Archive for February, 2007

Aqua Work Begins

Wednesday, February 28th, 2007

From the Chicago Tribune – “On Wednesday, construction will get under way on the $474 million, 87-story Aqua residential tower in the Lakeshore East mixed-use development.”

  

From the Chicago Sun-Times –Jeanne Gang of Studio Gang Architects will discuss her new 80-story tower called Aqua, scheduled to be built in the Lakeshore East development. She will speak at 12:15 p.m. Thursday at the Cultural Center, 78 E. Washington in the next Friends of Downtown program. It’s free.”

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Natarus Loses Race to Reilly

Wednesday, February 28th, 2007

Alderman Ward 4268 of 69 precincts reporting (99%)
City of Chicago
42nd Ward Alderman – Chicago

  Brendan Reilly 6,802 54% (X)
  Burton Natarus 5,721 46%

From the Sun-Times – “Natarus, 73, lost to AT&T executive Brendan Reilly, who had 54 percent of the vote to Natarus’ 46 percent with 81 percent of the precincts tallied. “I just hope the change is for the better,” Natarus said. “I said this before, I hope the public doesn’t miss me. I did my job. For your information I missed five City Council meetings in 36 years.”

“Those who didn’t vote for me, I can understand their feeling. I’ve been the alderman for a long, long time,” Natarus, 73, told a crowd of supporters Tuesday night at the swanky Bella Lounge on the Gold Coast. “And there are some people who feel there ought to be a change. . . .”

 

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Tribune Endorsing Natarus

Friday, February 16th, 2007

From the Chicago Tribune – “42nd Ward (Loop, Near North and West): Organized labor is pouring great sums of money into a campaign to defeat Ald. Burton Natarus. There”s only one reason: to claim a high-profile victory over someone who stood with Mayor Richard Daley to oppose the job-killing “big-box” ordinance.”

More information at –

They continue the endorsement by saying that “Now here”s the odd thing: he agrees with Natarus that the big-box ordinance is a bad idea. So why would labor pour thousands of dollars into his campaign? To punish Natarus. That would be bad for Chicago. Natarus is endorsed.”

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Natarus Reilly Debate on Chicago Tonight

Thursday, February 15th, 2007

Alderman Natarus and challenger Reilly appeared on Chicago Tonight last night.

Two clips were posted to YouTube by “WeLoveBurt”.

 (10 minutes)

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GPAC and Grant Park Conservancy Meeting

Tuesday, February 13th, 2007

Bob O’Neill announced a joint meeting of the Grank Park Conservancy and the Grant Park Advisory Council to discuss topics related to 2016 Olympics, plans for a new Metra Station (renovation) in Grant Park, and an update on Hutchinson Field.

See the announcements section for more information –

 

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Other Issues Discussed at Recent NEAR Meeting

Monday, February 12th, 2007

There was a comment that the neighborhood does not have bus service to Ogden school. Free bussing existed in the past, but just this year the school district stopped providing bus service to the New Eastside neighborhood. is in a big hole with no public school, also there is no local magnet or private school.
 
insisted that no one has “done more than me” in advocating for local eductional issues. He noted that the bond issue is done and they only need to let the contracts out to float the bonds to fund the Ogden school reconstruction and the construction of the new school in the New Eastside. Natarus insisted that the neighborhood will get back bus service.
 
stated that the bussing issue is a perfect sort of opportunity for the Alderman to step up and talk with the Chicago Public School system.
 
There was a question about whether the could introduce problems with flooding or attract homeless. The proposed pedways would be elevated, underneath the upper roadways, it would not be underground so there would be no issue with flooding. Regarding security, both candidates mentioned that keycards or other means could be used to restrict access to the buildings or to the pedway itself.
 
There was a suggestion that Northerly Island may be suitable for the location. Natarus felt that the location is too remote. Reilly mentioned that the Museum Campus is probably a preferable location but that doesn’t work out, “why not?” consider Meigs Field (Northerly Island).
 
Someone commented about the noise levels at this past year’s Lollapalooza festival. Natarus said that he will try to keep a clamp on this; the city has noise laws and the environmental inspectors have to watch each event. The problem is that the department is small, it needs more inspectors who are able to come out at night. It was noted that the Lollapalooza festival was approved for four more years.
 
