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  #17821  
Old Posted Feb 19, 2013, 1:23 PM
the urban politician the urban politician is online now
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^ My concern is that history will repeat itself.

Look at other former industrial sites in the city that have recently been redeveloped. Suburban big box hell.

If the city is going to just allow more shit like that, then I'd rather leave the Finkl site the way it is now..
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  #17822  
Old Posted Feb 19, 2013, 3:02 PM
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Originally Posted by LouisVanDerWright View Post
^^^ Joe's photo illustrates perfectly why it is so important that this be redeveloped into a mixed use commercial and residential neighborhood. Once the redevelopment is complete there will only be about a block to a block and a half of industrial wasteland preventing Lincoln Park and Wicker Park from having essentially one seamless link. I expect that, given property values in these areas, that last stretch will redevelop quickly and we will have our first real unbroken urban link/bridge between the North and Northwest sides where it is more or less pedestrian friendly from the Lakeshore all the way to Milwaukee Ave..
The river+railroad+Kennedy is still a huge barrier. Even if Finkl was totally pedestrian-friendly, down Cortland you have bridge approaches, the bridge over the river itself, and a 5 minute walk through dank, disgusting viaducts with the Kennedy and C&NW passing over the equally unpleasant Ashland (I used to often wait for the bus here). All of that adds up to a very unappealing pedestrian experience.

And then you'd still have to walk through a residential neighborhood to get to any retail uses on Armitage. I can see potential for a linkage along Webster, but that doesn't really land you anywhere in Bucktown. North would have been good, but it's going to be a long time before North & Clybourn is ever pedestrian-friendly. I don't think the halves are likely ever to align in a healthy enough way.
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  #17823  
Old Posted Feb 19, 2013, 3:16 PM
SamInTheLoop SamInTheLoop is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by the urban politician View Post
^ My concern is that history will repeat itself.

Look at other former industrial sites in the city that have recently been redeveloped. Suburban big box hell.

If the city is going to just allow more shit like that, then I'd rather leave the Finkl site the way it is now..

I'm inclined to agree. As sick as it sounds in a way, I'd almost rather the site be left obsolete in its current use and abandoned until such time that the city acts like a real global grown-up when it comes to urban planning in general, and particularly of large regeneration sites - whether it take 5, years, 10 or 20 - to wait for enlightenment would probably be better than a couple suburban strip centers with large surface parking fields in the near-term.....
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  #17824  
Old Posted Feb 19, 2013, 3:16 PM
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I think the Finkl site would be perfect, geographically and in terms of possibly retrofitting the existing buildings (if possible) for a film/TV studio. Cinespace is great but in order to build momentum for additional work to come to the area, the City might benefit from having a much larger production and filming complex, possibly with a large backlot for outdoor filming.

I know the first of the 'Divergent' film series is starting here in April, Chicago Fire is still filming and one of my friends who works in sound production said his union office is expecting about 3-5 other shows to start production in Chicago after April/May. Additionally, the Wachowski siblings and their Kinoworks office on the north side will start filming their next film 'Jupiter Ascending' this summer; 10 weeks in London and then 6-8 weeks here in Chicago. I think there is definitely potential for much more work here if the production facilities are available.
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  #17825  
Old Posted Feb 19, 2013, 4:06 PM
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Quote:
http://www.chicagotribune.com/busine...,5257712.story

Group to float 'aggressive' Chicago tourism ideas

Aim is to increase visitor numbers to 70 million annually


By Kathy Bergen, Chicago Tribune reporter
February 19, 2013

A group of Chicago tourism officials and civic supporters who want to give the city's image and economy a boost is examining a slate of ideas for new attractions and amenities that include light shows playing off downtown skyscrapers, airborne glass cable cars running along the riverfront and designated luxury cars on the transit line to O'Hare.......

The broad outlines of the vision, which aims to draw as much as $30 billion in private investment, are expected to be disclosed Thursday at the annual meeting of Choose Chicago. Other ideas include plane rides along the lakefront and perhaps an architecturally stunning casino complex if gambling is approved for the city........
..
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  #17826  
Old Posted Feb 19, 2013, 5:51 PM
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Aargh, is there any way we can permanently kill these fantasies of deluxe airport trains on the Blue Line?

Looking through their laundry list I actually don’t see a lot of stuff that is typically funded privately (they’re aiming for $30 billion in private investment). There’s a lot of stuff like new museums, new parks/gardens, and new pieces of infrastructure (more riverwalk improvements, the aforementioned cable car)—it’s like they went to Spain in the nineties, London during the Cool Britannia period or (most likely) the Shangai Expo and said, “Hey, Chicago needs to be more like that!”. These sort of attractions often has some kind of public component to its financing or subsidy to its operation, and given the issues the city currently has in funding the Field and keeping the CTA in a state of good repair I can’t help but see it as a bunch of shiny new stuff to distract from the decay. Furthermore, this is Chicago—of course if any of the attractions is built there’s going to be some kind of sweetener, and if it fails we’ll likely be footing part of the bill.

