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Old November 6th, 2006, 05:36 PM   #1
i_am_hydrogen
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Roosevelt Collection Development News

Height: Unknown
Floor count: 40, 45
Location:
Construction end:
Architect: Centrum Properties, Inc.
Developer: RTKL Associates Inc., Hirsch & Associates Inc.


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Rising up along Roosevelt
12-acre project will add high-rise and loft condos, smaller retail spaces in South Loop, where residential development is surging

By Susan Diesenhouse
Tribune staff reporter
Published November 4, 2006

A Chicago developer is set to kick off an approximately $900 million mixed-use project in the South Loop that should accelerate residential development and introduce a new type of retailing to an area where freight railroads and industry once thrived.

On Nov. 16, Centrum Properties Inc. will begin marketing the first phase of the project, called the Roosevelt Collection, which, when finished, will comprise as many as 1,000 condominiums, parking for 1,700 cars, a 2.5-acre park and about 400,000 square feet of retail space.

One industry observer says the development is a "big risk," but Centrum says the project will create a new 12-acre neighborhood of housing and small-shop retailing that will help tie together this submarket on the southern edge of downtown.

"We're going to build a town center for the South Loop," said Solomon Barket, a partner in Centrum. "The retail will be a lifestyle center that caters to families."

The condominiums will be priced from $290,000 to $600,000, and Barket expects the project to draw buyers mostly from other city locations. Shoppers likely will come from Centrum residences downtown and from the suburbs to the west and south.

Early in 2007, the three-year construction project will start on three levels of above-ground parking, topped by an 800-foot-long, 200-foot wide promenade. Some informal dining will run through the walkway's center.

Along the sides will sit two stories of retail filled with about 45 shops selling clothing, accessories and home goods, as well as restaurants and a 16-screen multiplex cinema featuring lounges with waiter service. Rising six stories above the shops will be 360 loft-style condominiums.

On the northern edge of this cluster of homes and shopping will be a 40-story condominium high-rise on a circular piazza that leads to the 2.5-acre park. Farther north will be a 45-story condominium high-rise.

In 1991, before the recent surge in residential development, downtown Chicago had about 48,000 housing units, including about 4,500 in the South Loop. Now, the downtown housing supply has more than doubled, to approximately 100,000, with about 13,500 units in the South Loop.

But by 2009, when construction on the entire Roosevelt Collection is scheduled to be completed, a surge of 6,500 new condominiums will have come onto the South Loop market, said Gail Lissner, a vice president of Appraisal Research Counselors, an appraisal and consulting firm.

While sales competition could be fierce, "Roosevelt should have a [marketing] edge with its lifestyle center," she said.

But by building the first retail center of small shops in a neighborhood blanketed more with so-called big-box stores, Centrum will be pioneering a new retail niche, a move that presents rewards as well as risks, said Dennis Shubert, a real estate economist for Boston-based Portfolio Property Research.

"This is a huge project, and these guys are willing to be aggressive because they probably got the land at a discount, which means significant margins," Shubert said.

Barket declined to say how much Centrum agreed to pay for the site. The company plans to close on the property in the first quarter of 2007.

Barket said Centrum plans to borrow about 80 percent of the total project cost and invest the remainder as equity.

Trying to establish a new retail destination is tricky, said Shubert. "The big risk is being the first kid on the block in an area that still has an element of dead after dark."

But Chicago-based retail broker Jacqueline Hayes is more optimistic. "The whole area is underserved and shoppers will come from farther afield," she said.

Hayes, owner of Jacqueline Hayes & Associates Ltd., added a caveat: "The mix of stores has to be right and the design first-class."

Shubert said another possible obstacle Centrum faces is selling condominiums with today's higher interest rates and Chicago apartment rents that are still relatively low.

"If rents don't pick up, there's no incentive to buy," he said.

Centrum might have room to maneuver. If it did acquire the land at a low price, Schubert said, it might be able to develop a unit for about $185,000 and sell it for perhaps $350,000.

But Barket and his partner, John McLinden, think their 767- to 1,432-square-foot condominiums, most of which are priced at less than $400,000, will sell well among young professionals who work downtown and a few somewhat older suburbanites who want a city hideaway.

Designed by architects RTKL Associates Inc. of Dallas and Hirsch & Associates Inc. of Chicago, the residences will feature 10-foot ceilings, balconies, hardwood floors and views of the city and Lake Michigan.

Centrum has a long track record of residential and mixed-use projects in Chicago, Florida, San Francisco, St. Louis, Boston and Washington, D.C. In Chicago, it is building CityFront Plaza, a $700 million luxury project with 1,000 residential condominiums and a hotel in three towers just east of Michigan Avenue.

