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Old June 2nd, 2007, 08:22 PM   #481
BorisMolotov
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After reviewing this very long argument, I've noticed that not everybody seems to even be arguing about the same thing anymore.
ErmDiego, your biggest issue seems to be the questionable LLC groups that "shady" developers have been setting up to get away with the most money. Please realize that while it's not maybe the best way to do business, but it does get them the most money, and protects their whole business from suffering should a lawsuit be filed against them. Now, they're not trying to get lawsuits by purposely doing shoddy work, I can't imagine them wanting one, but they are trying to make the most money; after all it is a business.

To all others attacking ErmDiego, just because he has an issue with a particular developer who happens to be constructing X/O Condominiums in the remnants of the Prairie District, gives you no right to call him a NIMBY or anti-development. This is America, people do have freedom of speech, and they can protest something that they believe is wrong. What if someone wanted to build a huge highrise on the beautiful park next to your home? Based on your posts here, I assume you'd be 100% okay with that. But in reality, I'm sure you would protest that. And by your definitions, then you'd be NIMBY. This is the same case with X/O. Regardless of how few historic buildings are left, it is still a historic district, and therefore, X/O technically doesn't belong there.

P.S. I'm refusing to take a side on this argument, this post was merely to try and clarify things. That said, I do like the desing of X/O and do hope they get built.
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Old June 2nd, 2007, 09:45 PM   #482
ErmDiego
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Boris

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Originally Posted by BorisMolotov View Post
After reviewing this very long argument, I've noticed that not everybody seems to even be arguing about the same thing anymore.
ErmDiego, your biggest issue seems to be the questionable LLC groups that "shady" developers have been setting up to get away with the most money. Please realize that while it's not maybe the best way to do business, but it does get them the most money, and protects their whole business from suffering should a lawsuit be filed against them. Now, they're not trying to get lawsuits by purposely doing shoddy work, I can't imagine them wanting one, but they are trying to make the most money; after all it is a business.

To all others attacking ErmDiego, just because he has an issue with a particular developer who happens to be constructing X/O Condominiums in the remnants of the Prairie District, gives you no right to call him a NIMBY or anti-development. This is America, people do have freedom of speech, and they can protest something that they believe is wrong. What if someone wanted to build a huge highrise on the beautiful park next to your home? Based on your posts here, I assume you'd be 100% okay with that. But in reality, I'm sure you would protest that. And by your definitions, then you'd be NIMBY. This is the same case with X/O. Regardless of how few historic buildings are left, it is still a historic district, and therefore, X/O technically doesn't belong there.

P.S. I'm refusing to take a side on this argument, this post was merely to try and clarify things. That said, I do like the desing of X/O and do hope they get built.
thanks Boris, there are reasonable issues to discuss. My reference really is not specific to any one project but just development in general. LLC's are obviously a standard & necessary business tool when used ethically. The problem is the abuse of their use is getting worse. You have developments with a meriad of LLC's for the development, LLC's for partnerships under the development, etc. It is getting tough to determine who is accountable, or track the history of developers and contractors.

Take a look at the Tribune article today http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/l...l=chi-news-hed

The city and the industry need to stop buring their heads on this. Developers are disolving the LLC immediately, even before work or warranty issues have been completed. It also seems the same clout heavy developers, contractors, etc. are always in the middle, yet despite the undercurrent of problems they are still able to get the next permit, next contract, without resolving issues at their previous developments, claiming they are out of money. Take DiPiazza, in today's article, he is tied to several problem buildings in the South Loop. In the 12 years I have lived and invested in the South Loop, the problem has only gotten worse.

