Monday, January 30, 2006

* 79 Foot Tall Building @ 7015 North Sheridan Road - The Owners Version

First Time Ever! Owner Fliers Neighborhood, Pleading Case


The letter should read...

To my dearest friends and neighbors of mine,

My name is Connie Abels and I am the queen of the cheap, re-habbed condo conversions in the 49th Ward. I also own 7015 North Sheridan Road. This property at 7015 North Sheridan Road is a single family home I let go to hell. I let it fall apart. I never bothered fixing it up and now it has deteriorated to trailer trash status.

I neglected this single family home so bad and for so long, now I'm going to tear it down.

But my close friends and good neighbors, have I got great news for you! I got a super idea one night after watching a wicky loud band play at the Morseland Night Club. I saw people who were foolish enough to pay $5 and 10 dollars just to get in the door and eat (hee-hee). I said right then, that's the business for me.

I'm going to open up this roof-top restaurant (hee-hee) 79 feet high in the air. I figured I could get into the liquor selling business too. The word on the street is, selling booze is like printing money. Plus, real estate is on the down-slide. The bubble is nearly bursting and I need to find a new career, pronto fast.

Plus, plus, being a smart business woman, I picked this location because it's no where near the Special Service Area #24 tax boundaries. Who wants to get screwed paying into that boon-doggle tax? Not me. Besides, did you see the way they treated me at the Morse Avenue Streetscape meeting in Novermber 2005. Those ace Morse Avenue Streetscape committee members couldn't even get me #@$-%#@# planters. Pardon my french.

Plus, plus, plus, I'm such a great neighbor and am doing this all for you. I am building 30 parking spots too. Parking spots are so hard find and I want to help my neighbors out by renting 26 of them to you. Market value of course. I haven't worked out the details yet, but 26 spots is good to rent, right? Let's see, if my math is right, that leaves 4 parking spots for my cookie cutter condo buyers and 26 to rent out to John Q. Public. That's 30 parking spots. Who needs parking for all my restaurant (hee-hee) workers and patrons. What am I going to do about the ground-floor commercial tenants? They can find spots on Sheridan Road. That's if they don't get rear-ended finding a spot on Sheridan Road (hee-hee). Traffic gets heavy sometimes in the morning hours and sometimes in the evening hours for some reason.

Please, please, please, please, come with an open mind. Don't believe everything you read on the Hell Hole. I see a silver lining in this property I let go to the toilet and I will show you all the plans on Wednesday night.

So, here's the deal, take it or leave it. I'm asking for a R3-5 because knowing the zoning rules. I can about get away with anything I want after I get that zoning R3-5.

Then I can say...."Screw you neighbors, I'm doing what I want!"
Signed, Connie D. Abels - The citizen. Not Connnie Abels-The realtor.

91 comments:

Paradise said...

THis is an awful, awful plan! The rooftop restaurant is completely out of the question.Also, what do we need more retail in that block for anyway? That is a non-retail block and the residents there don't want it. THere is no place to park, and we like this area the way it is. I believe people will accept a few condos in this extremely residential area, but not retail, and certainly not a noisy rooftop restaurant with all the traffic and crowds.

I believe that nearby residents should get first consideration.

While I have no objections to a building that size on that block, containing four condos, I have many, many concerns about Abel and her plans for the building.

For one thing, she is not known to be the most reliable contractor, if what I have heard is true.

Now, about the size of the building-if there are only going to be 4 condos, why 8 stories.

Most of all, I have concerns about the retail. I live close by this block- this is close to Lunt & Sheridan, which is very pretty. This is also a very quiet, non-commercial block , with only "service" type businesses, that service residents, such as a small confectionary in the basement of the courtyard. This area does not support retail- there is only, besides the little store, a florist shop. In my view it is just plain silly to put a bunch of retail spaces where there is presently no retail, when many retail spaces in the area, in locations far more suitable than this, go begging for tenants.

Yet she proposes a ROOFTOP RESTAURANT with all the attendent NOISE & TRAFFIC, for this lovely, quiet, tree-shaded block. Plus, what ELSE is going to go here? She's talking about a bldg. 8 stories high, yet only 4 condos, so that means a bunch of noise-producing businesses thrust upon an area that currently is very residential in charachter. I know this block and I believe most of us would not want it substantially changed.

As I have said before, I would support an 8 story bldg with 10-14 residential units, adequate parking plus rental parking spaces in back, IF, ONLY IF the building is designed in such a way, with setbacks at the 4th floor and maybe another setback further up, to keep the bldg from overpowering the attractive older bldgs. flanking it.

However, I think that a rooftop restaurant is completely out of the question. Also, I see no need for more retail in this particular pocket. Most of the people in that pocket would prefer for the area to remain as it is, in character.

I will oppose this project as it is. It's completely unacceptable as planned.

Also, I have large concerns about the developer and her ethics. Why didn't she develop or at least maintain her awful property before? It has been dragging down the rest of the neighborhood for a long time, and I don't believe that anything this developer does is going to enhance it.

She should be fined for the condition that house is in. If we fined people for maintaining their property this way, we have fewer really decrepit properties in the area. Good neighborhoods don't tolerate this- if she had owned this house in a typical suburb, she would have been featured on the village's 'dirty dozen' list every year, ticketed repeatedly, and most likely would have been forced by a court order to sell.

We really need to take action against local property owners who maintain their property this way, and we surely shouldn't let them develop it.

I repeat, I have nothing against a condo there, even a high one. However, now that Ms. Abel's true design is known, we need to put the axe to it.

John on Farwell. said...

Well said Paradise. But I'm not keen to see a 7 or 8 story building. 4 stories is just right. Shelve this plan under the bad idea catagory.

mclnhna said...

Abels knew when she bought the property that there were serious restrictions on the use due to the zoning, particularly the Lake Front Protection Ordinance. The development of the property should be strictly limited to existing restrictions. There should be NO further out-of-sort developement on our "main street on the lake"! As a 31 year resident of Rogers Park, I say NO to this and encourage all my neighbors to join in the opposition.

rogerparker said...

dont be fooled . connie made these plans so outrageous even joey has to say no and tell her to scale the project back. during a election year he can use this case as a example to tell his constituents he is tough on developers going overboard and he doesn't grant favors to contributors. connie falls on the sword for joey. its brilliant.

Charlie Didrickson said...

Paradise:

For the record I have not formed my opinion yet. I knew of this plan months ago and generally thought it unfavorable due to the height. I will hold off untill I get a good look at the design. I too am curious about setback etc.

RETAIL THRUST UPON US?

Are we talking about the same parcel? Sonnys.Ennui,Unan Imports are all retail services that have been there for quite some time. Help me out here I'm confused by your comment.

As much as I would love people to rely on their auto usage, providing parking does in fact address your concerns about added parking problems.

Lovely quiet tree lined st? Lunt runs to the lake and opens to an enormous parking lot and it faces SHERIDAN RD!

We are not talking about the 1200 block of Columbia here. I see the addition of retail a good one and another restaurant welcome. (I believe it is just the top floor and not open to the elements) That is a very risky business move but who am I to say it could not work if done well.

Regarding the house....sure it was never the best looking yard on the street but beyond that you make it sound as if it was a well funded crack house! Gimme a break.

