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Old July 10th, 2007, 11:23 PM   #721
Belacqua
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I noticed today another in a long line of signs promising completion of this group of townhouses, at 14th Place and Wabash
What's the story behind those? I've heard something about a flaky developer but not much more than that.
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Old July 10th, 2007, 11:36 PM   #722
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As best I remember: small-time developer (Sims Properties?) built the first half of the complex around 1997 but went bankrupt before certificates of occupancy were issued, leaving owners who had closed on the units in a bad situation.

Since then, several developers have announced plans to complete the complex, without apparent result.
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Old July 11th, 2007, 02:56 AM   #723
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Right that actually been up for a while. A couple months, at one point I saw a back how moving dirt but then nothing.
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Old July 11th, 2007, 06:06 AM   #724
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I walked past Printers Corner (NE Polk/Wells) the other day and was pleasantly surprised to see that, at least on the lower floors, they are facing the concrete with actual laid brick. All things considered, it looks a lot better than what I had been expecting (something pre-mixed and sprayed on). In a perfect world there would be no fake historicism, but at least they're using decent materials while they're doing it.

Burnham Pointe is coming up quickly, about a floor a week now (and its 8th floor is just short of Folio Square's 7th, which translates into about a foot less height per floor). Not a drop of nostalgia anywhere in that design; I hope they leave it raw uncolored concrete but I'm not sure of the plans. Contrary to popular fears, it seems like it will address Polk St. pretty nicely, actually widening the sidewalk considerably compared to the cyclone-fenced lot it replaces. So far they've only been working on the residential tower--the ~7-story parking podium (lined w/ retail along Clark) is only foundation so far.


Fake historicism is the name of the game for many South Loop NIMBYs. Every example of a new tower that doesn't resort to silly nostalgic touches is a at least in one regard a huge win for decent design in the neighborhood. I'm very curious to find out what everyone thinks (South Loop NIMBYs included) about the design for the new 37-story Rokas Tower on 21st. Here's my take - first off, great height for the area - gives a little 'pop' to the skyline in the far South Loop. Second - the tower design itself is quite nice - mixes a loft building feel in the midrise levels with very glassy higher levels, also the massing and metal frame extension above the tower and around the mechanical penthouse I believe are very nice touches. Last point - those ridiculous-looking tacked-on "historically sensitive" townhomes at the base are truly awful. It makes the building look absolutely preposterous as it reaches the ground. I'm assuming this is some sort of compromise between the NIMBY group PDNA and the developer - an exchange of height for some horrid retro touches that supposedly complement "historic" Prairie Ave. at street-level. What a joke! If anything, these ugly townhomes serve to further denigrate the neighborhood (just as the retro-trash townhomes in which half the PDNA NIMBYs live did). What do other people (even including NIMBYs) think?
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Old July 11th, 2007, 06:26 AM   #725
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You know, not everything is an epic struggle between NIMBYs and the Justice League of America. Printers Corner went to Plan Commission (I was there that day) exactly as the developer proposed. No neighborhood residents were ever shown the project.

I believe the same thing is true for the Rokas project; it's exactly as the developer and architect envisioned it. Why would they put townhouses at all? To cover up the ugly parking garage. Why make them appear to be "historic?" Because that's what sells. Developers studying the sales records of Phil Kupritz's Millennium Townhomes vs. the Mansions of Prairie Avenue are likely to suggest their architects read Old House Journal instead of Metropolis. In essence, Rokas gets to sell to three different segments of the residential market: young people interested in "lofts," empty-nesters who want penthouse views and elegance, and tradition-minded townhouse buyers.
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Old July 11th, 2007, 06:42 AM   #726
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Mr Downtown (or anyone else that may know).

