Categories
Business crime

Alderman Burnett says No Devil’s Weed Store Next to West Loop Rehab Center

Little Bo-Peep

Following up on the ridiculous “Cannabis is the devil’s weed” story from last week, Chicago Sun-Times reports:

Ald. Walter Burnett (27th) pushed back Tuesday on a pot firm’s plan to open a recreational weed store next to the city’s largest drug treatment facility.

Burnett, a former alcoholic, said the location proposed by Wheaton-based NuMed is simply “too close” to The Haymarket Center at 932 W. Washington.

“Ideally, I would like to have a perimeter of three city blocks that surround Haymarket. But I think it’s going to be very challenging,” said Lustig.

Asked if the litany of bars in the area that serve alcohol are also a concern, Lustig said: “I’ve always had concerns, but you can’t smell alcohol” like you can smell marijuana smoke.

But Burnett said because of the availability of booze, the other proposed pot shop locations aren’t as much of a concern to him as NuMed. The Fulton Market Association, a nonprofit focused on economic development in the area, is collecting signatures for a petition against NuMed that it plans to send to city officials Friday morning.

“We support that [patients] shouldn’t be faced with a marijuana shop right in their face and perhaps be enticed into a relapse,” said the group’s executive director Roger Romanelli.

(click here to continue reading Ald. Burnett says no to pot company’s plan to set up shop next to West Loop rehab center – Chicago Sun-Times.)

Drink Up

This irks me for all sorts of reasons. For one, for addicts, including alcoholics, being near bars and restaurants that serve alcohol is fine apparently, but an upscale cannabis dispensary being 1/4 mile away is a temptation they cannot resist? Really? Really?

Secondly, smoking is not permitted in dispensaries. Smoking cannabis is also not legal on the streets, though of course people have been smoking on the weed in public for decades or longer, including right in the doorway of this drug treatment facility. I can attest to this personally.

Smoker's Burdens

And if I were to get NIMBY1 with it, I’d rather this treatment facility was the one that moved. The clients2 often huddle in groups on the sidewalk, blocking passersby, chain smoking Newport cigarettes, blowing smoke on pedestrians. Why is this drug treatment facility located in the middle of a bustling entertainment district anyway? Haymarket Center has been there for a long time, and originally, this was not the same neighborhood as it is now. But neighborhoods change, and the West Loop has drastically changed over the last decade.  The West Loop of 1975 is not the same as the West Loop of 2020.

Final thought, smoking cannabis is not a gateway drug to being a heroin addict, at least not according to modern research. The State of Illinois recognized this by granting medical cannabis licenses to opioid users, remember? Addicts need help, and consideration from the rest of us, but perhaps having the city’s largest treatment facility on 900 W. Washington is the real issue that should be addressed rather than NuMed opening an upscale storefront on Randolph Street.

Become Someone Better

Footnotes:
  1. Not In My Back Yard []
  2. customers? patients?? recovering addicts?? []
Categories
Business

Pot Store Near Addiction Center vs Alcohol Sale Near Addiction Center

Wishbone

Ally Marotti of the Chicago Tribune reports:

A marijuana company wants to open a dispensary in Chicago’s West Town neighborhood that would be near trendy restaurants and boutiques. It also would be on the same block as an addiction treatment center.
“This will trigger patients to relapse,” said Dan Lustig, a psychologist who is president and CEO of Haymarket Center.

NuMed wants to open its dispensary on the second floor of 935 W. Randolph St., above Floyd’s 99 Barbershop. Haymarket Center is at 932 W. Washington Blvd. If NuMed’s dispensary opens as planned, the entrance will be on North Sangamon Street, on the same block as entrances to Haymarket.

(click here to continue reading Pot store near addiction center ‘cannot possibly be a good idea’ – Chicago Tribune.)