If the issues of Urban Planning & high rises where determined by merit and sound judgment, you would not here a peep from me. But with the continued stories of DPD, City Hall, and Developer corruption & and pay-to-play, it gets a little tough to swallow the decisions as in the best interests of good Urban Planning.
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Old June 2nd, 2007, 10:17 PM   #483
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Old June 2nd, 2007, 10:34 PM   #484
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South Michigan Avenue gets facelift

By Ivette Sandoval


North Michigan Avenue is well known as the Magnificent Mile, but as the street makes its way to the more residential South Loop its renown diminishes. The Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT) and several community organizations have worked to remedy that situation since 2003 by working on plans to beautify south Michigan Avenue from Roosevelt Road to the Stevenson Expressway.

Those plans started becoming reality in mid-March, when the City began installing concrete and orange barrel construction barricades. Workers started on the east side of Michigan Avenue at 14th Street, made their way south to Cermak Road, and then moved to the west side as they worked from Cermak to 14th. Work on Motor Row, site of early automobile showrooms and now under redevelopment, most likely will begin this fall (see related article, page X).

This $10.1 million beautification project will provide many decorative elements to enhance the rapidly developing district, which is bursting with new residential units, many of which include ground floor retail.

“The area is changing rapidly,” said Bonnie Sanchez-Carlson, executive director of the Near South Planning Board. “That strip hasn’t had a facelift in a while, and there’s a lot of construction along Michigan Avenue, a lot of new developers. The Motor Row area also needed a facelift, and the area on Roosevelt is developing well, so it’s something that is happening at the right time.”

Streetscaping from Roosevelt to Cermak features new light poles and a new traffic signal at 13th Street and Michigan Avenue. Other improvements are full sidewalk replacement, new crosswalks, kiosks containing historical information about the area, trash receptacles, new parking, and even new trees and plants.

Full Article
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Old June 2nd, 2007, 11:10 PM   #485
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Prairie Blocks

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Old June 3rd, 2007, 06:03 AM   #486
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Totally off whatever you guys have been discussing, but: does anybody know what retail will be in Printers Corner, Vetro, or Burnham Pointer?
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Old June 3rd, 2007, 08:50 AM   #487
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..

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Old June 5th, 2007, 12:56 PM   #488
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Fox & Obel might take S. Loop site

http://www.suntimes.com/business/413...-fox05.article

Fox & Obel might take S. Loop site
GROCERY | Gourmet store reportedly looking for 2nd store

June 5, 2007
BY SANDRA GUY [email protected]

Gourmet grocer Fox & Obel is the likely retailer that will open a store and a restaurant inside a long-vacant building at the northeast corner of Wabash and Roosevelt in Chicago's South Loop.

The former Trailways bus station was covered with murals until a couple of weeks ago, when new windows were installed, and the murals removed.

The site is just west of the Columbian, a 220-unit high-rise going up at the epicenter of the fastest-growing neighborhood in Chicago. It is across the street from a Jewel-Osco grocery store, and less than a mile east of an existing Dominick's grocery store and a new Whole Foods grocery store set to open Aug. 8. A specialty Italian market, Panozzo's, is about a block south on Michigan Avenue, and a wine store is set to open about two blocks south on Michigan Avenue in September.

Fox & Obel CEO Keith Montague declined Monday to confirm the location, and building owner Friedman Properties said no deal has been done. But Montague said the site "would be a perfect location" for Fox & Obel's second store.

Fox & Obel, named for its Chicago founders, has operated its single store and cafe for six years at 401 E. Illinois, in front of Dick's Last Resort in the Streeterville neighborhood.

"I'm familiar with [the South Loop] location. It's a great location," Montague said, adding that he has discussed sites for new stores with Friedman.

The South Loop site, with 34,000 square feet over three floors, would provide space for Fox & Obel's fast-growing catering business, as well as the store and cafe.

"I need a kitchen and a bakery," Montague said.

Fox & Obel's catering business is growing about 30 percent a year, and Montague said he had to use a refrigerated trailer to keep up with the 350 Thanksgiving dinners the retailer served last year from its Streeterville store. Fox & Obel now operates out of 22,000 square feet, and caters everything from small cocktail parties to the Zoo Ball at Lincoln Park Zoo.

