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Old January 22nd, 2009, 09:10 PM   #1841
NearNorthGuy
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I've learned a lot from this discussion. With the current lousy economy, the above information is very important.

So important, I think, that it could have its own thread. Then I would not have to remember where to go to re-read the above posts. The new thread could be something like, "Buying, selling, and avoiding foreclosure in todays "down" real estate market."

The relevant posts above could be moved to the new thread. Moderator, what do you think?
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Old January 24th, 2009, 03:08 AM   #1842
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There was an article in today's Chicago Journal announcing that some more of the Ickes Homes will be closed.

Do any of you South Loopers know if the northernmost Ickes Home (i.e., the one near Cermak) will be demolished?

It would be great to get rid of that building to put a market-rate mixed-use development with ground-floor retail on Cermak. That would help to create a safe, active corridor running from McCormick Place to Chinatown.

Please, DPD, Alderman Dowell, and Alderman Fioretti, do the right thing to make Cermak a healthy gateway!
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Old January 24th, 2009, 05:48 PM   #1843
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Do any of you South Loopers know if the northernmost Ickes Home (i.e., the one near Cermak) will be demolished?
Obviously, things change with a new person in charge but right before Dowell was elected, a representative of Ald Tillman drove me around the 3rd ward to talk about some planned developments. On that drive, it was indicated that the northernmost buildings were slated to be torn down in an effort to make the trip from Chinatown to McCormick Place a nicer experience. I hope that this is still the case.
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Old January 28th, 2009, 07:10 PM   #1844
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It would be great to get rid of that building to put a market-rate mixed-use development with ground-floor retail on Cermak. That would help to create a safe, active corridor running from McCormick Place to Chinatown.
The very middle big building is the only building i still see people around, think all the others are boarded up ready for demo.

Love being able to drive up state and not have to worry about hitting the people standing talking in the street during the middle of the day. Has to be bad for the businesses around there, but their crappy for the most part and i will be glad to see them go.
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Old January 29th, 2009, 08:46 PM   #1845
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Ran across this a few days ago if anyone is interested:

Fascinated by high-rise construction? Tune in to the DIY Channel at 9 p.m. Feb. 4, when the show ''Project Xtreme'' is due to air a program on the topping off of a 15-story condo building at 1555 S. Wabash. The New West Realty building will have 176 units and is due for its first move-ins this March.
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Old January 31st, 2009, 12:12 AM   #1846
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Since there had been no activity at the Church Of Scientology for so long I sort of thought the project was dead, but it is now heating up again, with the current issue revolving around parking:

http://chicagojournal.com/main.asp?S...35&TM=61959.64

Personally, I don't care a rat's ass about whether or not they're down the street from me as long as they don't shine their lights in my window when the spaceship lands, but if they think they're going to find onstreet parking in the South Loop they really are delusional.
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Old January 31st, 2009, 12:53 AM   #1847
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FYI... there is a neighborohood meeting on 1/26 at 6:30 in the cafeteria to discuss the project. I am a little surprised at the lack of interest on this board.
Did anything come out of this meeting? Any complaints about the bait and switch? First they were only going to expand the gym but now that Pacific Gardens is out of sight and out of mind they want to build an entirely new school and sell part of the land for condos.
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Old January 31st, 2009, 01:23 AM   #1848
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The Jones HS meeting had no discussion whatsoever of the new building, which was described as officially "on hold" at CPS. The discussion was very general, about how South Loop residents might like to see an attendance policy formulated that might allow local kids to attend Jones rather than Phillips, the current district school. It was pointed out that in the last six or so years, only one student has gone from South Loop Elementary to Phillips. The "bait-and-switch" cries came from West Loopers who feel blindsided by what CPS has decided to do at Skinner.

