Archive for the ‘West_Loop’ tag
As part of an interesting discussion of the planned development on Randolph and the Chicago River, 150 N. Riverside, we read this aside about Boeing’s infamous unfriendliness to civilians and tourists…
[Alderman Brendan] Reilly has been emphatic in noting that this will be a public park, not a publicly accessible private park. When Hines finally agreed to build its park at River Point, the Texas developer tried to start negotiations over how many days a year it would be available to the public. Reilly said words to the effect of “Homey don’t play that” and sent Hines packing until it realized that Chicago isn’t Houston and you can’t just build whatever you want without regard to the neighbors.
The Hines park will now be open all year round.
Neighbors, however, are worried that the the 150 North Riverside park will be significantly less than promised. They don’t want a repeat of what’s going on one block to the south at the Boeing building. When the Seattle aircraft maker moved here, what used to be a nice, welcoming public plaza became a fortress with security guards harassing the locals for walking through what’s supposed to be a public riverwalk, threatening tourists for the imaginary crime of camera possession, and keeping the place behind locked gates more often than it is open. That is also the case up the street, where the residential development north of Kinzie Street keeps the public riverwalk locked up. If you want to legally access it, you must go to a security office and ask a guard to unlock it for you.
The developer is trying to assuage the locals fears by promising to deed the 150 park to the city. But then he repeatedly states the park will be open “dawn to dusk.” City parks are open until 11pm. And it’s not like city parks have a stellar track record of openness, access, and not trying chasing tourists away because they’re holding cameras. When it’s not snowing, there are parts of Millennium Park repeatedly locked off for private events, and some parts that are closed to the public for big corporations for months at a time.
(click here to continue reading Grand Plans for “Millennium Park Lite” Come With West Loop Office Tower | The Chicago Architecture Blog.)
Really, if you are walking through this area with a camera, Boeing’s guards (some of whom have weapons on display) will come to full attention, and gods forbid if you step towards their building with your camera at the ready. A very, very unfriendly neighbor, to say the least. Many, many years ago when I was a dew-faced young lad, I worked a temporary job here, when Morton Salt’s HQ was here (or nearby, memory is a funny thing) – I remember sitting by the Chicago River eating my lunch in a pleasant, public plaza. You would probably have to duck bullets if you tried this today, or at any time since Boeing moved in circa 2001.
Back to 150 N Riverside: we are personally not opposed to a new development here, especially if Alderman Reilly can enforce the public park aspect of the plan. The Loop, west, and the West Loop areas are drastically underserved by greenspace. In an ideal world, 150 N Riverside aka 400 W Randolph wouldn’t be a building at all, instead, the City of Chicago could construct an elevated public park above the tracks, just like Millennium Park itself! But we are realists, so that’s simply a fantasy.
For your amusement, a few other photos of the general area in question, as it looks today. Double click to embiggen…
Waiting for the 216
There were credible rumors1 that Google was going to move into the West Loop, but then Google signed a lease in River North instead. However, according to Crain’s Chicago, it still might happen:
Google Inc. is mapping new office territory in Chicago. The Mountain View, Calif.-based technology giant is in talks to move its Chicago office to the city’s meatpacking district, where it would lease more than 200,000 square feet, sources say. If a deal is struck, it would dramatically reshape the gentrifying Fulton Market-Randolph area, where foodies flock to a thriving restaurant row but major office tenants have yet to arrive. Landing one of the world’s most recognizable companies would bring instant legitimacy to an office market now made up of small tenants in low-rise loft buildings.
… “Google is an unbelievable engine,” says Chicago tenant broker Bob Chodos, a principal at Seattle-based Colliers International who is not involved in the Google deal. “Wherever they go gets bigger.” Google’s employees, mostly in sales, are outgrowing the Kinzie Street tower where the company’s lease for about 150,000 square feet expires at the end of 2015. As Google expands here, it is expected to need more than 200,000 square feet, and possibly up to 300,000, sources say.
Enter Sterling Bay Cos., which reached an agreement to buy the 10-story Fulton Market Cold Storage warehouse, the tallest in the neighborhood, in 2011. The Chicago developer is converting the existing building and an attached new structure into about 540,000 square feet of office and retail at 1000 W. Fulton St. by late next year.
In addition to Google, Boka Restaurant Group—which includes chef Stephanie Izard’s nearby Girl & the Goat and Little Goat Diner—is finalizing a deal for a steakhouse on the ground floor of the former meat storage facility, sources say.
Already, construction of a Soho House hotel is underway near the intersection of Halsted and Randolph streets. Nobu Hospitality Group, whose owners include actor Robert De Niro, in March confirmed its desire to put another boutique hotel and a Japanese restaurant on Randolph.