Blogger Bob said...

What a bunch of whiny anti-devlopment people you all are, even BEFORE you hear the whole story, your minds are already made up.

Not in my backyard!!

You can't put that here!!!

Don't touch my beach!!!

Blah, blah, blah!

As the old saying goes in business, if you're not growing, you're stagnating and you will die!

In order for things to get better in the hood, things have to change and this is only a small part of it.

I laughed so hard at the big Marina Meeting when you all thought you had defeated Goliath and that no further efforts to develop the beach front would come up here "CAUSE WE DON'T WANT IT".

If any of you were so astute to view the proposal that was on the park district webiste, it started out saying they wanted spaces for boats larger then 100ft., then when they came to Rogers Park it read boats bigger than 40 ft., and now it doesn't designate length at all.

Work with the people who wish to make this a great area. In order to get rid of some of the undesirables, some of this stuff must come in.

Birchwood Bill said...

Blogger Bob you got it all wrong. I just want people to follow the rules. If the property is zoned RT4, it should stay RT4. If anyones whiny, its you Blogger Bob.

gf said...

conceptually, i think the idea of a rooftop restaurant is a good one but i don't think the zoning laws need to be altered to make that restaurant a success. allowing the zoning change would set a terrible precedent along the lakefront and what reason could we have to deny the next developer who will ask for a similar variance.

i think the view of the lake will be just as nice from a rooftop within the current zoning restrictions.

RogersParking said...

Whatever our opinions might be about this development, at least Ms. Abels is taking proactive steps to inform the community of her plans. All she is asking is that we keep an open mind and listen to what she proposes.

I'm guessing she's asked for a bit more than she expects to receive and perhaps has a compromise position already in mind.

Why don't we put down the pitch forks and torches, and hold our opinions until she's had the chance to be heard?

RP

Paradise said...

Charlie, go look at that block. Retail has never worked there. Where would anybody park.

The courtyard on one side of the house was rehabbed many years ago and is a condo.

The courtyard at Lunt & Sheridan is a really attractive bldg I would like very much to see rehabbed in charachter.

Then there are apts. across the street.

The only changes I would like to see are better upkeep on bldgs. already there.

There should be NO THOUGHT, EVER of a restaurant there. They bring noise, traffic, and rodents. Why can't the restaurants and bars go over to Clark St, which is already commercial as hell.

I would support a 4-6 story condo there, with retail on the ground floor, if there are really buyers for retail spaces there.

However, I am absolutely opposed to this place as planned. I speak only for myself in this, but I believe I am representative of a large no of people around her.

Sally said...

Parking is crazy around this area. Where are the cars going to park? I'm with Paradise, go to Clark Street, Morse or Howard! Sheridan doesn't need this.

Blogger Bob said...

Well then Sally and others, "What Does Sheridan Need"?

Paradise said...

Blogger Bob, some people would like to have a FEW areas that are mostly residential.

Nice neighborhoods STAY nice because they zone noise and dirt- commercial enterprises that draw crowds, and generate a lot of garbage- out of the neighborhood.

Our retail districts don't work arond here because we have all these little 'clumps' of retail here and there that aren't big enough to 'anchor' themselves.

At the same time, we crud up residential areas with retail.

I live right off Sheridan Road, and my neighbors around here feel the same way I do. We DO NOT WANT a development with a restaurant on top. We do not want the noise. We do not want the competition for parking, already tight enough. We do not need the rodents.

Could the people who live in the immediate vicinity have the most to say? I believe that people who live in the immediate vicinity of this development than people who live west of Clark or North of Touhy or South of Devon.

If someone BESIDES the untrustworthy Abels comes up with a reasonable plan, we'd accept it.

I was thrilled at first, for I visualized a really cute midrise with a couple of ground-floor retail spaces that would contain businesses that serviced the residents, plus maybe 6-10 condos. I visualized a setback at the 4th floor, a big terrace. I imagined the way that lot would look filled in because it looks like an open sore on the block right now.

But I'm NOT thrilled with the addition of a business that generates noise, traffic, and dirt, to the detriment of nearby residents.

QuestionAuthority said...

Connie Abels has been associated with some of the wackier ideas Rogers Park has ever seen and this, my friends, tops the list. First let's not forget who she is -- Connie "The Condo Queen" pictured herself in an ad actually wearing a crown and presiding over her exclusive listings of all of the infamous Kaarvard (sp?) properties that turned out to be the biggest mortgage fraud in RP history and devastated many building and blocks for years. Will she explain her involvement in that fiasco at the meeting?

Sheridan Road north of Loyola is mostly a residential area, and I like it that way. I suspect most people agree. She should build the 6 flat that current zoning and leave it at that. If she wants to build retail, we have 3 commercial streets taht could use the investment: Morse, Clark and Howard.

This is ridiculous that we even have to waste our time talking about this far-fetched scheme.

Charlie Didrickson said...

Paradise: Charlie, go look at that block. Retail has never worked there. Where would anybody park.

I lived on that block for the better part of 10 years. I ran a retail biz out of the space that Blossom Flowers is in.

I know the area quite well.....heck we likely know each other?

Depending on the scope of the restaurant......Connie mentions it being a place for all to enjoy....I am not sure about that.....however she plans to offer parking!!!!

If the place is reasonably priced I can imagine many many people would be able to walk to such a spot. In fact the more streetside retail we have (especially open at night) will create and encourage a more pedestrian lifestyle so we can walk to and from these places at night with the added safety of more people out and about on the street.

To me that is a good thing....and something to think about.

I HEART STATUS QUO said...

Guys & girls, help me out here. I just don't get it. If the idea is to develop mixed residential/commercial properties, why not start with the el stops (esp. Jarvis & Morse, but why not Howard & Loyola,too?). Doesn't it seem to make more sense to put business where you have at least some parking AND foot traffic, too?
Also, can someone honestly tell me that there's no money in single family housing? Am I hallucinating what I'm seeing around Lincoln Sq. with $1.1M houses being sold like hotcakes? Can you tell me why something close to the lake can't fetch anything in that ballpark?
Someone please tell me why I am so off-base. Just what is it that has changed so much in the last 10-20 yrs that makes these proposal so outrageous?
As far as demolishing Sheridan Rd properties, I suggets we start with all the hideous 4+1's.

Thanks in advance for all the thoughtful responses.

Paradise said...

Dear Charlie,

I like the idea of a restaurant in the vicinity but not in between two large residential buildings. Too much noise and too much dirt and too many rodents. Restaurants ALWAYS attract vermin.

Has the likely impact on the people dwelling in these 2 nice buildings (one condo, one rental) been considered? If I were living in one of those, I would strenously object.

There are other locations in the immediate neighborhood that would be better places for another restaurant- MOrse, Clark, or Devon, which are very commercial already and could use more quality stores and restaurants.

Charlie Didrickson said...

IHSQ said: Am I hallucinating what I'm seeing around Lincoln Sq. with $1.1M houses being sold like hotcakes? Can you tell me why something close to the lake can't fetch anything in that ballpark?

We too have single family homes fetching such prices....

I think the issue with this one might have something to do with the fact that it is flanked on both sides by 4 story courtyard builings with no setback?

