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  #17641  
Old Posted Jan 27, 2013, 7:28 AM
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Originally Posted by ardecila View Post
What a crappy design for such a cool concept.

That tiny-ass stair McCaffery is providing is unacceptable compared to the awesome staircases we've seen at Lakeshore East. It should be larger and more prominent. It's a huge downgrade from the stair that will be torn down.
Yeah.

And WTF, British School? You're abandoning your VDT digs (which you yourself commissioned) in favor of this schlock?
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  #17642  
Old Posted Jan 27, 2013, 3:20 PM
the urban politician the urban politician is offline
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While I'd like to see some design tweaks, and certainly I don't see what the hell the city has against finally connecting its streetgrid together after paying lip service to it for so long , this is all and all good news.

The south loop needs a shot in the arm to kickstart its 'desirability' again, since this recession has clearly left it in the dust. A new British school and a massively expanded Jones College Prep should go a long way.
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  #17643  
Old Posted Jan 27, 2013, 5:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Ch.G, Ch.G View Post
And WTF, British School? You're abandoning your VDT digs (which you yourself commissioned) in favor of this schlock?
Is this possibly true?? When I saw this post I figured they were just expanding or splitting into two campuses or some other organization was also using the generic term "British School." If they are decamping Lincoln Park and VDT for this, what a shame - maybe they grew too fast or the land value just skyrocketed.

---------

2001: A Space Odyssey may be being filmed at the Division Street Target site. At least that's what it looks like, with this single, massive, tall, monolithic precast wall eerily sprouting out of that giant empty expanse between Halsted and Larrabee (most striking from the Halsted side). (Okay, it's horizontal, not vertical like in the movie - maybe "Target-henge" would be a better reference.) Anyway it seems taller than I thought it would be; was this design 3 floors including parking?
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  #17644  
Old Posted Jan 27, 2013, 5:10 PM
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I did not hear that the British school was leaving Lincoln Park. This is just a second campus
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  #17645  
Old Posted Jan 27, 2013, 5:25 PM
Baronvonellis Baronvonellis is offline
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Has anyone been out to Northerly Island lately? Wondering what the progress on that is? There was an article in Bloomberg Businessweek about Jeanne Gang. She said she goes out there at least once a month to watch the progress on the construction. The Army Corp of Engineers are building the hills and landscape for the new park.
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  #17646  
Old Posted Jan 27, 2013, 5:44 PM
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I know the AMLI project at Clark/Polk will have retail, but I don't know anything about the property between Target and the current AMLI. If this Roosevelt Collection/school/park stuff actually happens, there could be a lot of demand for retail in a few years.

I could even see the current AMLI building putting up some streetfront retail units, since the building itself is set a ways back from the sidewalk.
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  #17647  
Old Posted Jan 27, 2013, 7:36 PM
the urban politician the urban politician is offline
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^ I'm not following what you're saying. Roosevelt Collection is a huge retail center. It's essentially an outdoor mall. I don't think "lack of retail" is going to be a problem in that area in the near future.

My concern is that with all of the future development east of the Metra tracks along Clark St, how are those residents going to safely reach Roosevelt Collection by foot? I realize that walking south on Clark to Roosevelt, then west, and then entering from the south is an obvious choice but it seems very cumbersome if you live in one of the highrises further north of the Roosevelt/Clark intersection. At some point it would make sense to construct a pedestrian bridge over the Metra tracks from one of those developments
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  #17648  
Old Posted Jan 27, 2013, 8:52 PM
untitledreality untitledreality is offline
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Originally Posted by wierdaaron View Post
but I don't know anything about the property between Target and the current AMLI.
The placemark represents a fairly old and fairly terrible proposal from developers D2 Realty.

Link: http://www.d2realty.com/ClarkTaylor.pdf
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  #17649  
Old Posted Jan 27, 2013, 8:57 PM
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I wasn't predicting a problem with a lack of retail, I was just thinking that if the area does pick up, retail will be in high demand and it would be a shame to put up new developments on the same block without any store frontage.

I live on Clark/Polk (east of the tracks) and to get to Roosevelt Collection now I take Polk west (through the underpass), then south on Financial to the north entrance (stairway or elevator). That will probably stay the same if these proposals become reality.

I really don't like walking south on Clark to Roosevelt. The sidewalk next to Target is really tight (and uphill) and feels unsafe to me. Two people can barely walk abreast and traffic on the Roosevelt Rd ramp is often zooming by way too fast.

