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Old July 1st, 2007, 06:09 PM   #661
The Urban Politician
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Community groups are spurned by other community groups for not opposing enough projects.

That's basically all I got from reading this discussion.

So you're not a good representative of your community if you don't OPPOSE enough projects. That is how we gauge the effectiveness of a given community group? Of course, I agree that actively taking money from developers and admitting to it pretty much tanks your credibility.

Nevertheless, I would hope that people who live in these downtown communities can take it upon themselves to find more creative things to do with their organizations in the light of inevitable market-driven development than trying to put roadblocks in the way of everything.
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Old July 1st, 2007, 06:21 PM   #662
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slooparch

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"EDiego....we know you oppose XO, but the larger community has overwhelmingly supported it, as the Chicago Journal has also reported support for the propposed Rokas Tower....."
you have already admitted to dropping the ball, and not a single person spoke at the planning commision meeting against this project....

apparently Near North dude doesn't think it is important that no one on OUR board would appear to have a conflict of interest based upon his criteria....

and finally, why don't you comment on the countless positive contributions to our community that the GSLA has made? does the GSLA, it's many members within the historic district, the Glessner House and the larger community support (and documented improvement) of the design of XO just forever make them some force for evil?
There are some fine contributions by the GSLA, but the group can not possibly manage the detail needed for development review and successful implemenation. This is not the South Loop of 10 years ago, where there are no residents. Glaring details are being missed. I have been to 10+ meetings, and the development presentations are just that, 5 minutes of developer speak, with rarely deep discussion or tough questions, or pubic voting. Why not make the letters public on your website?

Simple examples of details being missed; roll-up garage door entrances on 1600 Prairie Point Tower, or the CMK developments on South Michigan. How does the simple element like garage door entrances on streets like Prairie Avenue or Michigan Avenue not get challenged? That is design review 101. It clearly breaks up the streetscape and look. Put it in the alley.

X/O - That's a load of crap and you know it. The community did not suport this, the GSLA board did. Where are the voting results of the community??? Did you poll the 20 impacted condo associations? Oh, I get it, you will poll them if they are a paying member of the GSLA. And the Glessner House supports X/O??? Let's study this one - they get $700K, and the Glessner house board president is a developer none other than Bill Warman, who just happens to partner on a project with Frankel & Giles. There is a stretch.

Again, as both Alderman told you in public at your last meeting, you are missing the boat on considerations of those impacted. Why should I tell someone living in Printers Row what is good for their area, or why should someone who lives in University Village and is on the GSLA tell residents of the Prairie District what is good for their area? They do not have to live with it. So please stop talking for those residents, and listen to them...let them engage in discussion so they can bring compromise to the issues of development like accountability, neighborhood ammenaties, and infrastructure.
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Old July 1st, 2007, 06:30 PM   #663
ErmDiego
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Urban Politician View Post
Community groups are spurned by other community groups for not opposing enough projects.

Nevertheless, I would hope that people who live in these downtown communities can take it upon themselves to find more creative things to do with their organizations in the light of inevitable market-driven development than trying to put roadblocks in the way of everything.
1. Sadly every community group formed, and even Preservation Chicago, etc.
was formed in this manner. Many times it is a catalyst or wake-up for
people to get involved in their community, which is always a bad thing.

2. Road blocks - engaging in discussion of successful implementation should
always be encouraged. There are some great and forthright developers
out there. However, the same few seem to hold residents & buyers
hostage from start to completion of the project; to get completion they
require buyers to extreme actions such as legal action, which is sad. This
is sometimes the only thing they will listen to.
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Old July 1st, 2007, 06:35 PM   #664
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Originally Posted by ErmDiego View Post
Near North Guy is dead on; just the appearance of taking this money makes it questionable; far too common a problem in Chicago. Sort of like the same developers giving campaign money to the former president in his alderman election in the 3rd Ward.

Of course let's not forget the lecturing to the residents of the Prairie District by your former president last June in the Glessner House presentation in regard to the X/O project, despite the overwelming concerns of the project. Why is the GSLA still trying to tell the developers of projects in the Prairie District what they can or can not do? The Alderman has a new plan for development review, let him implement it.

It ain't called the city that works for nothing...

Somebody has to take a stand on idiocy.