The Streeterville store has yearly revenues in the eight figures and gets about 60 percent of its business from grocery sales.

Fox & Obel, owned for the past four years by mostly Chicago-based investors, faces the prospect of raising $4.5 million to open a new store.

"We're a small company," Montague said. "It's a new learning curve for me [to raise millions of dollars.]"

The site at Wabash and Roosevelt had been planned as an art gallery six years ago, but those plans fell through.

Montague told the Sun-Times in February 2006 that Fox & Obel intended to open as many as six more stores in the next three years in the Chicago area.

Neil Stern, senior partner at Chicago consulting firm McMillan Doolittle, said the South Loop requires more food markets, and the location would be a step up for Fox & Obel.
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Old June 5th, 2007, 03:35 PM   #489
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Curious. Crain's reported last December that Sunflower Market had signed for that space.
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Old June 5th, 2007, 06:35 PM   #490
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Fox & Obel

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Curious. Crain's reported last December that Sunflower Market had signed for that space.
With Whole foods opening in a month at Roosevelt and Canal, Jewel across the street, and Dominicks down the street it will be intersting to see how they do. Would of thought they would seek a location on the east side of Michigan, in or closer to Central Station.
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Old June 5th, 2007, 07:10 PM   #491
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With Whole foods opening in a month at Roosevelt and Canal, Jewel across the street, and Dominicks down the street it will be intersting to see how they do. Would of thought they would seek a location on the east side of Michigan, in or closer to Central Station.
I actually saw the plans for the Gliechman/Norberg development that Fox and Obel was slated for. It was down your way ED at Calumet and MLK/Cermak. But in reading the previous post that seems to be off the shelf and a new plan is being put together. To be honest with you Fox and Obel seams a bit to rich for the South Loop. Who would have thought that there would be a glut of grocery stores in the South Loop. I remember the days that we had to go to Dominicks on Ashland and 22nd.

From Spyguy's post

Pam Gleichman and Karl Norberg, the husband-and-wife team that in the 1990s jump-started the redevelopment of a neighboring block, have set their sights on property at Cermak Road and Prairie Avenue. The couple has proposed a project with 200 hotel rooms, 342 condominiums and nearly 50,000 square feet of retail space, says Jack George, their attorney.

At 550,000 square feet, the proposed development would be one of the biggest mixed-use projects on the Near South Side. It's less than half the size of a complex the couple previously planned on the block to the east, a property they are trying to sell.
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Old June 5th, 2007, 07:18 PM   #492
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Well, I still think of the Dominick's at Ashland and Archer as being new. When I moved to the South Loop in 1983 we had to go to the Jewel at 35th/King or Harrison/Racine.

Anyway, I also expect there to be a grocer in the Lexington Park development at Michigan/Cermak.
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Old June 5th, 2007, 07:27 PM   #493
ErmDiego
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Tom

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I actually saw the plans for the Gliechman/Norberg development that Fox and Obel was slated for. It was down your way ED at Calumet and MLK/Cermak. But in reading the previous post that seems to be off the shelf and a new plan is being put together. To be honest with you Fox and Obel seams a bit to rich for the South Loop. Who would have thought that there would be a glut of grocery stores in the South Loop. I remember the days that we had to go to Dominicks on Ashland and 22nd.
[B].[/I]
No kidding...In 96 or 97, if you lived close to Roosevelt and where real desperate for a snack, you had to grab food at the Amoco at Roosevelt or Wabash, or hold your breath walking by the liquor store at the Roosevelt Hotel! I agree about the Fox & Obel concept - I did not want to insult anyone, but that is why I wonder if both a Whole Foods and Fox & Obel can make it.

While every one wants to talk Urban densiity and a car-less society (great idea) the "Big-Box", One-stop grocery chains in the South Loop (and society in general) make that a difficult goal to achieve, especially during a neighborhood transition like the South Loop, where WAS is nothing. The South Loop is going to need quite a few shopping outlets in other sections for this to happen. They suck you in

Also, Tom for your pictures, I saw the best photo op while riding the bike last week. Stand down in the Museum Campus, next to the lake on the North West side of the Shedd...the view of the Central Station from ground level is a great shot.