Are you familiar with the Harris Bank project (or is it 5th-3rd) at the SE corner of Harrison and Clark? With a deep foundation installed, is there a reason only a 1 story-bank will be constructed here? Could the land leased with the owner figurin he will make more money leasing to the bank then for parking? Why would any alderman want a bank at the corner (no sales taxes). Could they possibly build in the foundation to expand on the building later? Or maybe there are issues with utilities/tunnels? I am just confused on how this came to be... and also how the east side of Clark between Polk and Harrison has no building taller than 4-5 stories.
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Old July 11th, 2007, 06:57 AM   #727
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It's Fifth Third, and I think it's two-story. All I know is what I've learnt here on SSC. What do you mean by "a deep foundation?"

But I don't think there's any great mystery: until very recently Clark wasn't thought of as a residential street ripe for development. Banks know that people like to stop and cash their checks on their way home, and there's a lot of South Siders who exit via Clark every afternoon. Undoubtedly that's why National City went in at 18th/Clark. It wasn't so long ago that Northern had a drive-thru right on Wells in the Loop, Continental had one at Clark/Jackson, and Amalgamated had one at Dearborn/Van Buren.

As for the alderman, I don't think her approval would have been required, or that she'd have given it a second thought if she had been asked to sign off on it. The bank wants to build there, therefore she's bringing development to the Second Ward!
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Old July 11th, 2007, 08:06 AM   #728
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr Downtown View Post
In essence, Rokas gets to sell to three different segments of the residential market: young people interested in "lofts," empty-nesters who want penthouse views and elegance, and tradition-minded townhouse buyers.
The architect is also synthesizing the last 15 years of South Loop development into one building... tall glassy skyscrapers, loft renovations, and townhomes. Reminds me of Pelli's approach at the World Financial Center, where buildings have brick until 20-30 stories, then glass above.
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Old July 12th, 2007, 11:18 PM   #729
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Last point - those ridiculous-looking tacked-on "historically sensitive" townhomes at the base are truly awful. It makes the building look absolutely preposterous as it reaches the ground. I'm assuming this is some sort of compromise between the NIMBY group PDNA and the developer - an exchange of height for some horrid retro touches that supposedly complement "historic" Prairie Ave. at street-level. What a joke! If anything, these ugly townhomes serve to further denigrate the neighborhood (just as the retro-trash townhomes in which half the PDNA NIMBYs live did). What do other people (even including NIMBYs) think?

Shocked you would care what someone who lives in a retro trash townhome and is thus a NIMBY would think but here goes. First, why would assume the townhome design is a feature promoted by South Loop Nimby's? At X/O the institutional and out of place looking townhomes were LaGrange's idea and opposed by some retro trash dwellers, moreso than his dancing towers because they were out of place in the surrounding streetscape. Ask him and Giles why ten truly ugly townhomes were made part of the that project when they clash with their supposed avante gard and exciting new landmark towers. The answer you may not get is the same proposed on the thread, get your development to squeeze out every dollar and to appeal to different market segments. It seems your formula is pretty simple, anything you can denigrate in connection with a project MUST BE the result of PDNA Nimby's interference because no developer has ever built anything that wasn't interfered with that contained bad elements. Here's a question for you -- who came up with the design of the retro trash townhomes you despise so much? PDNA NIMBY's?
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Old July 12th, 2007, 11:21 PM   #730
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What's the story behind those? I've heard something about a flaky developer but not much more than that.
A long twisted and complicated in and of bankruptcy, many promised new beginnings, but really of late only a change from a gravel lot to one with some grass and landscaping. A south loop disaster which fortunately has been an exception.
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Old July 13th, 2007, 06:20 PM   #731
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Here's a question for you -- who came up with the design of the retro trash townhomes you despise so much? PDNA NIMBY's?

According to the architect, that would be a yes. He would have preferred to design contemporary townhomes consistent with the rest of the project.

Last edited by slooparch; July 13th, 2007 at 06:35 PM. Reason: clarity
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Old July 13th, 2007, 09:07 PM   #732
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contemporary townhomes

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According to the architect, that would be a yes. He would have preferred to design contemporary townhomes consistent with the rest of the project.
What? Lagrange has designed these as contemporary townhomes. The Townhomes as currently designed (contemporary) and shown in renderings were proposed by the Developer & Architect, and supported by the GSLA. Nothing on the Townhomes has been changed, yet. So I am not sure why you are trying to blame the PDNA for the GSLA's development review process, when it was the GSLA that helped the developer take this project to DPD as is.