I struggle to understand this logic. Is a cannabis store more likely to be a trouble to the neighborhood than an establishment that sells alcohol? Because also within a block of the Haymarket Center are several restaurants that serve wine, whiskey, beer and so forth. There is even a proposed Jerry Garcia themed jazz club to open in the former location of Wishbone, less than half a block away on the same street. People are not allowed to consume cannabis on location, but they can drink until the room spins. Is Dan Lustig also trying to turn this area of the West Loop into an alcohol free zone? If not, why not?

In my experience, alcohol is more of a trigger for addicts than cannabis. Granted I am not the CEO of a treatment center with a vested interest to get my name in the newspaper, but come on. 

 Grateful Dead

BlockClubChicago:

After rent hikes forced beloved West Loop restaurant Wishbone to relocate from its longtime home, the space could soon be turned into a lively jazz venue paying homage to Jerry Garcia, the late guitarist of the Grateful Dead.

Brooklyn Bowl owner Peter Shapiro has been in talks to bring a Jerry Garcia-themed jazz venue to the vacant restaurant space at 1001 W. Washington Blvd., according to multiple sources familiar with the project.

The West Loop venue will be themed around Garcia, who died in 1995 at age 53, and will be a seated, traditional jazz club, a source said. The venue will also feature an accompanying restaurant.

 

(click here to continue reading Jerry Garcia-Themed Jazz Venue Could Come To West Loop’s Old Wishbone Thanks To Brooklyn Bowl Owner – Block Club Chicago.)

Categories
Chicago-esque

Building A Park Over the Kennedy Interstate Still Has Backers

Jammed Up

Chicago Sun-Times reports:

It’s a visionary idea for beautifying Chicago and lifting a community’s property values whose time has never come.

But might it come at last? There’s still an allure here for making no little plans, even if they are arguably unwise.

The idea is the Kennedy Expressway cap, a green oasis that could be built on a deck over the highway as it cuts its swath west of downtown. It would cover that unsightly traffic, diminish its roar and provide open space for a West Loop region that teems with new residents, offices, hotels and restaurants. Think of it as Millennium Park replicated about a mile and a half west.

Capping the Kennedy is a notion that’s been out there for years, always with a dream-like quality to it. It was included in the city’s 2003 Central Area Plan, its first comprehensive look at the downtown region since 1958, and it also was featured in a 2009 “action plan” update that cheerily set a goal of completing it by 2020.

(click here to continue reading ‘Cap the Kennedy’ plan, dormant for years, still has backers – Chicago Sun-Times.)

I whole heartedly still support this project 100%! Or more, if possible. 

This is especially a good time to discuss it as there is a large development project in this exact location that will probably start work this spring, and last for three years. The developers would probably like to have a park adjacent to their health club/hotel/apartment buildings, maybe they could even have input on the plan and contribute towards it?

As a friend said on Twitter, Chicago covered up lots of railroads, why not highways too?

And Have You Traveled Very Far Today?

Seems like I’m not the only to think those thoughts:

I was at a meeting last week called by Ald. Walter Burnett Jr. (27th) and the West Loop Community Organization where residents offered comments about a new hotel and apartment tower connected to an office building on the block just west of the Kennedy between Washington and Randolph streets. People liked the project overall, but talk inevitably turned to traffic management and lack of park space for an area that now has many young families. Residents said the closest parks, Mary Bartelme and Skinner, can be overrun. 
That’s when Burnett brought up capping the Kennedy. I asked him about it later. He said the project could tap into funds in his ward’s tax increment financing districts that may be close to expiring. “If we don’t use it, we lose it,” he said. “That money has to be distributed back to all the taxing bodies, so let’s use it while we can.’’

Sarver said he still believes in the cap. If the experience of Millennium Park is a guide, the Kennedy cap “would generate billions in tax revenue for the city. It would be wonderful. That stretch of roadway is a real fissure in our city.’’ He said other cities, such as Dallas, have done well by relegating a highway to a tunnel and creating attractive public space above it.

“I think this really would be the kind of project that TIF dollars were intended for,” Sarver said.

The cost? Sarver estimates it at $50 million per block. If you did the stretch between Randolph and Adams streets, that would get you to $200 million. Others may suggest capping only two or three blocks.

