Chicago Sun-Times Latest news from the Chicago Sun-Times Online en-us (Editor) Newspapers Chicago Sun-Times 84 34 30 Copyright 2014 <![CDATA[ Indoor produce farm, donut maker find fertile ground in industrial park ]]> Lead story image

DAVID ROEDER IN GRID: Bedford Park is a southwest suburb not normally thought of as a place for food production, but two such developments have started there. One is an "indoor vertical farm" that produces rows of basil and arugula that can be stacked six deep in a temperature-controlled, pesticide-free setting. ]]> Wed, 27 Mar 2013 12:19:27 -0600 <![CDATA[ DAVID ROEDER: Downtown office space getting squeezed  ]]> Lead story image

The squeeze is on. Maybe you’ve felt it if you are an office worker. The boss nowadays barely gives you desk space for the computer. Forget about your favorite lamp or the pictures from last year’s fishing trip. Companies are compressing the workplace, especially in high-demand urban areas such as Chicago. The trend is starting to show up in the statistics for office usage — not that landlords have any reason to panic. ]]> Wed, 20 Mar 2013 11:30:27 -0600 <![CDATA[ Owners, city seal deal for old Goldblatt’s at 47th and Ashland ]]> Lead story image

DAVID ROEDER: The Commission on Chicago Landmarks has recommended an old Goldblatt’s building at 4700 S. Ashland for landmark status. The legal protection, if ratified by the City Council, would guide and limit the property owners in what they can do as they convert the building to housing for seniors. The plan calls for the old discount store to become a supportive living center for the elderly. Ninety percent of the 101 units will be rented at rates deemed affordable to those earning less than 60 percent of the area’s median income. A Famsa furniture and appliance store on the first floor will continue to operate. ]]> Sun, 14 Apr 2013 06:44:14 -0600 <![CDATA[ Sam Zell sells Ford City Mall after 25 years as owner ]]> Lead story image

DAVID ROEDER: Chicago billionaire Sam Zell has sold a property he’s held for 25 years in his main fund, Equity Group Investments. It’s the Ford City Mall at 7601 S. Cicero, a place that, like Zell, has a unique story to tell. ]]> Sun, 07 Apr 2013 13:34:09 -0600 <![CDATA[ Developers finding sweet spots in Glenview ]]>

When property markets recover, it’s the top tier that sees it first. So with residential and commercial demand picking up, the northern suburb of Glenview can consider itself a choice market for developers. Chalk it up to high incomes, lots of rooftops containing them and, in a rarity for an established suburb, a supply of sizable redevelopment sites. Glenview also seems to be irresistible to the Mariano’s grocery chain, which intends to have two stores there. Residential builders also like that whatever demands Glenview might make on a project’s design, making some of the housing “affordable” never is among them. … ]]> Thu, 28 Mar 2013 06:46:57 -0600 <![CDATA[ Emanuel, Quinn, McPier tout McCormick hotel, but deal’s not done ]]> Lead story image

The agency that owns McCormick Place made news Tuesday about wanting to build a hotel that will increase by 50 percent the number of guest rooms within walking distance of the city’s convention center. Will it happen? Probably, but it was hard to judge through all the posturing. ]]> Thu, 21 Mar 2013 06:43:32 -0600 <![CDATA[ Chicago area condo, apartment data back an upbeat attitude ]]> Lead story image

Anyone who tries to judge the health of the residential market walks into a blizzard of data. You get the Case-Shiller numbers, the RealtyTrac numbers, the Realtor numbers, the changes in sales volume vs. sales prices, rentals per square foot, sales per square foot, new construction vs. resales and all the above for every imaginable neighborhood. ]]> Thu, 14 Mar 2013 06:43:29 -0600 <![CDATA[ Fifield moving forward on 368 apartment units for downtown Evanston ]]> Lead story image

DAVID ROEDER: More than 30 years after putting up an office building in Evanston, developer Steven Fifield has returned to Chicago’s northern neighbor with the largest apartment project it has seen in years. ]]> Thu, 07 Mar 2013 10:15:26 -0600 <![CDATA[ Casino would improve odds for makeover of old post office ]]> Lead story image

