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Old May 13th, 2007, 07:48 PM   #361
Chicagotom
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On Vision

I seem to remember the Printers Row or South Loop Neighborhood Associations raising hell about this one being taller. For all you Central Area Plan purist, what is the height restrictions on the vision site? I think if you look back at the Chicago Journal you'll see our new NIMBY wackjob Bonnie McGrath going off on it.
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Old May 13th, 2007, 08:06 PM   #362
Mr Downtown
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chicagotom View Post
I seem to remember the Printers Row or South Loop Neighborhood Associations raising hell about this one being taller. For all you Central Area Plan purist, what is the height restrictions on the vision site? I think if you look back at the Chicago Journal you'll see our new NIMBY wackjob Bonnie McGrath going off on it.
No, South Loop Neighbors (formerly Historic Printers' Row Neighbors) raised no objections to the height. Here's the text of the letter SLN sent:
We were pleased to recently review the proposed Vision on State residential project at 1255 South State. Though we understand the total FAR will exceed what is permitted by the new zoning for that parcel, we have no serious objection to the project's density or massing. In fact, we are pleased to see the developer embrace a complex mixed-use program that includes non-accessory parking and significant retail spaces.

Two issues of minor concern arose during our review. First, the setback from State Street (allowing outdoor seating) and the on-site transient parking would appear to make the retail spaces excellent restaurant venues. We urge the developer to include the ventilation required to make this possible.

Second, this stretch of South State Street is notable for its almost unbroken use of dark red brick, on both sides from 11th Street all the way to Cermak Road with few exceptions other than vacant lots. Even the new ComEd substation and the base of Dearborn Tower have used this material as an accent. We suggest that similar accent use would be an appropriate way for this project to harmonize with its surroundings.

We appreciate the attention given our concerns and look forward to welcoming a well-designed addition to our neighborhood.


The Central Area Plan does not discuss height. The Near South Community Plan sets an upper limit of 300 feet for that area.

Bonnie McGrath has so much space to fill each week in the Journal, so this week she ruminates over why none of the units at Vision on State have more than one bathroom. I certainly don't know what justifies calling her a "NIMBY wackjob."
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Old May 13th, 2007, 08:20 PM   #363
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South Loop buildings growing like weeds

Did you wake up and get high? You don't know why I think she is a nut. Read the article again McGrath = NIMBY NUTJOB Propogandist

These structures are robbing us of our Midwest working-class sky. They are putting an overlay of dead-end Houston cowboy real estate judgment on top of a city of big shoulders. They stink like a skunk.

Chicago Journal - Bonnie McGrath
I don't know what's more dominant on the landscape this Spring in the South Loop: irises or cranes. So far, the irises are not as tall and prolific as they will get as the weeks wear on-during the lead-up to a hot, dry summer. And the cranes, I suspect, will crowd us even more as the sun shifts to the north and the grass goes dormant.

We are used to irises in the neighborhood. We watch their flat tight birthing sheaths burst open with sheer cottony fluffs of blossoms.

But a virtual madhouse of new buildings is something that has never been here before. And may not fit in. We are people who want people. We want lights burning in windows.
We want life on the streets and businesses to follow. What we don't want are concrete pilings with little respect for our past-a rough and tumble jumble of roots and history, personality and drama.

A ruthless pile-up of concrete, glass, driveways and air vents, I'm afraid, is what we may wind up with.

Like weeds, these new buildings are going up so fast they turn neighborhood heads in every direction. They are rife with rectangular plates and some odd colors. And one can never be sure that the outer wall is properly attached to prevent the penetration of precipitation.

These structures are robbing us of our Midwest working-class sky. They are putting an overlay of dead-end Houston cowboy real estate judgment on top of a city of big shoulders. They stink like a skunk.

One new building-just about complete-contains a plethora of two bedroom apartments and one-bedrooms with dens. But for some reason, none have more than one bathroom. "Is that a new trend?" I ask my friends. "Are people sick of cleaning sinks and toilets they don't need? Is this what the cool people are doing now-sharing baths with each other, with kids and guests, for the sake of cutting down on global warming-or what?"

(Or is it a sign of getting away from excess? Probably not, because there are plenty of other expensive perks in these places.)

Maybe so little attention paid to the number of baths-almost as if fitting one in is merely an after-thought off the hall-signifies people moving in who will not luxuriate, people who would rather run in and out. And up and down. People who will come and go.

The developers are a greasy bunch-with plans for tall towers and a spreadsheet mentality. With a less than human touch, they seem more aligned with plans for their no liability corporate LLC structure than for a structure that will keep future residents secure. They are tall without stature-and rich without nutrition. They know no history here. And care little about the present, even less about the future. They are fast. They misspell. They are gluttons.