No big suprise why this may not be someones first choice for a single fam home purchase.

gf said...

my guess is the owners of the restaurant have factored the parking issue in, as this is a huge problem for these type of businesses. i don't think this is going to be a very large restaurant, probably somewhat exclusive requiring reservations and with 24 parking spaces alloted and other patrons walking, there might not be the crush of cars as everyone is anticipating. the upscale nature would also probably limit the excessive street noise that seems to be a concern.

sitting on top of 2 expensive condos should be a clue this is not a sports bar with lots of loud music.

i'm trying to be opened minded and remove personalities from the issue,that can't be changed.

my guess. another "mia francesca"
restaurant. they've done very well on bryn mawr.

QuestionAuthority said...

Mia Francesca, that's a good one! And the Whole Foods on Morse Ave. and the Barnes and Noble at Gateway will be opening soon too, right?

Don on Fargo said...

Ok. Split this thing in two
Build a condo at 7015.

The restaurant? There's a lot of real extate on Devon Avenue.

gf said...

i"m simply saying, except for the zoning variance, which i oppose to, we might just want to hear them out and see the architectural renderings before outright dismissing the whole CONCEPT.

i'm not making a decision until i know all the facts and details and i don't yet. they should be allowed to make their case. if it doesn't work, if there are too many concerns that can't be answered, they will have to go back to the drawing board if there is one.

btw. peoples market would be my choice over whole paycheck.

jeff o said...

I have to throw my two cents in,
paradise seemed to make sense until now,

retail thrust upon us?
the more retail the better, we live in a city for its conveniences that can be had by walking, this encourages walking and street traffic ie pedestrians, and more businesses is good for the area, whats wrong with a restaurant?

i swear the people on here sound like suburbasaures, if you want the burbs go there, but this aint the burbs, its the city, and this is a step in the right direction, dont like traffic? get rid of your car,

by having traffic worsen to the point of gridlock is the only way for public transportation to gain a real foothold, only when traffic is untenable will street cars and the like return or light rail,

you guys complain about lack of parking and then its provided, still not good enough, this is so typical of craig and his followers, nothing will satisfy them, thats because they have a utopian vision that wouldve worked back in the 60s but not in todays world,

sorry paradise but these people live on SHERIDAN, its a busy street, and its going to have retail on it, and if there is noise and rats who cares? dont be such a wussy,

yeah SHERIDAN is such a quiet small residential street, i often layout on the parkway because its so quiet and serene, the cars quietly zooming by and inundating me with water splash is so relaxing,

well paradise, you would hate my neighborhood in milwaukee with its mix of residential and retail, and you must hate bucktown also with its mix of residential and retail, restaurants,


me i love it, and thats why im in shytown and milwaukee all the time,
sounds like you are a suburbasaurus in sheeps clothes,

and btw this isnt that far from an el stop, people cant be that lazy that they cant walk that far from the el stop to this restaurant, thats the kindof city chicago is becoming a more public transit dependent city where its not feasible to drive and easier to use public transportation to get to places, this should be encouraged,

mixed use is never a bad thing, peace and quiet in the city is an oxymoron,

Chip Bagg said...

.
If we must lose this majestic and beautiful single family home with its spacious and shady front yard, then I think a Whole Foods and Barnes and Noble would be wonderful additions to Sheridan Road. And what could be better than a quiet roof-top restaurant where we could enjoy our Tasty Subs?

Hugh said...

> I knew of this plan months ago ...

how did you find out about it?

Charlie Didrickson said...

> I knew of this plan months ago ...

how did you find out about it?

posted by Hugh.

Because I am a pandering, ass kissing apologist and big wig insider who gets his information from people involved and not coffee shop speculation and inuendo.

Come on Hugh.....I thought you knew everything!

;-)

gf said...

sheridan rd. is a highway. 24 or so cars every 2 hours really isn't going to impact that very much one way or the other. the restaurant would probably be busier during the week with local , walking pedestrian taffic which would add some much needed people on the street.

the marathon station on sheridan caters to NOTHING but cars, adds noise and traffic. should we shut them down too?

at some point, we will need to accept responsible businesses into our neighborhoods. they add jobs and revenue and stability. the "mia francesca" group happens to be a responsible group.

if this isn't the right location for their restaurant, maybe we can offer another one.

but let's not throw the baby out with the bathwater. someone has decided to take the risk and offer a service in our neighborhood.

Charlie Didrickson said...

I could not agree more Gary.

Hugh said...

> If the property is zoned RT4, it should stay RT4.

> ... build the 6 flat that current zoning and leave it at that.

Of course, that is the fall-back. And make no mistake, it would be very lucrative. But first: some election year neighborhood theater.

Compare and contrast Abel's proposal with a very similar situation one block south: 6963 N Sheridan (PIN 11-32-200-003), a two-story single-family home demolished recently for 9 luxury condos (PINs 11-32-200-040-1001 through -1009) by Daniel T. O'Leary of Jasper Construction Company, Inc. (since dissolved). Same side of the street, also in the middle of a block, also in an RT4 district, 8800 square feet of prime real estate on North Sheridan Rd.

This tear-down was particularly significant because the former single-family home was listed on the Chicago Historical Resoruces Survey, and so presumably was subject to the 90-day demolition permit hold process.

Jim Witts said...

Unless I read this wrong, doesn't the flyer state, a top floor restaurant? I understood that to be a restaurant on the "top floor". Not the roof.


While I don't like the precedent that the height sets, I am intrigued to find out more.

gf said...

the zoning variance they are asking for might have something to do with the restaurant exhaust requirements so if the zoning variance doesn't pass this will all probably be a moot point.

a lot of us complain that we drive to evanston or elsewhere because there are very few retail choices in rogers park. i would rather spend my money here, support a local business here that can offer walkable jobs to local people here.

the much bigger problem imho is the lack of a comprehensive development plan. the alderman has us running around putting out brush fires everywhere and keeping us all occupied in discusions like this and with "community meetings" that are nothing more than a dog and pony show as we have found out lately.

this is not urban planning. this is an urban problem in the making.

thank you cd

Chip Bagg said...

.
RE: that Marathon station on Sheridan.
YES. SHUT THEM DOWN.
And while you are at it, shut down that nasty Subway store behind it.
(Does anyone actually eat there?)
Build a new structure for Mia Francesca with parking around it.
I'd enjoy a nice Italian meal while sitting above old gas storage tanks. And make all the restaurants in RP dog-friendly. That should take care of the huge rat problem that keeps getting mentioned here. The dogs can hunt the rats while we are all enjoying our moderately priced dinners. And where are all of the yuppies?? Is anyone actually moving into any of these new developments? I keep looking for yuppies but can't find them. I hope they are better at picking up dog poop than my current neighbors. My alley is used as a dog run. I gotta go and throw out this bath water. Oops. Now where is that baby????

LuntAve said...

I am all for the restaurant. but ONLY if foie gras is on the menu.
In all seriousness, I do love foie gras and I love restaurants/ I think the real issue here is a 7 story building. I would love to have more restaurants nearby. If people object to restaurants, they probobly object to anything. I do feel that the height of the building may be a tough sell.

Michael J. Harrington said...

