TIF Tiff Tips With Politics Unusual Greening Lincoln Yards, The 78
Apr11

TIF Tiff Tips With Politics Unusual Greening Lincoln Yards, The 78

Unless you’ve been hiding underground with the daffodils for the last six months, you’re aware that there has been a battle royale going on in the storied corridors of Chicago City Hall. Real estate developers on one side, community groups on another, opportunists mugging for the TV cameras, and politicians both outgoing and incoming taking shots where they can. It’s been like one of those black-and-white cartoon...

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Chicago’s Next Tourist Attraction: A Glass Tube Under the River
Apr01

Chicago’s Next Tourist Attraction: A Glass Tube Under the River

In an effort to build on 2018’s record-setting year for tourism, the City of Chicago has announced plans for a new attraction: A glass-enclosed pedestrian tube running underneath the Chicago River. Speaking to reporters at his Ravenswood estate Sunday, outgoing Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced plans for The Deep Six, a transparent tube running down the center of the Chicago River’s main channel from the Michigan Avenue Bridge...

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Another Library/Senior Living Combo Building Arrives in West Ridge
Mar19

Another Library/Senior Living Combo Building Arrives in West Ridge

What happens when CPL and CHA have a 1-on-1 about AARP’s? Aside from everyone breaking out their jargon dictionaries, they figure out how to achieve common goals with one building. Rendering of the Northtown Branch Library (Courtesy of Evergreen Real Estate Group) That’s how Chicago got its new Northtown Branch Library at 6800 North Western Avenue in West Ridge. The building opened recently with a Chicago Public Library on...

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Controversial Lincoln Yards Development Hours Away From Zoning Vote
Mar06

Controversial Lincoln Yards Development Hours Away From Zoning Vote

One of the most controversial development projects in recent Chicago history is scheduled to go before city council’s Zoning Committee Thursday. What happens at City Hall could determine if the $6 billion Lincoln Yards project goes from beset to beleaguered. Diagram of the January 2019 Lincoln Yards plan Even before Sterling Bay unveiled its plans to redevelop the industrial zone formerly occupied by the A. Finkl & Sons...

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New Irving Park Library Is Books on the Bottom, Apartments on Top
Feb04

New Irving Park Library Is Books on the Bottom, Apartments on Top

We live in an age when a world of information is available on tiny computers in our pockets.  It’s also an age when any 12-year-old with an internet connection on the other side of the planet can vandalize that information and make you believe whatever he wants.  So actual libraries are more important than ever, and in some places more popular than ever. Last year people sought information at Chicago Public Libraries 8.4 million...

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Rahm’s “Meigs Moment:” Not-Yet-Approved Obama Center Leaving a Premature Scar on Jackson Park
Aug08

Rahm’s “Meigs Moment:” Not-Yet-Approved Obama Center Leaving a Premature Scar on Jackson Park

Remember in 2003 when former mayor Richard M. Daley bulldozed Meigs Field in the middle of the night?  It was an act of hubris that cost the city $33,000 in federal fines and a million dollars in misspent airport funds.  At the time, the Chicago Tribune wrote, “The issue is Daley’s increasingly authoritarian style that brooks no disagreements, legal challenges, negotiations, compromise or any of that messy give-and-take...

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First Pictures Releasd of Downtown to O’Hare Electric Skate Loop Track
Jul09

First Pictures Releasd of Downtown to O’Hare Electric Skate Loop Track

Last month the tech world was all atwitter over the announcement that billionaire socialite Bruce Wayne… er… Elon Musk would scratch Chicago’s itch for a better way between downtown and O’Hare airport than the CTA’s Blue Line or IDOT’s Kennedy Expressway. Back then, you could color us skeptical.  We’ve seen this promise time and time again.  The closest Chicago ever came was a decade ago when...

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O? Yes! Chicago Plan Commission Approves Obama Presidential Center
May17

O? Yes! Chicago Plan Commission Approves Obama Presidential Center

It’s not unusual for there to be some pretty rancorous behavior when a new real estate development is presented to the public.  Chicago NIMBY groups are practiced partisans.  But it’s been many years since we’ve seen a scene like the one at City Hall today.  The spark for this fire was the Obama Presidential Center. Inside 121 North LaSalle’s hallowed chambers the Chicago Plan Commission unanimously approved...

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River District Revised, Upsized, and Amazon-ized
Mar26

River District Revised, Upsized, and Amazon-ized

Forget all those nice diagrams submitted to the City of Chicago last September showing the details of the proposed River District development on the Chicago River.  According to a vinyl banner hanging on a bridge, things have just gotten a lot more interesting at the Tribune Media development. A photograph of the banner in question has been making the rounds of the internet for the last few days.  Word is that there is at least one...

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Community Groups Intensify Push for New North Branch Park
Mar19

Community Groups Intensify Push for New North Branch Park

Ever since the City of Chicago released the framework for redeveloping the North Branch Industrial Corridor into a new bustling neighborhood of tech firms, trendy restaurants, and glittering high rises, people who actually live in and near the area have worried that an opportunity is being missed.  An opportunity to create new parks for the people who will actually live there. The city’s redevelopment plan was shown at 18...

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