The West Loop and Fulton Market has drastically changed in recent time, but there is dearth of greenspace. More greenspace is more better…

Categories
Business Food and Drink

Vienna Beef moving HQ to Near West Side

Give the Gift of Chicago

Crain’s reports:

Vienna Beef’s nearly 50-year run on Chicago’s North Side is coming to an end.

Amid a slew of new developments proposed along the North Branch of the Chicago River, the hot dog maker is set to move its headquarters early this year from its longtime home to a renovated industrial building on the Near West Side.

Chicago-based developer Dayton Street Partners said the meat company has signed a long-term lease for all of 2501 W. Fulton St., a nearly 40,000-square-foot building in the Kinzie Industrial Corridor where it will move its main office and warehouse.

The move will end a run at 2501 N. Damen Ave. that began in 1972. Vienna Beef moved its manufacturing plant away from there in 2013 to the Bridgeport neighborhood on the city’s South Side but kept its headquarters and a warehouse along a rerouted portion of Elston Avenue at Damen and the river.

Vienna Beef, meanwhile, will bring its 127-year-old company and prominent Chicago food brand to a corridor running west of Ogden Avenue between Lake Street and Grand Avenue that is rife with industrial companies like it. 

While the City Council last summer opened the eastern end of that Kinzie Industrial Corridor—the portion that borders the now-trendy Fulton Market District—to new zoning uses, it renewed its commitment to keep most of the corridor as a planned manufacturing district.

(click here to continue reading Vienna Beef moving HQ to Near West Side.)

Murph's Hot Dog

On the other hand, corporations moving into existing buildings doesn’t bother me at all…Welcome to the neighborhood, Vienna Beef.

I wonder if they will have a museum and a cafe? I would certainly check that out, if so.

Duks Vienna Red Hots

Categories
Chicago-esque

High Rise On Randolph and Halsted To Begin In Spring

Everything Had To Be Postponed

Oh joy. 52 stories…

The Chicago Sun-Times reports:

With principal tenants signed up, the developer of a mixed-use project on the block east of Halsted Street between Randolph and Washington streets said he hopes to start construction this summer and finish the complex in three years.

Related, one of Chicago’s most active developers, is proposing a 550-foot-tall tower at 725 W. Randolph St. with an Equinox hotel and fitness club, plus 370 apartments. The Washington side, currently a Bank of America branch, would get a 250-foot-tall office building. Bailey said Bank of America and a Soul Cycle fitness club will anchor that building’s retail portion.

A four-story building at 737 W. Randolph St., home to the Haymarket Pub & Brewery, would be kept.

(click here to continue reading West Loop project: Related Midwest aims for summer start – Chicago Sun-Times.)

Breathing Out, Breathing In

Three long years of construction related irritations with traffic flow, contractors skirting laws, clouds of diesel smoke, extra wear and tear on the local infrastructure and so on. Can’t wait to be woken up at 6:30 AM some Saturday mornings with the sound of pile drivers or whatever.

Stoic Delicacy

Categories
Business

Sterling Bay buying ADM wheat mill in Fulton Market, eyes adding Metra station

Storing Wheat  Agfa Scala 200
Storing Wheat – Agfa Scala 200

The Chicago Tribune reports:

Sterling Bay has a $25 million deal to buy an Archer Daniels Midland wheat mill in the Fulton Market district, and hopes to replace it with a project that would include the neighborhood’s first Metra station.

The busy Chicago developer has a contract to buy the 2.2-acre property at 1300 W. Carroll Ave., pending due diligence, ADM spokeswoman Jackie Anderson said in an email. She did not confirm the sale price, which sources said is about $25 million.

…Sterling Bay executives declined to comment on the deal with ADM, or on specific plans for the site, but people familiar with the firm’s plans say it wants to put a Metra station there. Erin Lavin Cabonargi, Sterling Bay’s director of development services, said the firm supports long-running efforts to create a Metra station, “further strengthening the expansion of the central business district and the job creation the neighborhood is promoting.”