Lots of good questions here today. Here's one item that the letter from Ms. Abels makes clear. Some people should re-read it. Abels says she will create 30 parking spaces. She will RENT 26 of them to residents. So, with four spaces left, how many are potentially dedicated to the new condo dwellers? How many parking spaces for restaurant patrons? A new restaurant, likely upscale in price, with a spectacular view. But with no parking? Who expects this business to survive on foot traffic alone? Better and more comprehensive planning needs to be the standard here, not an afterthought.

jeff o said...

so chip bagg wants the gas station gone but replaced with a structure for more parking,

this is all talk about cars, if you hate gas stations dont you hate cars too?

talk about wtf are you talking about? who cares about parking? this is the city, screw the cars, we need to discourage cars not encourage them,

alot of this talk sounds like typical LA talk, where the lazy asses drive everywhere, didnt know that people in rogers park were so lazy,

mclnoh said...

It seems to me that the most serious issue here is the Lake Front Protection Ordinance. Our Rogers Park lake front is open because of it and there should be NO variance or deviation from the ordinance allowed. I find it somewhat amusing that a Board menmber of the RPCC (an organization that came to be, fighting to stop this very kind of development, over 4 stories) is looking to override the LFPO. If an exception is allowed, where does it end and who draws the line?

gf said...

michael-

my guess is that the parking rentals are a giveaway when the concerns are voiced about "no available parking" to appear conciliatory and to make us feel as though we have "input"

Paradise said...

That Marothon station with the Subway behind it would be good candidates to go, but they are already 'grandfathered' in.

I think a nice 4 or 5 story condo with a restaurant would look great there, and would not be disruptive.

However, we must allow that the current bussiness owners and property owners have RIGHTS, and they just might not wanna sell. If they aren't a bonafide nuisance, we have to let them stay till they feel like leaving.

While we're in here discussing our plans for everybody else's property, we should remember that property owners have a few rights, too.

My arguments against Abels is that she is not trustworthy, because she never maintained her property to begin with, and that the lot looks a little, uh...cramped,for a restaurant and conods both. I think a rooftop restaurant would be very disruptive on this block.

If it were there already, you'd let it stay. But I think we maybe don't want it to be.

We will see what the people living in the buildings immediately adjacent, should have the most impact.

Nononymous said...

It's like the Lord of the Rings:

One Rooftop Restaurant, A Literal Pie in the Sky...
Two Retail Storefronts, Like Glassy, Empty, Dead Eyes...
Three Stories More, Towering Above the Neighbors...
Four Parking Spaces to the Conods, to Make Them more Saleable...
Seven Stories, Reaching for the Sky...
Twenty-Six Parking Spaces to Connie Abels Parking Company, for Rental to the Highest Bidder...
Which Will Inevitably Be the Rooftop Restaurant!

gf said...

mclnoh-

you are correct about the lfpo. that is the paramount issue and it should not be changed.

i think we should get our sandbags ready.

Charlie Didrickson said...

MJH said: A new restaurant, likely upscale in price, with a spectacular view. But with no parking? Who expects this business to survive on foot traffic alone? Better and more comprehensive planning needs to be the standard here, not an afterthought.

You make a good point here Michael. However that is the owners risk, and they should be able to take it as part of their overall business plan. No?

Do we than start a policy by where you are required to offer parking if you want to open a restaurant?

No way. If they fail due to a lack of parking....that is a risk they should be allowed to take.

LadyonFarwell said...

Not to nitpick or anything but the "nasty" subway restaurant is behind the Citgo station NOT the marathon station :-)

Chip Bagg said...

hey jeff_o:

RE: "so chip bagg wants the gas station gone but replaced with a structure for more parking,"

No that's not what I said. I envision a restaurant with parking AROUND it...something classy, sorta like a Denny's or Internatinal Pancake House.

But you've actually given me a better idea. Why not just knock down buildings and put up parking garages with FACADES that look like expensive condos or townhouses. They we don't get the yuppies and we all have lots of parking. We could also petition to have angle-in parking on one side of Morse from Sheridan to Clark. And roof-top parking for all NEW buildings... and roof-top parking for all OLD buildings by 2008. Yeah. That's it.

Donald & Daffy said...

QUACKQUACK- We like ChippBag quackquack because he's always quackquack stoned. quackquackquackquackquack We think Luntave quackquack should stop eating quackquack poop on a plate. QUACK

Hugh said...

> That Marothon station with the Subway behind it would be good candidates to go, but they are already 'grandfathered' in.

The gas station on the Subway sandwich shop on the SW corner of Pratt & Sheridan are in an RT4 district. They are non-conforming uses.

The zoning rewrite of 2004 renamed R4 RT4. Before this area was RT4 it was R4. I'm not sure what the zoning was when the gas station went in, but it was definitely R4 when the sandwich shop went in. The Subway shop was NOT "grandfathered" in. No one I've talked to can explain to me how that sandwich shop got a license in a residential district. It's not a matter of getting some special permission or a zoning variance or something, it's flat out not allowed.

Paradise said...

Well, SORRY for confusing a Citgo with a Marathon.

I haven't owned a car since 1987 when I moved here, so gas stations all look alike to me.

Those stations ARE handy places to grab a gallon of milk late at night if you live east of Sheridan on Eastlake, Jarvis, Fargo, Sherwyn, Touhy.

Would some nice condo develper like to supply a White Hen or something so people up there aren't totally stranded late at night?

Hugh said...

> I knew of this plan months ago ...

Did you think this might have been of interest to your neighbors? Most of us are meeting here online in order to share information and learn from each other, soemtimes I think you are not.

jeff o said...

i guess you guys have never heard of valet parking,

Charlie Didrickson said...

Hugh said: > I knew of this plan months ago ...

Did you think this might have been of interest to your neighbors? Most of us are meeting here online in order to share information and learn from each other, soemtimes I think you are not.

I bet it would have been of some interest.....but just because something was mentioned to me in passing durring a casual conversation does in no way obligate me to pass that info on or discuss it before it is public knowledge.

That of course would be in violation of my security clearance with the NSA.

Oh yeah...it is also how misinformation starts running a muck on BB's and Blogs. Truth be told I thought it was a dead deal and simply don't want to spread false rumors.

Novel idea huh?

Michael J. Harrington said...

So Charlie sez, "If they fail due to a lack of parking....that is a risk they should be allowed to take."

Well, Charlie, this is America. Of course I agree Ms. Abels and other businessfolk are allowed and free to take risks. We need the business community, and yes developers (not an anathema in my book) to take a chance on making something great happen here. But their investment impacts us all for good or bad. The investment of our time, the resources and time devoted by the alderman’s office, and the dollars that public support ultimately brings to such projects should be informed with common sense.

We are all concerned because another shuttered restaurant, one doomed before it opens, hurts the potential for future Rogers Park growth. I only pointed out the parking facts and simple math my kids could do on this project. What's proposed isn't the corner Ennui CafĂ©. It’s an out-of-sight rooftop commercial venue that had better be a real "destination" for folks who don't just happen to be walking by. To survive this restaurant needs customers who walk over from the ‘hood AND those who travel from a distance in order to enjoy something that’s safe, attractive, and easy to get to and leave. Valet parking, as someone mentioned, may be an option but that means the customer’s cost for the “destination experience” goes up even higher. Can “the market” support that? Should we ask the folks at DevCorp?