Last edited by ErmDiego; June 5th, 2007 at 11:09 PM.
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Old June 5th, 2007, 07:33 PM   #494
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I think Fox & Obel is different from all three. There is plenty of money flowing around the south loop. Just need places to spend it such as Fox & Obel.
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Old June 5th, 2007, 09:17 PM   #495
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I think Fox & Obel is different from all three. There is plenty of money flowing around the south loop. Just need places to spend it such as Fox & Obel.
Different how? Are you saying because Fox & Oble relies on their restauraunt/deli for sit-down business? If that is so, then I agree on the walk-up portion, they will do well. Fox & Oble reminds me of "Boston Market meets Whole Foods".

At the same time, in their current locations, they are in denser walk-up locations that you know what you are in for, which is fine. In the South Loop, the commercial chains have been providing parking (not right or wrong), so folks are getting used to the convenience of free parking, which this location Fox & Obel will not have.
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Old June 5th, 2007, 09:45 PM   #496
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Different how? Are you saying because Fox & Oble relies on their restauraunt/deli for sit-down business? If that is so, then I agree on the walk-up portion, they will do well. Fox & Oble reminds me of "Boston Market meets Whole Foods".

At the same time, in their current locations, they are in denser walk-up locations that you know what you are in for, which is fine. In the South Loop, the commercial chains have been providing parking (not right or wrong), so folks are getting used to the convenience of free parking, which this location Fox & Obel will not have.
There is a small location to the north of the site that could offer parking. They are definitely in a niche market but I feel it will work for the South Loop. From talking with several other south loopers we are all very excited about this possibility.
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Old June 5th, 2007, 10:42 PM   #497
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Hi All,

To give a new POV from a recent South Loop buyer...

I moved in two years ago and have a series of friends (new couples, singles, young families, etc.) excited to move into the South Loop's boundaries. I've been to the many neighborhood meetings, asked a few questions and love the debate we've stirred. It's phenomenal activism.

but...

Keep in mind things are changing. The folks moving into the area don't know about these back stories and are excited to be living close to the city center, in an area thriving with development, retail and culture. They are going to move into the new highrises, townhomes and condos and help evolve the S. Loop into something even better than what it is now.

I agree with alot of what everyone is saying, but when I walk the streets and talk to potential neighbors, I urge them to not get discouraged by what they read, hear, etc from local groups and/or other friends - heck every neigborhood has its growing pains.

I'd love to see more effort into community building, while doing our best to work with developers, too. I know it's started in a few pockets, but expanding the actions would do everyone a world of good.

I think Fox & Obel is a phenom idea, by the way. I lived in France for a bit and miss the notion of having a real bakery near by. For those of us that don't have a car and use the 'granny cart method', it'd be a welcome addition to that corner.
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Old June 5th, 2007, 11:08 PM   #498
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dvidler

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There is a small location to the north of the site that could offer parking. They are definitely in a niche market but I feel it will work for the South Loop. From talking with several other south loopers we are all very excited about this possibility.
No one is saying they are not excited. Just friendly banter & speculating on the business propositions of actually having F&O, Whole Foods, Jewel, Dominicks at the same time! Are you kidding me, imagine 10 years ago having zero options...it makes one appreciate the little things
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Old June 5th, 2007, 11:24 PM   #499
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^Park Michigan was also to include a grocery store.
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Old June 6th, 2007, 12:00 AM   #500
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Well said Bgirl - The explosive growth of the nieghborhood will be felt for years to come.

I agree F&O would be a welcome addtion to the neighborhood.

Having lived here on and off since 1988 I said "wait a few more years" until the retail comes a few times. Maybe this time it will happen.

Thanks ErmD for the photo op location I'll check it out.
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