It’s unclear whether the train station would be built into the base of a new structure, as seen in downtown skyscrapers, or if it would be a standalone platform. The estimated cost is unknown.

(click here to continue reading Sterling Bay buying ADM wheat mill in Fulton Market, eyes adding Metra station – Chicago Tribune.)

More public transit options are always more better, and traffic in this area is increasingly gridlocked even before all these new corporate HQs and new apartment/condo buildings come on line, so traffic is only going to get worse.

As an aside, Sterling Bay came of nowhere to become one of the biggest developers in the West Loop, and seemingly are targeting the entire city.  

Majestic Corn Silo Kodak Ultra Color 100UC
Majestic Corn Silo- Kodak Ultra Color 100UC

Ogden Avenue  1923
Ogden Avenue – 1923

I Doubt That Is True
I Doubt That Is True

Industrial Devolution
Industrial Devolution

ADM butt crack
ADM butt-crack

Categories
Business

Google expanding space in Fulton Market, this time on Randolph St

 All That False Instruction

Chicago Tribune reports:

Google is planning a two-level store in Chicago’s Fulton Market district, its first known location for a retail flagship.

The technology giant is close to finalizing a lease for almost 14,000 square feet on the first and second floors of several connected, two-story brick buildings between 845 and 853 W. Randolph St., according to sources.

If completed as expected, Google’s deal will represent another milestone in the evolution of the longtime meatpacking district west of the Kennedy Expressway, where Google already has its Midwest office headquarters and more than 900 employees.

To date, Google’s only retail spaces have been pop-up stores and small shops within other stores.

Google’s lease will include former spaces of longtime area restaurants Jaipur and Perez.

Behind the connected buildings, an alley forms a pedestrian walkway between Peoria and Green streets. The property is directly across the street from the Nobu Hotel that is under construction.

(click here to continue reading Google expanding space in Fulton Market, this time with a flagship store – Chicago Tribune.)

I am very curious as to what exactly Google wants with a storefront. Are they planning to launch some new product? Expand the Next line? A new phone? Obviously, Alphabet has plenty of cash to throw around, but I’m puzzled as to what the point of this new endeavor is, other than being in the Hot West Loop1

Stoic Delicacy

Urban Melodrama

Footnotes:
  1. a phrase I hear too frequently []
Categories
Chicago-esque

Chicago’s Equinox hotel tower proposed

Slated for Destruction
Slated for Destruction

Curbed Chicago reports:

As presented, the 680-foot skyscraper would deliver 370 rental apartments, a 165-room hotel, and an Equinox fitness club. Related Midwest’s owner Related Cos. acquired the Equinox brand in 2006 and plans to build as many as 75 fitness-oriented hotel projects.

Concealed on-site parking for 150 vehicles comes via an interior motorcourt accessible from the Randolph frontage road and the existing Court Place curb cut on Halsted. The development can provide additional vehicular capacity with a valet service. All commercial loading will take place off the street and within the envelope of the new building.

The project is seeking a zoning change in the form of amending an existing Residential-Business Planned Development at the site. It takes over an older, unbuilt plan from a different developer that had called for a 370-foot tower with 220 residential units atop a prominent 260-space parking garage.

Related acquired the stalled development site in 2016 and demolished the existing dilapidated buildings that fall. The current proposal grew its L-shaped footprint through the addition of an adjacent parcel and achieved greater density with a 2017 transfer of air rights from the neighboring Haymarket Brewery.

(click here to continue reading Chicago’s Equinox hotel tower proposed as West Loop ‘gateway’ – Curbed Chicago.)

Oh boy, more traffic in an area that can’t handle the traffic it has already, and that’s before all these new constructions finish…

58 story hotel and residential
58 story hotel and residential

Categories
Business

ADM to close Fulton Market wheat mill

Industrial Devolution
Industrial Devolution.

Surprised that this took so long, actually…

Archer Daniels Midland is planning to close a 120-year-old Chicago wheat mill and move operations to a new facility it is building in rural Mendota, Ill.