More fundamentally, we need to be concerned about this accelerating trend of residents being spun around from one supposed “community input” meeting to the next. It’s been like being on some amusement park bumper car ride. We get jerked forward, bumped backwards, sideswiped, crash, and then go on again for more. The decisions always appear determined before the “I held a community meeting” event happens.

I agree with others here who’ve noted that this proposal should be seen as a very real and serious test case for the Lakefront Protection Ordinance. It also has portents for the future of Sheridan Road and for what will be planned for the Sheridan/Devon TIF. Anyone with dreams of grandeur - and extended lines of credit - will be watching the outcome of this proposal very closely. If this piecemeal decisionmaking continues along the pattern we’ve experienced the future is easy to predict. We’ve been talking here for weeks about single family homes disappearing. Do we really want to encourage a new hunting ground and open season for land grabs on Sheridan Road? More out-of-context, hodge-podge construction, and the expansion of slap-dash development in Rogers Park?

We need good development proposals. We’d all feel a lot better if this one landed on our desk in the context of a larger, generally accepted vision of where we want Rogers Park to go and what it should look like in the near and distant future. Hey, when will we get to attend public meetings where inclusive, comprehensive, community-based planning is on the agenda?

humanist said...

look people - 30 parking spaces, 4 for the residents and 26 to be rented to neighbors. That's 30. Mow - we saw how the thing on Touhy went, they exculded the house that's being torn down from the petition, now it gets to go up 3 stories and look like crap between two beautiful gray stones. ok - no more parking spots because Connie is a good neighbor.

7005 sq. ft lot - 4500 sq ft of retail, rooftop restaurant.....and Jeff-o no disrepect-o but even valet parkers have to park the cars somewhere - and last time I looked most RETAIL establishments don't offer that service......I am around there a lot, there's never ANYWHERE to park - don't forget - can't park on Sheridan during rush hour right? Over 2 inches of snow, right? And how about the summer when people who live further out come to the beach - and drive. PARKING,PARKING, PARKING!!!

Moving right along - let's look at the bigger picture - get out your zoning map. That whole block is a special area. The property that Sonny's is on has been for sale since 1998......some girl that lives there told me there are rumors that the management company is going to sell it. Do we see a bigger, more insidious picture arising. Remember the alderman's office knew about the planned dev. on Touhy 18 MONTHS BEFORE THE PETITION WENT OUT.

Focusing on the southern end of Sheridan, a hop skip and a jump from Lunt - is the Loyola TIF and the awnt-to-expand-the-student-population crowd. Where will they live - highrises make lovely dorms - safe for the little lovelies so their parents don't worry about them in the big city.

All they need is this one variance of the Lakefront Protection Act and the whole street becomes south Sheridan.....condo-canyon. Note if they sent a petition around on the block -which block - Sheridan? How many people live there - and the corner building is rental - why would they care. On Lunt - would it be considered any of their business or is there a 750 ft rule or something (asking I don't know).

The LPO was put in place to spare the residents of Rogers Park from having the sun blocked from our view. Why should the wealthy get the advantage of the view and not the rest of us?

And don't forget - Edgewater residents sat back and did nothing - their whole stretch of Sheridan ended up the dirty, noisy, dark cavernous blight that it is.......Rogers Park residents fought it - they sent hundreds of bags of sane to Richie's dad and said NO NO NO.....the city bought the parkland and protected it. Did tey know somethng we didn't or did they just care more about their quality of life?

humanist said...

gee what's in the Pivot Poit building - probably already zoned for seven stories, plenty of parking - nice upscal retail and a rooftop restaurant might spruce the sad gateway mall up......got the el she could probably make a go of a buisiness that has a f---ing parking lot

And it might infuse some life into that area - and maybe the kids there could get jobs and get off the street corners -my a win-win situation for everyone.

humanist said...

jeffo -
1 - it's CHItown not shytown

2. - if you're in Milwaukee - WHAT THE F--- DO YOU CARE -and what do you know about it - btw - Milwaukee's summerfest groundas happen to take up a good part of their lakefont

3. - as for lazy asses - I'll tell you how laxy the yuppies moving in here are - they want Metra to build a station near Howard because they can't walk from Greenleaf to Howard - it's either too far or too scary - I don't know which.

4. - already explained to you that not everyone can walk - and this is NOTHING like an LA discussion - they have problems because they didn't forsee a need for public transportation.

5. peace and quiet - no one said absolute silence - but my block is very peaceful and quiet - you can hear the snow fall at night - so it's not an oxymoron.

You're list of cities so far is NY, LA and Milwaukee? No - no comparison.

Burham's open space proposal was 1 acre of open space for every 100 people - obviously this was a long time ago - but the lakefront itself should not be open to tall buildings....there are plenty of other places you could build a restaurant.

humanist said...

by the way - you guys keep mentioning 24 cars for a restaurant wouldn't be bad.....you are forgetting THE 4500 SQUARE FEET OF RETAIL SPACE!!!

and the 24 parking spaces aren't for the restaurant - THEY'RE FOR THE NEIGHBORS TO RENT......

24 fo neighbors to rent, 4 for condos - 24 + 4 = 28.....2 DAMN SPACES FOR THE RESTAURANT GUESTS!!!

READ!!!

humanist said...

correction...26 for the neighbors

26 + 4 = 30

NONE FOR THE RESTAURANT!!!!

humanist said...

Gary

if you're talking about the Lakefront Protection Ordinance the variance is a height restriction - not restaurant exhaust - that would fall under a building code

jeff o said...

yeah there is so much parking in lakeview as well, i guess that stopped them from having any restaurants, and valet parking,


i live in milwaukee and chicago, i dont follow the strict rules of non RP living, i dont have a narrow mind, i love both cities, if you are ignorant of milwaukee that is your problem,

its chitown and shytown, its whatever, both are accepted spellings, the word shytown sounds more like a ghetto word for chicago anyways, and i like it, big deal,

yes not everyone can walk, so?
use an electric wheelchair then,

who cares how summerfest takes up some lakefront? thats how it evolved, every part of the lakefront is different,
i am deadset against a marina on the lake in RP, that would be retarded,

did burnham put is a proposal of how to dispose of the bodies once our population increased? burnham had good principles and i think parkland is important, but where are we going to put everyone?

whats wrong with highrises? people need to live somewhere, its just logical, ofcourse it would be stupid to make sheridan just like the canyon to the south, but some highrises would make sense, and btw its what is going to happen, how is anyone going to stop this,

you never mentioned what you are going to do with all the people,


and to chipp bag, that sort of development of a IHOP or dennys is SO LA, SNORE!, we dont need parking for a new restaurant, that is so stupid! its the city, you walk or take a bike or a bus or the el,
duh,
and if you drive you will have to find parking somewhere, and if parking becomes totally insane im sure they will build some parking garages,

mclnoh said...

