Document Sample
401 Powered By Docstoc
					                                      400 E Randolph Street, Suite 715    T: 312-565-0977
Appraisal Research Counselors              Chicago, Illinois 60601-7388   F: 312-565-3436

                                  Click here to view AppraisalResearch.com

Professional Service Since 1968
            Home | News | Sports | Business | Entertainment | Classifieds | Columnists | Lifestyles | Ebert | Search | Archives

                                                        mobile | email edition | printer friendly | email article
    Reviews & more
    Homelife news
                         Downtown future in the bag
    News & advice
                         February 12, 2006
    Customer service
                         BY DAVID ROEDER AND SANDRA GUY Staff Reporters
    Yellow Pages
    Local search
                         Fresh from a record year for condominium sales, downtown Chicago is proving
                         irresistible for retailers more accustomed to building near suburban rooftops.
News                     They're now scrambling for land within the city's man-made forest.
Today's news
Archive                  Each high-rise stands as a treasure of disposable income to the big-volume
Blogs                    grocers, hardware stores and discounters who are staking claims on the
Commentary               downtown dollar. The retailers' arrival signals a new phase in the central city's
Editorials               evolution as a place where people live, not just work.
Lottery                  Four large-scale stores -- three groceries and a Home Depot -- plan openings by
Obituaries               2007. The size of the Home Depot, planned for the southeast corner of
Politics                 Roosevelt and Jefferson, will rival what the hardware chain builds in the suburbs.
Religion                 The groceries are Dominick's, Jewel and Whole Foods.
George Ryan Trial
Special sections
Weather                                                                          They will join other stores
War on Terror                                                                    that have opened on
War in Iraq                                                                      downtown's fringes and
                                                                                 topped sales expectations.
Columnists                                                                       One example: the Gordon's
Brown                                                                            Ace Hardware at 440 N.
Falsani                                                                          Orleans in River North. John
The Fixer                                                                        Venhuizen, director of
Foster                                                                           business development at
Greeley                                                                          Ace Hardware, said the store
Higgins                                                                          beat the typical first-year
                                                                                 performance for an Ace
Levitt                                                                           Hardware by 25 percent.
Marin                                                                            The store is three times the
Martire                                                                          size that Ace, a co-op chain,
McNamee                                                                          typically builds in a city
Mitchell                                                                         neighborhood.
O'Rourke                                                                         The success of a Target on
O'Sullivan                                                                       Roosevelt Road has induced
Pickett                                                                          other big-box retailers to
QT                                                                               scout the territory. Costco, a
Richards                                                                         warehouse club that
Roeper                                                                           competes with grocery
Smith                                                                            stores, wants a site in the
Sneed                                                                            South Loop for a huge
Steyn                    Click here to enlarge map »
Sweet                                                                            operation, said a report by
Washington                                                                       the property brokerage Mid-
Will                     RELATED STORY                                           America Development
Wiser                                                                            Partners.
Other Views       Grocery options set to multiply                       A Costco real estate
                  Downtown living often is portrayed as carefree.       spokesman could not be
      RSS feeds   Buildings have doormen, maintenance staff and         reached for comment.
                  condo boards to handle life's nagging details.

                                                                        12,000 new homes
                  over next 3 years

                  Downtown is changing at a dizzying pace. The central city, from the Gold Coast
                  down through McCormick Place, logged a record 8,162 home sales in 2005, said
                  a report issued last week by Appraisal Research Counselors Ltd. The total is
                  nearly a third higher than the 2004 sales figure the firm reported.

                  Gail Lissner, vice president of Appraisal Research, said the brisk sales have
                  caused developers to plot more high-rises due in 2008. In the pipeline are about
                  4,000 new homes annually for the next three years, she said.

                  That also would be a record pace. Whether the projects are realized depends on
                  factors including the course of interest rates and job growth.

                  But the projections show that, barring economic calamity, the population of the
                  city's core will continue to rise. Census data crunched by the city's Planning
                  Department show that within the area bounded by Division, Roosevelt, Halsted
                  and Lake Michigan, the population has increased from 46,820 in 1970 to 70,137
                  as of the 2000 census.

                  Housing starts indicate the census number should be steaming past 90,000 by

                  With that prosperity comes maturity, and a growing concern that downtown's
                  changes aren't altogether positive. Its new character as a bedroom community,
                  albeit with the bedrooms stacked high, promises clashes with its clamorous and
                  gritty side.

                  Politicians adjusting

                  Think of last week's City Council vote ordering street musicians to cut the volume
                  of their performances, and banning them from part of the Michigan Avenue
                  shopping district. Ald. Burton Natarus (42nd) advocated the crackdown to answer
                  complaints from residents who couldn't stand the constant noise filtering up to
                  their living rooms.

                  Also, Mayor Daley has proposed a crackdown on bars that hold the city's late-
                  hour liquor license until 4 a.m. More than a third of those bars are in Natarus'
                  ward, which includes the downtown and Near North Side.

                  Daley wants to require the bars to hire security and add outside cameras and
                  lighting, all to curb complaints that the businesses spawn crime and general
                  nuisance in the wee hours.

                  "People want to sleep at night,'' Natarus told the Sun-Times, adding, "We're
                  getting more and more people living downtown. We have to start making these
                  types of adjustments."

                  Certain things were tolerated when downtown's identity was defined by working
                  and partying. But increasingly, its priorities look more like a suburb's with a focus
                  on police protection, taxation and services such as schools and parks.

