http://www.suntimes.com/business/314...city27.article

Shops, housing in mix at New City site

March 27, 2007
BY SANDRA GUY Business Reporter


The New City YMCA at Halsted and Clybourn will become a 1-million-square-foot complex of retail shops, restaurants and residential buildings, the developers announced Monday.

The 8.5-acre complex, to be called New City, will feature 490 housing units spread across five buildings, with 10 percent of the total set aside for low-income housing and another 10 percent for affordable housing.

The highest of the residential buildings will have two levels of retail and 23 levels of residential units. Another will have three levels of retail and seven levels of residential, and a third will have two levels of retail and nine levels of residential. Two low-rise buildings will be built on the south side of Eastman Street.

The housing development will cost $270 million. It will include a 1-acre plaza and boulevard-like sidewalks with landscaping, according to developers Structured Development and Commonfund Realty.

The 370,000 square feet of retail space will be anchored by a previously announced Roundy's Supermarket. The 80,000-square-foot grocery store will be at 1515 N. Halsted.

A spokesman for the New City YMCA said activities there will continue through the session that ends June 16.

Construction on the New City development will start in September, with completion planned in 2010.
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Old March 28th, 2007, 05:24 PM   #180
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That sounds like it's going to be one hell of a project. A few years ago, I could never have imagined all the unseemly vacant land immediately adjacent to the YMCA would be developed, let alone in such a cohesive way. That's definitely a parcel that is more amenable to one mega-project rather than a bunch of smaller, disparate projects. It's also great to hear affordable housing will be set aside.

I took a walk over in that area a couple weekends ago, and you can really sense the retreat of Cabrini Green and the arrival of a fresh, new status quo. Cabrini Green, due to its towers-in-the-park style arrangement and crime problems, was a black hole that disrupted the continuity of Chicago's urban fabric both physically and psychologically. It will be amazing once that entire area is re-developed and returned to the street grid, allowing a casual pedestrian to walk through there as if it's just another neighborhood.
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