Hey 'peril'! The talk about a METRA station at Howard & Clark has nothing to do with "lazy yuppies". Rather, it has to do with what should have been a part of the original Gateway Retail/Transit plan by providing direct access to the Howard station CTA & PACE facilities including the multi-level parking garage. Everyone in our community should be encouraging this. It will eventually happen because it makes to much sense in all kinds of ways.

jeff o said...

yeah im anti yuppie up until a point, because the "yuppie" is a victim of being a fool, and is simply a demographic, there are many people i see as foolish demographics, they are the "herd"

now this has nothing to do however with making a new stop at howard for metra, ofcourse it makes sense, how can anyone be against public transportation? i thought RP was a hippie place, i guess i was wrong,

hippie are against cars, do give a fuck about parking, and like to walk, give me a break all you bellyachers! you want your "suburban" paradise, go to the burbs, i dont want RP to become the near north side, but its on the lake, duh, highrises are on the way, due to increased demand for housing, you live in USA in the one of the most prime locations, what do you expect?

jeff o said...

sorry mean to say hippies dont give a fuck about parking,

Paradise said...

Everybody here has some good ideas.

Maybe Gateway would be a better place for a new restaurant (or two or three) as companions to the Gateway.

It would be great if there was a Metra stop right next to the CTA stop, like Evanston, for people who transfer from the Red line to Metra, save them using a third train. This was part of the original plan for this very major train station. It should be a complete transit hub.

Charlie Didrickson, you are right about the small retail around Lunt and Sheridan- I go to Ennui, the florist shop, other places there, too, and I think this restaurant would fit just fine if it were relatively small. The operative word here are SCALE and INTENSITY.
You will notice that Ennui is a small coffee house that doesn't even have a full restaurant kitchen. Just how big is this new restaurant going to be? Figure out how many people you would want to handle if you were investing this kind of money-that's how big it's going to be. The businesses in this little pocket are LOW INTENSITY and so should remain. I would really like to see the plans and who is financing this. It sounds like a much higher-intensity business than the immediate neighborhood can really deal with. If it is to be a place that seats 75-100 people, however, it will create a traffic and parking nightmare.


By the way, Walmart fans, a SMALLER, SCALED DOWN Walmart at Gateway would be fine, better than all the damn storagelockers going in there. But again, SCALE is very important here, and those folks aren't known for their consideration of neighborhood sensibilities. If it's big enough to employ 325 people it's too damn big. If they can do it without EMINENT DOMAIN and TAX ABATEMENTS and a TIF district, and scaled it down, it would be OK.

jeff o said...

fuck walmart,

you are crazy paradise, im glad we dont have to live by your strange arbitrary rules,

that mall is a disgrace, there shouldnt be any malls in chicago as it isnt a suburb, for shame, parking lots are for idiots, we dont need 'em and they will all disappear over time,

Chip Bagg said...

.
hey jeff_o

I think your suggestion of using an electric wheelchair at Summerfest is a great idea. But why do you suggest getting rid of (dead?) bodies in highrises? I'm pretty sure it was Burnham who came up with the idea of a Rogers Park marina.

"Chitown" and "Shytown" SOUND THE SAME. So how can "Shytown" SOUND more ghetto?? Are you using some of that sneaky and clever Milwaukee logic?

jeff_o lives in Milwaukee (snicker). Nuf said.

gf said...

hey red-

i guess i wasn't clear. i was suggesting that the height variance might be needed to FULFILL a building code requirement regarding exhaust. exhaust ducts have to be a certain height above and pointed away from a building so the fumes are dissipated, similar to a chimney. there is a height requirement.

red, i don't beleive they will be renting those parking spaces.

insider talk said...

A very reliable friend told me a “rumor”.

Roger parker is dead on.

You are debating a proposal that was never meant to pass. This was by design a campaign maneuver by Moore and friends to provide an opportunity for Moore to turn down a friend and contributor. He can’t run on his current record, so they’re putting together another one. The fight you are making is the rage he needs to say he’s answering to when he says no to the zoning change.

Think about it. When has anyone ever placed a flyer on our cars telling us in advance about what they want to do? Including several details guaranteed to piss off just about everybody? Usually they lay as low as possible- remember the tif meeting a couple weeks back? Get a clue people. These guys are playing to win and setting us up to lose.

QuestionAuthority said...

PEOPLE, PEOPLE -- there is no restaurant, there is no restaurant, there is no restaurant!! If there was, it would be called "THE PIE IN THE SKY". Don't get fooled onto debating the merits of something which is strictly a pipe dream of the most unrealistic realtor in RP -- the "Condo Queen" who was the listing agent for --and though she actually going to sell -- the uncompleted units in the Kavaard (sp?) buildings. (How did she explain away her involvement in that to the FBI after the multimillion dollars lost in mortgage fraud was uncovered?) Remember: leopards don't change the colors of their spots!!

jeff o said...

snicker?
i co-own a sixflat in RP, i have just as much a right to post here, and its retarded to look down your nose on milwaukee, do you know milwaukee well?
probably not, its a great place, riverwest is its coolest neighborhood,

shytown is a more ghetto spelling, hey there are different ways to spell things, big wup,

the bodies i am referring to is the increased population, and there is a demand to live near the lake, chicago will look more and look like newyork over the years, its pretty much a no brainer,

well i propose dumping the bodies in the green stuff by pratt pier, it would look awesome, i guess chip bagg will start the massacre, that way we can keep everything the same,

Don on Fargo said...

insider talk writes:
A very reliable friend told me a “rumor”.

Roger parker is dead on.

You are debating a proposal that was never meant to pass. This was by design a campaign maneuver by Moore and friends to provide an opportunity for Moore to turn down a friend and contributor. He can’t run on his current record, so they’re putting together another one. The fight you are making is the rage he needs to say he’s answering to when he says no to the zoning change.

Think about it. When has anyone ever placed a flyer on our cars telling us in advance about what they want to do? Including several details guaranteed to piss off just about everybody? Usually they lay as low as possible- remember the tif meeting a couple weeks back? Get a clue people. These guys are playing to win and setting us up to lose.
--I'm tempted to believe this. On the other hand, it's too far away - timewise - from the Aldermanic Elections. Who would remember this "stunt"?

Hugh said...

> 24 parking spaces ... FOR THE NEIGHBORS TO RENT

Canard. The developers will initially own all 30 parking spots. Once this project is approved they will be perfectly free to sell or rent them as they choose or as the market dicates. Perhaps those that don't sell immedaitely may be rented until they sell. We as neighbors have no mechanism to hold a developer to a verbal commitment to rent housing or parking spaces as opposed to selling.

MaxwellSmart said...

RingggggggRingggggg. Excuse me agent 99. My shoe phone is ringing. Hello? Chief.HHHMMMM. I see.

Agent 99. It seems CONTROL has hatched another diabolical scheme.

Thomas Westgard said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Pamela said...

Oh what lovely KAOS. Tis may be the most hilarious reading on the hellhole in the last 6 mos.

