Saturday, April 18, 2015

The Sloopin Open House:
Exposed Brick, Lots of Windows and Mucho Mucho Space!

The Sloopin Open House is a new weekly feature on the site where we highlight some of the more interesting open houses we see every week. We're not claiming they're the best deals or that we would necessarily recommend jumping all over the opportunity, but I doesn't hurt to look, right?

This weekend, a 2bed/2bath unit at 1631 S. Michigan has caught our eye.  We've looked in this building before and have always admired the spacious layouts it offered.

While it's listed on the higher end of the 300's ($385K to be exact), it does provide exposed brick, an abundance of windows and generally speaking a lot of space.  If this sounds appealing to you, it's probably worth a visit to this unit.  According to the web, they are hosting an open house on Saturday (4/18) and Sunday (4/19) from 1-3pm.

Friday, April 17, 2015

Beware of "Canine Cough" if You're a Slooper with a Dog

Image from DNAinfo
Although this is slightly old news, we wanted to provide a link to what a reader wrote us about:
Since a lot of Sloop residents are dog owners, maybe you should warn them about the Kennel Cough epidemic going around town. Thanks:
In recent weeks we have seen a large number of coughing dogs here in Chicago. Most of the affected dogs have a history of frequenting day care, boarding facilities, and dog parks. At this time I recommend avoiding these facilities to help protect your dog, even if he/she has been vaccinated for “canine cough.” Why isn’t vaccination sufficient protection? Let me explain a little about canine cough.
"Canine cough” (also called “kennel cough”) is a broad term to describe infectious tracheobronchitis. This highly contagious condition results in inflammation of the trachea and bronchus. Many viruses and bacteria can result in canine cough. Currently the intra-nasal vaccine recommended for dogs here at the Medical District Veterinary Clinic covers the three most common causes of canine cough: Bordetella (bacteria), Parainfluenza (virus), and Adenovirus (virus).
Due to the outbreak I recommend avoiding any direct dog-to-dog contact and vaccinating dogs at high risk, such as those that attend day care, boarding, grooming, or dog parks and dogs that live in high rises. Although the vaccine does not 100% prevent infection, it should reduce the number of affected dogs. The canine influenza virus can survive 48 hours on hard surfaces and 24 hours on clothing, thus it is very important to be cautious in elevators, hallways, and dog relief stations. 
(Hat tip: LE!)

Thursday, April 16, 2015

CMK Companies Begins Work at 1333 S. Wabash

A reader writes:
Thought you would like to know that bulldozers were busy excavating at 1333 Wabash, next to the condo under construction at 1345 Wabash. I believe they started today (April 1st)…definitely didn’t start last week.

As you may recall (and can see in the pics above) CMK properties is well underway on their 1345 S. Wabash building.  Just to the north is going to be a taller building at 1333 S. Wabash (28 stories) that they've just begun to excavate per the picture above and email from the reader.

Below is a rendering of how the final tower will look:

CMK has been one of the more prolific developers in the neigborhood and looks to continue to be.  As you may recall they recently acquired various lots along the Chicago River just north of Roosevelt.

(Hat tip: TL!)

Signs Go Up for 611 Eatery at Vetro Condo Building

611 Eatery looks to be coming to Vetro Condo Building (611 S. Wells)
A reader writes:
This signage just went up at the Vetro condo building at 611 S. Wells. The website on the sign doesn't seem to be up, and I don't know anything else about it. Maybe another reader has. 
The space, at Wells and Harrison, has been empty since the building opened, so it would be nice to have something there.
If the pictures in the windows are true, this could be a great restaurant and a great addition to the Sloop:

Does anyone have any additional info on the spot?

(Hat tip:  JJ, MOR, BS, KB!)

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Mountain Dew Skate Tour to Launch Season in Grant Park

Image from grand opening of Grant Park skate park
(via DNAinfo)
We had our doubts about the new skate park on the south end of Grant Park, but in our opinion it's been a nice and unique addition to the neighborhood.  We've had a couple fun walks where we've stopped at the park and spent time admiring the skills that these kids (and some adults) showcase.

