Today’s Headlines for Thursday, June 2

  • Argument Breaks Out at Ward Zoning Meeting Over Small Apartment, Big Parking Building (DNA)
  • RTA Looking for Feedback on Its Statistics Website “RTAMS” (Ride On)
  • Ricketts: New Plaza Outside Wrigley Field More Than a “Beer Garden,” Wants Better Regulation (Tribune)
  • AP Style Book Says CTA’s Trains Called “L”, as CTA Does, Not “El” (Chicagoist)
  • “Edgewater Beachwalk” Would Extend Shoreline, Lakefront Trail on Far North Side (Curbed)
  • Art Covers Walls of Mega Mall in Logan Square Prior to Imminent Demolition (DNA)
  • McDonald’s to Move to West Loop, Where Transit Connections Are Light (Crain’s)
  • Market Under the Southport ‘L’ Resumes Today in Lakeview (DNA)

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Steven and I are very grateful to all of the sponsors, advertisers, and especially you, our loyal readers, for helping us win the $25K Chicago Community Trust post. With the $50,470 raised from donations and ad sales, the campaign raised a total of $75,470, enough to fund our next year of publication. We’ll have a full thank-you post later today, but huge thanks again to everybody who helped make this happen!

— John


  • BlueFairlane

    I’m glad you guys beat the deadline. It was looking shaky there for a minute, but you guys pulled it out, so congratulations!

    Since you’ve made this year’s goal, say I wanted to make a contribution that would count toward next year (and help make that push a little easier)? When will the numbers roll over?

    (This is assuming, of course, that the same Chicago Community Trust grant is in place for next year.)

  • Chicagoan

    Is combining the Lake St. subway station and the State St./Lake St. elevated station possible?

  • Sure. Either two (1up 1down) platform to mezzanine enclosed escalators that rise up out of the middle of State street, or better four escalators platform to platform.

  • cozzyd

    I’m surprised McD’s didn’t move closer to the train stations, but I’m assuming they’re planning on having a landmark McDonald’s on restaurant row, which will be hilarious.

  • Chicagoan

    Dang, that sounds hard!

  • Chicagoan

    I always felt that McDonald’s would eventually come back to Chicago and take up a bunch of floors in the Sears Tower or somethin’.

    Perhaps they’ll have McBuses to take Metra commuters back and forth to Ogilvie and Union.

  • I’m all for the lake front extension of Lincoln Park north. I would even support a 4 lane (2 north, 2 south) roaded version especially if the park was then bigger and/or islanded.

    That presumes both Sheridan and Broadway be road dieted and bike laned. Or bus laned. Indeed one of my strategies for getting the funding for the park extension to Evanston would be to diet the roads first and wait for the north suburban squeals of traffic congestion.

  • That’s what jack hammers are for. Now-a-days they use the sit-down version at the end of a small crane.

  • cozzyd

    They wouldn’t even have to take lanes away from State, although I don’t know if the mezzanine extends far enough North of the elevated station.

  • Chicagoan

    What’s it like to walk from the future McDonald’s building to Ogilvie and Union? Google Maps says fifteen minutes to walk to Ogilvie.

  • Hey, the new McDonald’s headquarters location has exponentially more transit and connectivity than the last one! :->

    For one thing, it’s quite close to the Green Line. For another, the Madison bus takes you straight downtown, right past Ogilvie, for the days you don’t feel like walking or taking a Divvy.

  • duppie

    Most marquee tenants will provide charter buses for their employees.
    But 15 minutes is indeed a decent walk after sitting at your desk all day.

  • There are quite a few people who can’t use escalators.

  • ardecila

    I would prefer an off street connection in the Page Brothers Building (like Merchandise Mart crossed with Clark/Lake) rather than a weird escalator habitrail in the middle of State Street.

  • ardecila

    It’s no further from Union/Ogilvie than the Prudential Plaza site McDonalds was looking at before… I agree a charter bus is likely for suburban riders.

    I also see this (and Google) spurring some additional demand to live in Little Italy, Pilsen, and South Loop which have direct rail connections to Morgan.

    Yonah’ tweet was well-intentioned but I think it reflects a pretty strong North Side bias. I don’t see why every single land use and transit decision has to keep reinforcing the North Side as “the place where wealthy professionals live”.

  • Chicagoan

    Could East Garfield Park and the neighborhood around the United Center be in line for an increase in demand, too?

  • Concobhar Mac Conmara

    I would think so

  • Cameron Puetz

    It’s only slightly further from Ogilvie than the Board of Trade. It’s closer than the east side of the Loop. With developments like this and 1K Fulton we’re seeing Ogilvie and Union shift from being on the edge of their service area to being in the middle.