(click here to continue reading Has Google outgrown River North? – In Other News – Crain’s Chicago Business.)
I’ve taken a few photos of this building over the years…
- which I swear I blogged about, but now cannot find [↩]
My photo was used to illustrate this post
Photo By Seth Anderson “Blackbird is one of the finest restaurants in the country” – Chicago Tribune. Sophisticated, earthy food in a modern, sleek setting. Owner of a Michelin star.
click here to keep reading :
Blackbird In Chicago
automatically created via Delicious and IFTTT
I processed and uploaded 113 photos in March, much less than February’s total. Probably my ear troubles ate into my productivity, but that’s just an excuse.
Anyway via Flickr: Archive of your uploads to Flickr in March 2013 here are my 22 personal favorites created in March. Click image to embiggen.
Preliminary plans call for eight to 12 acres of public park that would be built over the expressway, bridging the gap between the West Loop and the central business district, said Steven Fifield, president of Chicago-based Fifield. The recreational space would then serve as a catalyst for bringing new office towers, and tenants to fill them, to the neighborhood, he said.
The capping project would cost around $45 million if it were to span the three blocks between Washington Boulevard and Adams Street, and its first phase could be funded with tax-increment financing from the city, Mr. Fifield said. As more tenants move to the area, boosting tax revenue, the project would likely end up paying for itself, he said
Songs We May Have Forgotten (click to embiggen)
Sunset in the West Loop.
A Flickr pal asked me how I named this photo.
Short answer, I don’t know.
Longer answer: Titles are hard, especially after coming up with over 8,000 already1. I try not to repeat myself when naming the photos that I upload to Flickr, but it is a challenge. Some photographs name themselves, others have only a tangential, tenuous relation between subject and title. I’m a bit of a magpie, snatching up fragments of phrases from wherever I find them, or sometimes just from turning off my conscious brain for a second, and seeing what emerges from my subconscious.Footnotes:
- 8,891 items uploaded to Flickr as of 8-31-2012 [↩]
A Sunday night rain storm; my soundtrack was Townes Van Zandt and bottle of decent enough red wine. And the sound of falling water.
and the actual 30 second video, theoretically… (Flash, sorry)
Another new neighbor:
CHICAGO-Summit Design + Build LLC is underway on construction on City Winery Chicago, a fully operational urban winery and tasting room, restaurant with outdoor wine garden, concert hall and private event space at 1200 W. Randolph St. in the West Loop. The building is a former refrigerated food distribution warehouse built in the early part of the 20th century, is being renovated into a 33,000-square-foot contemporary winery and hospitality facility. Opening is scheduled for August.
(click here to continue reading GlobeSt.com – Duke Signs Leases for Three Industrial Tenants – Daily News Article.)
The retail space in R+D 659 has never been leased in the history of the building – it has sat vacant since 2006. Especially since there will not be a garage here, I’m happy to have Fiat as a neighbor.
Fiat of Chicago hopes to open its 12,900-square-foot dealership at 647 W. Randolph St. by July, says Carmelo Scalzo, who will co-own the dealership with his father Antonio Scalzo. They chose the location, on the ground floor of the 15-story R+D 659 condo tower, largely because of its location next to the highway, Carmelo Scalzo says.
After 28 years away from the U.S., Milan-based based Fiat SpA, which also owns Chrysler, began selling its Fiat 500 model here last year and has already opened dealerships in the suburbs. Since its American return, the company has rolled out a publicity blitz including television advertisements featuring Jennifer Lopez and Charlie Sheen. Fiat of Chicago aims to generate its own attention with visibility and easy accessibility to hundreds of thousands of drivers a day.
“With the right signage, that’s about the heaviest traffic there is in Chicago,” says Greg Kirsch, principal at New York-based Newmark Knight Frank, who represents retail tenants in Chicago but was not involved in this deal. “It kind of follows what Mercedes did on North Avenue. That was a good example of taking advantage of the expressway traffic. The rental income from billboards alone can be tens of thousands of dollars a month, so why not use the high visibility and make it convenient for the customer at the same time?”
The Scalzos already own and operate Volvo of Oak Park. They sought out the Fiat brand because Antonio Scalzo worked as a Fiat technician in his native Calabria, Italy, before coming to the U.S. and eventually owning his own Fiat and Alfa Romeo dealership in Berwyn and later Maywood. “It was an opportunity for my father to get back to his roots with Fiat and Alfa Romeo,” Carmelo Scalzo says. “We’ve been pursuing it for a couple of years, and with our history and heritage they thought we’d be a good fit.”
