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Old May 20th, 2007, 03:47 PM   #401
BorisMolotov
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Q: My husband and I bought our home in this neighborhood in 2000 because we liked the quiet low-rise loft envronment here. Now we can hardly recognize our block anymore. How can these developers be allowed to change a neighborhood this way?
This irks me.

Last edited by BorisMolotov; May 21st, 2007 at 03:04 AM.
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Old May 20th, 2007, 06:20 PM   #402
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Originally Posted by ardecila View Post
We know this building as Avalon, but it's now called 2100. Colored elevations are available at Rokas' website, or in the Boom Rundown at SSP.
It's not the same building. You might be thinking of 2100 S. Indiana. This project is proposed for Prairie. I believe that it's the same developer, but they are 2 seperate projects.
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Old May 20th, 2007, 06:46 PM   #403
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Old May 20th, 2007, 07:03 PM   #404
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The South Loop is a very different situation, and I would be hesitant to do anything to interfere with the tremendously successful economic phenomenon that is occuring here. Many other cities would kill to have the development activity we have here, and I would be very careful before I disturbed that.
^ I mentioned this also at SSP, but this statement by Fioretti really makes my day. I'm glad that he is reasonable and intelligent enough to recognize that hare-brained schemes like the self-serving Near South Community Plan just don't fit in with economic reality. While he certainly has an obligation to make his constituents happy, he also needs to make them aware what battles are worth fighting and which ones aren't viable.
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Old May 20th, 2007, 09:52 PM   #405
ErmDiego
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Loopy, you forgot the quote of the day by Pat Dowell

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Originally Posted by Loopy View Post
You're both right. 2100 is not the same Rokas project as the one proposed for 21st and Prairie. But, I incorrectly described the new project as incorporating a loft building, which I now believe is a mistake on my part.

The architect was probably describing the other project in comparison, and I got confused. The PDNA were peppering him with questions and it was hard to follow the presentation.
Loopy, you forgot the quote of the day by Pat Dowell who said in her opening, "I expect more community involvement and support in development revew, but, and I am sorry GSLA, but the Developers need to deal with the most direct residents impacted...", which Fioretti acknowledged as well. (something to the point that their input is great, but they are not the approving authority everywhere)

As to the 21st and Prairie proposal by Rokas, I think it is a good design, just too tall for the location. The District plan calls for 60 ft on Prairie, 285 feet off of Prairie. When we met with Rokas & Fitzgerald, they did not even know what the South Loop Community Plan was...amazing. We even originally supported a 285 feet tall for the design, even though it was on Prairie. Other than Kargil, all the other developers are building in the 285-300 ft level, so what's the problem?

The other question I heard, was in regard to Rokas's experience (which is very limited) and finacial ability. The largest project Rokas has completed to date is $15MM (and that has some issues), so with 2100 Indiana, and a possible 2nd project at 21st and Prairie, the question was in regard to them taking on two projects at $150MM, and whether they would consider including an building escrow contingent beyond developer turnover to guarantee the quality of the building.
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Old May 20th, 2007, 10:23 PM   #406
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Old May 20th, 2007, 11:03 PM   #407
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Originally Posted by ErmDiego View Post
How is a plan that was developed by Architectural and Urban Planning professionals, Sponsred by the Plan Commission and Deprtment of Planning, and then veted through municiple, zoning, community and professional task forces suddenly self-serving?
It is self serving because you and your cadre of closet suburbanites endlessly spout as gospel SUGGESTED GUIDELINES in the near south plan which are clearly inconsistent with the demand for housing in the area, and are hindrances to the neighborhood's potential to be a vibrant, urban, ped-freindly environment. Thankfully, it seems that you who are suffering this serious lack of vision were dealt a decisive blow from the two alderman who aren't stupid enough to let a few NIMBYs retard the development of the central city. Now if only the west loop could wise up.

Last edited by Steely Dan; May 21st, 2007 at 01:19 AM.
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Old May 21st, 2007, 12:47 AM   #408
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ErmDiego and UP - You're both smart and knowledgeable people who shouldn't need to resort to petty bickering as a substitute for intelligent debate. Please do this thread the service of being civil and courteous toward each other.
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Old May 21st, 2007, 12:52 AM   #409
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Originally Posted by ErmDiego View Post
As to the 21st and Prairie proposal by Rokas, I think it is a good design, just too tall for the location.
^ Good for you. But did anyone vote for you?

Quote:
The District plan calls for 60 ft on Prairie, 285 feet off of Prairie. When we met with Rokas & Fitzgerald, they did not even know what the South Loop Community Plan was...amazing.
^ Even more evidence how irrelevant of a plan it is. Scrap it and let the market decide this stuff. Luckily the Dept of P & D gets this

Quote:
We even originally supported a 285 feet tall for the design, even though it was on Prairie. Other than Kargil, all the other developers are building in the 285-300 ft level, so what's the problem?
^ No problem at all. Height limitations are silly, fickle, and completely unjustified anywhere downtown.