Ms. Abels rep and pie in the sky dreams aside, a few points:

1. I eat at that wretched Subway behind Citgo from time to time. Subway actually not bad though I prefer Potbelly but that would mean going to Evanston instead of walking, as Paradise prefers we do. Aside from the burrito joints on Clark, Subway pretty much my only option for lunch. And Heartland. Please don't make me eat at Heartland anymore. 15 years of one restaurant. The Kama Sutra has more positions than Heartland has meal options. And Ennui, which I am fond of but sometimes they are out of everything -- like lunch.
2. Restaurant parking: like Suron, it would probably offer valet parking and rent spots from someplace down the street. This is what restaurants all over the city do (when they aren't parking cars illegally).
3. White Hen, etc. for north of Touhy denizens. Um, there are bodegos around including one on the corner of Howard and Sheridan though the fact that the proprietor sits in a bullet proof cage is a little trippy.
4. "Commercial as hell" Clark street: Kind of funny that the Hispanic community has the only thriving business zone in RP. Presumably they have done it through hard work, putting their money at risk, and simply opening businesses that people want or need without the white know it alls trying to tell them what to do, where to do it, and how to do it. Ya think that may be a ticket to success? Of course it's not Paradise's idea of pretty but if you live around Clark and Estes you can find milk late at night (among other things though not foie gras though one might find some prostituee).
5. Joey should just give Connie a damn planter. Which reminds me, does anyone know if Joey was able to obtain commitments for the entire Morse Streetscape funding yet?

Paradise said...

Hey Jeff0, I don't like Walmart either, but my hatred of that organization is due to their total disregard for the wishes of the communities they build in, the way they thrust oversized facilities the size of villages in without regard for the neighborhood aesthetic.Also, they always demand, and get, tax abatements and eminent domain seizures of property they want to build on.

I mean, we are all going to get stuck with things we don't like, so we better figure out how to fit them into the neighborhood in a way that we can benefit from them, or at least not be injured by them.

I don't think MY rules are any more "arbitrary" than those of anyone else posting in here. Some other people's ideas strike ME as being nonsensical, but they are entitled to them.

For some reason, other people don't like hi-rises, even though to me they are part of city life.

Other people want to preserve every single family house.

My point is that Gateway Center is so ugly, overscaled, and badly planned that the addition of a Walmart sure as hell wouldn't do any harm at this point. What the hell?

Since everyone who posts on here has extremely strong ideas as to what belongs in RP, what would benefit it, and what does not and would not, I think my ideas are no more arbitrary than anyone else.

Some people think a bldg. 8 stories high on a street with a number that are higher would be 'blight'. I think that a large restaurant would be disruptive on a block of 'low-intensity' businesses and that we already have more than enough space available zoned for a business like this without packing it between two large apt. buildings.

I believe anything that goes into this pocket ought to be on the same scale as other businesses in the block and that there is plenty of room on Morse, Howard, Clark,or Devon for a large restaurant.

If it is relatively small, it would be a good fit.

nico's mom said...

I don't agree that Sheridan road isn't (potentially) retail friendly...and frankly the height doesn't really bother me as long as they've designed appropriate set backs (although I think it's pushing it, there is a difference between 7 stories and 30). What does bother me is the precedent this zoning change would create, and I'm not so sure I understand the extent to which CA is bound to her original proposal at all once the variance is granted.

I would be inclined to agree with many points made by Gary and Michael on this one, but I am leaning toward thinking this is a set up. The parking thing doesn't add up, unless Connie intends to do a bait and switch on the parking rentals, which as I understand it, she would be perfectly free to do. Even the 26 spaces seems a bit short for a "destination" restaurant - I mean, how many tables are they planning in that big space? Perhaps they plan to do "valet" parking in the public lot next to the park? Anyway, I'm sure the buyers of those sure to be giant flats would want more than a single parking space, wouldn't they? No, it just doesn't add up...

...but I'll be very curious to see the dog and pony show on Wednesday.

BTW - wondering what kind of construction it's going to be...I sure as hell wouldn't want a restaurant above my apartment...I guess they'll have to use something more solid than the usual cinder block. If they are actually serious about the restaurant thing, I think that exterior noise from ventilation systems and such is a legitimate concern...I'll be curious to see how they address that...perhaps that is part of the logic for the height? We shall see...

nico's mom said...

I really think the most important thing we can be thinking about with regard to this proposal is why isn't there better leadship for long term planning. Others have already said it better here today, but isn't that the missing link?

How about a report on the potential economic/social/environmental impact with all the pros and cons laid out, instead of just some realtor lady hyperventilating in front of us, telling us how fabulous it's all going to be. It's going to be fabulous? Great - now show us some objective projections and the grown ups can get together and talk it over.

How does this proposal fit with the larger plan for the future of RP? What is that plan anyway? And who the heck right now is providing any cogent leadership to figure all that out?

Paradise said...

I notice that some people think I'm effete and elitist because I like a neighborhood to be PRETTY, with nice masonry buildings that have presence, lots of mature trees, and small, attractive businesses.

Sheridan Road from North Shore clear to Howard mostly looks good.It has an open feeling, lots of large buildings AND some really beautiful, well-kept single family homes, and many 3 and 6 unit flats. I'd love to see fewer bland 4+1 buildings and more buildings with really good architecture, but good architecture is expensive and therefore 'upscale' which might offend some people who despise 'yups'.

Sheridan Road looks much better than Clark, and if you call a long strip of tacky, ghetto type businesses 'success', then, I guess you are entitled to your own idea of what constitutes 'success'. Personally, I think Clark St. is a dirty, tacky dump that could use some good, well-financed businesses. We don't want high intensity businesses on Sheridan and we shouldn't be stuck with them any more than people who don't want condos in their single-family house hoods should have cookie cutter condos packed down their throats.

Anything would be an improvement on dirty Clark St. and I'd like to see dozens of restaurants like the one Abels is proposing, go in there, as well as other good retail. Clark needs major retail and large restaurants; Sheridan Road does not.

Charlie Didrickson said...

paradise said: I notice that some people think I'm effete and elitist because I like a neighborhood to be PRETTY, with nice masonry buildings that have presence, lots of mature trees, and small, attractive businesses.

Yeah I wonder why? I mean with comments like this I'd assume.........

Sheridan Road looks much better than Clark, and if you call a long strip of tacky, ghetto type businesses 'success', then, I guess you are entitled to your own idea of what constitutes 'success'. Personally, I think Clark St. is a dirty, tacky dump that could use some good, well-financed businesses.

Pamela said...

Whether we like Clark St. visually or not, one must acknowledge that the businesses are thriving which, presumably, indicates that they are serving their segment of the community. They are perfectly legal businesses, earning money, ostensibly, by honest work and trade. We don't see them asking for tax breaks or zoning exemptions. The streets are busy with people, as opposed to other parts of RP that are virtual ghost towns. So, yes, the businesses on Clark Street are a success by almost any definition of capitalism. They are every bit as successful as "prettier" businesses on Halsted or Armitage or Clybourne or their brethren on W. Chicago. They're just not businesses that serve the more flush denizens of RP.

Obviously Sheridan is a more aesthetically pleasing thoroughfare. But my point was that the Hispanic community has really the only robust business zone in the 'hood.

Don't ever run for Alderman, Charlie. The last line of your post just lost you the Hispanic vote!

Charlie Didrickson said...

Pamela.....I am laughing to hard. I was quoting Paradise!

Here it is in all it's glory......shame on you for thinking I'd ever say that!
---------------------------------------
I notice that some people think I'm effete and elitist because I like a neighborhood to be PRETTY, with nice masonry buildings that have presence, lots of mature trees, and small, attractive businesses.

Sheridan Road from North Shore clear to Howard mostly looks good.It has an open feeling, lots of large buildings AND some really beautiful, well-kept single family homes, and many 3 and 6 unit flats. I'd love to see fewer bland 4+1 buildings and more buildings with really good architecture, but good architecture is expensive and therefore 'upscale' which might offend some people who despise 'yups'.

