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Old August 10th, 2007, 01:24 AM   #301
Loopy
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Old August 10th, 2007, 06:20 AM   #302
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Rascacielos


I agree a show of hands isn't scientific. Especially when meetings are held by groups that take donations and/or have within their board of directors developers associated with the project at issue. Certainly I am aware that developers often pack (invite) friendly voices to these meetings attending under the guise of being part of the community. But because of those things I don't find persuasive that those against are always louder at these meetings than those in favor.

The Chicago political system favors volunteer, area based advisory councils who will be exposed to plans directly effecting them and obtaining their input. One of the battlegrounds between PDNA and GSLA is that GSLA wasn't representative of Prairie District residents and while they were fine being the voice for Printer's Row or developments on Clark they had no business blessing a building here. GSLA would correctly point out that the project came to them, there was no advisory council specifically for the prairie area and they did in fact hold a forum a block away from where XO was to be built. So they both have positions of merit. At this point I think PDNA is more representative of the Prairie area than GSLA, and it is now recognized by the city as a group to be brought into the process.

There will not be voting or scientific polls on this stuff. There will be awareness and campaigns by those who are active in the area, and those with financial interests in projects. And there will be judgments by politicians as to where the community stands. Yes, the loudest will typically be served. Whether they are the true majority or not.

As to Fioretti, did you vote for him? He campaigned on more community input into proposed developments and he is fulfilling that promise. As to tax dollars, where is the lawsuit? Let's first see what happens here before you invoke that argument.
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Old August 10th, 2007, 07:40 AM   #303
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I can gurauntee you that the GSLA has put a lot more effort over the last 9 years in assuring that the Prairie District maintains what ever historical qualities and human scale then you or the PDNA can ever dream of.

Read my previous posts to understand the extent of the efforts the GSLA has made in 'your' neighborhood.
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Old August 10th, 2007, 04:53 PM   #304
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I can gurauntee you that the GSLA has put a lot more effort over the last 9 years in assuring that the Prairie District maintains what ever historical qualities and human scale then you or the PDNA can ever dream of.

Read my previous posts to understand the extent of the efforts the GSLA has made in 'your' neighborhood.


I have read your prior posts and there can be no argument that GSLA has done much more over the years than people who hadn't moved to the area yet or organizations that hadn't come into existence. I can't imagine you believe people are taking issue with that.

But you have to make terms with the fact that residents are now here, many of them politically active, and they have formed their own organizations to provide for their input and voice in what goes on in their backyard. GSLA should welcome the help instead of the personal attacks and vitriol, just as PDNA and the residents should recognize the prior efforts of GSLA. It boggles my mind that different groups made up mainly of people volunteering their time want to waste that time throwing bricks at each other. Figure out a way to help each other and move on. Just because you did more in the past doesn't mean you have some sort of vested right to speak on behalf of the community now.
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Old August 10th, 2007, 06:23 PM   #305
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First off, the only name calling I’ve heard lately is coming from PDNA . NIMBY is an acronym which I believe aptly describes a community group that has opposed every development proposal in their neighborhood.

The GSLA appears to represent a very large, if not majority opinion, of the residents within the Prairie Avenue District. As witnessed just by the members of this forum, and by letters to the editor to the local papers, there is no reason to assume that the PDNA is truly representative of the district.

Does this mean that they shouldn’t exist and the GSLA shouldn’t support their existence? Of course not. I believe the GSLA has collaborated with and supported other community group endeavors (such as the South Loop Neighbors).

Most importantly, just because the GSLA covers a larger geographical area does not invalidate it from representing its members, or its agenda, within the smaller neighborhood. Yes, both community groups can and should represent its member’s opinions. I would think that any objective observer would have to agree that what happens in one part of the south loop can have significant affects on the quality of life throughout the larger community. That is precisely the global perspective that I understand gave start to that community group to begin with.

Do you really believe that the PDNA alone has sole right to dictate community opinion on the fate of the Prairie Ave District? Do you not acknowledge that the residents of the blocks and neighborhoods surrounding the two block historic district, the professionals within the DOP, the urban planners and consultants hired by the city with our tax dollars do not also have a legitimate voice?

Last edited by slooparch; August 10th, 2007 at 06:26 PM. Reason: clarification
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Old August 10th, 2007, 07:03 PM   #306
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gsla/pdna


You tend to speak around the arguments and not to them. But I will try a last time.

GSLA does not speak for the majority of Prairie Avenue residents. The fact that you (GSLA board or member) and some other anonymous person also connected to GSLA were either interviewed or got a letter to the editor of the Journal printed doesn't prove majority support, just as Kieras' letter is not definitive that opponents have majority support.

As to sentiment on this forum, come on this is a forum for skyscraper lovers, opposing voices here to XO have been banned. Hardly a place to look for a representative sampling.

