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2012 Archive Page

Informational Meeting on Redevelopment at 1100 N. State Street

December 3, 2012

Alderman Reilly invites neighbors to attend one of two public meetings to learn more about the reconstruction of a new restaurant, Maple & Ash, to open at the corner of State and Maple (currently operating as Hunt Club Chicago, 1100 N. State Street).

Monday, December 3rd, 6pm or Tuesday, December 4th, 6pm at Hunt Club, 1100 N. State

Maple & Ash, to be located on the first and second floors of the new building, will be a sophisticated version of Chicago's most successful restaurant venues.  It will possess components of traditional steakhouse principles: a simple menu, expensive dishes, and a celebratory atmosphere.  Maple & Ash, named after the hardwoods that will be used for cooking, will stay true to these principles, but with a more energetic atmosphere.  

A late night club (under a separate name) will open on the third floor and mezzanine of the property.   (Please note: a late-hour liquor license already exists at this location and will be used for the newly named venue.) The venue will span 4,500 square feet inclusive of a mezzanine and 20 foot ceilings and attract a sophisticated clientele through great music and craft cocktails.   The house-made vodka in casks will support this innovative approach.

The ownership decided not to maximize their development rights which allows them to build a mid-rise structure at approximately three times the proposed height, but chose to reconstruct a restaurant that fits with the density and scale of the surrounding neighborhood.

Construction for this project is expected to take 10 months beginning January 15, 2013.  The new structure will be steel and concrete construction, with basement bathrooms and kitchen prep, first floor bar and dining, second floor main restaurant, and a third floor/mezzanine lounge and club.

If you are unable to attend either meeting but have questions about the proposal, please contact: Jim Lasky at jim@lp-ventures.com.

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North Grant Park to be Re-named after Maggie Daley

August 27, 2012

This past month at the Chicago Plan Commission, the Chicago Park District presented plans for the renovation of the northern portion of Grant Park.  Scheduled improvements will consist of extensive repair of the East Monroe Street Parking Garage in addition to the installation of a recreational network running diagonally between the northeast and southeast corners of the site that will include a play garden, a climbing park and seasonal ice skating loop.

Alderman Reilly is pleased to announce that the newly renovated children's playground will be renamed in honor of Mrs. Maggie Daley.  Her dedication to the children of Chicago through her After School Matters programs in addition to bringing public awareness to the importance of arts education and creativity will live on with each child's exploration and enjoyment of this new park.

 

Play Garden:


playgarden

Climbing Park:

climbingwall

Ice Skating:

skatingribbon

Climbing Wall

Concerns about the climbing wall were its overall massing at 60' and general safety issues about children attempting to scale walls that high.


The revised design features three types of climbing: bouldering, lead-harnessed and top rope climbing. The climbing feature is divided into two components; a beginner wall and advanced walls. The beginner wall will reach a max height of 23 feet above park level. 

The advanced wall originally was designed at 60 feet above park level; which at its peak extends 43 feet above Upper Randolph Street.  At the Alderman's suggestion, the Park District was able to reduce the advanced wall down to 40 feet above park level.


These wall heights are comparable to other rock climbing facilities studied as precedents within the region and across the United States and are the minimum heights necessary to provide a sustainable programming function.   The industry standard as determined by the International Federation of Sport Climbing requires the minimum length of a climbing route to be 15 meters in length. Meeting these standards will allow the facility to be programmed in a meaningful way and allow kids to progress through all skill levels.


The Climbing feature has limited access points into the park to prevent unauthorized access into the facility.  After operational hours, all climbing equipment will be secured and lower hand holds of the wall removed to prevent unauthorized access onto the facility. To view an elevation drawing of the climbing structure, please click here.

Tree Removal / Replanting

During the community meeting, it was mentioned that many of the landscaping (trees, shrubs) in Peanut Park were ceremonial plantings to honor loved ones. Old Growth trees cannot be saved, but at Alderman Reilly's direction, the Park District will save and re-use the smaller caliper trees/plantings wherever possible.

