Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Alderman Dowell Says One Central is Too Much

Last week developers unveiled an ambitious plan to build over the train tracks just west of Lake Shore Drive and Soldier Field.  Just a week after the neighborhood meeting, Alderman Dowell has unsurprisingly come back that changes are needed (via Chicago Tribune):
The multibillion-dollar plan led by Wisconsin-based developer Bob Dunn created a buzz of excitement, but also raised concerns after neighbors saw conceptual renderings of a row of dramatic towers just west of Lake Shore Drive, between McCormick Place and the Field Museum.
Dunn has only offered broad strokes so no one knows how tall the skyscrapers would be nor the total amount of space that would be built. Nevertheless, 3rd Ward Ald. Pat Dowell, who hosted last week’s community meeting for the One Central project, is already saying it’s too much. She seeks reductions in building height and density on the 34-acre site that would use air rights over Metra train tracks.

While revisions to a vague conceptual presentation was unavoidable and 100% necessary, the one piece that stuck out in the article we read on the Tribune has us scratching our heads:
Yet the plan faces many of the same hurdles the other megadevelopments have encountered — including neighbors’ objections to having their view of Lake Michigan blocked.
The article provides this additional perspective on the views:
Neighbors who attended the presentation had mixed reactions.
“I was really blown away by what I saw,” said Tina Feldstein, president of the Prairie District Neighborhood Alliance neighborhood group. “The idea that there could be a transportation hub of that caliber, right here on the lakefront, is not only a boom for this area but also for the city.”

Feldstein described the plan to connect many of Chicago’s top tourist attractions along the lake to public transportation as “50 years overdue.” She also said she was encouraged by the developer’s willingness to try to create a new high school on the site.

But Feldstein acknowledged One Central’s potential to obscure or fully block lake views in many nearby towers is a big drawback.

“I feel their pain that their views are going to be obstructed, even though they knew one day it would come,” Feldstein said. “There were a large number of people at the meeting who were hurting.”
While we understand the pity for the people with views, it's a reality of city living.  Views aren't a right and aren't guaranteed - despite what your real estate agent says.

We'll see how this goes.

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