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What's the orientation of this pic? If that's Clark street in front of the building, that swath of bright green grass certainly doesn't exist, since that would be the corner of the Oaks, and they made Clark street look downright bucolic. Heaven forbid that the shot is from the West, since that would put the butt ugly parking garage ON Clark.
The shot is from the east and the street is Clark steet. You are right - the grass doesn't exist....although I guess developers tend to exaggerate if not completely make-up the surroundings in their building renders....
 

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Maybe there's something I'm missing, but this the most butt-fugly building I've seen since Marquee on Michigan. I guess it gets a point and a half for honesty, but it looks like poured-in-place concrete with punched window and HVAC unit openings. I'm happy enough with the planning (wish there were retail on the ground floor) but does anyone wish to defend this as a work of architecture?
Mr. D, have you seen a revised site plan for this? It looks like they preserved the same setback from the sidewalk but you can't see enough of Polk to really tell. According to the Alderman's office, they are no longer planning to widen Polk as part of the project, though I thought this was part of the PD. I think this might just be cluelessness on the part of Firoetti's office, tho.
 

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I got to look at a site plan, but don't have a copy. My memory was that it still showed the right-turn storage lane from EB Polk to SB Clark, but I don't remember if that's part of the developer's obligations under the PD. I think the setback from Polk might be larger than it was in the Lennar plan.

But where are the people who are always yelling and screaming about "Loewenberg POS's" and railing about how neighborhood groups ought to require excellence in design? Confronted with two towers that look incredibly awful to me, all you guys have to say is that it's better than a parking lot? Surely that's not the test we want to use.
 

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It is ugly. You obviously are impacted much more than any of us because it is your westerly view (and part of mine). I don't mind anything else that has been built along Clark, but this one looks horrible. I hope this truly is an oversimplification of the buildings and the architect will turn something over much easier on the eye. Since these are to be luxury apartments, I doubt those are HVAC units hanging out.
 

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Apparently this is the current scheme for Avalon Bay's Clark/Polk project:


Maybe there's something I'm missing, but this the most butt-fugly building I've seen since Marquee on Michigan. I guess it gets a point and a half for honesty, but it looks like poured-in-place concrete with punched window and HVAC unit openings. I'm happy enough with the planning (wish there were retail on the ground floor) but does anyone wish to defend this as a work of architecture?
It's very bland. I hope this is just a mock up and not the final design! I like the idea of the twin towers though.
 

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The parking garage for this development will not be visible from the river. It backs up to the elevated rail tracks that feed LaSalle Street Station. Plus, there are 2 more city blocks with developments on them before you get to the river at this location.
 

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Not only are these buildings completely horrible, but it looks as thought he parking garage will be a blight from the river view.
From an angle, maybe for the time being. The paper building and River City block the views from the river. plus the tracks are elevated at this location. RC will block it from the SW since it will be done before this is built but you will still be able to see it from some angles until the RC builds their 2nd high rise. The parking garage for AMLI (900 S. Clark) will also be similar (it is nearly done) but will be blocked by RC on one side and the actual building on the other side. The developer could have put infill between the buildings, but I would rather have a setback parking garage with a park than continuous building.
 

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PRB - the Chicago Journal article also mentions this awesome tidbit:

"One advantage for AvalonBay as a developer is the way in which it procures its financing. An 11 billion dollar company, it can finance the 285 million dollars that the development will cost at its corporate level. The development is not contingent on anything outside of the company, according to Rebenson, so it is unlikely that plans would reverse course."
 

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I got to look at a site plan, but don't have a copy. My memory was that it still showed the right-turn storage lane from EB Polk to SB Clark, but I don't remember if that's part of the developer's obligations under the PD. I think the setback from Polk might be larger than it was in the Lennar plan.

But where are the people who are always yelling and screaming about "Loewenberg POS's" and railing about how neighborhood groups ought to require excellence in design? Confronted with two towers that look incredibly awful to me, all you guys have to say is that it's better than a parking lot? Surely that's not the test we want to use.
Agreed, but sometimes it's more difficult when developments are as of right. I suppose that some neighborhood groups could take SOAR approach and write the alderman and commissioners at DPD like what's happening with the 319 E. Illinois project.
 

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Franklin Point activity.

Some signs of activity in the last week. Someone locked the gate onto Wells and put up a couple "no trespassing" signs (the Ace Hardward type). I also noticed a series of stakes and orange flags in the ground close to Harrison that I don't think were there before.
 

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http://www.chicagobusiness.com/cgi-bin/mag/article.pl?articleId=29474

South Loop site lands a buyer
By: Alby Gallun March 24, 2008


A little-known local condominium developer has paid about $40 million for a riverside property in Chicago's South Loop, a tract that has tantalized developers but has sat fallow for 37 years.

Skokie-based Russland Capital Group says it recently bought a 6.5-acre parcel in the site known as Franklin Point from Florida-based railroad CSX Corp. Russland is the third builder in four years to take a crack at the property, a mostly empty grassy expanse beginning four blocks south of the Sears Tower and extending to Polk Street.
 

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http://www.chicagobusiness.com/cgi-bin/mag/article.pl?articleId=29474

South Loop site lands a buyer
By: Alby Gallun March 24, 2008


A little-known local condominium developer has paid about $40 million for a riverside property in Chicago's South Loop, a tract that has tantalized developers but has sat fallow for 37 years.

Skokie-based Russland Capital Group says it recently bought a 6.5-acre parcel in the site known as Franklin Point from Florida-based railroad CSX Corp. Russland is the third builder in four years to take a crack at the property, a mostly empty grassy expanse beginning four blocks south of the Sears Tower and extending to Polk Street.

I hope they have plans for a nice tall building to fill in that space!
 

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http://www.chicagobusiness.com/cgi-bin/mag/article.pl?articleId=29474

South Loop site lands a buyer
By: Alby Gallun March 24, 2008


A little-known local condominium developer has paid about $40 million for a riverside property in Chicago's South Loop, a tract that has tantalized developers but has sat fallow for 37 years.

Skokie-based Russland Capital Group says it recently bought a 6.5-acre parcel in the site known as Franklin Point from Florida-based railroad CSX Corp. Russland is the third builder in four years to take a crack at the property, a mostly empty grassy expanse beginning four blocks south of the Sears Tower and extending to Polk Street.
Take it for what its worth, but word among the "dog people" is that there are short term plans to use part of the space for parking. There were some people there yesterday with light equipment sort of cleaning up a bit. When questioned, they said that the flat area on Wells, sort of where the locked gate is, is going to be converted into a surface parking lot, but that there are no other development plans for the next 18-24 months.
 

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AvalonBay 824 South Clark:



The apparent concept is to use three subtly different textures on the precast panels, and three subtly different glass colors. However, it worries me that these will butt against one another, rather than having a change in the wall plane that accompanies the material change. I still fear that the overall effect will be that of a cheap-looking concrete tube with punched openings for measly little windows and HVAC units.





 
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