I imagine that Roosevelt Collection expects that most of its foot traffic will come from the south, but I think that's a mistake. Being between the back of a Target and a bridge, the south end of RC feels like it's in the middle of nowhere. There's unlikely to be much organic foot traffic to capture, you have to be already going there to go there. Uphill, in the dark, in the snow, it's pretty terrible getting there and back. I think it would be smart to put more of a focus on traffic from the north, rather than having it feel like you're sneaking in a secret entrance.

Now that I've had a day to think about all this, I'm pretty mixed about it. I'm still glad to have my questions about the future of the unused ugly parking lots being satisfied, and the prospect of new parks (however dull) is exciting, but now I'm feeling pretty pessimistic about the future of Roosevelt Collection as a "town square" for the neighborhood. The fact that the main entrance is on Roosevelt, and thus has to be elevated so far off the ground, causes a lot of problems that I don't feel are being addressed.

I just can't close my eyes and picture Roosevelt Rd that far from State or Canal being packed with pedestrians headed too or from shops or parks.
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  #17650  
Old Posted Jan 27, 2013, 9:03 PM
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Originally Posted by untitledreality View Post
The placemark represents a fairly old and fairly terrible proposal from developers D2 Realty.

Link: http://www.d2realty.com/ClarkTaylor.pdf
Yikes. I didn't know anything could look stupider than the current AMLI tower.

Is that a skywalk between the parking garage and Target's garage? Did they run that idea past Target first?
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  #17651  
Old Posted Jan 27, 2013, 9:21 PM
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Just a little background on the British School:

The existing PD requires The Roosevelt Collection to build a "grand staircase" down from the cineplex and a two-acre park on Subarea III (the area between the cinemas and Ninth Street) within five years of the adoption of the PD or the completion of Ninth Street west of the tracks, whichever is later. It's quite irrelevant that the developer who originally negotiated the PD is now out of the picture; McCaffery Interests decided how much to pay for the property by analyzing the PD and potential for future development. They're trying to renegotiate the deal after they've already received most of the benefits.

If they would prefer to have the park further north, on the land between Polk and Ninth where they plan future residential building, that might make sense. But they're trying to build a building with a pretend park on top. A landscaped roof reached by a narrow exit stair and an artificial turf soccer field are not a park. They will be entirely controlled by shopping center or school officials. The flowers might be better tended, but you can't walk a dog, put together a pickup game of baseball or Ultimate Frisbee, film a student movie, have an impromptu musical jam session, or hold a peaceful protest in shopping center landscaping.

But, keeping an open mind, could a school on this site provide benefits to the neighborhood that are even greater than the required park? We tried to discuss ways it might aid shopping center access for pedestrians and connectivity from the north, by terracing down from cineplex level in the manner of the Oakland Museum. Noticing that the site is so cramped that they even show classrooms above the circulation roadway, we asked why they couldn't give the the school a partial third level to allow a more graceful transition at the north end. You guys will love the answer: it might block the views from the cineplex restaurant.
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  #17652  
Old Posted Jan 27, 2013, 9:38 PM
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It's strange that they seem so disinterested in making it easier for people to get to their stores from the north.

I was looking at the floorplan for the school and found it kind of odd that they needed floor space enough that they've got 4 classrooms floating over the theater's driveway, yet they sacrifice such a huge chunk to a gym and auditorium. But I don't know much about the school itself, maybe they have a big athletics and performing arts program.

What is strange, though, is that I don't see anything like a cafeteria or kitchen. Where do the kids eat? Flacos Tacos? I went to a school where lunch was eaten in the gym, but it had an attached kitchen for preparing the food -- I see no such thing here.

I don't hate the rooftop park altogether, I see it as a concession for the multi-level nature of the development (which was possibly a mistake) and I think it will afford some nice views by being above the tracks, but I'd want a much better staircase or ramp to gain access to it.

Sounds like you were at the meeting, Mr Downtown. I was thinking about it, but waking up for a 9am thing on a Saturday didn't sound like fun. Do you get the feeling that the community concerns will be addressed, or I this going to get rubber-stamped?
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  #17653  
Old Posted Jan 27, 2013, 10:27 PM
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Originally Posted by wierdaaron View Post
It's strange that they seem so disinterested in making it easier for people to get to their stores from the north.
It seems like the only way to engage this thing into Printers Row/South Loop neighborhood that is North of Roosevelt is to give it access from the North. It is bad to have to go all the way to Roosevelt and into the front of this thing, only to then have to walk all the way to the back.