It is funny to here you lecture the masses on how new architecture can mesh with the old, yet suddenly historic townhomes at a base can not mesh with a glass tower design. What is the flavor of this week.
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Old July 13th, 2007, 10:49 PM   #733
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What? Lagrange has designed these as contemporary townhomes. The Townhomes as currently designed (contemporary) and shown in renderings were proposed by the Developer & Architect, and supported by the GSLA. Nothing on the Townhomes has been changed, yet. So I am not sure why you are trying to blame the PDNA for the GSLA's development review process, when it was the GSLA that helped the developer take this project to DPD as is.

It is funny to here you lecture the masses on how new architecture can mesh with the old, yet suddenly historic townhomes at a base can not mesh with a glass tower design. What is the flavor of this week.
I don't want to put words in his mouth, but my guess is that he will say that this is just a tad different....I don't think you can consider the townhomes being built at the base of X/O to be "historic" when they haven't even been built yet! Please explain to us how these proposed townhomes are "historic"....
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Old July 14th, 2007, 01:02 AM   #734
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Missing the point

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According to the architect, that would be a yes. He would have preferred to design contemporary townhomes consistent with the rest of the project.
Sloop,
You jumped a generation -- my question went not to townhomes at X/O's base or the 21st street project, but to the retro trash townhomes as they are referred to here that were the original building blocks of the area along with loft conversions. Clearly the ones designed and built between 1999 and 2003 were not done because PDNA NiMBY's caused it to be so.
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Old July 14th, 2007, 02:02 AM   #735
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Sir Isaac Newton

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I don't want to put words in his mouth, but my guess is that he will say that this is just a tad different....I don't think you can consider the townhomes being built at the base of X/O to be "historic" when they haven't even been built yet! Please explain to us how these proposed townhomes are "historic"....
Exactly they are not, that is my point. Slooparch seemed to be incinuating that the Townhomes propsoed for the base were 'retro', and that the architect was convinced to design a retro townhome by NIMBY pressure, when what has been proposed is modern townhomes. These most defintely will not be "historic" - would not be surprised if they were designed as pre-cast floors and walls. The designs have not changed except for elimination.
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Old July 14th, 2007, 07:17 PM   #736
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wow, what hubbub.....I was only referring to the Rokas Tower townhomes and Fitzgerald Architects...
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Old July 15th, 2007, 05:41 AM   #737
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With a deep foundation installed, is there a reason only a 1 story [Fifth Third Bank] will be constructed here?
What makes you think there will be a "deep foundation?" There's no equipment on site, and no work as of yet.
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Old July 15th, 2007, 08:05 AM   #738
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..

Last edited by Loopy; June 18th, 2010 at 12:13 AM.
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Old July 15th, 2007, 04:39 PM   #739
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Rokas Tower

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wow, what hubbub.....I was only referring to the Rokas Tower townhomes and Fitzgerald Architects...
Again, the Architect included the Townhomes in his original design, which is the correct thing for the streetscape. This was not NIMBY Pressure as you falsely state. Interesting that the GSLA can write a letter of support for a project in an area they are not the resident representation group, but than keep said letter confidential from the residents actually impacted. Hmmm....
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Old July 15th, 2007, 08:57 PM   #740
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Again, the Architect included the Townhomes in his original design, which is the correct thing for the streetscape. This was not NIMBY Pressure as you falsely state. Interesting that the GSLA can write a letter of support for a project in an area they are not the resident representation group, but than keep said letter confidential from the residents actually impacted. Hmmm....
again, what are you arguing about? according to the architect, (the guy who designed the project) Fitzgerald...they thought it would be much more appropriate to design the townhomes consistent with the vocabulary of the tower...period. They did not due to the fact that if they designed them in so-called 'traditional' fashion, it would be easier to 'sell' it to the NIMBYS.

Nothing to argue about I'm afraid, ErmDiego.
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