Copyright © 2006, Chicago Tribune

Last edited by i_am_hydrogen; February 12th, 2008 at 05:22 PM. Reason: Added project info.
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Old November 6th, 2006, 06:03 PM   #2
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I know the south loop can really use more retail devolopment but this just looks way too subarban for being right downtown.
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Old November 6th, 2006, 08:46 PM   #3
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At first glance, yes. It will be a nice buffer from the high rises to the retail/loft section. It would be hard to make it feel urban because it is surrounded by the river on the west, Dearborn Park I and II to the East/Southeast, and Riverside Park (future?) to the South. There is an inevitable break in the city/grid system at this location with the transition in grades at Roosevelt and cul-de-sacs in Dearborn Park. I think it will be a nice addition all things considered.
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Old November 6th, 2006, 09:59 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by danthediscoman View Post
I know the south loop can really use more retail devolopment but this just looks way too subarban for being right downtown.
I agree whole heartedly.......while I agree with this projects idea in principle its execution seems way to contrived.

They are going to design a "town center".....wow.....can it get more Disney than that.

Overall I say yuck
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Old November 6th, 2006, 10:38 PM   #5
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Can we say Navy Pier with residences! I think it is terrible! It looks like a MALL!
Why not make the street a usuable street instead of a slow-traffic pedestrian street? A REAL street would feel much more URBAN! A street with meters, curbs, sewages drains and bike lanes that define true city streets!
And the architecture is ugly! I like the modern glass facades much better than the generic brick and mortar facade. I believe they should use the existing ideas of shopping mixed with lofts and towers and change a few things such as the street. The architecture needs to be MODERN and EDGY! Maybe build three towers instead of one. Alternating heights of 10, 20 and 30 to show some drama and depth. And use green roofs and garden terraces. If we are going to build in the South Loop we have to build it to be urban and distinctive, not suburban and bland!
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Old November 6th, 2006, 11:43 PM   #6
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These are popping up everywhere...in the suburbs! I guess the suburbanites are in love with em'

http://online.wsj.com/article_email/...TAzNDEyWj.html


Here's my main issue with this devolopment...It has devoloper GREED written all over it, talk about trying cash in quick on a cooling market, it just looks so rushed...and fake. Anyone with a little urban planning and design sense can see where this is terribly wrong. Why are both sides perfectly symmetrical?...and what in the world is up with the center court area?...Put in a single row of "lofts" with shops beneath or just build a nasty mall but don't try and push these suburban designed "dowtown centers" shit on city lovers and dwellers. I know some you will jump all over me but the boiling point for me is the fake 1900's brick street... give me a damn tree lined CEMENT street! I love the South Loop and I love it enough to see this devolopment fail especially when an outsider from Centrum declares this his vision of what the "town center for the South Loop," should look like.

Where's Blair when you need him to actually trash something worth while!?

Last edited by danthediscoman; November 6th, 2006 at 11:59 PM.
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Old November 7th, 2006, 03:21 AM   #7
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This project totally reeks. It's cheap and bland. I can't believe the city didn't at least say this:

"Okay, okay, looks good. But the facades on those low-rise buildings? How about introducing a bit of variety? Oh, and we don't like that sign that says 'Roosevelt Collection'".

Done. Easy. No developer would run away from those requests. DPD is sleeping on the job.
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Old November 7th, 2006, 04:17 AM   #8
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Let's not kid ourselves - this will not be the downtown of the South Loop. Central Station folk will still hang out along Wabash or Prairie, Printers Row will still hang out along Dearborn Street. These restaurants and lounges will not be a Friday night hangout for anyone who lives here now. The theater will be the only destination place for those in the South Loop other than shops like Trader Joes and Victoria Secrets. I have a feeling you will see the small retail banks, video game resale shops, Borders/Barnes, and cell phone stores. This will offer little to the current residents of the South Loop. What you WILL find there are commuters or people who live in this new neighborhood (Whatever you want to call it - River South?) with 900 S Clark, the Curve building, the 3 Lennar towers, and the Roosevelt Loft collection residents. You will probably find people who live at Roosevelt Square (who dont take advantage of Taylor Street).

Although this development looks like it came out of the burbs, I think it is a great catalyst for the area - the entire area really worked together to come uip with a composite blueprint. The land is considered undesirable and expensive to develop. (buried rails, Roosevelt Road elevated, Dearborn Park, etc.) The Target has been a great amenity to the area as people come from all over. Just down the street you have a little of the same thing - Best Buy, Home Depot, Staples, DSW, Whole Foods. I am just glad it will not look like the North-Clybourn corridor with surface lots.
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Old November 7th, 2006, 05:44 AM   #9
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Why not make the street a usable street instead of a slow-traffic pedestrian street? A REAL street would feel much more URBAN! A street with meters, curbs, sewages drains and bike lanes that define true city streets!
Not clear how you could have a real functioning street 30 feet up in the air. Because Roosevelt Road is elevated, vehicular access at that level pretty much has to be a cul-de-sac. So a bike lane would be all of 400 feet long.