I still don't understand the "opposition" to this one project, when other projects of nearly similar size were being developed in the immediate area as well. The people who complain seem to always forget that they for the most part live in "new" developments themselves, and there was an impact on the existing infrastructure and environment when their homes were built, but I'm sure that's okay.
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Old July 1st, 2007, 06:43 PM   #665
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Last edited by Loopy; June 18th, 2010 at 05:48 PM.
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Old July 1st, 2007, 06:59 PM   #666
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ErmDiego
Simple examples of details being missed; roll-up garage door entrances on 1600 Prairie Point Tower, or the CMK developments on South Michigan. How does the simple element like garage door entrances on streets like Prairie Avenue or Michigan Avenue not get challenged? That is design review 101. It clearly breaks up the streetscape and look. Put it in the alley.
^ I agree with you 1000% on this one! And that's why I get so frustrated with some of these community groups. Why did nobody say anything when this was happening?

All I seem to hear about from community groups is how they are against so-and-so project because it's too tall or too dense or eliminates their views or their parking, and that's why I never have any sympathy. But if more community groups tacked common sense issues like this (and actually made headlines for this instead of for outright opposing whole projects) then I would feel differently about this whole situation.
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Old July 1st, 2007, 07:20 PM   #667
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Originally Posted by The Urban Politician View Post
if more community groups tacked common sense issues like this (and actually made headlines for this instead of for outright opposing whole projects) then I would feel differently about this whole situation.
In fairness, you're not in the conference room when community groups get into the nitty-gritty of design details with the architect and developer. And neither is the newspaper reporter, whose eyes and ears you rely on.

Reporters for community papers tend to be kids straight out of college, who have a rather un-nuanced view of the world. They're looking for a story with conflict--concerned citizens vs. nasty developer--and once they've framed the story in their mind that way, that's how the story gets written; those are the quotes they seek and include. The serious discussions with developers about laid-up brick vs. panelized brick, about street and alley ROW dedications, about painted window frames vs. cheap aluminum, about what qualifies as street-level retail, about alley parking garage access (illegal in Chicago, by the way), about holding the streetwall on Congress or how the parking garage will look from the sidewalk--those are either outside the reporter's hearing or seem like technical details uninteresting to the reader.

Until recently, the only real tactic a South Loop community group could employ was to convince the alderman that her subjects rabidly opposed a building, so she would sweep through the room and imperiously declare that the developer had to redesign the project. Even a community group that would prefer a more intelligent discussion would be stupid to discard the only tactic that gets them into the conference room.
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Old July 1st, 2007, 07:53 PM   #668
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Thanks for such a astute reading of what actually goes into reviewing these projects.....did the GSLA correct every mistake on every project? of course not - many of the 'mistakes' were often compromises over even more horrible solutions...

do you remeber that GLSA Developer Checklist that so impressed the DOP? what of the items listed was that all new development should eliminate curb cuts and utilize alleys wherever possible....unfortunately, for a variety of resaons, it is not always possible....one problem is that many nimbys think that curb cuts are better so the alley doesn't get too crowded (By the way, the GSLA was able to get XO to eliminate a curb cut entrance just north of 18th on Prairie)

ErmDiego, your naivete on how the city works, and the amount of control civic/community groups actually have is revealing...many projects you must know are built 'as-of-right', and guess what? community groups have absolutely no oversight right other then confirming that the developement follows existing zoning laws....
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Old July 1st, 2007, 08:11 PM   #669
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Last edited by Loopy; June 18th, 2010 at 05:48 PM.
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Old July 1st, 2007, 11:46 PM   #670
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr Downtown View Post
In fairness, you're not in the conference room when community groups get into the nitty-gritty of design details with the architect and developer. And neither is the newspaper reporter, whose eyes and ears you rely on.

Reporters for community papers tend to be kids straight out of college, who have a rather un-nuanced view of the world. They're looking for a story with conflict--concerned citizens vs. nasty developer--and once they've framed the story in their mind that way, that's how the story gets written; those are the quotes they seek and include. The serious discussions with developers about laid-up brick vs. panelized brick, about street and alley ROW dedications, about painted window frames vs. cheap aluminum, about what qualifies as street-level retail, about alley parking garage access (illegal in Chicago, by the way), about holding the streetwall on Congress or how the parking garage will look from the sidewalk--those are either outside the reporter's hearing or seem like technical details uninteresting to the reader.

Until recently, the only real tactic a South Loop community group could employ was to convince the alderman that her subjects rabidly opposed a building, so she would sweep through the room and imperiously declare that the developer had to redesign the project. Even a community group that would prefer a more intelligent discussion would be stupid to discard the only tactic that gets them into the conference room.
In fairness, maybe the community groups need to not only open the conference room to legitimate reporters, but open their minds to change.

