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Old 01-27-2021, 03:43 PM
 
617 posts, read 250,036 times
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It was reported in today's (Jan. 27) edition of the Sun-Times that there might be construction on and development of the decades-old vacant parcel on the northeast corner of Roosevelt Rd. and Kostner Ave. on the West Side. This site is located on the border of North Lawndale and West Garfield Park.

The article claims that the Ricketts family, who are the owners of the Cubs, and Penny Pritzker, J.B.'s sister, are joining forces in this proposed venture.

Among the possible structures on this plot are a sports facility, specifically a baseball field/camp, cold storage warehouses, and a distribution center.

This land was was suggested as a possible site for a city-owned casino by Mayor Lightfoot a few years ago.

Last edited by Nearwest; 01-27-2021 at 04:03 PM..
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Old 01-29-2021, 05:23 AM
 
Location: In the heights
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I'm kind of curious about how much it costs to move some of these buildings a few blocks. I see that in some neighborhoods, there are blocks where there may be nicely preserved homes here and there on an otherwise empty block or just completely empty blocks and I think it'd be nice to consolidate these homes into certain blocks and to also consolidate empty blocks for additional (hopefully heavily programmed) parkspace or a large community and botanical garden and working farm museum.
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Old 01-29-2021, 05:47 AM
 
Location: Chicago, Little Village
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OyCrumbler View Post
I'm kind of curious about how much it costs to move some of these buildings a few blocks. I see that in some neighborhoods, there are blocks where there may be nicely preserved homes here and there on an otherwise empty block or just completely empty blocks and I think it'd be nice to consolidate these homes into certain blocks and to also consolidate empty blocks for additional (hopefully heavily programmed) parkspace or a large community and botanical garden and working farm museum.
A lot more expensive than just tearing them down and building a new structure. That's a good idea but those buildings would probably just be leveled and you'd build new on the blocks you wanted to remain residential.

That may sound cruel to the old graystones but I learned from living in Berwyn and being involved in preservation initiatives there that, unfortunately, old buildings have limited appeal to modern homebuyers. Most developers completely gut them and put in modern amenities.

So you'd never get any private capital to do that and quite frankly, we have better uses for public funds. Preservation does work in very wealthy areas like Oak Park and the North Shore, but when you're talking about revitalizing an area where we need to draw younger home buyers, no way. It would be nice but we probably should give up on the idea that East Garfield Park is going to become some kind of quaint urban Galena.
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Old 01-29-2021, 04:33 PM
 
Location: In the heights
28,762 posts, read 27,972,056 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BRU67 View Post
A lot more expensive than just tearing them down and building a new structure. That's a good idea but those buildings would probably just be leveled and you'd build new on the blocks you wanted to remain residential.

That may sound cruel to the old graystones but I learned from living in Berwyn and being involved in preservation initiatives there that, unfortunately, old buildings have limited appeal to modern homebuyers. Most developers completely gut them and put in modern amenities.

So you'd never get any private capital to do that and quite frankly, we have better uses for public funds. Preservation does work in very wealthy areas like Oak Park and the North Shore, but when you're talking about revitalizing an area where we need to draw younger home buyers, no way. It would be nice but we probably should give up on the idea that East Garfield Park is going to become some kind of quaint urban Galena.

I understand it can be more expensive than tearing them down and building a new structure, but I would love to get an idea of the scale by which this is more expensive.


I think it's hard to really divvy up what part of these old greystones in these neighborhoods are unattractive, but I suspect part of it is at least due to the blocks and surrounding area being sporadically empty with the remaining greystones looking like the last nice teeth in what was once a beautiful smile. I wonder if then having completed sets then actually is a kind of net boon as good or possibly even better than infilling with new and very different looking construction on some blocks while tearing down the greystones. I think even if the only thing that was preserved and then moved were the facades, then that still might be worthwhile. What's more, it may be easier to get a multitude of organizations to rally behind and ultimately get funding for something that is combination of both historic preservation and notable parkspace or museum creation (where the blocks that homes were consolidated from can become larger contiguous parts)--maybe. And of course, I don't see this as a silver bullet, but something I think would be interesting in addition to a good deal of other things, many that are not West Side specific that would really be helpful (like an efficient and citywide water lead testing and retrofitting program).


