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Old June 15th, 2007, 10:14 PM   #561
ErmDiego
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sir Isaac Newton View Post
Also, I think that someone mentioned on one of the threads that a jazz club is planning on opening up a spot in Dearborn Station, soon?

As for new restaurants, I guess that Coast opened a second location in the South Loop....should be a great addition to the neighborhood! I also have the link to the restaurant that took over the Gourmand space. And, another bar/grill is opening up in Printers Row soon....

http://metromix.chicagotribune.com/s...,6984984.venue

http://metromix.chicagotribune.com/d...,7968034.venue

http://metromix.chicagotribune.com/d...,6460700.venue

Did not see that; a great addition!!! I look forward to more of this and the reality is while much of the retail and restaurants are still coming or are a ways off.
While I desire a car-less society, the reality is that with a piss poor transit system, and area rapid growth plans, the city planners do need to start thinking of plans for the dirty word, "destination parking". Looking at the city system, http://www.chicagoparkingmap.com/map_static.jsp
it is not surprising there is nothing in the South Loop. Some discussion is needed as to zoning changes to include this as either as part of some of the new commercial development or separate, before it is too late to include. With out zoning changes, the property will be too expensive to include this type of infrastructure. Let's face it, the restaurants today have not included any, and are using much of the street parking to do their business.

If you do not include anything, the only ones who can grow here are the big box retailers, who can afford to include parking in their retail plan. Small business growth of which many here desire, needs additional outside through-
fare to prosper.
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Old June 15th, 2007, 10:21 PM   #562
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MR. FIORETTI, TEAR DOWN THIS WALL !!!
I'm with you 100 percent on this issue--and have been since I moved here in 1983. But I don't see the link to retail success. If anything, it seems like a porous Dearborn Park will make the Roosevelt Collection seem just as close as Printers Row, slightly reducing retail demand along Dearborn.

The retail puzzle is not a simple question with a single answer. I've been pondering it for many years and looking at many neighborhoods, and I think these are relevant factors:
  • Retail leasing is a very imperfect market. Moving a store is costly and difficult, and information about potential locations is scattered and fragmented. Deals rely a lot on personal networking and are negotiated one by one. So when a landlord drops his price per square foot by $5, that doesn't immediately translate into anything visible.
  • America is not a nation of shopkeepers. Britain was famously derided as a "nation of shopkeepers" in the 20th century, but Americans think of retailing as something done by big corporations hiring impersonal store managers to oversee minimum-wage help. Part of that is cultural, part is the result of high expectations for careers and earnings, part is the need to work for a big employer to get health care or pensions (unlike in Europe, where small shopkeepers also have various protections from competition). Why is there such a huge disparity in retail activity between Hispanic neighborhoods and African-American neighborhoods? Toronto's retail strips (and historically Chicago's) depended on new immigrants who worked 90 hours a week in the store so the next generation could get a good job and not have to work in a store.
  • Chain retailers don't like custom situations. Given a choice between a broom-clean modern well-proportioned, security-conscious space in the Roosevelt Collection and an awkward one-of-a-kind shoebox-shaped space in the Donahue Building where the cranky HVAC is their responsibility and the plumbing is always a question and the panhandlers out front hassle the customers and the deliveries take place outside in the street--which do you think the national credit retailer will choose?
  • Printers Row doesn't have coordinated marketing. Instead it has two dozen investor owners of spaces over which residential condo associations exert some control (whether right of first refusal or just reluctance to spend money). That means a huge amount of inertia for a potential shopkeeper to overcome, and leads to professional offices in storefronts instead of actual retailers. Nobody from Printers Row is at ICSC in Vegas every May to make deals.
  • Retailing doesn't flourish in quiet backwaters. North Side strips like Clark, Halsted, or Broadway have a lot of through traffic, on buses and in cars, and visibility to shoppers from outside the neighborhood. South Dearborn gets #62 Archer bus riders in the morning (before shops open) but not at night. As for Dearborn Station, no off-street galleria flourishes anywhere in the world, except where the pass-through foot traffic is overwhelming or where the galleria itself (Water Tower Place) is a destination.
  • The South Loop bleeds retail demand. Because so many of us are in the Loop every day, that captures a fair amount of our retail demand, especially for apparel, books, etc.
  • Retailing trails demographics. Not only do national chains pick the low-hanging fruit first, they have tended to be slow to look hard at changing demographics. So they're still working off 2000 Census figures for the South Loop, in many cases.