The younger Mr. Scalzo says he plans to sell 600 Fiats a year out of the dealership, which would give it one of the highest volumes in the country. When the higher-end Alfa Romeo brand returns to the U.S. in 2013 or ’14, those sports cars will become available in the Chicago showroom, he says. That will create price ranges from about $16,000 for the Fiat 500 to more than $60,000 for some Alfa Romeos, Mr. Scalzo says. Fiat of Chicago will have a bright, red-and-white showroom — or “studio,” as the company calls it — with high ceilings. It will not have a service garage.
(click here to continue reading Fiat dealer, parking on Randolph, aims to turn heads on Kennedy – News – Crain’s Chicago Business.)
Maybe the Scalzos want to purchase some Chicago-esque photographs to hang in their showroom?
Without preamble (if you want explanation, check December’s children), here are my favorite twelve photos from February. There were 133 to choose from.
And I Still Do Not Know What It Was That I’ve Done Wrong
Honorable mention goes to:
West Grand Avenue
I did eat at Veerasway once, and I thought it ok, not great. Nothing had much flavor, and I never returned. I’m not adverse to a good hamburger now and again, but how many new “organic” hamburger joints can the West Loop support anyway?
Last weekend at Lollapalooza, Veerasway owners Chris and Angela Lee set up shop as Juhu Beach. Little did anyone know that the tent setup would be the modern Indian restaurant’s new form as the Lees shuttered the Michelin Bib Gourmand-stamped Veerasway on Sunday and now will begin transforming it into Grange Hall Farm Burger.
Despite getting recognized by Michelin, Veerasway just wasn’t pulling in the business. “Not enough people gave Indian a chance,” said Chris Lee. “In other words, everyone who had the food thinks it’s great, but not enough people were willing to try the food.”
The new approximately 55-seat free-range burger joint will open sometime this fall to, as the Lees feel, fill a quality burger void in the West Loop. They were inspired to open Grange Hall after seeing the popularity of DMK Burger Bar. “There are many restaurants with good burgers, but the point is that there are no dedicated burger places in the West Loop,” he said. “We want to do it to Angela’s style.” Lee does recognize that Epic Burger recently opened not too far from their location, but considers that more in the Loop.
The restaurant will grind all the hormone-, drug- and antibiotic-free beef in house. They will source all the products—meats, vegetables, fruit—from family farms as close to Chicago as possible and plan to use only in-season ingredients. The menu, which is still being worked out, will also feature turkey and veggie burgers, as well as just-baked pies and hand-churned ice cream. And on weekend mornings, they’ll hold farm breakfasts.
(click here to continue reading Veerasway Closing, Grange Hall Farm Burger Will Replace; Juhu Beach to Carry on Legacy – New Beginnings – Eater Chicago.)
update, walked by here this evening:
Here are a couple, plus a silly little video I shot with my phone, set to the opening strains of Adagio in G Minor for Strings and Organ. Click to embiggen, of course.
Cloudscape in the West Loop – Number 2200
and another version for no apparent reason…Footnotes:
- yet, I will post more later, probably in a week, or month, or year from now. [↩]
Kevin Pang reports about who is going to move into the old Rushmore location:
Chef Mark Mendez, who left Carnivale last September, has revealed his next move: opening a Spanish small bites/wine bar with his wife Liz in the West Loop.
They’re calling it Uva, Spanish for grape, and it’ll be located at Lake and Carpenter Streets (1023 W. Lake St.) in the West Loop. His neighbors will include Next/Aviary and Maude’s Liquor Bar.
Mendez said he and his wife are working with Charles Bieler of The Gotham Project, who’s been working on a proprietary system of kegged wines on tap in New York City. Mendez will also be sourcing what he calls “oddball, small batch varieties.”
(click here to continue reading Former Carnivale chef Mark Mendez to open West Loop wine bar – chicagotribune.com.)
Former location of Marché, soon to be reopened under new management:
Nellcôte (833 W. Randolph St.; no phone yet), the previously unnamed venture by Jared Van Camp (Old Town Social). The restaurant is named for Villa Nellcôte, the mansion on the Côte d’Azur where the Rolling Stones threw a notorious house party that somehow spawned the album Exile on Main Street.
“Over-the-top luxury without pretense” is how a spokeswoman describes the look. “There will be white Italian marble, wrought-iron gates, [and] cartouche crown molding, but also irreverent accents like bohemian pop art,” she says. The menu will feature a changing-daily lineup of house-made foods using local ingredients, including pizzas and pastas made with house-milled 00 flour. The flour mill is a 9-by-11-foot leviathan that the kitchen was built around, and the finely milled flour will be available for retail sale. Van Camp is targeting November or December for opening.
Sounds somewhat intriguing, the proof will be if it is a place that Gram Parsons would hang out in while consuming heroic amounts of opium derivatives.