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wierdaaron Dec 2, 2014 11:40 PM

Old Colony Building article will be going up tomorrow with lots of pretty pictures, after which Harry can dump the rest that weren't used for the article here.

I'm still working on digging into this whole upscale student housing concept CA Ventures is bringing to town with now OCB and the Steger building just recently, but from being able to talk to the development partner for the OCB project (a local guy) he was very interested in restoring the building back to its former glory and paying attention to the details. I haven't seen the design renders let, so I can't speak for how the old fashioned wood motif will reconcile with modern brick-and-cement fashion, but from the floor plans and structure I think they will make fantastic residences. The views from the NE corner units are amazing.

UrbanLibertine Dec 3, 2014 6:50 AM

"Drink fancy cocktails for a few years and then move to the suburbs?"

That's hilarious!

Justin_Chicago Dec 3, 2014 2:12 PM

I have been drinking fancy cocktails in Logan Square since The Whistler opened up in 2008. I would not mind living there if new construction made the area attractive. Throw in a 24 hour gym for us early risers. The Flexhouse rowhomes is the only development attractive to me.

Logan Square is actually a perfect neighborhood for Loop workers that travel a lot. I can commute downtown to the office and to O'Hare airport in less than 30 minutes. Throw in a new elevated park for long runs uninterrupted by traffic lights and it is the best neighborhood for nightlife, entertainment, exercise and commuting. The school system will eventually turn around over time like Lincoln Park H.S., Lakeview H.S. and Amundson H.S. and retain families that are afraid of where to send their kids after elementary school.

Speaking of development, my friend who owns two popular bars/lounges in Wicker Park and Ukrainian Village is looking into opening a third spot at the corner of Armitage and California. Humboldt Park will continue to develop. Empty Bottle, Sportsman's Club, Rootstock and the California Clipper will soon have many neighbors.

marothisu Dec 3, 2014 2:59 PM

In South/Southwest Side news - Big 41,000 sq ft LA Fitness coming to Brighton Park at Archer & Pershing (and Rockwell) was issued a new construction building permit yesterday. The developer plans on putting more stuff there. It was written about in Crain's earlier this year:

http://www.chicagobusiness.com/reale...hopping-center

Jibba Dec 3, 2014 4:03 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by the urban politician (Post 6828674)
According to Curbed, there is a hilarious set of fliers going around in Chicago right now bitching about that set of twin highrises planned on Milwaukee Ave.

There appears to be a generational divide where a bunch of boring old farts want the status quo and don't want "hipsters" to move into their neighborhood and take away all the parking.

I get a kick out of this part:



:haha:

Drink fancy cocktails for a few years and then move to the suburbs? I love that characterization. And what's wrong with fancy cocktails anyhow? :shrug:

All of their asinine complaints are just veils for the real (and only) issue that they have: Losing their parking spaces.

LouisVanDerWright Dec 3, 2014 4:40 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Justin_Chicago (Post 6829452)
I have been drinking fancy cocktails in Logan Square since The Whistler opened up in 2008. I would not mind living there if new construction made the area attractive. Throw in a 24 hour gym for us early risers. The Flexhouse rowhomes is the only development attractive to me.

They just opened a nice gym and Milwaukee and Spaulding, just 3 or 4 blocks from the Flexhouse rowhomes. There's another nice modern townhome development going up across from St. Hyacinth Basilica that is only 6 units. They might be sold out already though.

I'd agree that Logan Square is probably one of the most convenient locations to live in the city. You also discover it's shockingly close to Lincoln Park and Lakeview the first time you take the Belmont, Diversey, or Fullerton bus East.

wierdaaron Dec 3, 2014 6:29 PM

Old Colony Building article and photos are up: http://chicago.curbed.com/archives/2...hat-matter.php

marothisu Dec 4, 2014 12:57 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by LouisVanDerWright (Post 6829631)
They just opened a nice gym and Milwaukee and Spaulding, just 3 or 4 blocks from the Flexhouse rowhomes. There's another nice modern townhome development going up across from St. Hyacinth Basilica that is only 6 units. They might be sold out already though.


Don't forget the 15 or so fairly luxury townhomes going up on Medill & Talman not far from the California blue line stop where each unit starts at $700K or $800K, the 10-15 new single family homes going up in that general area, and the other 5+ new multi unit buildings around that stop too.

One of the most blighted stretches around Milwaukee Avenue for the towers above and these people are against change. Are they all renting and afraid they're going to get priced out now, or are they homeowners? If they're homeowners and outright ones too, it doesn't make tons of sense to me.