Last edited by Mr Downtown; June 16th, 2007 at 05:52 AM.
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Old June 16th, 2007, 01:26 AM   #563
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Mr Downtown - Agree with everything you say. The only minor quible is with the notion that the condo associations have some control. My experience is that is rarely the case, as the developers who convert or build the buildings either keep this for their control or portfolio, or sell out right, with out the Association having any say in the terms. Now if it is an issue of putting in a strip joint or a dance club...well. Point in case is the problems with the SOLO at Dearborn Tower. Frankel & Giles kept control of this and by reports I have heard the residents of the Tower were not provided much disclosure of the terms of the commercial space contracts and easments (not surprising with this developer)...
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Old June 16th, 2007, 05:48 AM   #564
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Originally Posted by ErmDiego View Post
the developers who convert or build the buildings either keep this for their control or portfolio, or sell out right, with out the Association having any say in the terms.
There's a big difference, I think, between how this is done today by sharp operators like Frankel & Giles or Renaissant and how it was done in the late 70s by the amateurs who converted the Printers Row buildings to lofts. Though condo associations don't have a lot of technical control over the use of spaces, they can make life difficult (even without realizing it) through the way they approve of buildouts, black iron installation, upgraded utilities, signage, etc.
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Old June 18th, 2007, 02:09 AM   #565
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Printers' Row Retail

Mr. D, I appreciate the thorough analysis of the Printers' Row retail situation, and agree with a lot of it.....however, I believe the no. 1 problem is still a lack of density...the same developments that so many of the South Loop Neighbors folks are fighting will bring the customers that WILL frequent small shops in the neighborhood....

We are fooling ourselves in comparing Printers' row with any other well developed European or American city....I mean, half of Dearborn Street in the row is a freakin' parking lot....
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Old June 18th, 2007, 03:59 AM   #566
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Originally Posted by slooparch View Post
Mr. D, I appreciate the thorough analysis of the Printers' Row retail situation, and agree with a lot of it.....however, I believe the no. 1 problem is still a lack of density...the same developments that so many of the South Loop Neighbors folks are fighting will bring the customers that WILL frequent small shops in the neighborhood....

We are fooling ourselves in comparing Printers' row with any other well developed European or American city....I mean, half of Dearborn Street in the row is a freakin' parking lot....
I agree with you in that density, or lack of it, is usually the #1 factor for success for restaurants and shops in a neighborhood. And as I mentioned in a previous post, at least a couple thousand new residents will be moving into Printers Row (or within a block or two of PR) in the next year or two. As for parking lots on Dearborn Street - only one will still exist in a couple years - the one across the street from the Transportation building. There is a tiny little lot directly south of the Transportation building that will be turned into the plaza, and then the Rowhomes of Printers Row are going up on the two tiny lots on the corner of Dearborn and Polk.
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Old June 18th, 2007, 06:29 AM   #567
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the same developments that so many of the South Loop Neighbors folks are fighting will bring the customers that WILL frequent small shops in the neighborhood....
Huh? South Loop Neighbors isn't fighting any developments based on their density.
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Old June 19th, 2007, 05:54 AM   #568
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Huh? South Loop Neighbors isn't fighting any developments based on their density.
No just height and shadow, as if that's a more legitimate reason...
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Old June 19th, 2007, 07:45 PM   #569
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Opening up Dearborn Park 1 to East-West pedestrian traffic will be the single most effective solution to moribund retail in this part of the South Loop.

MR. FIORETTI, TEAR DOWN THIS WALL !!!
Could not agree more. And do the same for Dearborn Park II so that when the former Rezko property gets developed between Roosevelt and 18th west of Clark the entire area is integrated. They want to complain about traffic when school drop off and pick up occur, let them realize normal city traffic in their enclaves.
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Old June 19th, 2007, 07:49 PM   #570
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Could not agree more. And do the same for Dearborn Park II so that when the former Rezko property gets developed between Roosevelt and 18th west of Clark the entire area is integrated. They want to complain about traffic when school drop off and pick up occur, let them realize normal city traffic in their enclaves.
Has anyone heard any recent news on the Rezko property?
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Old June 19th, 2007, 09:14 PM   #571
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Dearborn II doesn't have any rights of way that go to Clark, and now that the city has made Clark an auto sewer, connections across it will be a hard sell.