Throughout the design process, the Park District will continue to evaluate the removal of the existing trees and landscaping from the project area and is mindful of the residents' concerns.  They are committed to preserving as many trees as possible and any landscape material that is of a size and condition that can be relocated will be.  At the completion of the renovation, over 900 new trees will be planted to provide a diverse landscape and reestablish the lush natural park setting that visitors expect from Grant Park.  

Restroom Facilities

There was a concern that there are no restrooms located proximate to the playlot.

The Park District understands the concern some parents have.  The design team has evaluated the project and can commit to providing direct access to public restroom facilities to be located in the future concession closest to the playground entrance.  Also, there are existing restroom facilities are located within the Daley Bicentennial Fieldhouse approximately 650 feet north (a short 5-minute walk) from the entrance to the Play Garden.

Tennis Court Lighting

There was concern over the lighting provided for the tennis courts and its potential for spilling into residential windows in the evening.

 The Park District will be outfitting the light poles with light shields to minimize overall light pollution and prevent glare into residential spaces after dusk.

Skating Ribbon

Some residents had concerns about the substitution of the skating rink for a skating ribbon. The Park District has committed to finding a location further south within Grant Park to locate a rink for team sports and recreation.

Public Outreach for Construction

The Chicago Park District has agreed to hold another public meeting, date TBD, to explain the construction staging and schedule. The Park District will make every effort to minimize inconvenience to residents.  The scheduling of that meeting will be announced in a future Reilly Reports.

The Park District will abide by city code requirements related to construction times and staging restrictions. Any disruption of the public-right-of-way will be widely messaged well in advance of the activity.

 

For more information about this project, please visit the official website, www.northgrantpark.org.

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850 N. Lake Shore Drive former Lakeshore Athletic Club Re-Use Update

July 23, 2012

http://ih.constantcontact.com/fs027/1102200958373/img/319.jpg

850 North Lake Shore Drive, also known as the Lake Shore Athletic Club, is a historic structure designed in 1924 by the noted architect Jarvis Hunt, who is regarded as an important part of Chicago's rich architectural heritage.

When Alderman Reilly took office on 2007, the pending demolition of the Lake Shore Athletic Club was the first controversial development issue that hit his desk.  After hosting community meetings, reviewing the facts and speaking with experts on both sides of the issue, Alderman Reilly determined that every effort should be made to preserve and re-use this historic building.  The Alderman's decision was met with criticism from some 'real estate experts' who claimed it was 'economically impossible' to re-use the building. 

In 2008, a plan was approved to rehabilitate the Lakeshore Athletic Club for use as residential building for seniors consisting of 138 dwelling units and related off-street parking and loading facilities. 

Since that time, the owners of the property, 850 Investors LLC, worked to market the plan and secure the necessary financing.  Unfortunately, those marketing efforts were met with limited response.  Further, the bankruptcy filing of the project's primary competitor, the Clare at 55 E. Pearson Street, in 2011 confirmed that financing to construct a senior residential project would not be available for some time.  The ownership then considered alternatives with their primary objective of re-purposing the historic strucure.

The owners are now proposing to redevelop the existing building to contain 200 market rate dwelling units, the number of units authorized in the existing Planned Development.  As required by the Planned Development, 200 off-street parking spaces and the building's loading facilities will be established in the building's ground floor, basement, second and fourth floors. 

For more information about the revised proposal, please click here to view the plans.

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Upcoming Informational Presentation for 70 - 104 E. Oak Street

June 11, 2012

58 E Oak LLC, the owners of the Esquire property, has released plans for the redevelopment of the parcels immediately east of their property at 70-104 East Oak Street.  To address the rising demand for Oak Street retail space, ownership is proposing to demolish the existing walk-up buildings and construct a three story retail structure in context with the character and scale of Oak Street. The image below illustrates the existing building and proposed structure: 

oak st

The new building will continue the successful concept implemented at the Esquire providing tenants with unique and individually branded Oak Street facades that incorporate large retail display windows. Similar to the Esquire frontage, streetscape improvements will include trees in the signature Oak Street black granite parkway planters and continuous black concrete sidewalk paving to match the existing right-of-way.