The Chicago-based food processing giant on Friday announced construction of the new flour mill, which is slated to open in mid-2019. The high-capacity facility will be adjacent to ADM’s existing Mendota grain facility, about 90 miles west of Chicago in LaSalle County.

The current plant on West Carroll Avenue in the trendy Fulton Market district, will continue to churn out flour until the new facility is fully operational, the company said Friday.

The Chicago plant was built in 1897 by B.A. Eckhart Milling, which operated it for decades. ADM purchased it from Dixie Portland Flour Mills in 1990 for about $14 million, according to Cook County records. Located in the once-gritty meatpacking district on the Near West Side, the plant is now something of an anachronism amid the trendy restaurants, bars and office buildings that have sprung up in recent years.

The 250,000-square-foot industrial facility sits on a 2-acre site, according to CoStar Group.

(click here to continue reading ADM to close Fulton Market wheat mill for new LaSalle County plant – Chicago Tribune.)

That could turn into a monster new development if current real estate trends continue

Reliable, ADM In afternoon light
Reliable, ADM In afternoon light

Ogden Avenue - 1923
Ogden Avenue – 1923

I Doubt That Is True
I Doubt That Is True

Majestic Corn Silo- Kodak Ultra Color 100UC
Majestic Corn Silo- Kodak Ultra Color 100UC

ADM butt-crack
ADM butt-crack

Storing Corn - Agfa Scala 200
Storing Wheat – Agfa Scala 200

Categories
Business Chicago-esque

Soho House Developer Plans Another Hotel for Fulton Market

Urban Melodrama
Urban Melodrama

And the real estate hits keep coming…

The red-hot West Loop/Fulton Market District’s hospitality scene is showing no signs of slowing down as Shapack Development is set to unveil a Morris Adjmi-designed 11-story hotel proposal at the northwest corner of Lake and Green Street. Fresh off the success of their acclaimed 40-room Soho House, the Chicago-based developer is upping the ante with a 165- to 171-room project just one block south at 832-850 W. Lake, a site currently occupied by a low-rise meat packing business and parking lot. According to a conversation with Crain’s, developer Jeff Shapack confirmed the new development will include ground floor retail and dining, parking on the second floor, office space on the third and fourth floors, and hotel rooms up to the building’s 11th level rooftop deck. The hotel operator has not been announced, but with both the nearby Ace and Nobu hotels also in the pipeline to meet the area’s surging demand for hip lodging, a boutique brand would be a good guess for Lake and Green as well.

(click here to continue reading Soho House Developer Plans Another Hotel for Fulton Market – Hotel Boom Town – Curbed Chicago.)

This location is slightly outside of the new Fulton Market Historic District boundaries, I wonder if that was planned.

Fulton Market District
Fulton Market District

Categories
Photography

Lobster Tails and so forth

Lobster Tails and so forth

ancient rust-bucket being hauled, hopefully to be repaired. Big chunks of metal and rust kept being jogged out by Chicago potholes…

Taken on March 16, 2012

Categories
Links

Photo Republished at Chicago’s Near West Side Is The Next Big Thing For Tech – Ch-ch-ch-changes – Curbed Chicago

In Need of A Few Good Windows 

My photo was used to illustrate this post

Google’s new home, the Fulton Market Cold Storage Building before renovation. Photo by Seth Anderson] The West Loop and Near West Side are gaining more momentum as Chicago’s newest tech hotspots every week. As Chicago’s economy turns towards young startups and tech incubators to help usher in the new century, neighborhood demographics and flagship business tenants are changing constantly. With dozens of new coworking spaces, names like Groupon, Lightbank and soon-to-be Motorola, River North has been the city’s tech powerhouse for at least the last five years. However some are saying that the near north neighborhood known for its luxury high rises and fine dining has become saturated and too expensive for newer, younger and less endowed companies.

click here to keep reading :
Chicago’s Near West Side Is The Next Big Thing For Tech – Ch-ch-ch-changes – Curbed Chicago

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