When you say alley parking garage access is illegal in Chicago, is that for public parking or private parking. Do there have to be a certain number of units before this is illegal?
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Old July 2nd, 2007, 05:17 AM   #671
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The crane at the Pat's Pizza dorms (about 640 S Clark) has been going up this week.
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Old July 2nd, 2007, 05:35 AM   #672
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The crane at the Pat's Pizza dorms (about 640 S Clark) has been going up this week.
^ Can anybody remind me what this project is?
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Old July 2nd, 2007, 06:34 AM   #673
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Looking out my bedroom window...Vision on State looks like a prison (take a good look at it when you walk by) and I count 7 cranes from the balcony. I also love going to bed at night with the sounds of The Columbian crew cleaning up.

What is the building going up near Target? The rentals?

9th Street continues to be closed between State and Wabash and I wonder if the Astoria Tower will truly keep the resident-only perks it promises.
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Old July 2nd, 2007, 06:46 AM   #674
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^ Can anybody remind me what this project is?
It's 600 South Clark - it's listed under site-prep on the SSP rundown page. The dorms will be built on top of an existing building as well as adjacent to the existing building to create one single, massive building.
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Old July 2nd, 2007, 06:55 AM   #675
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I went for a run in the neighborhood on Saturday and it was good to see that at least half of the South Loop projects were still having work done on them on a Saturday. Lexington Park is continuing to drive piles. I'm not a fan of Vision on State, by any means, but I did notice that they have recently started painting the balconies an olive green color....I personally think that it improves the look a little bit - the added color helps make the building look slightly less prison-ish From my window, it looked like there hadn't been too much going on at 1 East State/Astoria Tower, but up close I could tell that progress is being made and that 1 East State should be popping out of the ground any day now. There was a rig on the 1555 South Wabash site but I don't know if that is for soil testing or for caissons.

Also, does anyone know that the status is of Azure Tower? It definitely did not strike me as an inspiring development when it first came out, and I haven't heard anything about it for months. I'm wondering if their sales are doing poorly. Also, does anyone know how things are going for Glashaus, 1349 South Wabash, and the proposed hotel in Chinatown?
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Old July 2nd, 2007, 07:23 AM   #676
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Smithfield's Dwight Building dorm project abomination should have an address between 620 and 648 South Clark. It can't be 600; that's the parking garage. I have it in my database as 642, but I'm not sure where that came from.
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Old July 2nd, 2007, 09:14 AM   #677
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Andrius Augunas of Rokas Int., the developer, is relatively new to the neighborhood but has already distinguished himself by meeting with civic groups multiple times on his current three projects in the south loop and coming back each time with significant improvements. The architect, Fitzgerald and Associates has committed quite a few unfortunate, but usually well-detailed PoMo projects, but lately appears to be sharpening its skills with a more contemporary vocabulary. Both Rokas and Fitzgerald plan to be operating in the South Loop for years to come which should bode well for hopefully minimizing potential problems with your development and encouraging the developer to resolve them efficiently.

The idea to save the loft building at 2100 was initially suggested by the architect, which, I believe reflects well on Augunas' ability to listen....as does his incorporation of many suggested changes to all three of his projects by both the GSLA, the Department of Planning, and in the case of Motor Row, the Landmarks Division.

If you have been following this thread, then you must also realize that you should expect many of the sites adjacent to and near 2100 will be built with mid-rise and/or high-rise towers in the future...significantly changing your views...

Wow, thank you for the great insight. It is greatly appreciated!

I realized the views would be changing over the next few years so I took a less expensive unit in the loft building that faces the condo tower. Dont want to pay for a great view now and have it blocked 5 years from now.
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Old July 2nd, 2007, 10:10 AM   #678
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Wow... I think you may be the only one in the South Loop who's in any way pragmatic.
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Old July 2nd, 2007, 07:41 PM   #679
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Amli900 this morning. Hoist seemed to be going up over the weekend, and it seems like it's almost time to start the cladding. I sure hope it looks nice, since it will dominate my western view.

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Old July 2nd, 2007, 10:48 PM   #680
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^ Go the NYC way and get some binoculars. The views can be quite...ahem...entertaining, esp at night (unless you see a Raymond Burr lookalike digging around in the flower beds, in which case you should run like hell... )
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