The proposed three-story building will combine ground level retail space with single or multi-tenant commercial floors on levels two and three. The building is appropriately scaled for Oak Street at 45 feet in height and a F.A.R. (floor are ratio) of less than 3.0, which is well below the 150 foot height threshold and 5.0 F.A.R. allowed by the DX5 Zoning District. The project requires a hearing before the Chicago Plan Commission for approval pursuant to the Lakefront Protection Ordinance. This is a public hearing at City Hall and information is posted at the end of this item.

Overall construction on site is scheduled to start late summer with the demolition of the existing structures. Construction of the new building will immediately follow. Retail spaces are schedule to be turned over to tenants as early as March of 2013 with store openings possible by June of 2013.

Combining the existing Esquire redevelopment with the proposed 70-104 East Oak Street building, a total of 180 feet of street frontage and sidewalk on the north side of East Oak Street will be re- activated. This redevelopment represents almost 25% of Oak Street's total frontage between Michigan Avenue and Rush Street. The combined projects will introduce of over 17,000 square feet of exceptional, in demand ground level retail space to one of Chicago's most desired shopping districts.  

WHAT:        70-104 E. Oak Development Project

WHO:         Hosted by Alderman Reilly's Office and

The Oak Street Council


WHEN:        Monday, June 25th at 5:30 P.M.

WHERE:      Loyola University - Corby Law Center

                  25 E. Pearson Street, Room 206

This Lakefront Protection Application will be presented before the Chicago Plan Commission on Thursday, June 21, 2012 at 1:00pm in City Hall, 121 N. LaSalle St., 2nd Fl. Council Chambers.  To learn more about this project, please click on the following links to view the LF Application, Exhibits and Site Plan.

The Chicago Plan Commission, comprised of 22 members including mayoral appointees made with City Council consent, is responsible for the review of proposals that involving Planned Developments (PDs), the Lakefront Protection Ordinance, Planned Manufacturing Districts (PMDs), Industrial Corridors and Tax Increment Financing (TIF) Districts.  To see the full meeting agenda, which will be posted soon, please visit their website.

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Development Proposal at 435-463 N. Park Drive

May 28. 2012

 

The Chicago Plan Commission (CPC), comprised of 22 members including mayoral appointees made with City Council consent, is responsible for the review of proposals that involving Planned Developments (PDs), the Lakefront Protection Ordinance, Planned Manufacturing Districts (PMDs), Industrial Corridors and Tax Increment Financing (TIF) Districts. They met on May 24, 2012 to review the Planned Development Amendment and Lakefront Protection Zone Application for 435-465 N. Park Drive, currently a surface parking lot bounded by North Park Drive, East Upper North Water Street and North New Street.

The applicant, New Water Park, LLC sought to amend Sub-Area B of Residential Business Planned Development No. 368 for the development of Parcel 7 and 7A.

In 2009, the CPC approved the development of a new hotel to be 1200 feet in height and contain 348 hotel rooms and 352 apartments. This was approved by the City Council but was never developed. At last Thursday's meeting, the CPC approved New Water Park's new proposal to amend PD 368 to allow Parcels 7 and 7A of Sub-Area B to be redesigned and developed with a 590 foot tall building containing 53 stories, with 400 hotel rooms on the lower floors and 398 residential units on the upper floors, and accessory parking for 230 vehicles. The FAR of the building as proposed is 12.39

The amendments to Sub-Area B of PD 368 include lowering the height of the proposed building from 1200 feet to 590 feet, removing the pedestrian sky bridge connection over New Street to City View and providing for an additional 74 dwelling units to be permitted within Sub-Area B.

This project was carefully reviewed by Alderman Reilly in collaboration with SOAR The transparent community process the Alderman requires of developers seeking to build in the 42nd Ward fosters an open dialogue which, in this case, helped make necessary improvements to the proposal for this very important site.

The many emails, phone calls, condominium association discussions and community meetings held regarding this proposal identified three major concerns: (1) traffic and quality of life concerns related to above-grade loading dock bays; (2) the treatment of New Street as an inactive, pedestrian unfriendly corridor (3) existence of a public pedestrian bridge through the hotel property to an adjacent residential building.