Ch.G, Ch.G Dec 4, 2014 2:20 AM

Ah! I saw this on the NYT gift guide. It reminds me of Monument Valley:

http://www.gameindustry.com/wp-conte...ent_valley.jpg

Too bad the British School doesn't.

rlw777 Dec 4, 2014 2:45 PM

From DNA info Recent surge in building permits

Quote:

According to data from the department's E-Plan system, which streamlined the process for building permits two years ago, the city processed 1,436 permits for mid-sized buildings through mid-November, up from 1,202 over the same period last year, 852 in 2012, 617 in 2011 and 573 in 2010.

the urban politician Dec 4, 2014 3:16 PM

Looks like those whack jobs in city govt are back at it again, planning to revise the affordable housing ordinance and make it even more strict.

Yay. Kill off development, and give more unnecessary work to attorneys. That is pretty much what this city does. I was at Building Hearings court yesterday and a lady next to me said that the city recently quietly passed a law saying that if you are an LLC and have to attend a hearing, even for the most minor thing (rusty gutters on your building) you are required to be represented by an attorney. In other words, for even the most minor issues you cannot represent yourself.

Ridiculous. Outrageous. What's wrong, lawyers, not enough work? Maybe that's because there are too many of you leeches. Now they have rigged the Government to drum up business where it's clearly not needed. I wonder what bullshit explanation the City came up with for this hare brained idea.

Ironically, the more attorneys do this kind of stuff, the less people hire them. Out of court settlements, people. To hell with the leeches.

Rant over..

the urban politician Dec 4, 2014 3:36 PM

^ Getting back to the affordable housing issue, here was a comment made by somebody in Crains, which I tend to agree with:

Quote:

Originally Posted by George Smith
What Affordable Housing Crisis?

Currently in the MLS there are 6772 attached and detached homes listed for sale for under $200,000 and 3224 homes listed for sale under $150,000.

There are also 707 apartments listed for rent for under $1200/month and 161 listed for rent for under $800/month.

Does this sound like a shortage of affordable units?

If you tell the "Advocates" this, their response is, "well, no one wants to live in those neighborhoods".

I personally would like to live in a mansion in the Gold Coast but I can not afford that so I have to settle for something more modest.

The City's "Task Force" was a complete farce; mere window dressing. Of the 25 on the panel, only two individuals were for-profit real estate developers. The remainder were either Aldermen, bureaucrats or, not-for-profit developers.

This will shut down development if it passes as proposed.

Email or call your Aldermen and just say NO.

Oh, while we are at it, maybe we should pass an ordinance that requires GM to sell their cars to the less fortunate for less than it costs them to build them and another law that forces General Mills to sell their cereal to the less fortunate for less than it costs them to produce it too.


the urban politician Dec 4, 2014 3:46 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by rlw777 (Post 6830888)

Lets not get too excited. This is just another fluff piece from Rahm.

Here is a little quote from the article:

Quote:

Much of the increase was driven by a boom in single-family homes, many built on the sites of what were smaller homes in the past.

Randomguy34 Dec 4, 2014 4:52 PM

Since construction started for the new Walter Payton West Wing yesterday and I also happen to go to Payton, I managed to take a picture of them starting on it.
12/3/14
http://s2.postimg.org/7yrkafk1l/unnamed.jpg

Vlajos Dec 4, 2014 5:03 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by the urban politician (Post 6830950)
^ Getting back to the affordable housing issue, here was a comment made by somebody in Crains, which I tend to agree with:

I'm not against affordable housing by any means but I do agree with that comment.

Kenmore Dec 4, 2014 5:28 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Vlajos (Post 6831069)
I'm not against affordable housing by any means but I do agree with that comment.

ugh it's libertarian clap trap

there is absolutely 100% an affordable housing crisis in halfway decent (no need for gold coast hyperbole) neighborhoods. it's the primary reason why middle class families continue to flee the city.

the urban politician Dec 4, 2014 5:31 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Kenmore (Post 6831104)
ugh it's libertarian clap trap

there is absolutely 100% an affordable housing crisis in halfway decent (no need for gold coast hyperbole) neighborhoods. it's the primary reason why middle class families continue to flee the city.

Even if true, mandating affordable set asides will do absolutely nothing to improve on this situation.

It will simply make market rate housing that much more expensive for everybody else

wierdaaron Dec 4, 2014 5:45 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by wierdaaron (Post 6829802)
Old Colony Building article and photos are up: http://chicago.curbed.com/archives/2...hat-matter.php

Was pretty busy yesterday and didn't get to say much about this.