A floor-by-floor conceptual diagram/preliminary floorplan was posted on a side wall, and I studied it a bit. It seemingly would occupy the entire currently vacant area from the south wall of the current school all the way to Polk. No real surprises. The basement would be about two-thirds parking, entered from Polk, and a swimming pool at the north end. Perhaps they could put in a window so you could watch the swimmers while waiting at Harrison for the Red Line.

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Old January 31st, 2009, 01:29 AM   #1849
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The Scientology meeting was dominated by Nick Contesi (owner of the car wash next door) and folks who seemed to be friends of his. There was also a fair number of Scientology haters who raised all sorts of curious objections. For instance, one guy was seemingly enraged that, although they were going to do the renovation using all sorts of various "green" criteria and techniques, they weren't planning to pay (the rather large cost) of brand-name LEED certification. Others went on and on about the parking issue, even though the church has a 20-year lease on 100 spaces over on LaSalle Street.

Apparently the problem at the Zoning Board of Appeals was that Contesi, having failed to interest the church in buying his carwash at a hugely inflated price, personally persuaded two ZBA members to vote against the special use permit, which is usually granted quite routinely. When the chairman had to recuse himself, the permit vote failed 2-2. Since they couldn't get a reconsideration for a year, they decided to go for a rezoning from DX-12 to DR-10. Religious assembly in DR-10 is allowed as-of-right.
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Old February 2nd, 2009, 06:58 PM   #1850
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Since they couldn't get a reconsideration for a year, they decided to go for a rezoning from DX-12 to DR-10. Religious assembly in DR-10 is allowed as-of-right.
I feel similarly to milepig about the Scientologists themselves, but still wonder how this outcome would affect possible land uses in the vicinity. I would assume that the licenses currently known as Blackies and Villains would be grandfathered in, but could there ever be another liquor license nearby or would the presence of a "church" prohibit that?

Also, re: the 100 spaces on La Salle, do you know if they're talking about leasing the mid-block surface lot north of the power station, or is this someplace else? (Next to Metra on the west side?) There certainly aren't 100 metered spots on La Salle, and all of those that are there are zoned at least part of the time.

The account of the meeting I saw suggested that Fioretti is eager to get this through and off his plate, but I'm not too sure about the reliability of the source.
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Old February 2nd, 2009, 07:26 PM   #1851
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The liquor license question was left very muddled at the meeting itself. Last year, I had talked to some of the Scientology leaders who said they were willing to sign a waiver or whatever was necessary. However, one of the attorneys at the meeting said it was a state law, not a city ordinance, that forbids "taverns" (no food service) within 100 feet of a church. Clark Street is an 80-foot right-of-way. Blackie's is probably fine, but Villains is a question. I haven't yet researched the law myself to see exactly what it says.

As for parking, the 20-year lease (with Hunter Parking/Cacciatore) is for the spots along the west side of LaSalle and underneath LaSalle Street Station.
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Old February 3rd, 2009, 12:01 AM   #1852
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As for parking, the 20-year lease (with Hunter Parking/Cacciatore) is for the spots along the west side of LaSalle and underneath LaSalle Street Station.
This is likely to cause some disruption for residents. Hunter currently rents out evening/weekend spots at very attractive rates, and I would think they would need to scale that back if they're promising the same spots to the Scientologiests.

In terms of Liquor, I think the Villains is fine, since I'm pretty sure that existing places are grandfathered, but I'm wondering about all those empty storefronts along the West side of Clark, many of which are within 100 Feet. This would be limiting for potential businesses.
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Old February 3rd, 2009, 12:49 AM   #1853
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Did anything come out of this meeting? Any complaints about the bait and switch? First they were only going to expand the gym but now that Pacific Gardens is out of sight and out of mind they want to build an entirely new school and sell part of the land for condos.
That plan serves several ends. First, they don't have to relocate Jones High School during construction as previously planned. Second, it provides them room for expansion from 800 to room for 1200 students, capacity that will be filled immediately upon opening whether to neighborhood or selective students. Finally, it allows for sale of the current school parcel for something else.