Something cool that's not apparent from the birds-eye rendering is how the north end will be finished off with a sort of "Spanish Steps" arrangement that cascades from the cineplex past some restaurant spaces down into a new park. Since the steps will face north, I don't know how optimistic to be about them in our climate. The big unknown is how much this center can be an actual pedestrian pathway for South Loopers--once Ninth Street goes in--and how much it ends up being a mere retail destination for people driving in off Roosevelt. Off-street retail is really really tough to make work, anywhere in the world.

Another concern is the blank face this will turn to Wells-Wentworth, down on ground level. Centrum/RTKL claimed that they couldn't really do anything better because there was no way to know what might go across the street, on the Cacciatore property south of River City.
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Old November 7th, 2006, 06:57 AM   #10
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Another concern is the blank face this will turn to Wells-Wentworth, down on ground level. Centrum/RTKL claimed that they couldn't really do anything better because there was no way to know what might go across the street, on the Cacciatore property south of River City.
^ I never thought about that. I completely forgot about this development's effect on Wells St.

I agree with your assessment about the cul-de-sac, and I don't have a big problem with that. But lets think about it--1700 parking spaces, poor transit access, and a hell of a lot of retail will all go into this space. And lets not forget about the residential units planned.

All of this in a giant dead-end street. Also, consider that Roosevelt is already so wide, and Southgate Market & other big boxes are going up nearby.

All of this spells some pretty incredible traffic nightmares. Street grids have their uses, and while this development is challenging, I should hope that future developments such as the counterpart neighborhoods planned south of Roosevelt have more than just one connection to the streets around it to help diffuse the traffic congestion.
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Old November 7th, 2006, 07:51 AM   #11
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Quote:
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Not clear how you could have a real functioning street 30 feet up in the air. Because Roosevelt Road is elevated, vehicular access at that level pretty much has to be a cul-de-sac. So a bike lane would be all of 400 feet long.
I didn't know that... but now that I do, I think the road still needs to be fixed to make it look a bit more attractive and urban, however that may be accomplished. Too much Naperville not enought Chicago.
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Old November 7th, 2006, 05:23 PM   #12
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I should hope that future developments such as the counterpart neighborhoods planned south of Roosevelt have more than just one connection to the streets around it to help diffuse the traffic congestion.
The approved PD for Riverside Park is not much better. Wells-Wentworth comes through on the ground level, and there's a loop drive that comes in off Roosevelt in a very similar arrangement to the Centrum project. In addition, there's a "13th Street" connection from Clark over the Metra tracks about 250 feet south of Roosevelt.

The civic groups were all united in asking for additional access at 15th Street, but there's apparently some guy who lives on 15th east of Clark who has the clout to keep it from happening. He's the same guy who prevented 15th from connecting State to Clark. The approved PD shows "parkland" in the area where 15th would connect to Clark, supposedly so the street connection could be made in the future. But we all know that once the first townhouse owners move in and think of that turf as their private dogwalking park, the chances of building a street connection fall to none.

Restoring (or creating) a street grid in the South Loop is extremely difficult, because of the Metra tracks and Roosevelt viaduct. Fifteen years ago both were being rebuilt at the same time, and I tried to get the city to put Roosevelt back at grade level and the Metra tracks up on viaduct, the same arrangement as we have at Harrison or Polk. No chance, because the two projects were being engineered by different people, plus a Dearborn Park "community leader" put out a flyer about how an 18-foot-high railroad viaduct would throw Dearborn Park into permanent shadow. The 30-foot-high Roosevelt viaduct? Oh, that was just good planning that would keep the scummy people waiting for the Roosevelt bus far away from his midrise.
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Old November 7th, 2006, 05:37 PM   #13
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Old November 7th, 2006, 06:10 PM   #14
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Quote:
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The approved PD for Riverside Park is not much better. Wells-Wentworth comes through on the ground level, and there's a loop drive that comes in off Roosevelt in a very similar arrangement to the Centrum project. In addition, there's a "13th Street" connection from Clark over the Metra tracks about 250 feet south of Roosevelt.

The civic groups were all united in asking for additional access at 15th Street, but there's apparently some guy who lives on 15th east of Clark who has the clout to keep it from happening. He's the same guy who prevented 15th from connecting State to Clark. The approved PD shows "parkland" in the area where 15th would connect to Clark, supposedly so the street connection could be made in the future. But we all know that once the first townhouse owners move in and think of that turf as their private dogwalking park, the chances of building a street connection fall to none.