DAVID ROEDER: It’s been a year and a half since British investor Bill Davies unveiled massive plans for the old and unused Chicago Main Post Office that spans Congress Parkway. Nothing has happened with the property since, but now he’s entered a new phase in his planning. Sources tell me it’s downsized, more practical and seriously considers the option of a casino. ]]> Sat, 02 Mar 2013 07:22:14 -0600 <![CDATA[ New plan for historic Lakeshore Athletic on Lake Shore Drive ]]> Lead story image

The owner of the 1927 building at 850 N. Lake Shore Drive is back at it, working up a renovation plan for a building preservationists fought to save. The question becomes whether the work will ruin most of what made the building notable in the first place. ]]> Sun, 24 Feb 2013 06:37:22 -0600 <![CDATA[ Failed ‘Spire’s hole in ground could gain value in time ]]> Lead story image

DAVID ROEDER: Time waits for no man, but it might cut a break for somebody who will hold property patiently — even if the property in question poses a difficult case. Consider, for example, the former Calatrava “spire” site at 400 N. Lake Shore Drive. ]]> Sun, 17 Feb 2013 06:37:02 -0600 <![CDATA[ 2012 was best year for Chicago office leasing since ’06 ]]> Lead story image

In these January days, we all could use good news about the economy, so here goes: In 2012, the downtown Chicago office market had its best year for leasing since 2006. That’s the finding from the tenant-advisory firm Studley Inc. in its market report summarizing the year just finished. Its analysis points to job growth in the city’s core, even if much of it comes at the expense of the suburbs. ]]> Sun, 10 Feb 2013 18:11:09 -0600 <![CDATA[ Housing market improving, but . . . ]]> Lead story image

As the old year expires, numerous articles will delve into whether the housing market will improve during 2013. But they’ll be asking the wrong question. The real question is: Compared to what? ]]> Sun, 27 Jan 2013 06:18:56 -0600 <![CDATA[ California firm to buy family-owned Kenny Construction: source ]]> Lead story image

Kenny Construction Co., a family-owned company that became famous in 1992 when it repaired a breach that flooded old freight tunnels in the Loop, will be sold, perhaps by yearend, to Granite Construction Co., based in Watsonville, Calif., a source said. Granite is a publicly traded firm with large jobs on the East and West coasts and annual revenue of about $2 billion. ]]> Sun, 20 Jan 2013 06:27:32 -0600 <![CDATA[ Wolf Point delay could be costly ]]> Lead story image

DAVID ROEDER: The three-tower Wolf Point project, a $1 billion proposal backed by the Kennedy family, has been having a rough go of it lately. Downtown Ald. Brendan Reilly (42nd), delayed a planned hearing on the project after being surprised by last-minute details in the developers’ zoning application to the city that didn’t reflect promises made to neighbors. ]]> Sun, 13 Jan 2013 11:12:32 -0600 <![CDATA[ Old Maryville site has new suitors after neighbors rejected oversized dreams ]]> Lead story image

In real estate lingo, the 3.5 acres at Montrose and Clarendon, the old Maryville Academy property, has been “in play” for several years. Located just west of Lake Shore Drive, the site’s promise of premium views for high-rise dwellers has made developers dream big. ]]> Sun, 06 Jan 2013 10:02:59 -0600 <![CDATA[ Wolf Point project’s call for up to 1,800 hotel rooms delays hearing ]]> Lead story image

DAVID ROEDER: A city agency’s vote on a three-tower development plan for Wolf Point was deferred Tuesday after a downtown alderman complained that the project’s investors introduced last-minute details. The exercise carries a lesson for anybody who wants to build something in Chicago and needs aldermanic favor: Watch those legal filings and don’t embarrass a guy who sticks his neck out for you. ]]> Sat, 29 Dec 2012 06:29:48 -0600 <![CDATA[ Deere’s a marathon runner ]]> Lead story image

DAVID ROEDER: Tractor maker Deere (DE) is easing up on the throttle. With its latest quarterly earnings, management at the bellwether stock tossed out warnings about its short-term prospects. But cut away the corporate caution and you’ve got a picture that shouldn’t scare off long-term investors. It certainly didn’t frighten Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway (BRKB), which added a stake in Deere a quarter ago after selling other blue-chip investments. ]]> Sun, 25 Nov 2012 02:46:48 -0600