It’s not like it’s totally full of bad ideas—I was cheered to see some mention of making the neighborhood around McCormick Place more lively—but it’s so concerned with big attractions and novelty that the scheme seems to underrate the importance of maintaining and shoring what we already have. I’m just sick of novelty-based economic development schemes.
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  #17827  
Old Posted Feb 19, 2013, 6:13 PM
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Anything but glass-bubble cable cars suspended from Navy Pier to Wolf Point. It simply cannot be. Spend the money on strengthening transit to and from O'Hare.
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  #17828  
Old Posted Feb 19, 2013, 6:33 PM
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Spend the money on strengthening transit to and from O'Hare.
Not even talking about that much money for this. 40M-ish worth of FRA compliant DMUs and a direct connection from the O'hare Transfer station to the new directly adjacent rental car facility and ATS. A crapload cheaper than the ill conceived and executed Blue Line express. However this would require Metra to pull it's head out of it's ass or the city/state to pay Amtrak to operate such a service

If they want to get ambitious and extend directly to the terminals some day that can always be done (but at much greater cost that isn't justified right now).
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  #17829  
Old Posted Feb 19, 2013, 7:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Beta_Magellan View Post
Aargh, is there any way we can permanently kill these fantasies of deluxe airport trains on the Blue Line?

...snip....
I always though a "conductor" on the first - or last car, and direct the timid tourists to that car, where the rules are enforced.
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  #17830  
Old Posted Feb 19, 2013, 7:14 PM
LouisVanDerWright LouisVanDerWright is offline
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Originally Posted by BWChicago View Post
The river+railroad+Kennedy is still a huge barrier. Even if Finkl was totally pedestrian-friendly, down Cortland you have bridge approaches, the bridge over the river itself, and a 5 minute walk through dank, disgusting viaducts with the Kennedy and C&NW passing over the equally unpleasant Ashland (I used to often wait for the bus here). All of that adds up to a very unappealing pedestrian experience.

And then you'd still have to walk through a residential neighborhood to get to any retail uses on Armitage. I can see potential for a linkage along Webster, but that doesn't really land you anywhere in Bucktown. North would have been good, but it's going to be a long time before North & Clybourn is ever pedestrian-friendly. I don't think the halves are likely ever to align in a healthy enough way.
I don't think it's as dire as you think. I'm thinking it will act as a catalyst to start development along the Elston corridor that is more urban and pedestrian friendly. Once that happens you can cross under the tracks/highway anywhere along that route with ease. Really what I'd like to see in the long run is a series of highway caps where convenient like the one that Fifield proposed allowing people to have an open, safe, place to cross over the freeways.

Oh, I should add that you needn't worry about this being a suburban development. From what I hear the plan is for it to be very dense and very urban.
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  #17831  
Old Posted Feb 19, 2013, 7:16 PM
LouisVanDerWright LouisVanDerWright is offline
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Originally Posted by Notyrview View Post
Anything but glass-bubble cable cars suspended from Navy Pier to Wolf Point. It simply cannot be. Spend the money on strengthening transit to and from O'Hare.
This sounds to me like the one thing they list that could be privately funded. If you could get the city/state/feds to agree to allowing you to use the air rights, it think it would be very easy to fund this project with the fares alone. I'm sure it is a lot cheaper to operate than a river tour boat and would give you a similar experience for a lot lower price.
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  #17832  
Old Posted Feb 19, 2013, 7:18 PM
LouisVanDerWright LouisVanDerWright is offline
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Originally Posted by sentinel View Post
I think the Finkl site would be perfect, geographically and in terms of possibly retrofitting the existing buildings (if possible) for a film/TV studio. Cinespace is great but in order to build momentum for additional work to come to the area, the City might benefit from having a much larger production and filming complex, possibly with a large backlot for outdoor filming.