Restoring (or creating) a street grid in the South Loop is extremely difficult, because of the Metra tracks and Roosevelt viaduct. Fifteen years ago both were being rebuilt at the same time, and I tried to get the city to put Roosevelt back at grade level and the Metra tracks up on viaduct, the same arrangement as we have at Harrison or Polk. No chance, because the two projects were being engineered by different people, plus a Dearborn Park "community leader" put out a flyer about how an 18-foot-high railroad viaduct would throw Dearborn Park into permanent shadow. The 30-foot-high Roosevelt viaduct? Oh, that was just good planning that would keep the scummy people waiting for the Roosevelt bus far away from his midrise.

^ Thanks for the info. I kind of figured that Dearborn Park clout has largely accounted for the shitty planning in the south loop. Being that they were the only people living south of Roosevelt for a long time, their voices have been quite dominant. As more and more people move into the area, however, I'm guessing that mounting frustration will force DP to concede. After all, I can't imagine a better way to combat NIMBYism than to pit NIMBY vs. NIMBY.
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Old November 7th, 2006, 07:48 PM   #15
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As more and more people move into the area, however, I'm guessing that mounting frustration will force DP to concede. After all, I can't imagine a better way to combat NIMBYism than to pit NIMBY vs. NIMBY.
I don't see your logic. In our era, nothing ever increases street connectivity. No alderman ever left a public meeting vowing to increase outside traffic past his constituents' front yards. As if the broken grid weren't enough, the city is now putting speed humps on cul-de-sacs, like the new ones in front of South Loop School.
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Old November 7th, 2006, 08:27 PM   #16
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..

Last edited by Loopy; June 18th, 2010 at 11:16 PM.
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Old November 7th, 2006, 09:46 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr Downtown View Post
I don't see your logic. In our era, nothing ever increases street connectivity. No alderman ever left a public meeting vowing to increase outside traffic past his constituents' front yards. As if the broken grid weren't enough, the city is now putting speed humps on cul-de-sacs, like the new ones in front of South Loop School.
Not only on cul-de-sacs but seemingly any side street that has more than a trickle of activity....they just started putting them on wolcott between Pratt / Touhy

They are all the place in Edgewater....them and the dreaded intersection circle


Ok ...off topic....sorry
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Old November 8th, 2006, 04:01 AM   #18
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Mr. Downtown: How do you rate the future chances of restoring pedestrian access on the Rights of Way through Dearborn Park at Taylor, 9th, and/or 11th?
Not too good, unfortunately. An early draft of the Near South Plan suggested the prospect of bike or ped access across 9th Street, and DPD and the alderman were supposedly buried in angry faxes from Dearborn Park inmates. With each retelling of the story, the number of faxes grows, so now the alderman will tell you it was 3000 faxes and emails she received. I'm guessing it was closer to 20. At any rate, it's the third rail of South Loop planning discussions.

I tried to persuade DPD to open up an outlet from Park Terrace near 1055 S Clark when Clark was being reconstructed (the two public rights of way are adjacent there), but they put the wall back where the balustrade had previously been. Access from Roosevelt down into the playlot raises accessibility issues. The alignment of new 9th Street under the Metra tracks deliberately does not align Dearborn Park's 9th Street, but that's partly to have adequate headroom under the tracks.

My only hope is that someday the stuff on the west side of Clark will be attractive enough to lure Dearborn Park detainees into opening their gates and leaving the compound. But I'm not holding my breath.
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Old November 8th, 2006, 07:12 AM   #19
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I don't see your logic. In our era, nothing ever increases street connectivity. No alderman ever left a public meeting vowing to increase outside traffic past his constituents' front yards. As if the broken grid weren't enough, the city is now putting speed humps on cul-de-sacs, like the new ones in front of South Loop School.
^ What I meant is that mounting frustration with traffic congestion and the total barrier DP represents between the rapidly growing east-south-loop and the future west-south-loop (Roosevelt Collection shopping, etc) may actually force DPers to open the doors. Think about it--people east of State in the south loop have no reason to care about DP's total lack of access to Clark St. And nobody LIVES west of Clark st, so there's nobody there to complain.

But how about 10 years from now, or 20 years from now? I'm some dude who bought a condo in Roosevelt Collection and between Polk and Roosevelt there is a friggin wall between me and Grant Park/the Lakefront etc etc. Guess what, I'll be pretty pissed off and raising some hell. And people east of State? If you're telling me that the only way they can get to Roosevelt Square is to drive (or walk, equally unpleasant) on super-congested Roosevelt (which it will be by then) and into the mega-cul-de-sac, then I'll again be pretty unhappy.

I really think DP can't maintain their death grip on the south loop by virtue of clout forever, because other people's voices will have to be heard
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Old November 18th, 2006, 01:02 AM   #20
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Website update

Just got an email announcing the website is open - at least for the lofts

http://www.loftsrc.com/
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