That's why we were surprised and excited to see this news yesterday come through on DNAinfo:
The Dew Tour, a nationally televised skate and BMX biking competition, is set to kick off its 2015 season June 20-21 at the new $2.7-million Grant Park Skate Park, said Bob O'Neill, president of the Grant Park Conservancy. The tour, which will be broadcast on NBC, would be the first major event for the skate park since it opened in December.
Even if this might not be your cup of tea, it's another event that brings more people to the neighborhood and ultimately supports our local businesses.  It will also probably be a nice way to showcase our beautiful city and skyline to a national audience.

Anyway, looking forward to seeing this event and some of the craziness that the "pros" will bring to this new park.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Brick-Paver Crosswalk and Street Re-Striping Coming to Dearborn/Polk Intersection

A reader writes:
As a frequent user (as pedestrian and driver) of the Dearborn+Polk intersection, I have looked forward to painted cross walks and lane lines ever since repaving happened last fall. Today I got this update from Dean Argiris in Ald. Fioretti's office that explains the situation. I thought your readers might be interested. I personally am looking forward to the brick-paver crosswalks. 
Last year our office funded the installation of brick-paver crosswalks at Polk/Dearborn. These are high visibility crosswalks that are safer as motorists can see them from farther. They are scheduled to be installed sometime this year, CDOT should circle back to us with a time frame.  
As for the street re-striping, I believe this was put on hold because there was a small stretch of Polk that remained to be completed. Last I was informed, there is some underground utility work expected to be done and when that is completed, they will resurface that section and do a complete lane marking.  
Once I get the time frame for those projects, I will let you know. In the meantime, ... I have asked CDOT to throw down some temporary markings.
(Hat tip: GM!)

Monday, April 13, 2015

Is Today the Day the 18 Street Bridge Reopens?

A reader writes:
I've been interested in status updates regarding the 18th street bridge and found the info below on the city's transportation website. Here's to hoping they hold true to the 4/13 end date for the closure. It's legitimately been a long road.

We were looking around on the interwebs to see if there was an update, but couldn't find much.  Does anyone know if this is complete and open?  Let us know.

If so, this should help relieve some of the traffic issues in the Sloop (or at least on paper should help).

(Hat tip:  KW!)

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Shots Around the Sloop: See You Around

A reader writes:
Good morning - I saw this on my walk to the train this morning. It's dated from yesterday (Tuesday). Any idea what it's for? Southwest corner of Archer and Clark on the walls of the metra train rails.
(Hat tip:  CS!)

Saturday, April 11, 2015

The Sloopin Open House:
The Rare 4 Bedroom Duplex

The Sloopin Open House is a new weekly feature on the site where we highlight some of the more interesting open houses we see every week. We're not claiming they're the best deals or that we would necessarily recommend jumping all over the opportunity, but I doesn't hurt to look, right?
There aren't a ton of 4 bedroom units in the Sloop, so we slightly felt like we were looking at a real estate unicorn when perusing the open houses for this week.  This 4bd/3bth unit at 1530 S. State is in in a building that we've always liked.

This building has some of the best northern views of the city in the neighborhood, but this unit appears to face south.  It also looks like it has some "soft loft" bedrooms, which we know some people aren't huge fans of.  However, these small negatives should be easily overlooked given the awesome living space, the huge open living room with high ceilings and 22ft terrace - pretty sweet if you ask us.

Anyway, if this unit looks interesting to you, they're hosting an open house on Sunday (4/12) from noon to 2pm.

Friday, April 10, 2015

Shots Around the Sloop: April (Lightning) Showers

(Hat tip: JR!)

Mailboxes Come back to Printers Row

A reader writes:
Just as mysteriously as they disappeared, several South Loop mailboxes have reappeared! The boxes at the corner of Plymouth & Polk and Dearborn & Harrison have been returned. However, the one that was in front of Sandmeyer's Bookstore is still MIA. So happy to have them back because going to the post office was often a hassle during the winter months.
If you recall, this was a topic discussed on the Sloopin message board recently.

