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Old May 29th, 2008, 06:17 AM   #1581
spyguy
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http://www.chicagojournal.com/main.a...95&TM=83233.18

Old St. Mary's planning to expand
Growing school would add 40,000 square feet

By MICAH MAIDENBERG


Old St. Mary's School, the elementary school connected to the South Loop Catholic parish with the same name, wants to build a new building to accommodate a full-service, pre-kindergarten through 8th grade school.

The new building would be built over two parking lots-one owned by the parish, the other the parish is acquiring-to the immediate north of the church at 1500 S. Michigan.
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Old May 29th, 2008, 04:40 PM   #1582
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^ Ugh, so space-intensive.

I'd rather see highrises with retail on South Michigan than this anti-pedestrian piece of shit.
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Old May 29th, 2008, 06:30 PM   #1583
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Originally Posted by The Urban Politician View Post
^ Ugh, so space-intensive.

I'd rather see highrises with retail on South Michigan than this anti-pedestrian piece of shit.
TUP - I usually tend to agree with most of the things you say on these message boards, but not on this matter.

In theory, a high-rise with retail at this location would be nice, but in practice, I don't think it works out at all. Real estate sales have greatly slowed down, and the South Loop already has a little bit of an excess supply of condos....once OMP1, Marquee Michigan, 1400 Museum Park, Library Tower, 1 East 8th, Michigan Avenue Tower II, Roosevelt Collection, OMPW, Astoria Tower, Lexington Park, 1600 Museum Park, Museum Park Place II, Glashaus, 155 South Wabash, and 1349 South Wabash are all completed and their unsold units hit the market (anytime from about right now to a year or two from now) - the inventory of unsold condos in the South Loop is going to be HUGE.

Until that inventory decreases quite a bit, the South Loop develops even more, and the market as a whole has fully recovered, will we see condo high-rises go up in the South Loop more than sporadically....which may not be until perhaps the next boom. I say sporadically, because I think that places with great locations (ie - Grant Park III & IV) or places like X/O and Park 1000, that managed to get a lot of contracts before the market turned south, could very well still start construction in the next few years. I'd rather get rid of a surface parking lot and replace it with a low-rise school, right away, rather than wait at least 10 years for a high-rise instead, and be stuck with the surface lot the entire time.

I've gone by that surface parking lot quite a bit - and given its size and location - it is a parking lot that I was definitely hoping would bite the dust in the near future (and now it looks like it will). While a large K-8 school won't help much with the street life/vibrancy of the neighborhood at night, it will actually generate more activity outside on Michigan Avenue during the day, than a condo high rise would. I definitely wouldn't call it anti-pedistrian - especially since it will be replacing a surface parking lot.

But perhaps most importantly - the South Loop is going to have a huge glut in residences - even though it has been able to attract a decent amount of families. By not improving and expanding schools in the area, current young families/young couples are going to end up moving out of the South Loop, and the South Loop won't be able to attract many new young families. And the fact of the matter is, a big factor in the downtown condo boom is that the city has done a good job at making downtown viable enough of a place for families to live in....Chicago doesn't have nearly as many people as New York, and doesn't have enough yuppies to fill up all the high rises downtown, let alone new ones.

So more or less, better schools with increased capacity will increase the demand to live in the South Loop - which will help the South Loop's large inventory of condos to be absorbed more quickly. That seems like a much better strategy than to continue to build high-rises, which at this point, won't come close to being filled, and doing nothing to improve the viability of the neighborhood in terms of services.

Last edited by Sir Isaac Newton; May 30th, 2008 at 12:56 AM.
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Old May 29th, 2008, 09:03 PM   #1584
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Work begins on Clark/Harrison bank building

The foundations for the bank building at Clark/Harrison have been poured and it is now clear that the building itself will be adjacent to the corner with the drive-thru lanes on the East side along with much remaining open space to the south for what I assume will be parking. From this layout, I assume the main entry for cars will be off Clark with the exit from the drive-thru onto Harrison.

Last edited by milepig; May 30th, 2008 at 12:31 AM.
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Old May 29th, 2008, 11:50 PM   #1585
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I would like to add to a point raised by Sir Isaac Newton. And tie it to a phrase that TUP formerly had on his posts, the one that goes something like "Parking podiums aren't a necessary evil. They're just evil."

That saying had me thinking about the planned Old St. Mary's School and how it might attract and/or keep families in the area. Could it be that private grade schools in high rise areas are "...a necessary evil" and therefore reasonable?

