This Week at the Chicago Plan Commission...
42nd Ward Proposals Approved in New Eastside and Streeterville Neighborhoods
November 20, 2015
The Chicago Plan Commission met yesterday and approved development proposals forWanda Vista Tower at 381-383 E. Wacker Drive andthe new Apple Store at 401 N. Michigan Avenue.
381-383 East Wacker Drive - Wanda Vista Tower
After almost a year of meetings with the Lakeshore East, LLC development team, their consultants, and the talented City staffers within the Department of Planning and Development (DPD) and Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT), Alderman Reilly has again successfully negotiated an ambitious skyscraper project for Downtown Chicago.
Lakeshore East, LLC proposes to construct Wanda Vista Tower at 381-383 East Wacker Drive, a 1200' building with 410 dwelling units, 210 hotel keys,commercial space and accessory parking.
In addition to fine-tuning elements for the structure itself, the Alderman worked with traffic engineers to dramatically improve vehicular and pedestrian traffic circulation throughout Lakeshore East and the surrounding Wanda development site.
It is also important to mention that a significant list of concessions and public benefits were secured after much negotiation, not just for the residents of Lakeshore East and the New Eastside, but for the entire city and the growing downtown tourist population.
Listed below are some of the more notable benefits:
A pocket park at the easternmost end of Upper Wacker.This area will be publicly accessible, providing a green oasis at the termination of upper Wacker Drive, which is currently a large vehicular concrete turnaround for buses and limousines.
The installation of dozens of pedestrian and vehicular calming improvements including new traffic signalization and signage, speed bumps, differentiated paving, and lighting.
The creation of a buffer, both visual and physical, from the auto pound at lowest level Wacker. This will include increased lighting, cladding improvements to the fencing, and where possible, a new coat of paint.
Physical improvements to the pedestrian connection to the Riverwalk from the lowest level of Wacker, an area where many Lakeshore East and Near Eastside residents use to access the River.
Creation of a temporary sidewalk on Magellan property,within an undeveloped parcel, as requested by 195 N. Harbor Drive and other neighboring residents, to crease a safe pedestrian access to the Lakefront.
A thorough wind study was conducted to address the concerns from residents at the Aqua and other Lakeshore East owners. The study, performed by aeronautical and wind-speed professionals, confirms the new structure will not adversely impact the usage of their balconies and pedestrian circulation at street level.
The creation of a temporary dog park on currently undeveloped Magellan property for area residents to enjoy.
Alderman Reilly helped negotiate the creation of a very large temporary dog park on the currently undeveloped, eastern-most parcel of the Lakeshore East Planned Development, located directly east of the Lancaster, 201 N. Westshore Drive. In a neighborhood brimming with four-legged friends, this is a welcome new amenity!
Earlier this week, Alderman Reilly joined Friends of Lakeshore East Park, neighbors and representatives from Magellan at a ribbon cutting to officially unveil the new dog friendly area.
(From L to R:Patrick Borzenski, Magellan;Dan Koz, Lakeshore East Resident;David Carlins, Magellan President; Alderman Reilly;
Sean Linnane, Magellan Executive VP)
The new temporary dog park measures approximately 8,000square feet, making it one of the largest enclosed dog-friendly areas in Chicago.
To download the Wanda Vista Tower slideshow presentation from Plan Commission, click here.
401 North Michigan Avenue - Apple Store
Alderman Reilly is very pleased to welcome a new Apple flagship store to Chicago. Apple clearly understands the value of "location" in the real-estate choices they are making at the global level. They've hit the mark again by choosing this prominent location along the Chicago River.
The proposed riverfront retail project at 401 North Michigan Avenue includes construction of a glass enclosed entrance located on the 401 Plaza with descending stairs to the lower concourse level retail space. The concept includes exterior stairs cascading down from the 401 Plaza and Michigan Avenue to the Riverwalk level.
However, like every other development proposal that Alderman Reilly has worked through over the past eight years, the development team's initial offering required some adjustments, and those changes are reflected in the revised plans presented at Plan Commission this week.
Based upon this highly trafficked location, along one of the most celebrated river views - and public amenities - in the city, Alderman Reilly worked with the development team to refine their design to fit more neatly within the historic and commercial fabric of this corridor developing along the Chicago River.
Those changes include:
The elimination of a large-scale video screen facing the River. Although intended for educational and tutorial purposes, a large video screen facing the River, its traffic and residents and businesses located south of the River, was not appropriate or established by precedent, and violated the new Riverfront Design Guidelines adopted last year.
More substantial transparency in the structure. It was important for the structure to appear as light and unobtrusive, not only in the at-plaza level of the building, but also the cascading portion down the Riverwalk stairs. The originally proposed design was bulkier and blocked some vistas from Pioneer Plaza - the new design addresses that concern.
Changes to the roof design to create a less-imposing birds' eye presence on the plaza, in addition to the pedestrian experience of the overall building.
Publicly-accessible elevator for access between grades.
The implementation of a traffic study and plan for large school groups attending seminars or educations presentations at the store. This site has the benefit of subterranean roadways to accommodate school buses or large groups.
Alderman Reilly asked Apple to revisit their original plan for drop-off, loading and unloading off the Michigan Avenue vehicular drive. They agreed by developing a traffic plan to create no additional vehicular traffic at-grade on the Avenue for these larger groups.
To download the 401 N Michigan Avenue slideshow presentation from Zeller Realty Group, which was presented at the Plan Commission meeting, click here.
TheChicagoPlanCommission, comprised of 22 mayoral appointees, is responsible for the reviewofproposalsthat involve Planned Developments (PDs), the Lakefront Protection Ordinance, Planned Manufacturing Districts (PMDs), Industrial Corridors and Tax Increment Financing (TIF) Districts.
Community Meeting Summary for Development Proposal at the Northwest Corner of Ontario and Wells
May 21, 2015
Alderman Reilly and the River North Residents Association (RNRA) recently co-hosted a public presentation for a proposed development at the property on the northwest corner of Ontario Street and Wells Street. Alderman Reilly would like to thank everyone who participated in the open and transparent community review process.
Representatives of the JDL development team presented their plans for a 22-story building with approximately 253 residential units, ground floor retail and commercial space, and 2-story commercial building. 117 accessory off-street parking spaces will be provided.
If you were unable to attend the Tuesday, May 12 meeting, click here to download the slideshow presentation.
Community Meeting Summary for Development Proposal at the Southwest Corner of Hubbard and Wells
April 7, 2015
Alderman Reilly and the River North Residents Association (RNRA) recently co-hosted a public presentation for a proposed development at the property on the southwest corner of Hubbard Street and Wells Street. Alderman Reilly would like to thank everyone who participated in the open and transparent community review process.
Representatives of the Centrum Partners LLC development team presented their plans for an 8-story office building and 22-story residential building containing 193 residential units. Both buildings will have ground floor commercial space. 91 parking spaces located in the residential building will serve both buildings.
If you were unable to attend the Monday, March 31 meeting,click here to download the slideshow presentation from the meeting.