After many months of work, two separate community meetings and a deferral from the Plan Commission agenda last month, this revised proposal better fits the aesthetic context of Streeterville and is now compatible with the surrounding infrastructure.

Based upon the feedback received from those community meetings, the Applicant incorporated the following improvements into the project:

  • Relocate all loading docks and parking access from New Street (above-grade) to Lower North Water Street (below-grade) to address concerns about traffic and quality of life concerns with above-grade loading;
  • A redesign of the New Street elevations to reflect an active, pedestrian friendly streetscape featuring window enhancements, additional trees and planters. The New Street sidewalks will also be widened to accommodate residential and commercial pedestrian volumes;
  • The addition of pedestrian lighting along New Street, on the underside of the overpass and along Lower North Water Street to address security concerns in the area; and
  • Elimination of the Sky Bridge proposed in the previous planned development, considered potentially disruptive and a security risk to the adjacent residential building connector.
Alderman Reilly believes the proposal approved before the Plan Commission is a vast improvement over the originally submitted plans - a direct result of the important feedback provided through the robust community review process in the 42nd Ward.

Please click on the following links to view the revised PD Application, Lakefront Application, Traffic Study and slideshow presented to Plan Commission for this project.

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River North Development at 202 W. Illinois Street

October 22, 2012

202 W Illinois

Illinois Franklin Associates, LLC (IFA) are developing a new 25-story mixed-use building at 202 W. Illinois Street. The site is governed by Planned Development No. 1092, which was approved in December 12, 2007. PD 1092 permits development of a 26-story mixed-use building with 190 residential units, 166 parking spaces and ground floor retail space.

IFA is seeking a minor change to the PD, in order to construct a 25-story building with 188 residential dwelling units, 176 parking spaces and ground floor retail. The updated development proposal would:

  • lower the building height to 250 feet, which is below the maximum permitted building height of 280 feet;
  • revise the exterior envelope of the residential tower to change upper level setbacks, reducing the height of the tower by one floor; and
  • relocate the parking ramp entrance to the east side of the building, thereby allowing more of the existing Chicago firehouse building to be retained and preserved.

These changes will increase the ground level open space and square footage of the green roof. The new building design will achieve LEED Silver certification from the U.S. Green Building Council.

IFA's development proposal includes restoration of the existing Chicago firehouse at the northeast corner of Illinois and Franklin Street. The firehouse is a designated Chicago Landmark, and will be rehabilitated for commercial use.

IFA intends to break ground in February 2013, and begin delivering units in April 2014. Rehabilitation of the firehouse is anticipated to be completed for occupancy in January 2014.

Alderman Reilly required the development team provide an informational presentation to the two community groups with standing in River North: The River North Residents' Association and the River North Business Association. Attendees were briefed on the proposed design changes and both RNRA and RNBA are in support of this project.

To view the building renderings, please click on these links: 1, 2.

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New Two-Story Retail Building Proposed at 1007 N. Rush

September 3, 2012

The property at 1007 N. Rush Street is currently a three-story mixed-use building containing two commercial tenants at grade (Jilly's and The Back Room) and four residential apartments above. The owners, 1007 Rush LLC, plan to demolish the existing three-story concrete block and frame building to construct a new two-story retail/commercial building.

The proposed building would be masonry construction, incorporating modern architectural elements with decorative limestone and a glass front façade. The building would also be fully ADA accessible and provide elevator access between the building's two floors. The current owners are maintaining ownership of the property and plan to have one retail/commercial tenant operating to reduce the overall site density.

1007NRush

The new building would contain 6,144 sq. ft. of total building area (3,072 per floor). The property is within a DX-5 Downtown Mixed Use Zoning District and allows for a Floor Area Ratio (FAR) of 5.0 and height limit of 150'. The proposed building would have an FAR of 1.915 with a height of 38'4", well within the limits for a DX-5.

This property is located within the City's Lakefront Protection District. Although no zoning relief is required for the proposed redevelopment, approval from the Chicago Plan Commission is required. Click on the following links to view the Lakefront Protection Application and a set of the site plans.