My position which you ignore is that the sentiment of the residents is against XO is evidenced not only by the most recent community meeting, but also by the fact that the last two elected 2nd ward alderman -- Haithcock and Fioretti have looked to denial of permits to forestall the development based on their evaluation of community sentiment. No one here has ever addressed in all of their Fioretti bashing that Haithcock was the first 2nd ward alderman to promise the community she would stop XO as presently configured in response to community desires.

As to GSLA's support of other community organizations, South Loop Neighbors and GSLA share or at least have shared board members so that is not surprising. What is surprising is the level of conflict between GSLA and PDNA, surely you aren't saying that GSLA welcomed PDNA into the fraternity of community based organizations. The other issue you refuse to address is the developer financial support and influence within GSLA, which tends to raise a conflict of interest on being the voice of the community.

As to voice certainly there are a variety of voices to be heard from. And each has to be ready to defend their perspective not only from a block perspective but from larger perspectives such as the south loop and even the city as a whole. PDNA was born out of a frustration of having "outsiders" to the actual neighborhood putting the stamp of neighborhood approval on projects within the Prairie District. PDNA has a very limited charter area. I think it is certainly legitimate for them to have a seat at the table when projects are being discussed in that area, and for the argument that the community has already given their support to a project through GSLA to no longer be operative.

There is no issue that GSLA is a force and an influential voice on South Loop development issues, the dispute as I see it is that GSLA needs to speak from it's larger perspective as to what they believe is good for the south loop as a whole, and refrain from stating they speak for the residents of the Prairie District. Quit attacking PDNA as a rival, give it the breathing room it needs to become the community voice for the area of its charter, hell join it and influence it if you think it is so off base, all the while knowing GSLA can offer a different view (such as NIMBY whining should never be followed) from a different perspective and base.

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Old August 10th, 2007, 07:29 PM   #307
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Move On

I don't know about other readers on this thread, but I have had more than enough of the neverending battle of the GSLA vs. PDNA. Agree to disagree, or MOVE ON!

The rest of us readers/posters are interested in more productive topics than your turf wars.
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Old August 10th, 2007, 07:58 PM   #308
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I agree wholeheartedly. I never understood why the PDNA folks came on this forum to begin with. I apologize for falling victim to their misrepresentations of community sentiment and support and trying to set the record straight. I know of residents within the district that support X/O that have tried to join this psuedo-community group only to be shut out due to non-agreement with the two most outspoken members of their board.

I will make a solemn promise never to respond to PDNA antics from this point on....please hold me to it!
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Old August 10th, 2007, 08:50 PM   #309
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I agree wholeheartedly. I never understood why the PDNA folks came on this forum to begin with. I apologize for falling victim to their misrepresentations of community sentiment and support and trying to set the record straight. I know of residents within the district that support X/O that have tried to join this psuedo-community group only to be shut out due to non-agreement with the two most outspoken members of their board.

I will make a solemn promise never to respond to PDNA antics from this point on....please hold me to it!

Subject was dead here sloop until you first reprinted the pro XO articles from the Journal and then more recently posted the Kieras letter here so you could get in a few more digs on PDNA. Hardly PDNA coming in here and you responding to their antics -- it is the other way around.
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Old August 10th, 2007, 09:25 PM   #310
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Some productive steps would include letting Fioretti know he's on some bullshit trying to downzone this project, and in thinking that the PDNA somehow represents all the views of people that surround the Prairie ave district.
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Old August 11th, 2007, 04:40 AM   #311
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Some productive steps would include letting Fioretti know he's on some bullshit trying to downzone this project, and in thinking that the PDNA somehow represents all the views of people that surround the Prairie ave district.
This can be done by writing well worded comprehensive arguments in support of this project and send it to Alderman Fioretti, Chicago Journal, Chicago Sun-Times, Crain's Chicago Business, and other effluent city departments.
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Old August 12th, 2007, 06:45 AM   #312
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XO is dead. Financing was via Countrywide; they've pulled out for a number of reasons:

1) pending downzoning (they don't want to be involved with any legal uncertainty),
2) slow sales (a month ago, the fraction of units sold was about a third),
3) armageddon in credit markets,
4) Coutrywide's particular woes (they are pulling financing all over and will likely go bankrupt).

Unfortunately, that financing was sort of a package deal -- taking with it many of their other projects (including some financing for the parcel south of River City). Overall, F&G are spread thin; they hold an ungodly amount of unlet commercial space. I'd hazard that they might even go into bankruptcy.

Where will this leave all these projects? People who've "bought"? No idea; we're entering uncharted territory.
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Old August 12th, 2007, 07:05 AM   #313
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Old August 12th, 2007, 07:49 AM   #314
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Very interesting. Thanks for that unique bit of inside info, and welcome to the forum.
Thanks for the welcome! Hopefully, the other signature projects in the area don't go likewise.

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What do you mean by "the property South of River City"? Do you mean between Wells and the river? That is owned by Cacciatore, I thought. Or did you mean to say "North" of River City, what we call Franklin Point? (F&G does have an interest in that parcel)

Please tell us more about X/O too.
Oops, north, sorry. My understanding is that Countrywide was between a third and a half of the financing for that parcel's development. So they'll need to find some new money -- a tough proposition currently. But I'd bet they (or a successor) will be able to do it.