As for Riverside Park, all the civic organizations were unanimous in requesting 15th Street access into the property. It's the neighborhood's one opportunity for a new east-west route. But there's apparently some city employee who lives in a townhouse on 15th Street who has some kind of superclout. He's the one who got 15th Street to have not one, but two cul-de-sacs, and who forbade Dearborn Tower to use Dearborn for garage access most of the day. So the final PD said nothing about 15th Street access.
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Old June 20th, 2007, 01:31 AM   #572
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One Place (1 East 8th St.)

I got this e-mail today, thought I'd pass it along to you folks...

Dear Future One Place Home Owner,
We hope you’re enjoying being able to sneak a peek of the building on the One Place Web Cam. If you’ve checked it out recently you’ve probably noticed the pace at the construction site is now in full force and the building is quickly coming out of the ground. Some of you have been concerned with the speed of construction as compared to other buildings in the neighborhood… please don’t be alarmed. Unlike all other new construction in the South Loop, One Place is fortunate to have XSport Fitness in the building and to accommodate their extensive amenities, we had to build an extra deep basement level for their swimming pool and basketball court. However, during this process there were certain unforeseeable challenges that came up and as a result we are a few months behind the initial projected delivery date. Our construction team now projects delivery beginning in the 1st quarter of 2008. We apologize as we know this can be a major inconvenience, but please know we are working as diligently as possible with our construction crew to have the building delivered to you in a timely matter. If you have any questions about this, please don’t hesitate to contact me directly.
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Old June 20th, 2007, 02:14 AM   #573
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As for Riverside Park, all the civic organizations were unanimous in requesting 15th Street access into the property. It's the neighborhood's one opportunity for a new east-west route.
Why not 14th? With a properly-designed underpass at the Green Line, 14th would be continuous out to the IC tracks. Plus, it goes past less NIMBY-infested townhomes than 15th.

Unfortunately, at 14th the Metra tracks are snug up against Clark, preventing any sort of crossing without Metra relocation (again something that NEEDS to be done, and this time there's no NIMBY opposition).

I swear, the city is making all the wrong decisions when it comes to the western part of the South Loop, turning it into some Houston-style high-rise park with cul-de-sacs and everything. Fioretti for all his urbanist grand-standing has yet to do squat. We should really invite him to a special CBP meeting, scheduled at his and our convenience, and present our concerns to him.

My concerns:
-unbroken wall along Clark/insularity of Dearborn Park in general (why should they get quiet streets when LaSalle Park residents have to deal with the shitload of traffic on Clark)
-No Green Line station between Roosevelt and 35th (planned @ Cermak but needs funding)
-Metra relocation in the Riverside Park area (seriously, how expensive can this be?)
-11th Street Underpass/Taylor Street Bridge

Last edited by ardecila; June 20th, 2007 at 02:27 AM.
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Old June 20th, 2007, 04:23 AM   #574
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Why not 14th?
You have to think in three dimensions. 14th can't get through the subway approach east of State, and can't get under the Rock Island tracks west of Clark. CDOT tried to claim that 15th couldn't get under the Rock because there wasn't a full 18 feet or whatever clearance for 18-wheelers and fire trucks, but I think we could probably persuade them that a substandard underpass is better than none at all.

And as for NIMBYs, you really think going through the middle of an existing townhouse cluster (on 14th) through the middle of Dearborn II will be easier than opening up the existing 15th????

Quote:
Metra relocation
Where would you relocate it? Remember that Metra crosses the St Charles Air Line at something like elevation 598±, then drops to elevation 589± to get under Roosevelt Road. There's no way to get cross streets from Clark over or under the tracks until you get to 15th Street, and the headway there is only 12 feet.

What should have been done, in 1993, was to put Metra up on viaduct all the way from Archer to Harrison, and rebuild Roosevelt on the ground. But two different agencies were doing the projects.

Take another look at this thread:
http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showthread.php?t=407800
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Old June 20th, 2007, 08:33 AM   #575
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The St. Charles Air Line is due to be vacated as part of CREATE. Once that happens, a world of possibilities opens up.

Besides, I'm not talking about changing grade - just a lateral shift in the tracks. Any streets trying to cross would have grade crossings built, except at 15th and 12th where overpasses are feasible (reading from the PD site plan). Even that would be a major improvement over the current situation. If the tracks were shifted far enough westward, it might allow for proper over/underpass approaches.