That being said, I sort of want this for a host of hard-hit neighborhoods with urban prairie bits. I always felt like the Obama Presidential Library and Museum should have been built near a consolidated set of blocks (as in the buildings have been consolidated out) close to or adjacent to a Green Line stop. Or event better, this big ol' superblock with its station and tracks and used as an excuse to re-extend the Green Line back down E 63rd Street to meet with this Metra Electric station now Presidential Library and Museum: https://www.google.com/maps/place/64...71!4d-87.58996
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Old 01-29-2021, 05:16 PM
 
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The casino should be built right next to the United Center.
The Obama library should be built south side but not in the park. Plenty of open lots near Washington Park and Jackson Park.
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Old 01-29-2021, 07:28 PM
 
Location: Chicago, Little Village
4,480 posts, read 7,937,510 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OyCrumbler View Post
I understand it can be more expensive than tearing them down and building a new structure, but I would love to get an idea of the scale by which this is more expensive.


I think it's hard to really divvy up what part of these old greystones in these neighborhoods are unattractive, but I suspect part of it is at least due to the blocks and surrounding area being sporadically empty with the remaining greystones looking like the last nice teeth in what was once a beautiful smile. I wonder if then having completed sets then actually is a kind of net boon as good or possibly even better than infilling with new and very different looking construction on some blocks while tearing down the greystones. I think even if the only thing that was preserved and then moved were the facades, then that still might be worthwhile. What's more, it may be easier to get a multitude of organizations to rally behind and ultimately get funding for something that is combination of both historic preservation and notable parkspace or museum creation (where the blocks that homes were consolidated from can become larger contiguous parts)--maybe. And of course, I don't see this as a silver bullet, but something I think would be interesting in addition to a good deal of other things, many that are not West Side specific that would really be helpful (like an efficient and citywide water lead testing and retrofitting program).


That being said, I sort of want this for a host of hard-hit neighborhoods with urban prairie bits. I always felt like the Obama Presidential Library and Museum should have been built near a consolidated set of blocks (as in the buildings have been consolidated out) close to or adjacent to a Green Line stop. Or event better, this big ol' superblock with its station and tracks and used as an excuse to re-extend the Green Line back down E 63rd Street to meet with this Metra Electric station now Presidential Library and Museum: https://www.google.com/maps/place/64...71!4d-87.58996
I agree with a lot of what you're saying. Particularly with eliminating residences on blocks which have a lot of vacant lots. In my opinion, that's the least attractive thing about East Garfield Park and North Lawndale, and many south side neighborhoods. It just looks so bad and uninviting. The resulting land can be used for commercial developments or public parks or facilities.

As to greystone preservation, I probably have experience a lot of people here do not have. Berwyn was lower cost and attracting a lot of first time buyers, many of whom were from the city and making their move to what they perceived to be an upscale suburb. Developers had no interest whatsoever in historic preservation because this market doesn't emphasize that. They want all the bells and whistles, and space.

So they basically just used bungalows as shells, because it was cheaper than tearing them down. The bungalow preservation initiative there resulted in a federal historic district that doesn't have the restrictions of a local landmark district but encourages preservation, and zoning regulations to regulate the pop tops.

The (few) hardcore preservationists in town were upset it didn't go further. But you have to pick your battles. There is no way a strong preservation initiative would have worked in that community wihout a serious negative impact on the housing market. At that time, the city was recovering from the foreclosure disaster, And many properties were vacant and in desperate need of rehab.

So the choice was made to not let the perfect be the enemy of the good. I think that was the right decision because the housing market there is now doing very well.

