Thursday, March 3, 2011

Dreaming of Interesting Things for a High Profile Lot in the Sloop

It's fun to dream. So put on your step outside of your box and go with us on a completely hypothetical exercise of creative thought.


We recently read that a very high profile piece of land in the South Loop is going up for auction:
Offering 837 feet of river frontage and 216 feet of frontage on Roosevelt road, this 5+acre site is bordered and ties together some of Chicago’s most recent high profile developments. With its immediate neighbors, such as
Roosevelt Collection and old-line destination properties, such as Soldier Field, the Museum Campus, University of Illinois/Chicago (UIC), the parcel is ideally positioned for city support.
Obviously it's going to come at high price, but put on your city planner hat or developer hat and let us know what you would like to see in this space.

We're going the ridiculous "but wouldn't that be interesting" route with our dream. We would like to see a one of a kind championship golf course built by Tiger Woods that links this property with the larger vacant property south of Roosevelt. For good measure we would also like to build a platform over the train tracks west of the river to afford more land for our golf course. Realizing this isn't very feasible we would like to utilize some unique golf design attributes like greens with two pins and holes with multiple tee boxes to utilize the most of the land. Yes, it's crazy, but it would be unique and showcase golf in a unique, urban way. Oh and we would be able to play golf without driving to the suburbs and waiting in that annoying traffic for hours.

So what are your ridiculous thoughts/dreams for this property?

It will probably end-up becoming a Wal-Mart, but it's fun to dream...sigh.

27 comments:

Anonymous said...

How about a large indoor sports complex? Basketball hoops, Olympic size swimming pools, tennis courts, etc...

Anonymous said...

If it wasn't for Roosevelt Collection being right there, I'd like to see it developed as a restaurant/shopping complex similiar to a riverwalk type area with a bike path that connects down to the 18th street park and across to the lake on the rail tracks.

Cherise said...

I was thinking, "For fk's sweet sake, please don't put a golf course immediately south of my property."

Until I read your offhand yet totally petrifying comment about the Wal-Mart.

sc said...

Ikea. just wait.

Anonymous said...

How about a Subway and medical supply shop?

Anonymous said...

Would love to see the 10,000-12,000seat sate of the art Sports Arena -Fieldhouse that could host DePaul Basketball games. It would sell out every game drawing all of the corporate money from the Loop wanting to see Big East Basketball. Of course DePaul would have to assemble a better team. Also, could host big ten or big east swimming events, garden shows, smaller conventions, etc.

Anonymous said...

The biggest Jimmy Johns and Dunkin Donuts in the world.

Anonymous said...

Maybe the CostCo that is being planned for 16th & Ashland should move here. Although something more interesting like the golf course idea would be much better.

Anonymous said...

Are you sure your boundaries of this parcel are correct? It looks like it is extending too far north. What you have outlined seems more than 837 ft "tall", and is including the parking lot for River City Condos. If it extends 837 feet north of Roosevelt, it should include only the first of the three parking lots on the north (approximating with map scales).

Anonymous said...

An Olympic-sized pyramid to help Daly ascend into his retirement

Anonymous said...

@ Anon 4:55 PM

:) You made my day!

Anonymous said...

A Costco would be perfect!!

That, or a vinyl record warehouse.

Anonymous said...

The odds of anything actually being built there anytime soon are pretty slim given the current conditions. And the fact that it's being auctioned now at the bottom or close of the market is kind of odd. Is it because of financial distress, foreclosure? I live across from River City, at 801 S. Wells, and the parking lot immediately south of us has been "for sale" for years, and it hasn't had any takers.

John said...

"An Olympic-sized pyramid to help Daly ascend into his retirement"
-anon

I really like that idea.

John said...

"An Olympic-sized pyramid to help Daly ascend into his retirement"
-anon

I really like that idea

Anonymous said...

How is the Roosevelt Collection doing? Is it successful? Profitable?

Anonymous said...

The RC is a "collection of vacancies."

Only thing opened is the theater. Nothing is even planned as "coming soon."

Anonymous said...

@ Anon 7:38 PM

I live at the RC. The management used to claim "retail will open in a few months", and later "retail will perhaps open next summer" etc. But now the management is tired of speculating and tells everyone: "It will probably be a few years before anything opens"...

Brad II said...

Calm down! RC is going to be filled with great stores. I would rather live in this area with the infrastructure/vision that is here vs anywhere else in the city. We just needs things to FILL IN and we are good for the long-term.

Anonymous said...

The fact that the RC management is finally "fessing up" and admitting that nothing will open for YEARS is a sign of how dire the retail scene is in this neighborhood.

And it's not just high profile spots like the RC and south Michigan Ave. For example, take a look at the small stretch of 16th street from Indiana Ave. west to Wabash Ave. In that small stretch alone, there are at least 8 vacant storefronts! That's insane.

Anonymous said...

not an effing golf course

Anonymous said...

Just curious what's wrong with a golf course? I'm not a golfer, but they're typically maintained well and the green landscaping would look nice so near the city.

Anonymous said...

It'd be nice if the business that went in actually utilized the fact that they are on the river... wasn't the city originally going to use a portion of the land along this for riverwalk space? http://www.cityofchicago.org/content/dam/city/depts/zlup/Planning_and_Policy/Publications/Central_Area_Plan_DRAFT/18_Central_Area_Plan_Chapter5d.pdf

Adam said...

Extend Wells Street South to 18th Street. Make the area between Wells and the River from Harrison to 18th street a Riverwalk of Restaurants, Bars, and interconnected Parks. Have a continuous bus run up and down wells into the loop to pull in the business and happy hour crowd. Expand on Ping Tom Memorial Park from the south to extend this parkway along the river corridor. Create a bike path over the St. Charles Airline to connect across the river. In reality, any development will need to content with the awkwardness of having Roosevelt Collection's tall back to it and the Roosevelt Bridge height boxing it against the river. Even if you wanted to emphasis the river you would be looking across the river to an old power plant and a railroad yard. Probably more likely to become another boat dry storage like on Lumber and Canal but we can dream.

Anonymous said...

For those who didn't see this. Asks the same question.

http://chicago.curbed.com/archives/2011/03/15/reimagining-chicagos-emerald-necklace-as-a-green-constellation.php

Jim in the Sloop said...

I just noticed this morning that the auction sign at the corner of Congress and Wells that advertised this auction now has a "under contact" sign posted over it.

Anonymous said...

Sun Times had a story last week
about the sale. But not much detail ... buyer is a "private capital fund" that paid "significantly more than the $8.4 million opening bid." .....

And we'll see if this is true:
"The buyer of the 928 S. Wells site, who is not being identified, intends to quickly partner with a builder to develop the property, said Frank Diliberto, president of Diliberto Real Estate Services, which brokered the deal."