Anyway, about OCB, the fact that it's going to be furnished student apartments rather than straight residential is a bit of a bummer, because the building seems like it's going to be pretty great. I mean, the turreted corners on the north end make for some amazing room potential.

http://cdn.cstatic.net/images/gridfs...3/P1070059.JPG
And the view:
http://cdn.cstatic.net/images/gridfs...2013.29.28.jpg

(Once they clean the windows)

And the ceilings are so high for such an old building. The top floor has skylights with old-fashioned chain-pull shutters.

http://cdn.cstatic.net/images/gridfs...9/P1070008.JPG

That's going to be amazing once it's finished.

However, the student apartment usage does make sense given the location (right next to the library and within a few blocks of more schools than I can count, with a growing market of student-friendly businesses like coffee shops opening nearby). It seemed like the possibility existed to switch out the use to normal apartments or condos in a few years if the market turns (Giles would have to buy out CA Ventures' stake in the building).

I think OCB could be a catalyst for real change in the area. The fact that it'll be bustling with young people (480 beds) with loose pockets should only help the local retail scene, and strengthening the context of residential in the area could make developers brave enough to try more housing in the area.

Eventually that parking lot and gas station on Dearborn/Congress will have to go. This only increases the odds.

Oh, and Giles said that originally the Plymouth building (next door) was part of the OCB development, but it got dropped and the building is still on the market. He wouldn't say whether the plan was to break through the walls to join the buildings. Seems like landmarks would have a problem with that, but some Printers Row buildings have done that already. I have suspicions that Giles might have his eyes set on that building for his next project after OCB wraps.

No idea what the deal is with the Manhattan building on the other side of Plymouth.

LouisVanDerWright Dec 4, 2014 5:52 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Kenmore (Post 6831104)
ugh it's libertarian clap trap

there is absolutely 100% an affordable housing crisis in halfway decent (no need for gold coast hyperbole) neighborhoods. it's the primary reason why middle class families continue to flee the city.

No, middle class families continue to flee the city because it is illegal to build decent housing stock for them. If you know anything about Chicago's building and zoning code and permit system you know that affordable housing is currently ILLEGAL to build in this city. If you want to do an affordable renovation of a vacant property, good luck, it's going to cost you just as much as new construction.

If you want to build new construction then you are going to be paying no less than $150/SF to do it. Why? Because the city mandates that price through it's arcane set of building codes, zoning codes, city fees, and other nonsense.

The fact is that most of what we have known in the past as "affordable housing" is now illegal to build in Chicago or was originally built as luxury housing. All the wood frame worker's cottages: illegal. Two flats: defacto illegal. Bungalows: try building one of those under RS-3 zoning. SRO's: LOL, yeah right, but we are trying to "preserve" them right? Studio Courtyard buildings, have fun getting a PD approved from your alderman. Any building without excessive and costly parking: we all know how that works. I could go on and on.

All the current "affordable housing" system does is jack up the price of new construction even further by requiring high end developments to lug the dead weight of our "affordable housing" system around. I put it in quotes because we are NOT creating affordable housing. What the current system does is jack up the price of new construction (again making it even more difficult to build anything new that is even remotely affordable) so that we can pay for a tiny minority of the poor to live in luxury buildings in luxury locations. All it does is further accelerate the trend you are bemoaning by increasing the price of new construction. Think about it, if you build a 100 unit building with an average unit construction price of $250,000/Unit, then your costs are $25,000,000. But wait, you are required to contribute $100,000/Unit for 10% of your unit count which means your costs go up by $1,000,000 right there. That's a 4% increase in the cost of that housing just because of the "affordable housing" requirement. Under the new per unit contribution that would drive construction costs up 7% instead.

The numbers get significantly higher if you are trying to build cheaper, more affordable, units. Do the same math with a $200k or $150k per unit construction cost and the additional burden of this system grows ever larger. Say you wanted to build a privately developed affordable housing project which costs $150,000 per unit. That's $15,000,000 to build it at 100 units, now you are at a 6.67% increase in cost or a whopping 11.67% increase in cost under the proposed changes to the law. A few percent might not sound like much, but when you are talking construction costs on a project of this size it means a heck of a lot. The way the contribution law is written, the cheaper units you try to build, the more the city punishes you...

Think about that, just so we can accommodate 3 or 4 affordable units, we are making everyone else pay 4% more. And that's just the direct effect of this program on a conservative scale. Essentially what we have done is create a regulatory environment in which building homes for the middle class is illegal and renovating the old ones is cost prohibitive unless it is for luxury tenants/buyers. We have bifurcated the market such that only the ultra low end and ultra high end continues to exist. Either you are living in a slum/public housing or you are living in luxury. That's not because of some mysterious market force, that's because the CITY GOVERNMENT has mandated it.

LouisVanDerWright Dec 4, 2014 6:01 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by wierdaaron (Post 6831133)
No idea what the deal is with the Manhattan building on the other side of Plymouth.

Manhattan Building is already condos, and quite affordable ones at that considering the location.


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