Not sure how that equals a bait and switch. Was something else promised for the Missions land?
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Old February 3rd, 2009, 02:48 AM   #1854
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Not sure how that equals a bait and switch. Was something else promised for the Missions land?
Not sure if there were promises, but the whole deal was shady. Daley dug deep in his pockets to buy the land from PGM (way more than appraised value) and ran them off "to expand the school." By starting anew... they could have built the school on a different parcel (The parcel on Dearborn and Harrison or the "old" YMCA parcel).

Sounds like the City just wanted to move the PGM away from the school and high traffic area and stash them behind the Dominicks on Roosevelt.

Plus the neighborhood is now concerned about a mega development for the rather large parcel of the existing school and the adjacent parking lot on Plymouth. Hopefully Fioretti will work with the developer to ensure a building is proposed appropriate with the landmark district.
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Old February 3rd, 2009, 02:49 AM   #1855
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This is likely to cause some disruption for residents. Hunter currently rents out evening/weekend spots at very attractive rates, and I would think they would need to scale that back if they're promising the same spots to the Scientologiests.
Didn't they recently jack up their rates (nearly double) for night/weekend pass?
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Old February 3rd, 2009, 04:20 AM   #1856
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Sounds like the City just wanted to move the PGM
Was there ever any question about the city's real motive? It's part of his build public buildings to get rid of things I don't like program. See also Lincoln Avenue Police Station, Pritzker Park, etc.
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Old February 3rd, 2009, 05:31 PM   #1857
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Not sure if there were promises, but the whole deal was shady.

Sounds like the City just wanted to move the PGM away from the school and high traffic area and stash them behind the Dominicks on Roosevelt.

Plus the neighborhood is now concerned about a mega development for the rather large parcel of the existing school and the adjacent parking lot on Plymouth. Hopefully Fioretti will work with the developer to ensure a building is proposed appropriate with the landmark district.
So no bait and switch.

Do you pine for the glow of the Mission's cross a la Bonnie McGrath? Or perhaps . . .

Can't imagine that the neighborhood isn't improved by a new school that will likely have a neighborhood component only because of the expansion over the former Mission. That in combination with S. Loop School means the area will be the most attractive in the city for families with school age children.

As to a "mega development" that fear sounds awful NIMBY like. Maybe an XO tower would fit over there.
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Old February 3rd, 2009, 06:34 PM   #1858
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Didn't they recently jack up their rates (nearly double) for night/weekend pass?
They came back down. Last spring they more than doubled the rates, but when we crawled back in following the great snow dump of December it was something like $45/month - pretty much the old rates. Apparently all their evening/weeking renters decamped after the enormous price hike.
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Old February 3rd, 2009, 10:37 PM   #1859
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Planned addition to 1212 South Michigan, designed by Gensler. Reconfiguring workout room and racquetball court space next to the alley and taking in a small unused lawn area on the corner of Roosevelt/Michigan for a two-story plus roof deck restaurant and sports-themed bar:

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Old February 4th, 2009, 05:13 AM   #1860
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So no bait and switch.

Do you pine for the glow of the Mission's cross a la Bonnie McGrath? Or perhaps . . .

Can't imagine that the neighborhood isn't improved by a new school that will likely have a neighborhood component only because of the expansion over the former Mission. That in combination with S. Loop School means the area will be the most attractive in the city for families with school age children.

As to a "mega development" that fear sounds awful NIMBY like. Maybe an XO tower would fit over there.
How is that not a bait and switch? There is no doubt the neighborhood would benefit from the Jones expansion. I am very excited about it. All I said was the whole situation was shady, and as Mr. Downtown noted, none of us including myself should be surprised by this.

I dont mind big development and welcomed Burnham Pointe and Library Tower (although not everyone did in my neighborhood). I would not mind a big project on State, but would mind it on Plymouth since it is part of the Landmark District... I would hope it is consistent with the district.
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