Quote:
The other question I heard, was in regard to Rokas's experience (which is very limited) and finacial ability. The largest project Rokas has completed to date is $15MM (and that has some issues), so with 2100 Indiana, and a possible 2nd project at 21st and Prairie, the question was in regard to them taking on two projects at $150MM, and whether they would consider including an building escrow contingent beyond developer turnover to guarantee the quality of the building.
^ Perhaps certain self-important individuals can stick their noses where they belong. The way I see it, LET THE BUYERS decide who is a good developer and who isn't. Last I checked, we live in a free market society. You're not an elected official, you don't OWN the land, and you're not the developer or hired architect for this project, are you? Didn't think so.

UGH, sorry to rant, but this is just obscenely ridiculous
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Old May 21st, 2007, 02:24 AM   #410
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Loopy

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I suppose that some consideration should be given to a developer's experience before granting approval. How much, I can't say. I know that the 1000 S. Michigan project for three 40 story towers should never have been granted to Guy Gardner (Harmon Development), when his only previous project was a totally botched row of townhomes. 1000 S Michigan died on the vine because Gardner didn't have a clue how to proceed with a development this large aside from hiring an architect (DeStefano).

Now, that escrow idea is crazy. Any developer who agrees to do that unilaterally is a fool. If it becomes City law, fine. But why should developers get shaken down like this in one neighborhood and not in another. I sincerely hope that you fail with this initiative.
So, where would you start with developer qualification, accountability, and the prevelant fraud issue with the quality problems? I think it would be even more widely discussed were it not for the fear of bringing issues with a development public, especially with a high percentage as investors or flippers. The tend to not care about quality as long as they can sell and get it out. Mayor Daley seems more worried about developers being liscensed...I was surpised this weekend to find out a few other major projects in litigation or settlements pending.
The escrow idea for an LLC is something used in many places, including Evanston.
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Old May 21st, 2007, 02:38 AM   #411
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Originally Posted by ErmDiego View Post
Loopy, you forgot the quote of the day by Pat Dowell who said in her opening, "I expect more community involvement and support in development revew, but, and I am sorry GSLA, but the Developers need to deal with the most direct residents impacted...", which Fioretti acknowledged as well. (something to the point that their input is great, but they are not the approving authority everywhere)

As to the 21st and Prairie proposal by Rokas, I think it is a good design, just too tall for the location. The District plan calls for 60 ft on Prairie, 285 feet off of Prairie. When we met with Rokas & Fitzgerald, they did not even know what the South Loop Community Plan was...amazing. We even originally supported a 285 feet tall for the design, even though it was on Prairie. Other than Kargil, all the other developers are building in the 285-300 ft level, so what's the problem?

The other question I heard, was in regard to Rokas's experience (which is very limited) and finacial ability. The largest project Rokas has completed to date is $15MM (and that has some issues), so with 2100 Indiana, and a possible 2nd project at 21st and Prairie, the question was in regard to them taking on two projects at $150MM, and whether they would consider including an building escrow contingent beyond developer turnover to guarantee the quality of the building.

Why is it too tall for the location. And don't give me any bullshit about it not following the height guidelines in the South Loop Community Plan. What's the real reason you believe it's too tall? Will it somehow effect your social skiil or mental capability? Are you upset that it will cast as shadow in your yard and your magnolias will die?

Why are people so scared of height?

Being only 5'4", I've never let height get in the way of living. If I can't reach something I get a ladder or ask someone taller to get it. 8'6" high ceilings are good enough for me.

Height shouldn't be a big deal.
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Old May 21st, 2007, 02:53 AM   #412
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Originally Posted by ErmDiego View Post
So, where would you start with developer qualification, accountability, and the prevelant fraud issue with the quality problems? I think it would be even more widely discussed were it not for the fear of bringing issues with a development public, especially with a high percentage as investors or flippers. The tend to not care about quality as long as they can sell and get it out. Mayor Daley seems more worried about developers being liscensed...I was surpised this weekend to find out a few other major projects in litigation or settlements pending.
The escrow idea for an LLC is something used in many places, including Evanston.
Let the condo owners deal with it. Sue the developers and put them out of business. Or if a certain developer has a bad track record, then insepctions of the construction site and the materials used should happen on a more regular basis. It shouldn't be the rule across the board, or else developers won't develop because of such strict guidelines (which is probably what you want anyway).

As for Evanston having this, ******* look at them. What the hell does Evanston have but mostly single family homes and very few highrises. It's ******* NIMBY central on steroids.
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Old May 21st, 2007, 03:39 AM   #413
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Old May 21st, 2007, 04:15 AM   #414
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The escrow idea is ridiculous. I can't believe that you asked Rokas to put up some cash in exchange for your approval. You are way out of bounds here, and coming very close to not being taken seriously by anyone. If you can't persuade Fioretti to put forth a measure in City Council mandating an escrow account for new development, then you had better give it up, because it will make you look even more insane than you do already.
^
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Old May 21st, 2007, 04:43 AM   #415
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Originally Posted by Loopy View Post

Q: My husband and I bought our home in this neighborhood in 2000 because we liked the quiet low-rise loft envronment here. Now we can hardly recognize our block anymore. How can these developers be allowed to change a neighborhood this way?

