Tuesday, October 19, 2010

More Land Auctions Confirmed for the South Loop

The land bounded by Michigan and Wabash avenues and 13th and 14th streets had a rough go during the downturn. On the Wabash side were the sites of
GlasHaus and 1349 South Wabash, both proposed but neither built. On the Michigan side were these two sites: the old Cook County Domestic Violence Courthouse at 1340 S Michigan Ave and an adjoining parcel at 1330 S Michigan Ave, both planned for condos and, again, never built. These two properties will go up for auction this December, according to Crain’s.
Although this isn't surprising, it is interesting. Yes, much of this land has sat vacant and
undeveloped for sometime now, but if you will recall a recent intense fire also quickly brought down one of the buildings on a lot that is now up for sale.

The last thought we have on this is that we absolutely love the county courthouse building (although it was a domestic violence courthouse which is ironic that it would become a residential building) and was really hoping that this would have been developed into condos. It would have certainly been an interesting development and a unique building in the shadow of some unimpressive South Loop high-rises.


MarkChicago said...

Hopefully they do something interesting with the land instead of jamming in more high-rises. Yes, I'm looking at you 1400 S. Michigan.

Anonymous said...

I hope they build Christian churches on these properties. The sloop could use a spiritual revival.

My dream is to have the south loop be referred to as the Christian district someday.

Anonymous said...


my hope is that your hope never comes true

Anonymous said...

I agree with the courthouse remark. I hope it gets renovated instead of destroyed.

Anonymous said...

What else could they do with the site besides residential? A one story retail building isn't going to cover the cost of the land. The denser the South Loop begins the more attractive it will be to retailers. I just hope that they redesign any future high-rise and do something more sensitive with the court building.

Anonymous said...

I want more traditional/old school architecture high-rises. The Museum Park and CMK folks provided way too many modern buildings in the area.

@churchlady, there's already churches near 16th - St Mary's and True Rock Ministries.

Anonymous said...

I'd hope developers would look to the scale and character of Printers Row for building precedents. Minus the empty lots, the 600 & 700 blocks of S. Dearborn scream "Chicago." Better to reference that aesthetic than the same old placeless, glass high-rise schlock.

Anonymous said...

Did anyone consider a multi-level dog park?

Anonymous said...

"The denser the South Loop begins the more attractive it will be to retailers. I just hope that they redesign any future high-rise..."

What a bunch of Wanker BS talk... The West Loop, Lincoln Park, Gold Coast, (insert any Chicago neighborhood) all do better in the area of density and retailers without an abundance of high-rises that the South Loop has.

I am also tired of the wankers that cry, "if you don't like high rises, move...", as if they have some wiered phalic attraction to highrises. Why can't the South Loop be a place where people stay and settle long term?

The problem with the South Loop is too much focus on High-rises, at the expense of quality architecture, quality materials, quality open space, quality construction, better parks, "L" Stations, schools, etc.

The Highrise glut is what's impacting the South Loop; at the same time, the layout of the highrises with wider streets, and lack of block face frontage is part of the issue. Tall and thin might seem like a great idea, but it is actually less dense then a bunch of 10-20 or even 4-5 story, 20-30 story buildings built block face.

As unique and nice a few of the Central Station High-rises are, the whole concept is a urban semi-failure. With limited commercial space integrated in the buildings, limited focus on ground floor interaction, there no buzz or energy created with those high-rises unlike Streeterville, etc.

They are tall Suburban fortresses with no street life created. There are probably 10,000 people in that area, but with the land layout, hidden entryways, no pedestrian circulation around the buildings, the ground spaces are ghost towns.

Sadly, there is way more activity and energy in the Townhome or Loft sections of the South Loop.

Anonymous said...

Anon 9:18 PM:

The problems you list have nothing to do with highrises and everything to do with poor planning. In fact, I won't even say it's necessarily poor but that it was deliberate. Places like Central Station and Dearborn Park were designed to create essentially a gated community near downtown. Thus the poor street life, lack of vibrancy, etc.

That doesn't exist on this site right on Michigan Avenue. And the failed Azure tower on this piece of land was only 20 stories BTW, not tall and thin. I agree that new midrises (8-12 stories) are OK in many places, but not on main commercial strips that can handle much more.

And have you been to the Gold Coast? It's the densest neighborhood in Chicago - wall to wall towers.

-Anon 3:04

Anonymous said...

I disagree with Anon 9:18 PM as well. I don't feel like there is an overabundance of high rises in the South Loop, but I do think more development should be done to create a mixed neighborhood of high and low rises to give people an option of where they would like to live. In order to get people to stay, I think in 3-5 years there will need to be more development suited to raising families.

The reason there's limited street life now is because there are not that many places for people to go, but in the 5 years I've lived south of Roosevelt the amount of sidewalk life has increased tenfold, so I think things are headed in the right direction.

Anonymous said...

@Anon 6:44PM
Perhaps on each level of this dog park they could put in a Subway?