Sunday, March 21, 2010

High Profile South Loop Real Estate Lot Up For Sale

The empty parcel of land nestled next to the Chicago River on the west, Wells on the East and Harrison on the North is up for sale according to the Chicago Sun-Times. This high profile and huge lot has been rumored for various mixed-used developments, but those plans never materialized as a result of the economy (among other things):
The property is eight acres at the southwest corner of Harrison and Wells, which several investors have taken a crack at. It has been vacant since 1971, when the Grand Central Station rail terminal was torn down, to the horror of people who loved the architecture.

Russland Capital Group Inc. of Skokie owns the largest part of the tract, 6.6 acres, and is marketing it for $41 million. The remaining 1.5 acres is at the corner. Its owner, D2 Realty Services Inc., is trying to sell it, but a price could not be learned. It had tried to peddle it for $15 million, but the contract never closed.

Russland's part includes frontage on the Chicago River, so developers have eyed it for a residential and retail mix. The housing collapse and credit squeeze upset those plans.

It's a great piece of property and hopefully turns out well. The Sun-Times article also references that a smaller lot at that intersection is up for sale, but according to an email from a reader who lives in the area, she received an application notification for a new parking lot:
The Property is located at the southwest corner of Harrison and Wells Streets and is currently vacant. The Applicant proposes to improve the Property with a non-accessory parking lot for 218 vehicles. The parking lot will contain perimeter and internal landscaping. It will operate twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week.

Here is a map from the Sun-Times. The striped portion is where the proposed parking lot will be built. The other portion of the map is up for sale.

(Hat Tip: DM & FGFM!)


Bradley Troast said...

Nooooo! That land is heaven for my dog and many others :)

Anonymous said...

I'm not sure that map is correct. I think the striped portion should be located to the south, bordering Polk St. That part of the lot is pretty much flat, perfect for a parking lot, and there have been attempts to make it a parking lot a couple years ago. Also, there are currently two 'for sale' signs posted on this plot of land-the D2 realty sign is located further south at about 700 South Wells (on the flat part), while the Russland sign is at the corner of Wells and Harrison.

Lance Uppercut said...

This lot has had a variety of for sale/development signs on it over the past few years.

With loans being so difficult to obtain and the huge glut of unoccupied new construction in this area, I'd not hold my breath regarding what gets built on this spot.

Jim in the Sloop said...

Sloopin, I think you're misinterpreting the Sun-Times map. The striped portion is simply the portion owned by D2. The entire area is for sale, in two parcels. And has been for YEARS, there really isn't any news here. The parking lot is indeed intended for the SE portion - closest to Polk/Wells, and there have been several attempts, each stopped by the Alderman's office when neighbors complained. Unfortunately, each stoppage has left us with unsightly piles of dirt where there was once a nice flat piece of property used for unofficial sports by groups like the cricket people who popped up last summer.

This is a very troubled piece of property for many reasons, one of which is the question of whether or not an easement exists allowing the boat owners from the marina access to their slips via a ramp than exits onto this property. Then there is the question of whether or not the property is contaminated - it did used to be a rail yard and terminal, so odds are high that anybody who tries to develop this land will encounter significant issues. The very southern part of this property abuts what used to be the continuation of Polk Street, and if you look closely you can still see remnants of where the Polk Street bridge crossed the river. Old maps also seem to indicate that this property was connected to the Chicago tunnel system, and possibly barge docks along the river where goods were unloaded from boats and into the tunnels. One more thing for a developer to worry about.

This story isn't really news, as this property has been bought and sold more times than a Chicago crack whore. I'm not worried about losing access to the unofficial dog park any time soon.

Anonymous said...

Has anyone heard from the Alderman's office about the portion of this lot the owner is attempting to make into a parking lot? Last time I spoke to the alderman's staff about this (about 1.5 years ago), they said Fioretti was opposed to this becoming a parking lot. They were holding up the process because of environmental concerns and because they didn't want another parking lot in the neighborhood.

But now, I see that the owner (who happens to live in the Wells Street Tower - talk about a great neighbor!) is again trying for the parking lot.

As a resident of Wells Street, I am completely opposed to this becoming a parking lot. And I am very surprised that someone who lives in the neighborhood (across the street no less) wants to add ANOTHER parking lot to the mix.

At the very least, if something is going to happen, the city should require the property owner to install a sidewalk along the property going down Wells.

Anonymous said...

Maybe the guy who purchased the Old Post Office, and turned it into such a huge success, will buy this parcel as well . . . . Oh wait.

Carl said...

^^ Spoken like someone who's never rehabbed anything! ^^

Anonymous said...

Does anyone know the correct address to write to the alderman about neighborhood issues?

Carl said...

Google is your friend:

2nd Ward Community Service Office
429 South Dearborn Street
Chicago, Illinois 60605
Phone: (312) 263-9273
Fax: (312) 786-1736
Hours: M-F 9 A.M.-6 P.M.

You're welcome.

Anonymous said...

Manners are your friend.

I asked for clarification purposes.

Anonymous said...

Abrasive, militant a**holes like Carl, FGFM, etc. wouldn't know 'manners' if it bit 'em in the abrasive, militant a**. That should be clear to anyone following this blog on a semi-regular basis.

FGFM said...

Abrasive, militant a**holes like Carl, FGFM, etc. wouldn't know 'manners' if it bit 'em in the abrasive, militant a**. That should be clear to anyone following this blog on a semi-regular basis.

Still butthurt?

Carl said...

I posted the info that some ANON was TOO LAZY to look up themselves. Pardon me.

BTW, my pinkie was extended and I sat up straight in my chair while typing.

Either sign-in with a handle or deal with my dismissiveness.

Anonymous said...

No, actually lazy is not the case, but having people like you do my secretarial work whenever possible, now that is more like it. Being that you are on the pulse of this blog and all that is South Loop, I knew I could count on you for my menial tasks, nasty, dismissive and all. are so easily provoked and really provide great comedy when you do post your comments.

Carl said...

Always happy to help the impaired.