Why can't some of the developers who are hated in Lincoln Park and Lakeview and Wicker Park and Bucktown, villains who are building three flats and six-flats on steroids-of semi-decent masonry and a modicum of character-on tree-lined little avenues, come here and build? For us, those dark red, off white, muted brown brick biggies in the small neighborhoods would be delicate sweet habitats in our lot-laden laps.

But everything's relative in the city of a Soldier Field. And so the builders do their bidding and build the biggest billows. Like vapors-they will keep infusing streets that don't deserve them.
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Old May 13th, 2007, 08:45 PM   #364
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The Chicago Journal welcomes letters from readers.

Of course, that would require constructing a cogent argument rather than mindless name-calling.
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Old May 13th, 2007, 10:21 PM   #365
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Why the #$%* does she care that Vision's condos only have one bathroom? If she doesn't like one-bathroom condos, then here is a simple solution for her: don't buy a condo at Vision. Plenty of other people are fine with 1 bathroom, as is evidenced by all of the buyers at Vision. I only have one bathroom in my condo - I really don't have a need for another one and would have considered it a waste of money to spend another $30k so that I can have a second bathroom.

Also to her comment "we are people who want people". Who is she expecting to move into all these new condos/lofts/apartments/dorms/etc? Chimpanzees? Last I checked, there weren't that many "people" who lived in the South Loop 5 or 10 years ago. If you want to have people in your neighborhood, you need to build places for these people to live. I don't think that's a difficult concept to grasp.

I'm sorry, but this Bonnie McGrath is utterly moronic. I really don't have a problem with people calling her names. Sometimes, it's just not worth the time and energy to construct a cogent argument when the argument you are countering against is completely devoid of any intelligence, logic, or common sense.
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Old May 13th, 2007, 11:04 PM   #366
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Old May 13th, 2007, 11:36 PM   #367
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I often read, and usually enjoy, Bonnie's column. But I always keep in mind her Point-of-View, which is that of a Dearborn Park resident; A "Pioneer" as they call themselves.
To each his own, I guess. As for her being a DP resident - it amazes me how people can live in a gated community, with walls and gates that are completely unwelcoming and almost give off the vibe that they don't want to have anything to do with the people who live outside their walls....yet many of the DP residents are constantly complaining about the development going on outside of their walls. In my opinion, if you seclude or wall yourself off from the rest of the larger community/neighborhood, you should give up your right to have a say as to what goes on outside those walls as putting up those walls in the first place pretty much says that you don't want to be a part of the greater neighborhood. I'm not the biggest fan of gated communites, but I'm not going to rip on them either....but if people living in those communties complain about what goes on in the surrounding areas, then I feel obliged to say something.

And the fact that this woman lives in DP makes her comment "these structures are robbing us of our Midwest working-class sky" sound ten times more absurd than it already did. I mean, how dare they gentrify the neighborhood outside of her gated complex???? Talk about the pot calling the kettle black.
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Old May 13th, 2007, 11:47 PM   #368
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I noticed that they fenced off the 2-story building at 630 South Clark where Pat's Pizza used to be located....perhaps Columbia will be starting work on this building soon!
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Old May 14th, 2007, 12:12 AM   #369
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Quote:
As for her being a DP resident - it amazes me how people can live in a gated community, with walls and gates that are completely unwelcoming and almost give off the vibe that they don't want to have anything to do with the people who live outside their walls
Huh? Bonnie lives right on State Street. No gates except the one to her front yard. But she and her neighbors have the habits of a traditional Chicago neighborhood, involving gardening and porches and walking the dogs or kids. She doesn't "fear" new neighbors, but it's clear that they won't be people who talk to each other while weeding the flowerbeds. So, to fill up space in her column, she ruminates on how times are changing.

I think it's interesting how people perceive Dearborn Park as gated, but Central Station as urban. Except for the Mews on 14th, you can walk up to the door of every townhouse in Dearborn Park I and II.
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Old May 14th, 2007, 12:51 AM   #370
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No, it's gated because you can't walk through it. There's three different layers of fence (steel, hedge, picket) seperating the end of 9th St from Clark. There's an awkward, dangerous-feeling, unbroken wall along Clark from Polk down to Roosevelt. Anyone who walks here is forced to endure the high speeds of cars along Clark, with nowhere to go if anything should happen.

Despite the new Target there, and the various residential developments there, Dearborn Park continues to take the isolationist stance of turning its back on what's west of it, and in doing this, it screws over the surrounding residents. This mentality is typical of the gated communities in the suburbs.