I know the first of the 'Divergent' film series is starting here in April, Chicago Fire is still filming and one of my friends who works in sound production said his union office is expecting about 3-5 other shows to start production in Chicago after April/May. Additionally, the Wachowski siblings and their Kinoworks office on the north side will start filming their next film 'Jupiter Ascending' this summer; 10 weeks in London and then 6-8 weeks here in Chicago. I think there is definitely potential for much more work here if the production facilities are available.
From what I hear there is PLENTY of space at Cinespace still to take on new projects. Also, there are still some other enormous industrial buildings for sale right next to their little campus that they might be able to buy if they need to expand. What I think we really need is another studio to build a facility here and to keep it all close together in one little area so we get an agglomeration effect going. Lincoln Park doesn't need an economic driver, but an area like Pilsen will blossom quickly if given a spark.
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  #17833  
Old Posted Feb 19, 2013, 7:28 PM
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My general response to all of this is in the Chicago: Transit Developments thread, so we don’t get too off-topic. I’ve also bitched elsewhere in the transportation forum about cable cars being more expensive than everyone thinks (a tour boat doesn’t have to pay upkeep for elevated infrastructure or interest on multi-million dollar per mile infrastructure in addition to its vehicles). And before we get carried away, let’s remember they’re only one of a number of things that are currently under consideration. Others include (quotes from the aforementioned Trib article):

Quote:
-- Dramatic light show-type illuminations of city buildings and structures, such as bridges.

-- A luxury casino-anchored entertainment complex, along the lines of the Marina Bay Sands, a massive resort in Singapore designed by Moshe Safdie and built for more than $5 billion. Such a project would depend on getting state approval for a downtown casino.

[…]

-- A jazz and blues hall of fame on the Near South Side; a lakefront botanic garden; a technology park for children; and an architecture festival, similar to Biennale cultural festivals in Europe.

The idea would be to integrate these ideas with several other long-range tourism-related projects on the drawing board at various agencies, including a revamp of offerings at the lakefront Navy Pier; continued improvements to the downtown Riverwalk; development of hotels and night life near McCormick Place on the Near South Side; increased entertainment surrounding the United Center on the Near West Side; and development of a permanent amphitheater on Northerly Island.
To me some of this sounds good, some of this sounds tacky, and a lot of it sounds like mental masturbation.
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  #17834  
Old Posted Feb 19, 2013, 8:11 PM
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-- A luxury casino-anchored entertainment complex, along the lines of the Marina Bay Sands, a massive resort in Singapore designed by Moshe Safdie and built for more than $5 billion. Such a project would depend on getting state approval for a downtown casino.
I do think Chicago needs a large downtown casino. But boy are they thinking big. We can't even get one stinking floating casino and they want one of the largest in the world. We will see.....

Quote:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marina_Bay_Sands

Marina Bay Sands is an Integrated Resort fronting Marina Bay in Singapore. Developed by Las Vegas Sands, it is billed as the world's most expensive standalone casino property at $8 billion, including cost of the prime land

...

With the casino complete, the resort features a 2,561-room hotel, a 1,300,000-square-foot (120,000 m2) convention-exhibition centre, the 800,000-square-foot (74,000 m2) The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands mall, a museum, two large theatres, seven "celebrity chef" restaurants, two floating Crystal Pavilions, an ice skating rink, and the world's largest atrium casino with 500 tables and 1,600 slot machines. The complex is topped by a 340m-long SkyPark with a capacity of 3,900 people and a 150m infinity swimming pool, set on top of the world's largest public cantilevered platform, which overhangs the north tower by 67m...
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  #17835  
Old Posted Feb 19, 2013, 8:33 PM
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Originally Posted by Beta_Magellan View Post
Aargh, is there any way we can permanently kill these fantasies of deluxe airport trains on the Blue Line?

Looking through their laundry list I actually don’t see a lot of stuff that is typically funded privately (they’re aiming for $30 billion in private investment). There’s a lot of stuff like new museums, new parks/gardens, and new pieces of infrastructure (more riverwalk improvements, the aforementioned cable car)—it’s like they went to Spain in the nineties, London during the Cool Britannia period or (most likely) the Shangai Expo and said, “Hey, Chicago needs to be more like that!”. These sort of attractions often has some kind of public component to its financing or subsidy to its operation, and given the issues the city currently has in funding the Field and keeping the CTA in a state of good repair I can’t help but see it as a bunch of shiny new stuff to distract from the decay. Furthermore, this is Chicago—of course if any of the attractions is built there’s going to be some kind of sweetener, and if it fails we’ll likely be footing part of the bill.