A: It's always a good idea to take a look at the Zoning map for the area you are buying a home in to see if it meets you needs.
I am only a little bothered by this, but know its an inevitability that the south loop will continue to boom and build tall. Wether on prairie street on a lot that is surrounded by old warehouses and what looks like some ugly aluminum shed (preserving the character?! - what a joke), or on Cermak, or on S. michigan. I moved to the south loop for the complete opposite reason as this sorry person, I was obviously very attracted to the development here and wanted to be a part of a growing new community downtown. I think a lot of the newer residents, especially in the highrises, are like me also, and the people who moved here for "peace and quiet" will be in the minority very soon, if they are not already. Thats completely ridiculous anyway, and Im glad Fioretti seems to get this. I also loved his other responses.

Thanks for the breakdown loopy, wish I coulda been there too but was out of town, so its nice to come back and hear things went pretty well. I think it will continue to be an exciting time in the south loop.
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Old May 21st, 2007, 07:27 AM   #416
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Why is she a sorry person?

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I am only a little bothered by this, but know its an inevitability that the south loop will continue to boom and build tall. Wether on prairie street on a lot that is surrounded by old warehouses and what looks like some ugly aluminum shed (preserving the character?! - what a joke), or on Cermak, or on S. michigan. I moved to the south loop for the complete opposite reason as this sorry person, I was obviously very attracted to the development here and wanted to be a part of a growing new community downtown. I think a lot of the newer residents, especially in the highrises, are like me also, and the people who moved here for "peace and quiet" will be in the minority very soon, if they are not already. Thats completely ridiculous anyway, and Im glad Fioretti seems to get this. I also loved his other responses..
So why is she a sorry person? Because her view point disagrees with yours, and she should not express it?
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Old May 21st, 2007, 07:36 AM   #417
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LLC Disolution Mania

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As should be obvious from my posts, I don't support much interference with development and developers. I pretty much believe that the bulk of the development process should occur between developer and the Department of Planning, with minimal involvement of the Aldermen and "the Community", who usually don't know dick about what makes a great city.

However, in some cases, such as the 1000 S Michigan case, I referenced earlier, I think an Alderman should exercise some control. Should there be a standard for determining whether a developer is capable of pulling off a project without cutting corners? Probably not. I am interested in the concept. That is all.

The escrow idea is ridiculous. I can't believe that you asked Rokas to put up some cash in exchange for your approval. You are way out of bounds here, and coming very close to not being taken seriously by anyone. If you can't persuade Fioretti to put forth a measure in City Council mandating an escrow account for new development, then you had better give it up, because it will make you look even more insane than you do already.
Why, if they do good work, it won't cost them a cent? The issue is these start-up small developers and mid-size are doing crappy work through a plethura of LLC's, and then disolve them ASAP, even before the punchlist & warranty work is done. Associations are getting dimes on the dollar to settle because they are powerless, have limited reserve funding, and have a boat load of short timers who want out, and do not any bad publicity to ruin their chance to sell now. On top of that, many of the desperate association are getting pushed to sign non-disclosure agreements; as an example, who knew Dearborn Tower had so many problems until it was leaked recently. None of this ever makes it to DPD, Alderman, or Plan Commission as part of the next project approval.
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Old May 21st, 2007, 08:05 AM   #418
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Why don't the associations notify DPD of their grievances before they file suit? If DPD doesn't listen, then there's a serious problem.
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Old May 21st, 2007, 08:50 AM   #419
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Old May 21st, 2007, 05:25 PM   #420
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So why is she a sorry person? Because her view point disagrees with yours, and she should not express it?

What do you care anyway, and why are you only addressing that small aspect of what I said? Do you also agree that the south loop should be building highrises?

Fine, Ill explain. Shes 'sorry' that she moved anywhere in the central area for peace and quiet in the first place. What an absurd notion to have, that anywhere within downtown should stay quiet and only low-rise lofts. Anyone who thinks it should does not understand the concept of a 'city', nor the basics of urban planning and creating a healthy core. Better yet, anyone that wants a blanket limit on development in the central area solely for personal reasons such as "liking the existing character", and not functional reasons such as appropriate zoning classification and land use (ie residential vs commercial), probably shouldn't be taken seriously at all. Its basically like saying, "Yes, I want to live here, but I dont want any others to move here after me" - this mindset is plain selfish, especially since most people just moved here in the last 8-10 years and the area is still changing. Its also detrimental to the growth and improvement of the city - to miss an oppurtunity to capitalize on this underestimated growth in the south loop would be a tragedy.

And no i'm not a fan of greedy developers, I believe that they should be checked and forced to meet quality assurance standards. But Im also not a fan of backwards-minded nimbys, which, judging from her comment, is what people like this person seem to be.
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