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http://www.suntimes.com/business/6139396-420/strategic-south-loop-parcel-sold-at-auction.html

Strategic South Loop parcel sold at auction
BY SANDRA GUY


A private capital fund has bought a strategically important five-acre South Loop parcel at auction from Jos. Cacciatore & Co. Real Estate for significantly more than the $8.4 million opening bid, the deal broker said Thursday.

The buyer of the 928 S. Wells site, who is not being identified, intends to quickly partner with a builder to develop the property, said Frank Diliberto, president of Diliberto Real Estate Services, which brokered the deal.
 

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My Mind Has Left My Body
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http://www.chicagotribune.com/busin...with-hotel-expansion-20110720,0,2966801.story

McCormick Place moving ahead with hotel expansion

By Kathy Bergen

Tribune staff reporter

10:39 a.m. CDT, July 20, 2011

McCormick Place officials are moving ahead with long-stalled plans to expand the convention center hotel. Another 461 rooms will be added to the Hyatt Regency McCormick Place, which currently has 800 rooms, with completion due in mid-2013.

Contracts CBG Hotel Design-Builders won the $86.9 million contract to design and build the second tower and to renovate the existing property............
...
 

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Columbia College is working on an interesting refacing project with Gensler for 618 S. Michigan, the old Spertus Institute building. The building was originally built in 1913 as the Arcade Building, but was refaced by IBM in 1958. The new curtain wall would be a contemporary glass system, but with a frit that suggests an image of the original façade. There are a lot of details to be worked out yet about the image, but Landmarks staff is pretty much on board.



 

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Columbia College is working on an interesting refacing project with Gensler for 618 S. Michigan, the old Spertus Institute building. The building was originally built in 1913 as the Arcade Building, but was refaced by IBM in 1958. The new curtain wall would be a contemporary glass system, but with a frit that suggests an image of the original façade. There are a lot of details to be worked out yet about the image, but Landmarks staff is pretty much on board.



Way cool
 

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The City
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^
The final store will be a roughly 60,000-square-foot, one-story building, replete with a large produce section and a pharmacy. Parking for the store would be in a surface lot at street level, as well as on top of the building.
^ Way to fight for your neighborhood, Mr. D. A suburban-style grocery store with surface parking. Gee whiz, you guys sure have gotten desperate for development. What next, a drive thru Wendy's?
 

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^Was that really necessary?
Probably a bit harsh, my apologies.

Either way, I can't imagine any reason why the city should still allow a business to have surface parking in the Central Area. Some reasonable exceptions are gas stations and auto repair shops.

The south loop just seems to be going in reverse compared to the rest of the downtown area, and naturally I blame the people at the helm..
 

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At the helm? Perhaps you have me confused with an alderman.

I'm always intrigued to read of this alternate universe where neighborhood groups actually have any influence over developers building as-of-right projects. As a board member of such a group, I've got one and only one weapon: If my neighbors are really upset about some proposed building, 60 of them might show up one night in a church basement to ask pointed questions of a developer and clap for people who agree with them. That's it. I try to leverage that one tactic into occasionally getting invited to meetings and "being consulted," but Chicago doesn't exactly have a culture of citizen involvement.

In this case, there hasn't even been a meeting yet. I haven't seen a site plan; know nothing other than what's in the Journal story. Ald. Dowell has already squeezed Roundy's pretty hard, wringing from them a signed lease for a Pershing & State store just to be allowed to advance this plan toward land transfer. The city is dying to sell the land for cash and take credit for creating 450 new jobs in the store.

Now suppose I did get invited to a meeting and asked my opinion. What argument should I take to DHED regarding a site fronting a high-speed arterial surrounded by surface parking for the police station, townhouses, and one-story industrial buildings? That Roundy's must wait to open a South Loop store until there's another highrise boom? If they wanted a store in a highrise, they could be open in Lexington Park by January. Or should I just explain that there's some fanboys on the Internet who always want a bigger erection?
 

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Probably a bit harsh, my apologies.

Either way, I can't imagine any reason why the city should still allow a business to have surface parking in the Central Area. Some reasonable exceptions are gas stations and auto repair shops.

The south loop just seems to be going in reverse compared to the rest of the downtown area, and naturally I blame the people at the helm..
I feel your pain man and share your view on this matter but, the truth is those new residents support and demand this type of development in the South Loop. They are people who are not accustom to mass transit living or, have moved to a different stage of life. Also because the South Loop was not built out, has many vacant lots and moderate demand, newcomers have a better chance of shaping the landscape.

I am only guessing but, residents in this market area (Printers Row to 26th Street/ east of the D. Ryan and Near West) are probably in their early 30's to mid 60's. They are probably moderately affluent (not Gold Coast rich) and, have young families. I also believe many who shop in the area come from as far south as Hyde Park, which mean they drive. The truth is, if you are a moderately affluent woman who has a young family, more than likely you own a nice car (probably a big SUV or luxury sedan). Retailers know this and are affective convincing decision makers to support them.

The City Planners do not like surface parking lots anywhere especially in the central area and, fight hard to fine decent alternatives. Usually there is a little compromise, maybe not enough but, change has been occurring slowly.

I've had developers from NYC to tell me that even in the outer boroughs (brooklyn, bronx, queens, etc.) surface parking is necessary to attract big box retailers.
 

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sloopin

While I enjoy the updates this blog provides, I really hate the fact that any D-bag with a computer can make snarky comments. Does anyone else besides myself feel that if the owner of said blog was more discerning about who post on the blog (no anonymous post) it would make for better source of information? :bash:
 

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A few more details on the Amli and Golub projects:

Amli Lofts SWC Polk & Clark
Two 11-story buildings, containing a total of 398 units and 9000 sq ft retail. Rental loft-style units, though “loft-style” seems to be mostly a marketing phrase. The exterior is metal panels with no masonry and no real depth at the windows, though some articulation for balconies and other places. The buildings are set back an additional 7 feet from both Polk and Clark for potential sidewalk dining, but the retail will hold the corner. Two two-level parking decks with 280 spaces back next to the Metra tracks. The Avalon Bay PD would be vacated, although the street vacations/dedications would not be rescinded, and this project would be as-of-right under DX-7 zoning. Here’s a rough site plan as I remember it:



Golub highrise SEC 9th & State
Residential tower designed by SCB over four-story parking and amenity base as previously reported. Will have 392 units, 241 parking spaces, 9500 sq ft of retail. Units will be small (mostly studios and 1 BRs) with no balconies, and in a real throwback, the pool on the roof. Garage entry from Holden Court. The State Street podiums well be set back nine feet from the property line, but the tower will come to the line.
 
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