                  School buses a harbinger of change

                  A major downtown development called Lakeshore East is striving for the well-
                  rounded neighborhood effect by including a school and playground in its acreage
                  north of Grant Park.
From his perch in the 400 E. Randolph building, Walter Stunard can see how
downtown has gone domestic. He notices it in the school buses that now visit the
islandlike group of skyscrapers on that street early each morning.

Stunard, a real estate agent at Rubloff Inc., himself grew up in a downtown with
fewer families in its midst. Today, he's raising two children in the same place, and
they join about 20 compatriots each morning waiting for the bus to Ogden

Other buses cruise the block to pick up children going to private schools.

"This has become an excellent location for many families,'' Stunard said. "You've
basically got a park across the street from your building'' and a short walk to Lake

Grocery shopping used to be less convenient, he said, but now it's relatively easy
to drive to the stores on the Near South, West and North sides. Stunard said he's
pleased that a Treasure Island, with more boutique appeal than Jewel or
Dominick's, will open near his building.

Loss of workers can hurt businesses

For other parts of downtown, residential growth can be a paradox. As a street
loses jobs and replaces them with homes, there can be less life on the street,
hurting merchants who expected something better.

Chuck Levi, proprietor of one of the oldest businesses in the Loop, the Iwan Reis
& Co. cigar store at 19 S. Wabash, has watched as old office buildings around
him have been scrubbed of grime and reborn with condos or hotel rooms.

"When you get these conversions, they can take a lot of people off the street,"
Levi said. "An office building creates a lot of foot traffic, hundreds of people every
day who work there and visit, and obviously these people have totally

Levi is the fourth-generation owner of a store that dates from 1857. He said he's
seen little new business attributable to residential growth. The expansion he's
noticed has a surprising source.

"Our mail-order business is doing more with people in the suburbs that have had
their offices moved out of the Loop," he said.

Levi has learned that for some merchants, residential growth downtown can be a
broken promise. In part, that's because many of the new condos are not
occupied by full-time residents.

Some units -- insiders estimate 20 percent or more -- are sold to investors,
people who hope to cash in on a quick resale. Others are sold to wealthy people
who use them sporadically or to retirees who spend the winters someplace

It's a fact of life that doesn't hurt local governments, which still get tax revenue
from condos whether they are occupied or not. But it can mean less benefit than
meets the eye for a cleaners or a restaurant that expected a neighborhood trade.

Levi's store is on a block of low-rise buildings that recall the Loop of the 1920s.
But the block, part of the Jewelers Row landmark district, will soon be riven by a
construction project that will add a 71-story building behind three buildings
immediately south of Iwan Reis.

Is Levi bitter about that? Hardly. The Northbrook resident likes the idea of having
a place next door to go home to on occasion. "I'm thinking of buying there
myself," he said.
            Home | News | Sports | Business | Entertainment | Classifieds | Columnists | Lifestyles | Ebert | Search | Archives

                                                        mobile | email edition | printer friendly | email article
    Reviews & more
                         News Archive
    Homelife news
                         Grocery options set to multiply
    News & advice
                         February 12, 2006
    Customer service
                         BY SANDRA GUY AND DAVID ROEDER Staff Reporters
    Yellow Pages
    Local search
                         Downtown living often is portrayed as carefree. Buildings have doormen,
                         maintenance staff and condo boards to handle life's nagging details.
Today's news             But a person has to eat. And for the thriving genus of High-Rise Man and
Archive                  Woman downtown, that used to mean a quick stop at a pantry squeezed into a
Blogs                    building lobby. The selection was limited and the prices high to cover the rent.
Education                Grocery shopping became more convenient starting in the late 1990s as full-line
Elections                stores opened a short drive from downtown. And now the options are expanding.
Obituaries               Here are the latest grocery projects downtown:
George Ryan Trial        *A Whole Foods Market slated to open by spring 2007 in the South Loop will be
Special sections         the third-largest of Whole Foods' 14 stores built or planned in the Chicago area,
Weather                  at 55,000 square feet. The store, at the northeast corner of Roosevelt and Canal,
War on Terror            will anchor the new Southgate Market mall.
War in Iraq

Columnists               *An oft-delayed Dominick's grocery store, now slated to open March 3 in the
                         River East neighborhood, measures 50,000 square feet and has 150 parking
                         spaces, compared with a typical suburban store of 60,000 to 65,000 square feet.
The Fixer
Foster                   The new River East store, part of the CityFront Plaza complex bounded by
Greeley                  Grand, Illinois, Columbus and St. Clair, completes a ring around the city center
Higgins                  that includes Dominick's stores at 1 N. Halsted, 424 W. Division and in the South
Jackson                  Loop at Roosevelt and Canal.
Marin                    *A Jewel-Osco supermarket scheduled to open in late 2007 at Kinzie and Des
Martire                  Plaines totals 52,800 square feet, smaller than the average suburban store of
McNamee                  63,000 square feet but substantially larger than Jewel's center-city store at State
Mitchell                 and Ohio, which totals 31,849 square feet. By comparison, Jewel's store at
Novak                    Wabash and Roosevelt totals 56,362 square feet on two floors.
O'Sullivan               *On a smaller scale, a 27,000-square-foot Treasure Island will open in 2007 and
Pickett                  will anchor a retail component of the Lakeshore East project north of Millennium
QT                       Park. The project calls for ultimate construction of 4,950 homes. The Treasure
Richards                 Island will be near Randolph and Columbus.
Sneed                    One indication of the pent-up demand for groceries is an explosive growth in
Steinberg                business for online grocer Peapod, which delivers food and other goods to
Steyn                    people's homes.
                         Peapod reports that its business has skyrocketed 25 percent to 30 percent in the
Wiser                    greater downtown area each year since 2003. Peapod declined to reveal sales
Zimmermann               figures.