Or should these schools be placed at the base of residential towers (as has been rumored as one option for Ogden School)?
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Old May 30th, 2008, 01:09 AM   #1586
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I agree with Sir Isaac. This is a bout as good as can be hoped for with this lot for the foreseeable future. Also, as more of a residential neighborhood, the school is definitely welcome. Does anyone else notice how many daycares and stuff are in the area already? Families are definitely all over the south loop, and more school options cant hurt.
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Old May 30th, 2008, 01:14 AM   #1587
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Why are low-rise schools even evil at all? I was thinking about the recent highrise vs. lowrise discussions we've had - all the neighborhoods that are most popular and most beloved contain a good mix of the two. It's really unrealistic to expect a high-rise school. The tallest school I've ever seen is 10 stories (Stuyvesant in NYC), and it must deal with a tremendous number of students compared to the ones here in Chicago.

Also - WTF is "anti-pedestrian" coming from? It replaces a parking lot and provides a nice little plaza to concentrate the school's pedestrian activity. It also looks like several entrances will be provided, allowing for pedestrian traffic to be generated at several points, like a condo tower with several retail shops and a lobby.
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Old May 30th, 2008, 03:46 AM   #1588
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I agree that schools are needed, and I applaud this development except for the simple fact that I don't like the location.

Regardless of the glut of condos, I think it would have been better to keep such a prime site as this vacant until the next real estate boom, when another more appropriate structure could have filled it. The school should be built elsewhere.

God knows we have enough NIMBYism in the south loop as it is! The one corridor that NIMBY's are likely to leave alone is South Michigan Avenue, and I firmly believe that HIGHRISES belong on this corridor and little else. Damn what a loss!
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Old May 30th, 2008, 07:35 AM   #1589
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Huh? In what universe is that going to happen? South Michigan in this area is lined with two- and three-story townhouse developments and small loft conversions.
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Old May 30th, 2008, 11:22 AM   #1590
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Huh? In what universe is that going to happen? South Michigan in this area is lined with two- and three-story townhouse developments and small loft conversions.
Exactly. Given that this is at 1500 South, if you were to take the northern equivalent of this location, Michigan avenue doesn't even exist. Not to mention, north Michigan Avenue, with all it's high-rises, has some low-rise stuff mixed in as well. And that's exactly what South Michigan Avenue is shaping up to be.
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Old May 30th, 2008, 07:49 PM   #1591
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TUP,
Where in the SLoop would you prefer this private K-8 school be located?
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Old May 31st, 2008, 04:29 AM   #1592
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^ How about along an east-west running street, or one of the more residential streets (Indiana, etc).

My point is, the South Loop Plan calls for a major highrise/midrise corridor with retail to develop along Michigan Avenue. I realize that it may not seem so now, but 10-20 years from now, this corridor may eventually be very vibrant and loaded with traffic. Is it really the best place to have children crossing the street, etc?
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Old May 31st, 2008, 05:32 AM   #1593
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Urban Politician View Post
^

My point is, the South Loop Plan calls for a major highrise/midrise corridor with retail to develop along Michigan Avenue. I realize that it may not seem so now, but 10-20 years from now, this corridor may eventually be very vibrant and loaded with traffic. Is it really the best place to have children crossing the street, etc?
Isn't it ironic that TUP is referencing to a plan that was allegedly written by NIMBY's and which the anti-NIMBY pro-development posters on this board have had complete disregard of?

I think it is also funny that he is all of the sudden concerned about children crossing the street, projecting Michigan as loaded with traffic, where typically he is pushing his campaign for less cars, and more public transit.

Grasping for straws? This isn't N. Michigan Avenue. I think this project is great. One of the biggest downside to the S. Loop is young couples moving away to better schools when they want to start a family. Old St. Mary's is giving hundreds of families a reason to stick around.

If you want to complain about a school ruining a major throughfare, lets talk about Jones College Prep on State Street! It brings the line of ground floor retail stretching South (even the dorm has ground floor retail) to a screeching halt. Have you seen the renderings!? And they are fighting for more parking so that parents can drive down to see their kids music recitals when the red line stops literaly in front of the school and the blue, orange, brown, and pink line stop 2-3 blocks away. Hopefully the YMCA building will shortly go up across the street to counter this project.
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Old May 31st, 2008, 06:01 AM   #1594
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Hopefully the YMCA building will shortly go up across the street to counter this project.
Is that what's planned for the parking lot across State? That sounds like a good use considering the limitations presented by the el tracks.
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Old May 31st, 2008, 07:10 AM   #1595
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Isn't it ironic that TUP is referencing to a plan that was allegedly written by NIMBY's and which the anti-NIMBY pro-development posters on this board have had complete disregard of?
^ I largely don't think the plan is bad. The basic priciples put in place by the plan make plenty of sense. I just think that the warped interpretation of the plan by small neighborhood groups for their sole benefit (ie cul-de-sacs) makes me sick to the stomach.

Quote:
I think it is also funny that he is all of the sudden concerned about children crossing the street, projecting Michigan as loaded with traffic, where typically he is pushing his campaign for less cars, and more public transit.
^ Actually, it's not that I personally "care" about the children or that I'm using some sappy "it's all about the kids!" argument to make my point, if that's what you're implying. It just seems to make sense for parents & a community to try to keep young children away from very wide, high traffic-generating roads. That and the fact that, if history teaches us anything, any time a developer now plans to build a highrise nearby parents will be out on the streets screaming "not near my kid's school!!" turning this into a potential NIMBY nightmare of catastrophic proportions.