___________________________________________

New GEMS School proposed for 350 E. South Water Street

August 13, 2012

Alderman Reilly recently hosted a public presentation for a new GEMS School development, proposed for the site located at 350 E. South Water Street within the New East Side neighborhood. Representatives from GEMS Chicago, Inc. and their design team presented their plans and answered questions posed by residents about this proposal. Alderman Reilly would like to thank everyone who participated in the meeting and those who submitted comments to his office via email.

Alderman Reilly asked the applicant to revise their powerpoint presentation shown at the meeting, specifically the pages detailing traffic flow. The new file can be downloaded here. The traffic circulation slides (#38, 39) contained traffic flow arrows indicating paths of travel from within lakeshore east. The revised slide for Phase 1 proposed drop-off/pick-up operation (#38) eliminates the north bound left traffic flow arrow from Field Boulevard and the right turn exit onto Sub Wacker Drive. The revised slide for Phase 2 (#39) eliminates the right turn exit onto lower Wacker Drive.

The Alderman also secured a commitment from GEMS and Magellan to work on the traffic circulation plan once the buildings open for occupancy. Sometimes even the best designed traffic plans need revision once the traffic study is compared against driver/pedestrian behavior. Alderman Reilly's office will monitor the traffic conditions after the school opens and assist residents should problems arise.

GEMS submitted a Lakefront Protection Application for the development of Sub-Area E of Residential Business Planned Development #70. The application allows for two private school buildings. Phase I of the project is proposed as a 153 foot tall, 9-story building containing 82,000 square feet for grades Kindergarten through 4th Grade. Phase II of the project is proposed as a 240 foot tall, 13-story structure containing 320,000 square feet for grades 5-12 and 105 parking stalls.

This Lakefront Protection Application will be presented before the Chicago Plan Commission on Thursday, August 16, 2012 at 1:00pm in City Hall, 121 N. LaSalle St., 2nd Fl. Council Chambers. To learn more about this project, click on the following links to view a copy of the Lakefront Protection Application and drawings.  

The Chicago Plan Commission, comprised of 22 members including mayoral appointees made with City Council consent, is responsible for the review of proposals that involving Planned Developments (PDs), the Lakefront Protection Ordinance, Planned Manufacturing Districts (PMDs), Industrial Corridors and Tax Increment Financing (TIF) Districts.  To see the full meeting agenda, which will be posted soon, please visit their website.  

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111 W. Wacker Drive Under Construction (Again) Soon!
June 25, 2012

Last week at Plan Commission...

Alderman Reilly offered his enthusiastic support for the new development to begin at 111 W. Wacker Drive.

111 W. Wacker, the former "Shangri-La Waterview Tower", located at the southwest corner of Clark Street and Wacker Drive, initially planned for a 92 story, 1,047 feet, 34.85 FAR super-structure to be at the time the seventh tallest structure in the United States.  The proposed uses included a hotel, condominium and retail, including of a 223-Key Shangri-la Hotel and 243 luxury condominium units.

Construction for Waterview Tower started in 2005, but was halted due to financial difficulties.  As a result, we have been stuck with a bit of an eyesore at this very prominent downtown location since 2008: a partially constructed, 25-story, open concrete shell.

 

existing

Over the years, Alderman Reilly has worked diligently with various owners of the suspended development in an effort to ensure the building's completion.  Ultimately, in 2011 111 West Wacker Partners LLC, a partnership of Related Midwest and 28 subcontractors who became lien holders, acquired control of the property.  

111 West Wacker Partners LLC proposes a completely new design that will repurpose the existing structure into a luxury, rental tower to better suit the current real estate market.  As a result, the building will no longer contain a hotel and condominiums, but contain 506 rental units, an expansive first floor retail space and 439 parking spaces. 

The new building, designed by Handel Architects LLP will be substantially smaller in height at 59 stories and 630 feet tall and density with an FAR below the approved 25.  A side-by-side comparison of renderings is below: initially planned structure on the left and the new design on the right.

