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 Autos Reviews & more News Homes Homelife news Downtown future in the bag Careers News & advice February 12, 2006 Subscribe 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. Education Elections 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 Jackson Laney 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. Novak Ontiveros 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 Steinberg 135,000-square-foot Steyn Click here to enlarge map » Sweet operation, said a report by Washington the property brokerage Mid- Will RELATED STORY America Development Wiser Partners. Zimmermann 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 2010. 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 School. 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 Michigan. 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 disappeared." 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 warmer. 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 Autos Reviews & more News Archive Homes Homelife news Grocery options set to multiply Careers News & advice February 12, 2006 Subscribe 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. News 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. Commentary Editorials 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. Lottery Obituaries Here are the latest grocery projects downtown: Politics Religion 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 Brown spaces, compared with a typical suburban store of 60,000 to 65,000 square feet. Falsani 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. Laney Levitt 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. Ontiveros O'Rourke 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. Roeper Smith 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. Sweet Washington Peapod reports that its business has skyrocketed 25 percent to 30 percent in the Will Wiser greater downtown area each year since 2003. Peapod declined to reveal sales Zimmermann figures.