The vertical gated communities in Streeterville may be just as isolationist, but they understand their urban location and they make the necessary concessions to the people walking past on the street, with retail, landscaping, or well-lit entrances.
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Old May 14th, 2007, 01:15 AM   #371
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No, it's gated because you can't walk through it.
I have my fingers crossed that the situation will eventually change, once there's something west of Clark to walk to, and once the Pacific Garden Mission relocates. But it's a really tough battle, a classic "tragedy of the commons." People will nearly always choose their local self-interest (privacy and perceived security) over the more nebulous good of the community as a whole.
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Old May 14th, 2007, 01:24 AM   #372
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Old May 14th, 2007, 01:41 AM   #373
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I tried to get DPD/CDOT to quietly not put back the fence when Clark Street was being rebuilt in 2002, but didn't really get anywhere (never heard anything one way or the other). What particularly chaps me is that there's no access to Roosevelt Park from the public streets to the south or west.

I suppose the legal answer would be that there's no more right to go from Clark to Park Terrace than there is to go from Roosevelt to Plymouth. You can get there by other paths along public streets. Anyway, "legal" uses of dedicated public streets have taken quite a beating in the Daley Administration, with adjacent industrial users now allowed to gate off public streets on weekends and the stairways to Lower Wacker closed at night.

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Old May 14th, 2007, 02:26 AM   #374
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I have my fingers crossed that the situation will eventually change, once there's something west of Clark to walk to, and once the Pacific Garden Mission relocates. But it's a really tough battle, a classic "tragedy of the commons." People will nearly always choose their local self-interest (privacy and perceived security) over the more nebulous good of the community as a whole.
Once Roosevelt Collection is up and running, there will definitely be a place west of Clark to walk to. Hopefully, once this happens, DP will open things up a little bit.
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Old May 14th, 2007, 03:05 AM   #375
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Once Roosevelt Collection is up and running, there will definitely be a place west of Clark to walk to.
That's one of the reasons I'm really frustrated that Centrum has downgraded the staircase at the north end from a "Spanish Steps" gathering place with adjacent retail to mere exit stairs down into the park. If the design of the Roosevelt Collection makes it clear that all users are expected to arrive from Roosevelt Road, it lessens the interest in opening up Ninth as a pedestrian path through the neighborhood.
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Old May 14th, 2007, 03:15 AM   #376
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Chicago Tom, you need to some research

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chicagotom View Post
I seem to remember the Printers Row or South Loop Neighborhood Associations raising hell about this one being taller. For all you Central Area Plan purist, what is the height restrictions on the vision site? I think if you look back at the Chicago Journal you'll see our new NIMBY wackjob Bonnie McGrath going off on it.
You may want to research her background before your post your comments. She probably provides better insight than most on this board through her time in the South Loop, at Chicago Journal, and as facilitator of the Near South Planning Board, which happens to have, in addition to some legitimate business associates, a large collection of crooked developers as members of the NSPB. Perhaps she is providing perspective on some of the same members she represents and deals with, especially since she has access to many of the behind the scene dealings.

She is dead on with regard to the issue with the LLC Scams, and in regards to many of these developers who could not do business in the North Side. The only reason many of these guys last in the South Loop is that they had Haithcock and Team looking the other way for all these years with big dollars in their coffers. Why do you think the developers came out with BIG $$ in between the primary election and the run-off??? Because they know their game could now be exposed. Take a look at the Campaign fund called First Victory CD PAC for the names...it is amazing what they gave Haithcock!
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Old May 14th, 2007, 04:24 AM   #377
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speaking of doing your research before posting . . .

you're confusing Bonnie McGrath with Bonnie Sanchez-Carlson.

Bonnie McGrath is a resident of Dearborn Park II, an attorney in private practice, who teaches journalism as an adjunct at Columbia College and writes a weekly musings column for the Chicago Journal.

Bonnie Sanchez-Carlson is Executive Director of the Near South Planning Board, which is not some evil cabal but merely an overworked chamber of commerce. Member dues and directory ads support Bonnie and two employees and the Board's Authors in the Schools program. Most of the NSPB's work is promoting the neighborhood, which runs from Jackson to 35th, as the organization's roots include the old South Side Planning Board of urban renewal days.

At sparsely attended lunch meetings, the organization's board of directors hears presentations by developers and then decides whether to send a letter of support to the Plan Commission or whoever. The discussion is often heavily influenced by who actually showed up that day, and typically not very sophisticated on points of urban design, planning, or architecture. Jeff Thomas of Blackie's often dominated the group until a year ago (when he became a new father), and his main concern was parking for customers of neighborhood businesses.

Neither of the Bonnies participates in this board.
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Old May 14th, 2007, 04:41 AM   #378
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I am wrong

My bad...I get my Bonnies confused! I was thinking Mcgrath!

The rest still stands!
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Old May 14th, 2007, 04:57 AM   #379
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Old May 14th, 2007, 11:03 PM   #380
ErmDiego
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Bonnie

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Uhh no. You were thinking Sanchez-Carlson.
Or Bonnie Blair
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