Don't know a lot more about XO per se; just that a new backer will be needed. And the one-third sold figure... well, that's an odd story. Someone in sales let that slip at a dinner party when he confused me with someone else. Everything else I know is old news: alderman dead-set on F&G paying for sewer upgrades and traffic study, denies request to expand the parking block base. That and the usual PDNA piffle and complaining.

F&G seem to have hit a string of bad luck lately. Of course, Frankel's project (Lakeside Lofts) doesn't seem to be going anywhere lately either. And 1555 S Wabash, Glashaus, and a few others will likely join the dead pool.
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Old August 12th, 2007, 08:05 AM   #315
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Thanks for the welcome! Hopefully, the other signature projects in the area don't go likewise.



Oops, north, sorry. My understanding is that Countrywide was between a third and a half of the financing for that parcel's development. So they'll need to find some new money -- a tough proposition currently. But I'd bet they (or a successor) will be able to do it.

Don't know a lot more about XO per se; just that a new backer will be needed. And the one-third sold figure... well, that's an odd story. Someone in sales let that slip at a dinner party when he confused me with someone else. Everything else I know is old news: alderman dead-set on F&G paying for sewer upgrades and traffic study, denies request to expand the parking block base. That and the usual PDNA piffle and complaining.

F&G seem to have hit a string of bad luck lately. Of course, Frankel's project (Lakeside Lofts) doesn't seem to be going anywhere lately either. And 1555 S Wabash, Glashaus, and a few others will likely join the dead pool.
^ Interesting. Welcome to the forums.

If all this is true, then the South Loop is sort of tanking, isn't it? Perhaps people just aren't ready for south of Roosevelt (SoRo)
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Old August 12th, 2007, 08:19 AM   #316
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Old August 12th, 2007, 09:09 AM   #317
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lux Veritas View Post
Thanks for the welcome! Hopefully, the other signature projects in the area don't go likewise.



Oops, north, sorry. My understanding is that Countrywide was between a third and a half of the financing for that parcel's development. So they'll need to find some new money -- a tough proposition currently. But I'd bet they (or a successor) will be able to do it.

Don't know a lot more about XO per se; just that a new backer will be needed. And the one-third sold figure... well, that's an odd story. Someone in sales let that slip at a dinner party when he confused me with someone else. Everything else I know is old news: alderman dead-set on F&G paying for sewer upgrades and traffic study, denies request to expand the parking block base. That and the usual PDNA piffle and complaining.

F&G seem to have hit a string of bad luck lately. Of course, Frankel's project (Lakeside Lofts) doesn't seem to be going anywhere lately either. And 1555 S Wabash, Glashaus, and a few others will likely join the dead pool.

What are your sources of information? Yes, credit in general is tight, but for you to make these claims of particular projects dead or dying is quite a jump that will require some sourcing, further detail and explanation for them to have any credibility...
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Old August 12th, 2007, 04:46 PM   #318
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What are your sources of information? Yes, credit in general is tight, but for you to make these claims of particular projects dead or dying is quite a jump that will require some sourcing, further detail and explanation for them to have any credibility...
I heard a phone call I shouldn't have. One of the Giles brothers was asking Countrywide to meet so they could renegotiate or somehow resuscitate the deal. That meeting was supposed to have happened yesterday. At the time when the meeting was scheduled, however, one of the brothers instead met with staff.

As for the connection to other projects, that was something I'd heard from other developers. Their claim was that XO by itself was too small to interest a large financer. Therefore, it had been bundled with other projects, the parcel on the river in particular. (Which would be reasonable behavior for many REITs and also for Countrywide since they have historically been very aggressive.)

Credit is tight in general -- and worse for housing ventures. Go read the WSJ: Countrywide debt is now rated junk; bankruptcy protection on Countrywide debt was trading at 315bp. That's insanity; the market's pricing their bonds as though they will be bankrupt soon. So saying "credit is tight in general" doesn't acknowledge the magnitude of the problem.

I didn't mention specific problems at the other projects I mentioned because I don't know of any. But Lakeside Lofts ceased construction work a few months ago and I haven't seen anything restart in that time. And after real estate bubbles pop and the markeet pulls credit, anything not in the ground is far less likely to happen. (Hence the idea of a dead pool -- since those buildings aren't certain of failure, just likely.)
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Old August 12th, 2007, 06:05 PM   #319
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Interesting. Still, I'm wary of so many coincidences at once - the mistaken identity at the dinner party, the overhearing of a telephone conversation - are you sure you don't run Whole Foods?
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Old August 12th, 2007, 08:37 PM   #320
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I'm sorry but could someone fill me in on the discussion here? I back read a little, but is there big opposition to these towers? and why?

(however looks like the building is dead)
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