I noticed that the roof top park has a decent amount of hard-scape at the north-east corner...maybe a location for a future pedestrian bridge over the train tracks. That would get you from clark up some stairs to a bridge and over the tracks to the park...then you'd be at the same level as Retail?
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  #17654  
Old Posted Jan 27, 2013, 11:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Mr Downtown View Post
But, keeping an open mind, could a school on this site provide benefits to the neighborhood that are even greater than the required park? We tried to discuss ways it might aid shopping center access for pedestrians and connectivity from the north, by terracing down from cineplex level in the manner of the Oakland Museum. Noticing that the site is so cramped that they even show classrooms above the circulation roadway, we asked why they couldn't give the the school a partial third level to allow a more graceful transition at the north end. You guys will love the answer: it might block the views from the cineplex restaurant.
That doesn't even make sense. The theater bar thing is on a mezzanine level above the theatre level which itself is above the ground (plaza) level of Roosevelt Collection. There is no way a 3rd level on the school would block that view. It would however block the view of another retail space below the theater (opposite the long proposed residential tower), I assume that is the real reason.
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  #17655  
Old Posted Jan 27, 2013, 11:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Mr Downtown View Post
If they would prefer to have the park further north, on the land between Polk and Ninth where they plan future residential building, that might make sense. But they're trying to build a building with a pretend park on top. A landscaped roof reached by a narrow exit stair and an artificial turf soccer field are not a park. They will be entirely controlled by shopping center or school officials. The flowers might be better tended, but you can't walk a dog, put together a pickup game of baseball or Ultimate Frisbee, film a student movie, have an impromptu musical jam session, or hold a peaceful protest in shopping center landscaping.
^ I'm not sure what the big issue is here. Having a public park on the roof of an existing structure is not a new concept in Chicago. Chicago's most successful park (Millennium Park) is an obvious example of this. There is no reason why it can't be a perfectly good park if well executed. I agree with you, however, that local residents should fight to make sure that it is easily accessible by the community from all directions, and that use for school activities is limited (in writing) to a certain proportion of the time.
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  #17656  
Old Posted Jan 27, 2013, 11:57 PM
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Originally Posted by the urban politician View Post
I did not hear that the British school was leaving Lincoln Park. This is just a second campus
Since when is that Lincoln Park? Isn't that really Old Town/Clybourn Corridor (New City or whatever they try to call it now)
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  #17657  
Old Posted Jan 28, 2013, 12:10 AM
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The community would also benefit if the school's gymnasium and auditorium could be available to the public for organized paid use (community sports leagues or exhibition games, classes, performances, auditions, etc). If the private school is peeling a public park off the ground, lifting it 2 stories up, and sliding itself under there it's probably fair to ask that it also serve as a community center after hours. I don't think they necessarily are obligated to offer that, but it would be a nice goodwill gesture.
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  #17658  
Old Posted Jan 28, 2013, 2:38 AM
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Millennium Park is a public park. You don't have to climb two steep flights of stairs, hidden in the far side of a building, to access it.

McCaffery is proposing landscaping that would be owned by and controlled by the shopping center. The Park District will not accept it. At an earlier meeting, their president even claimed that the new bits of landscaping they've put in the middle of the shopping center should count as part of their "public park" requirement. I asked what would happen if some of the residents in the apartments above decided one Saturday morning to play ball there. He claimed he didn't understand what I was asking and never answered.

As you can see from the renderings, a big chunk of the roof will be occupied by mechanical equipment, and because of the long-span roof over the auditorium and gym just underneath, trees can't be planted on most of it.

The cafeteria is in the basement.
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  #17659  
Old Posted Jan 28, 2013, 2:53 AM
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Originally Posted by Mr Downtown View Post
Millennium Park is a public park. You don't have to climb two steep flights of stairs, hidden in the far side of a building, to access it.

McCaffery is proposing landscaping that would be owned by and controlled by the shopping center. The Park District will not accept it. At an earlier meeting, their president even claimed that the new bits of landscaping they've put in the middle of the shopping center should count as part of their "public park" requirement. I asked what would happen if some of the residents in the apartments above decided one Saturday morning to play ball there. He claimed he didn't understand what I was asking and never answered.

As you can see from the renderings, a big chunk of the roof will be occupied by mechanical equipment, and because of the long-span roof over the auditorium and gym just underneath, trees can't be planted on most of it.

The cafeteria is in the basement.
You can plant trees over long span sections. It's an intensive green roof anyway. There will be wider structure constructed over the auditorium as a bridge condition more than a roof. They'll mound up the substrate to allow a decent root spread.

The only thing that gets complicated is exiting with the corner egress stairs. It would work much in the same way as a parking garage. Alarm would sound if someone tried to exit other than the main stairway or by the cineplex. Still it's a bit of a concerning security situation.
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  #17660  
Old Posted Jan 28, 2013, 3:02 AM
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Fulton market - Jan 25

As seen from the green.
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