A reader gave this background as to why they might have been removed:
From the horse's mouth, or to say the nice guy who runs the UPS store at Polk & Dearborn, the City took out three boxes, Polk & Plymouth Ct, 700 S Dearborn, and Dearborn & Harrison when there were protesters in town, and at the time it was anticipated that Polk & Dearborn was their parade route. Turned out not to be, I do not recall even which desent it was attributed to, but for sure the boxes did not return.  
There are still boxes to west on Clark Street, and even one to the south on 1000 S Plymouth Ct., so I assume business and post office policy has not changed. We just lost our boxes. Funny how the City can take out all those unused newspaper boxes for the same event and return them, but not my mail box!!
(Hat tip: SK!)

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Church of Scientology's Proposed Location at 650 S. Clark Making its Way Through the Legal System

It's been awhile (back in 2010) since we've heard about the Church of Scientology's plans to open up a new facility at 650 S. Clark (via Timeout Chicago):
The new HBO documentary Going Clear has put Scientology at the center of the national conversation. The church is huge in Los Angeles, and the notion of the religion being active in Chicago seems alien (pun intended) to most locals.  
There is already a Scientology church here, a rundown location in Lakeview with the sign "Hubbard Dianetics Foundation." The church is also in the process of opening another, grander location in Printers Row at 650 S Clark St. The city filed a $2,000 housing complaint against the owners of the location in 2013, which is still making its way through the system. The church is being represented in the matter by local law firm Pedersen & Houpt.
We just finished the Going Clear documentary on HBO and definitely makes you question the origins and acts of the Church.  However, we live in a city and in a relatively diverse neighborhood so will respect their rights and their beliefs.

South Clark has seen a lot of development lately ranging from rental buildings, condos, bars and restaurants.  Looks like you can add a controversial religion to the changing face of South Clark.

(Hat tip:  PO!)

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Jerry Seinfeld and Steve Harvey Stop By For "Coffee" at Manny's

The internet is full of great things and one of our favorites is Jerry Seinfeld's web series, "Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee."  If you're not familiar with the show, we HIGHLY suggest watching it (we love Larry David and as expected, his segment on the show with Seinfeld is awesome!).

Anyway, why are we talking about it on Sloopin you may ask?  Well Seinfeld and Chicago funny man Steve Harvey recently filmed a segment at the South Loop's iconic Manny's Coffee Shop & Deli (via Eater Chicago).  One can only assume they will have some good observations and things to say about Manny's.

While it has not been announced when this will air, whenever it does it should be fun.  While some of Harvey's schtick is a little predictable at this stage of his career, he is genuinely a funny dude (does anyone remember his standup in the Original Kings of Comedy tour?).

We will keep you posted on when this show airs, but in the meantime do yourself a favor and watch this web series.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

City and Sloop Getting More Divvy Bikes and Stations

The Red Eye had a recent article talking about the expansion of the Divvy bike sharing program.  This also includes some new stations (as seen on the map).  

The new locations in the Sloop are at:
  • Cabrini and Clinton
  • Canal and Taylor
  • Financial and Harrison
  • Dearborn Station
  • Buckingham Fountain
  • Field Museum
  • 21st and Cullerton
  • South China Place (just north of Archer and Cermak intersection in Chinatown)

This expansion will double the programs current footprint:
More Divvy bikes and stations are going to be installed beginning in April, doubling the footprint of Chicago's bike-share program yet falling short of covering the entire city. 
The addition of 176 stations and 1,750 bikes will extend Divvy's reach south to 75th Street in South Shore, north to Touhy Avenue in Rogers Park and west to Pulaski Road in Little Village and Avondale. The installation is expected to be completed by early summer, according to city officials.  
Divvy will be doubling its service area from covering 19 percent of the city's geographic area to more than 38 percent of the city's geographic area under the expansion, said Sean Wiedel, assistant commissioner in the city's department of transportation, at the recent Mayor's Bicycle Advisory Council meeting.