  • Chicagoan

    This should spur more density and development along the Green and Pink Lines. Perhaps a Green Line station at Western Ave. is in the future.

  • what_eva

    a bunch of floors that have opened up in Sears the last few years have been gobbled up by United.

  • Chicagoan

    How occupied is the Sears Tower? 90%+?

    I know that United Airlines has about 15 floors in it.

  • ardecila

    Unlikely. Neither of those places are really neighborhoods at all. There is literally zero character around the United Center and no business community to speak of. The Madison St shopping corridor is long gone. It will take concerted planning efforts and large-scale, master-planned development to bring these areas back. From a transit perspective there is no Green Line stop between Ashland and California (terrible decision), and California is much too deep into EGP, while the United Center parking lots are a huge barrier for the organic revitalization of the more intact parts of EGP west of Hoyne.

  • ardecila

    Western and Damen stops are both needed. The area around Damen is evolving into an office district, and the Western/Lake area has some good opportunities for infill development.

  • what_eva

    Reading about that nonsense in the 41st makes me want to de-annex most of the ward (minus the airport of course) and give it to Niles or Des Plaines or something.

  • Chicagoan

    I’d love to have Green Line stations at Damen Ave. and Western Ave., and a Pink Line station at Madison St. All the surface parking around the United Center is horrifying. Strides have been made: Blackhawks and Bulls new practice facilities, Malcolm X College’s new building, and the United Center addition.

    Still, so much wasted land. I think it’ll happen as West Loop development pushes westward. It could eventually be a great place to raise a family, with Union Park and Whitney Young in the area.

  • Chicagoan

    As Cameron Puetz said below, these office developments could help shift Ogilvie and Union from being on the edge of their service area to the middle of it (Or closer to it, anyway.).

  • Chicagoan

    They could easily build 2,500 TOD housing units in the United Center area and give the neighborhood a big boost.

  • planetshwoop

    I think half the police and firefighters would lose their residency status if you did that.

    I was disgusted too by what I read. It’s too bad as the apartments would help keep the restaurant row they have vibrant.

  • planetshwoop

    It has tons of housing already around Madison. The hood that Harpo built.

    Diff points: I wonder if the new CEO for McDo lives downtown. As much as we love to think about it being about the city, sometimes these decisions have simple causes.

    Also, who is next? Allstate? My bet is on Walgreens.

  • ardecila

    Mmmm it all depends on what you mean by “they”. The Wirtz and Reinsdorf families have shown little interest in mixed-use development on their land. Without them on board it is literally impossible to generate a desirable neighborhood here. Most revitalization starts from existing neighborhoods with some kind of character. The United Center area is not only an utter retail desert but has no neighborhood character. It’s just open land. Everything is gone. If/when this area is developed, it will be with the support of the stadium owners and the city, it will involve large subsidies and/or street closures, etc. Hopefully it involves decent urban planning and is transit-oriented.

  • Hobbit-trail? Sure they could do that too for the phobic. I’m just imagining the shortest directest easiest route for the most riders.

  • I’m not suggesting that there be no elevator or stairs or eliminating what exists now.

  • The Madison bus goes right there, too.

  • what_eva

    and streets/san, water, etc, etc. hahaha

  • “I also see this (and Google) spurring some additional demand to live in Little Italy, Pilsen, and South Loop which have direct rail connections to Morgan.”

    You would think, but right now, 25th Ward Alder Solis is being hostile to one developer that wants to build hundreds of units.

  • Any improvement to the connections at State/Lake would also benefit people who live on the West side in getting to the North side.

  • Around May 1, 2017.

  • Do you mean combining their paid areas, so that one doesn’t have to bring out their fare card to get the free transfer?

    Do you mean building a physically enclosed transfer corridor?

  • You can see how many square feet is available for lease.

  • I don’t get how funding would materialize from that scenario.

  • I see only two routes to funding of anything big anywhere in the state. A dedicated infrastructure tax either sales or income or via the Federal government’s ability to manage the economy, via creating money out of thin air and then taxing it back when inflation hits the wrong places.

    We live in an age of artificial austerity because our oligarchs fare best in such a situation.

    As for answering your specific question, well it’s a win-win for north Edgewater and Rogers Park. Even if we don’t get the park and drive we get the road diets. So the coming up with the money is the suburban drivers problem.

  • ardecila

    Don’t I know it. That site however is far from the Pink Line, and if Solis keeps pushing down zoning it will just lead to more gentrification at lower density. Also, Solis allowed a loft renovation project to move forward with 100 new units on 21st St, that one is already under construction.