Quote:
Grasping for straws? This isn't N. Michigan Avenue.
So I guess the term "future" doesn't exist in your vocabulary

Quote:
I think this project is great. One of the biggest downside to the S. Loop is young couples moving away to better schools when they want to start a family. Old St. Mary's is giving hundreds of families a reason to stick around.
^ I guess I missed the part where I said the south loop shouldn't build a school

Quote:
If you want to complain about a school ruining a major throughfare, lets talk about Jones College Prep on State Street! It brings the line of ground floor retail stretching South (even the dorm has ground floor retail) to a screeching halt. Have you seen the renderings!? And they are fighting for more parking so that parents can drive down to see their kids music recitals when the red line stops literaly in front of the school and the blue, orange, brown, and pink line stop 2-3 blocks away. Hopefully the YMCA building will shortly go up across the street to counter this project.
^ Are you not noticing the exact parallels between this and the planned school on S. Michigan we have been talking about?

Besides, I think the Dearborn Park massacre already did a splendid job of ******* up any chance of there being a walkable retail strip on the west side of State St. And speaking of adding more parking everywhere, aren't you generally a member of that irrationally loud and obnoxious chorus, or have you finally had a revelation?
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Old May 31st, 2008, 07:24 AM   #1596
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..

Last edited by The Urban Politician; May 31st, 2008 at 04:39 PM.
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Old May 31st, 2008, 05:18 PM   #1597
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I think TUP has got a good point....at the very least, the Church officials should have been in discussions with the residential developer to combine both projects on the site....interestingly, the construction site in NY where the crane recently fell includes a middle school within the luxury high-rise...
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Old May 31st, 2008, 05:28 PM   #1598
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This reminds me of Liz Hollander's observation that Fourth Pres was "out of place" on North Michigan. There's something a little bizarre about the idea that a new neighborhood can't include churches or schools because--two generations from now--all the other potential building sites might be occupied.

As for the YMCA on State Street, I think that's pretty much dead.
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Old May 31st, 2008, 05:32 PM   #1599
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Quote:
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There's something a little bizarre about the idea that a new neighborhood can't include churches or schools because--two generations from now--all the other potential building sites might be occupied.
^ So there's something bizarre about suggesting that a low density use such as a school should occupy something other than some of the most prime future real estate in a neighborhood?

There are still hordes of vacant lots along Indiana, Prairie, etc, and little chance of anything tall being built. Sounds like a perfect place for a school, if you ask me. Sorry if that sounds 'bizarre' to you
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Old June 1st, 2008, 11:10 AM   #1600
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Urban Politician View Post
^ I largely don't think the plan is bad. The basic priciples put in place by the plan make plenty of sense. I just think that the warped interpretation of the plan by small neighborhood groups for their sole benefit (ie cul-de-sacs) makes me sick to the stomach.



^ Actually, it's not that I personally "care" about the children or that I'm using some sappy "it's all about the kids!" argument to make my point, if that's what you're implying. It just seems to make sense for parents & a community to try to keep young children away from very wide, high traffic-generating roads. That and the fact that, if history teaches us anything, any time a developer now plans to build a highrise nearby parents will be out on the streets screaming "not near my kid's school!!" turning this into a potential NIMBY nightmare of catastrophic proportions.



So I guess the term "future" doesn't exist in your vocabulary



^ I guess I missed the part where I said the south loop shouldn't build a school



^ Are you not noticing the exact parallels between this and the planned school on S. Michigan we have been talking about?

Besides, I think the Dearborn Park massacre already did a splendid job of ******* up any chance of there being a walkable retail strip on the west side of State St. And speaking of adding more parking everywhere, aren't you generally a member of that irrationally loud and obnoxious chorus, or have you finally had a revelation?
Tup, I wasn't trying to take shots at you my entire post,l just my first coupla statements. I wish that they could do all this off of Mich. ave., but for wahtever reason, they want this here (next to their church). i guess I just see the silver lining (can't deny that the market is restricting any development for the next hanfdul of year). The West side of State St. is already f'ed up South of Library Tower (for whatever that is worth).

And for the record, I have always been a big fan of public transit (i take it to work daily). Before anyone can bitch about the lack of inteerst in getting us home, they need to commit to the broken system. IF you read my post, i was a bit hard on parents of students who wanted more parking for their parents who wanted to see their kids in their musical recitals. However, I have been a proponent of maintaining the Status Quo of the number of public parking in th South Loop. I will continue to feel that Fiortetti should figure out a way to offer residents a place to park or their guests to park after their public parking is swept out from uder their feet as the new developments move forward.
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