 

beforeafter

As part of the modifications to the building design several of the bonuses required to achieve the original FAR of 34.85 are no longer needed.  These include a winter garden, arcade, water feature, lower level planting terrace and off-site riverwalk contributions.  The bonus structure for the Planned Development is proposed to be modified to eliminate these bonuses and the commensurate FAR associated with the bonuses. 

Extraordinary care has been taken to create a new building with an appropriate bulk and massing, contextual with the surrounding buildings along this prominent river corridor.  111 W. Wacker Drive will also provide substantial public benefits to Chicago's downtown, including:

    • Removal of blight on Chicago's downtown - After four years of no activity a 25 story, deteriorating concrete structure along Chicago's impressive river frontage will be completed, adding another world class building to the Chicago River corridor.
    • Addition to downtown resident population - When fully leased, the resident population will be approximately 800 people. 
    • Creation of construction jobs - 850 union construction jobs will be created by the development.
    • Creation of permanent jobs - 120 permanent jobs will be created within the building for building management and restaurant/retail staff. 

Alderman Reilly believes the revised plan presented before the Plan Commission is a considerable improvement over the originally submitted plans, and he is extremely pleased to see that this stalled project may soon be realized. To learn more about the revised plans for 111 W. Wacker, please click on the following links to view the PD exhibits, project description, renderings and site plan.

____________________________________________

Upcoming Informational Presentation for 70 - 104 E. Oak Street

June 11, 2012

58 E Oak LLC, the owners of the Esquire property, has released plans for the redevelopment of the parcels immediately east of their property at 70-104 East Oak Street.  To address the rising demand for Oak Street retail space, ownership is proposing to demolish the existing walk-up buildings and construct a three story retail structure in context with the character and scale of Oak Street. The image below illustrates the existing building and proposed structure: 

oak st

The new building will continue the successful concept implemented at the Esquire providing tenants with unique and individually branded Oak Street facades that incorporate large retail display windows. Similar to the Esquire frontage, streetscape improvements will include trees in the signature Oak Street black granite parkway planters and continuous black concrete sidewalk paving to match the existing right-of-way.

The proposed three-story building will combine ground level retail space with single or multi-tenant commercial floors on levels two and three. The building is appropriately scaled for Oak Street at 45 feet in height and a F.A.R. (floor are ratio) of less than 3.0, which is well below the 150 foot height threshold and 5.0 F.A.R. allowed by the DX5 Zoning District. The project requires a hearing before the Chicago Plan Commission for approval pursuant to the Lakefront Protection Ordinance. This is a public hearing at City Hall and information is posted at the end of this item.

Overall construction on site is scheduled to start late summer with the demolition of the existing structures. Construction of the new building will immediately follow. Retail spaces are schedule to be turned over to tenants as early as March of 2013 with store openings possible by June of 2013.

Combining the existing Esquire redevelopment with the proposed 70-104 East Oak Street building, a total of 180 feet of street frontage and sidewalk on the north side of East Oak Street will be re- activated. This redevelopment represents almost 25% of Oak Street's total frontage between Michigan Avenue and Rush Street. The combined projects will introduce of over 17,000 square feet of exceptional, in demand ground level retail space to one of Chicago's most desired shopping districts.  

WHAT:        70-104 E. Oak Development Project

WHO:         Hosted by Alderman Reilly's Office and

The Oak Street Council


WHEN:        Monday, June 25th at 5:30 P.M.

WHERE:      Loyola University - Corby Law Center

                  25 E. Pearson Street, Room 206

This Lakefront Protection Application will be presented before the Chicago Plan Commission on Thursday, June 21, 2012 at 1:00pm in City Hall, 121 N. LaSalle St., 2nd Fl. Council Chambers.  To learn more about this project, please click on the following links to view the LF Application, Exhibits and Site Plan.

The Chicago Plan Commission, comprised of 22 members including mayoral appointees made with City Council consent, is responsible for the review of proposals that involving Planned Developments (PDs), the Lakefront Protection Ordinance, Planned Manufacturing Districts (PMDs), Industrial Corridors and Tax Increment Financing (TIF) Districts.  To see the full meeting agenda, which will be posted soon, please visit their website.

_________________________________________________

 
 
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