I know I've argued this with you before, but honestly there's no good reason why it can't or shouldn't be done - the principles at the core of good urban design dictate it. There are no irrational NIMBYs to work around, and no significant engineering challenges.

As for cost - in 1995, apparently, it cost $300,000 per mile of trackage. Assuming some inflation, and the fact that there are three tracks at 1/2 mile each, you're talking $600,000. Add an engineering fee of $100,000 and you have a total of $700,000. For a civic project, that's chump change. I bet that'll be the median price of a unit in the Roosevelt Collection.
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Old June 20th, 2007, 02:28 PM   #576
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Growing pains on Prairie

REAL ESTATE | Developer's plan for 37-story tower at 21st Street could raise historic district's ire


June 20, 2007

DAVID ROEDER [email protected]

The fortunate few who live in the historic Prairie Avenue District can be excused for feeling surrounded. While landmark designation has kept buildings small on a block-long stretch of Prairie at 18th Street, the surrounding neighborhood is bursting with high-rises. The latest plan tests the neighborhood's tolerance for tallness south of the Prairie district.

Andrius Augunas, president of Rokas International Inc., said he has a contract to purchase a small building at the northwest corner of 21st and Prairie owned by the Pipe Fitters Local Union 597. Augunas wants to put a 37-story residential building on the property at an estimated cost of $120 million.

In the area around 18th and Prairie, tall modern buildings already elbow the historic district. Now a developer is proposing a 37-story high-rise at 21st and Prairie. (John H. White/Sun-Times)

He said that if he gets city approval to rezone the property, he'll begin a home sales campaign lasting at least a year. Construction then could start in late 2008, said Augunas, who has had success with two other projects in the same area at 2100 S. Indiana and 2300 S. Michigan.
The developer said he has received written support from two community groups for his latest project. The endorsers are the Greater South Loop Association and the Near South Planning Board. That sentiment probably will help the local alderman, Robert Fioretti (2nd), side with the deal.

But many residents have criticized the city for infringing on the spirit, if not the actual territory, of the landmark district by allowing the influx of condos. A check by the Sun-Times last September showed that within a half-mile of the Prairie District, at least 14 major projects encompassing 2,700 homes were planned.

A two-tower development in the 1700 block of South Prairie led to some of the neighborhood activism. Approved by the city, the project calls for towers of 45 and 33 stories arising behind new townhomes, altogether about 500 units.
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Old June 20th, 2007, 04:31 PM   #577
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Maybe I'm on the high horse right now, but I genuinely feel like they need to get over themselves. Until the City changes zoning within the district itself, they're in the wrong place to complain about increasing residential projects. Maybe they'd like to live in a city without urban development. When you're hot, you don't walk away from the table.
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Old June 20th, 2007, 05:24 PM   #578
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Any streets trying to cross would have grade crossings built
Grade crossings? On a terminal approach that sees 300 train movements a day? How likely do you think Metra or CDOT will be to approve that?

You can't introduce more than a two percent grade to the railroad, and Metra is dead set against any change in grade. You can't build the streets with more than four percent grade. Do the math, make a sketch; get back to us with where, exactly, you'd put those overpasses.

And the legal situation is different now than it was five years ago. The PD set out fee simple parcels for Metra, instead of the "relocatable easement" they formerly had across the Riverside Park parcel. I'm not arguing with you because I don't want to see east-west streets through that parcel. I just can't figure out any way to make it feasible.
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Old June 20th, 2007, 05:47 PM   #579
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I know Mr. D is right....the only hope we have is 15th into Riverside, 15th through Dearborn II, 9th in Dearborn I and the future Taylor St Bridge across the river and the future slightly shifted 9th to Clark...

Would you agree with that summary Mr. D?
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Old June 20th, 2007, 07:13 PM   #580
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That's the way I read the tea leaves, Steve. Though 15th doesn't technically go through Dearborn Park II.

The pattern was set long ago, when the railroads carved things up north and south, parallel to the river. It just proves how resistant land ownership patterns are to change. About the only way this could have played out differently was if the Chicago Land Clearance Commission had assembled ALL the railroad land in 1973 and replatted everything. But I doubt we would today be pleased with what the best minds in urban planning would have prescribed in 1973 for the South Loop.
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