Sheridan Road looks much better than Clark, and if you call a long strip of tacky, ghetto type businesses 'success', then, I guess you are entitled to your own idea of what constitutes 'success'. Personally, I think Clark St. is a dirty, tacky dump that could use some good, well-financed businesses. We don't want high intensity businesses on Sheridan and we shouldn't be stuck with them any more than people who don't want condos in their single-family house hoods should have cookie cutter condos packed down their throats.

Anything would be an improvement on dirty Clark St. and I'd like to see dozens of restaurants like the one Abels is proposing, go in there, as well as other good retail. Clark needs major retail and large restaurants; Sheridan Road does not.
# posted by Paradise : 8:57 PM

Been There - Done That said...

Charlie, I'm going to ask you to take a second look at Clark Street. The stores are improving in merchandising, facade improvement - they are definately entering a new stage. Fewer hand lettered signs, better merchandise.
The bakeries are absolutely wonderful - where can you get a sweet roll or donut for 25 cents apiece? The market north of the Mega Mall is almost as good as the Rogers Park Fruit Market. Take another look. The jewelers are good too.

Charlie Didrickson said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Pamela said...

Whoopsie! My bad. Stop picking on Charlie and instead pick on Paradise (sorry, Paradise!). I misread. My way bad.

Thomas Westgard said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
nico's mom said...

TW, I never thought this day would come, but for once I agree with everything you've said.

Except the swipe at Courbusier. Notre-Dame-du-Haut is one of the most beautiful buildings I've ever had the honor to be in. The Villa Savoye and the United Nations aren't too shabby either.
http://www.greatbuildings.com/architects/Le_Corbusier.html

But I take your point about his public housing projects through - the
"mini-city in a building surrounded by open park" concept, no matter how well intentioned, is a wash. That's what happens when you let your ideology run away with you!

Paradise said...

Tom, I agree with you on Mies Van der Rohe. His buildings are ugly and forbidding, and he was a practising fascist in his relationship with his rich, submissive clients. For example, in his office buildings, he designed the shades to open at only two levels. They were closed , up halfway, or open. You could not fine-tune the amount of light you wanted to admit, much to the consternation of office workers who had to deal with the glare of the noon sun while trying to work in flourescent lighting.

The joke was on him. Do you know where he was living when he died?
NOT in one of his cold, cheerless, institutional looking glass boxes but in one of the gorgeous old vintage hi-rises on LSD (my idea of perfect buildings), a place with rich millwork and cove moldings and parquet floors and high ceilings and thick silk drapes- all the lovely stuff he affected to despise.

I think he secretly hated himself and everything he created, even though I will say that his apt bldgs on LSD have extremely well-designed passive ventilation systems. I would rather live in one of those great old high rises with bad plumbing than one of his mechanically great but ugly and unhomelike buildings any time.

Pamela said...

Oh dear, I mostly agree with TW's points too though I kind of like some of those fascist buildings, or I like the starkness of them against more ornate buildings. But don't agree with TW's advocacy of community planning. I do want central meetings, however, which would have close to the same effect without annoying committees and the mediocrity they usually create. Monthly or every other month meetings where zoning issues are addressed would bring development issues in front of the community in a more wholistic fashion.

humanist said...

hey mchnol

the Metra station - nice f---ing try - it took us 19 years to get an extra stop at RP between 5:21 and 6:00 trains - you're dreaming if you think you can just pop in train stations wherever you want - they aren't the "el" they're a RAILROAD....the UP runs their trains differnt than every other railroad on the system they don't go out and come back home they sometimes don't go to the yard for three days.

It won't happen - it's a big dream

humanist said...

paradise

just so you knw - Clark Street today is a CAST improvement over what Clark St was 15 years ago.....the garbage belew all over, the businesses were awful, the worst thing on Clark now is the Mega Mall

The small restaurants may not be where you would want to eat, but they offer AUTHENTIC ethnic food, are affordable and reflect the population and character of the area much like the restaurants on Devon.

And yes, they are successful....the cops cleaned up Mega Mall but still i am not crazy about it.

Charlie Didrickson said...

Meis was no fascist......in fact he was kicked out of Germany and the Bauhaus shut down by the Nazi's.

That is how he ended up in Chicago and IIT. One of his paramount concerns was in fact Anti- Architecture. It took into account an open and flexible floorplan that made every attempt to think about the function of it's space over it's form. Ever been in a Meis highrise? Ever notice how those open floor to ceiling windows brings you much closer to nature and the outside world? Ever notice how extremely well his buildings are sighted? Ever notice how when you walk up to a meis structure you are always greeted by a very open plazance giving the building a very welcome and pedestrian scale even though it towers above you?

Ever notice that Meis was building structures FOR living people and NOT building temples?

Had Meis developed the entire stretch between Hollywood and Loyola on Sheridan......it would never feel like the canyon it does today.

Like his work or not Meis took into account the human scale of things......he really did.

Paradise said...

Charlie... I KNOW that Mies was not a Nazi or official Fascist... however, he had a very authoritarian spirit, and he felt that his role as architect involved not only designing structures but dictating the life that took place in them.

I believe an entire avenue of his buildings would look monotonous and lacking in the character that comes from many layers of architectue and a variety of designs, sizes, and features. Personally, I will never love his buildings and could never consider them home, though they make great working environments.

Frankly, I have nothing against another hi-rise on Sheridan,even on the East Side of the street. I like hi-rises, even though we won't be building any that have the charm, character, quality, and sheer comfort of those that went up in the 20s. We COULD, but nobody around here could afford to buy into them.

This brings me to say something about the "cookie cutter cracker box" condos that are being built helter-skelter allover Chicago. It just maybe impossible to build really wonderful,high quality buildings of exceptional quality for anybody who doesn't have at least 4 million bucks to spend. Good architecture is not cheap. I was walking down the 4600 block of N. Winthrop the other day,which looks for all the world as though somebody just took all the 6 and 8 unit condo buildings out of a box and just set them down. I couldn't help but visualize some gigantic person towering above the area like a baker over a cookie sheet, holding a massive cookie press and just squeezing out these buildings, then trudging up north a couple of miles and dropping a few more. But then, I thought, just what would it cost to engage a truly fine archictect to design a site-specific building of great, original design? How many buyers could afford the results? How many others would be willing to do what one Frank Lloyd Wright client in
Missouri did, which was build the house herself, according to the Master's design for an 'affordable' house? Not me, for sure.

Another thing to keep in mind is that most of the vintage houses and buildings we all love were, in their time, "cookie cutter" - I remember seeing old late-19th century renderings for 'middle class homes' that could be sold as kits (the forerunners to the Sears Kit houses), complete with gingerbread trim and wraparound porches.

RPneighbor said...

I agree with TW too about the planning. It really annoys me when people say, "We already have conflicting/hodge podge styles of architecture in RP, so it's too late to have a unified vision." Just because we have some ugly 4+1s and a few mid-rises, we have to throw out the baby with the bath water? I don't think so.

It's plain and simple an excuse. It's not elitist- it's called urban planning. Connie Abels kind of alluded to this when my guy commented about the style of the building being inappropriate. She doesn't seem to get it.

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