I bring that up because I think we'd be dealing with something analytically similar in East Garfield Park. We would have a lot of land to develop and would be dealing with budget buyers who would want to have a lot of space and modern amenities. Why pick up a greystone and go through all the expense of moving it if the developer is going to end up gutting it? Grant money sounds attractive but that always comes with strings attached to it.

I believe it would make more sense to put in place design standards and let the market build new homes that would appeal to the market who would be buying there, while incentivizing the restoration of older homes in the designated residential areas.
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Old 01-30-2021, 11:19 PM
 
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A lot of these homes don't have much worth preserving on the interior sadly. Even the greystones, most were gutted and/or left to rot long ago. You can probably save the original floors and trim if you're lucky, that's about it.

Now people ripping perfectly preserved craftsman bungalows apart for gaudy open layouts is a different story.
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Old 01-31-2021, 11:58 AM
 
Location: Chicago, Little Village
4,480 posts, read 7,937,510 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by via chicago View Post
A lot of these homes don't have much worth preserving on the interior sadly. Even the greystones, most were gutted and/or left to rot long ago. You can probably save the original floors and trim if you're lucky, that's about it.

Now people ripping perfectly preserved craftsman bungalows apart for gaudy open layouts is a different story.
Yup! Berwyn (and probably Cicero too) was the poster child of that in the early '10s. It still is really. You'll see leaded and stained glass windows, original built-ins, cast iron radiators, and oak trim sitting by the trash in the alley as the developer installs new Marvin windows, central A/C and heat, breaks out the walls, and puts in new drywall and trim. In the end, the inside the home looks no different than that of new construction in Lemont or Bolingbrook. But at least the outside is often preserved.

I don't like it but developers know their buyers better than the buyers know themselves. Unfortunately, unless you can magically attract highly educated $200k income households (good luck with that if you have low scoring schools or crime issues), there is going to be a very limited market for vintage layout homes. Best you can do is put incentives in place and try to raise awareness of the value (and economy) of keeping things original.
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Old 01-31-2021, 10:07 PM
 
466 posts, read 292,971 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by via chicago View Post
A lot of these homes don't have much worth preserving on the interior sadly. Even the greystones, most were gutted and/or left to rot long ago. You can probably save the original floors and trim if you're lucky, that's about it.

Now people ripping perfectly preserved craftsman bungalows apart for gaudy open layouts is a different story.
Sad but true most of the time. I have seen certain parts of Chicago (like Bronzeville) with a much higher rate of original features still in the units. Lots of the west side that I've viewed has been updated without taste, but you'll still see the original trim and old covered fireplaces. Also, the original doors are still pretty common and those things sell for $100-$200 pretty easily (I just bought a few that got ripped out from the Hyde Park / Woodlawn area).

The new open layouts in bungalows is a travesty. And ripping out the windows is pretty sad too - I'm surprised that someone would do that.

Also to the comment about the casino near the United Center - I would be okay with that. I thought the McCormick area was the best option, but anything that can be done to improve the sea of parking lots that ruin the UC area is fine with me. I think that area is hopeless though until the land gains more value and forces the owner (Jerry Reinsdorf?) to sell.
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Old 02-01-2021, 07:12 AM
 
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I love when greystones are gutted and modernized while preserving the exterior of the home. Much more practical to have open layouts, larger bedroom/closet sizes, kitchen islands, and central HVAC. Whats sad is the residents of EG took a great hood rioted and gradually destroyed it by tearing down all the old structures leaving vacant land.

As for the casino many wanted it near the McCormick area in the casino thread which does not make sense to me. Yes you have convention traffic. But the lakefront is already appealing in its own right. And there's no El access. United Center has multiple el lines (pink/blue/green) and 290 and until covid was gonna EXPLODE in value as the West Loop continued to March west. Plus you have numerous Bulls/Blackhawks/concerts occurring there attracting value. Tying a casino into a blended hotel/shopping/retail/restaurant development in one of those parking lots while improving an area made all the sense in the world.
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