It’s not like it’s totally full of bad ideas—I was cheered to see some mention of making the neighborhood around McCormick Place more lively—but it’s so concerned with big attractions and novelty that the scheme seems to underrate the importance of maintaining and shoring what we already have. I’m just sick of novelty-based economic development schemes.
Any tourist transportation infrastructure I'd like to see is utilization of the Carroll Street transitway. Tram that runs mostly underground ROW. The old historic Kinzie bridge can be raised on its foundations and fixed. Stops include Sears Tower, Chicago Post Office, Union Station, Ogilivie, Wolf Point, Lasalle, State Street, Michigan Avenue, Columbus Drive, and Navy Pier. Get tons of corporate sponsorship and charge slightly higher fare than other transit options, but cheaper than taxis. Cost of project would probably be around $275 million....the bulk of it station accessibility costs and Kinzie bridge rehab.
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  #17836  
Old Posted Feb 20, 2013, 2:27 AM
siunate2324 siunate2324 is offline
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Its really refreshing to see some aggressive energy put into this tourist stuff hopefully it's not the wild pipe dreams that these types of things usually produce. Im not worried about tackiness the city wouldnt approve of anything ridiculous anyway. Its hard enough to get hi rises around nimbys. I've always thought the skyline could be lit at night in a much cooler fashion and that it was an underutilized asset and should be embraced. Love the Northerly Island, riverwalk, and Navy Pier improvement ideas, all it takes is a great vision and these areas could become some of the coolest urban places in the world thanks to our history.

As long as wild thoughts are being tossed around I always thought the ultimate tourism item would be completing the lake feature in the Burnham plan that lines up with Congress Pkwy. Adrian Smith had a great vision of this on his website for awhile. I couldnt imagine how infinitely cool it would be to be able to take a short hike out on the lake and I like the idea of windmills along the way. I suggest you guys check it out or if somebody could post a pic that'd be great. He also had a an observation structure out in the lake that would instantly become a Chicago and international symbol. Wish these groups could focus on finding a way to make this feasible as I think it could help them accomplish their goals at once.

Here's the link: http://smithgill.com/work/chicago_eco_bridge/ .... ugh that would instantly be one of the coolest places in the world..
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  #17837  
Old Posted Feb 20, 2013, 6:09 PM
Baronvonellis Baronvonellis is offline
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I always thought it would be a good idea to complete the plan of the midway plasance and turn it into a canal. It would be awesome to take gondala or kayak rides from Jackson park, Museum of Science and Industry to the University of Chicago.
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  #17838  
Old Posted Feb 20, 2013, 6:54 PM
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Originally Posted by LouisVanDerWright View Post
From what I hear there is PLENTY of space at Cinespace still to take on new projects. Also, there are still some other enormous industrial buildings for sale right next to their little campus that they might be able to buy if they need to expand. What I think we really need is another studio to build a facility here and to keep it all close together in one little area so we get an agglomeration effect going. Lincoln Park doesn't need an economic driver, but an area like Pilsen will blossom quickly if given a spark.
Yea, Cinespace is largely unused since Boss and a couple other shows ceased production. Its also why they sold a large chunk of land to Lagunitas for their new brewery facility, I'd imagine. Lot of space there.

Chicago will get the odd show here and there, but the notion of "lets build a huge studio and they will magically come" is a poor idea. Even Oprahs old studio is struggling to fill space. Outside of LA, everyone else is just fighting over the same table scraps. Unless youre like a Toronto and just going to give insane incentives and tax breaks for films and TV, which I also dont really agree with.
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  #17839  
Old Posted Feb 20, 2013, 7:11 PM
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I'm a long time lurker first time poster. I have a question about a general theme around the general developments thread that is in favor of a downtown casino (even going so far as to reference Marina Bay Sands). Most economic and urban planning research shows that, in fact, casinos are more of a drain on an advanced urban economy than a gain. In fact, Baylor Economist Earl Grinols wrote that "casino gambling generates roughly $166 in social costs for every $54 of economic benefit." (source).

Philly and Detroit have downtown casinos and they are no architectural gems... even if we could guarantee good design, why bother? A downtown casino would devalue downtown, push people inward as opposed to outside, and create a blank walled monstrosity. Leave them in Hammond.
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  #17840  
Old Posted Feb 20, 2013, 7:16 PM
LouisVanDerWright LouisVanDerWright is offline
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Originally Posted by Via Chicago View Post
Yea, Cinespace is largely unused since Boss and a couple other shows ceased production. Its also why they sold a large chunk of land to Lagunitas for their new brewery facility, I'd imagine. Lot of space there.
This is not accurate from what I've heard. They leased, did not sell, half of one of their buildings to LaGunitas because it was the closest building to the train tracks and could not be used for filming since those tracks are rather busy with freight and Metra traffic and the vibrations and noise disrupted filming. They still use the north half of the building for filming Chicago Fire.

But yes, your point still stands that they have plenty of space available. I still think it would be interesting to see another studio or similar use open up in some of the other vacant industrial buildings in that area and shoot for some synergy in the area. Maybe they could do something with the Western Ave intermodal yards across Western Ave from there?

Also, the city and state have been offering some pretty insane incentives for the film industry to locate here. They threatened to revoke them last year and Cinespace squealed like a stuck pig.
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