Finally, there were some more discussion about the neighborhood school. A charter member of GPAC said that according to a past meeting or meetings of GPAC, it was stated that the very first building of the development would be the school. Natarus said that Magellan’s check is not enough for the school and that is has been in the CPS and City of Chicago’s court. However, now that Natarus has passed the bond issue, we can move forward with floating the bonds and getting the government portion of the funding to start construction.buy viagra cialis online uk buy cialis 2.5 mg online buy cialis in south africa discount cialis generic
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Alderman Natarus Introduction and Closing Statements

Sunday, February 11th, 2007

Natarus has been 42nd Ward Alderman since 1971 and has served in no other public office. Prior to 1971 he lost three times while running for 42nd Ward Alderman. He has lived in the 42nd Ward for 47 years.

He is running now for the 10th time and each time has had goals. In the last term the Ward has added 32 acres of parks including the Lakeshore East park and the Ward is continuing to plan more parks such as the DuSable Park where the river meets Lake Michigan.

In this term he had two main goals: Ogden school must be rebuilt. This will be done by building a new school on the existing playground and then tearing down the old school building replacing it with a park. The second goal is to build the Lakeshore East school. Both schools are listed on a bond issue which was passed a few months ago.

In his closing statements, Natarus said he has lived in the same townhouse in Sandburg Village for 35 years. He has raised two children and is very cognizant of education needs. The usual means of funding school construction is bond issues such as the one just passed for the New Eastside school and Natarus said Daley is very interested in building this school. The bond issue has been passed, the city now just needs to float the bonds.

Natarus went on that he is working on the DuSable Park and funding, he is a member of the Chicago Plan Commission as well as the Landmark Committee.

In the New Eastside neighborhood one issue he is working on is the need to re-do the intersection at the entrance to 175/195 North Harbor Dr. and N. Harbor Dr. (Upper). Natarus is on-the-ball on all of these issues.

In other developments he is working on “Fish Hotels” to improve the aquatic habitat of the river along with the group Friends of the River. He is working on renovating Navy Pier to include a small expensive hotel to generate revenue for Navy Pier. Finally he is working to attract a permanent installment of Cirque du Soleil in downtown Chicago.

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Reilly Introduction and Closing Statements

Saturday, February 10th, 2007

The summary below is our write-up up from a NEAR meeting held last week which hosted two alderman candidates – Natarus and Reilly. We will publish the Natarus summary in an upcoming installment.

Reilly served with the state legislature for several years with the environment and energy committee in the hours. He is currently on unpaid leave of absence from AT&T where he is an executive. Reilly has lived in the 42nd ward for three and a half years and prior to that lived in River North for three years.
 
In his closing statements Reilly acknowledged Natarus’ long and distinguished career and that Natarus may have more powerful friends than he has.
 
He stated that the Alderman’s responsibility is the repond to all consituent concerns with specific answers. He promised to have regular office hours and said that he doesn’t believe phone calls to the Alderman’s office are currently being returned consistently.
 
He said that as part of his campaign he did not accept any contributions from developers, a challege he says that his opponent did not accept. Reilly believes he has creative ideas and further stated that he has won the endorsement from both the firefighters and police.

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Q5: Pedway Extension

Wednesday, February 7th, 2007

Last question posed to candidates for alderman at last week”s NEAR meeting. 

What is your position on the extension of the pedway which was approved by the city council in 1969 and reapproved by the council in 1979, 1993, and 2001?
 
Ward outlined several documents including ammendments to Planned Development #70 over the years, perhaps the most important of which was the Lakeshore East development which stated that it is not responsible for connecting the pedway to the existing buildings. However, according to Ward, the previous documents are binding and require that the LSE build the pedway for the entire neighborhood.
 
Natarus stated that Chicago”s Corporate Counsel does not agree with Ward”s interpretation. Natarus recommended that Ward or advocates in the community get an independent legal opinion and the Natarus would himself introduce an ordinance if he can get a legal opinion agreeing with Ward”s interpretation.
 
Reilly agreed with the Alderman about wanting a legal opinion. He went on that it happens all too often that a developer is allowed to change language. He said that in meetings the the Alderman is responsible for advocating for the average citizen. Reilly said that he is willing to work with the neighborhood to explore some possibilities and believes that Corporate Counsel should produce an opinion.generic cialis in australia cialis online discount buy cialis uk cheap buy cialis next day delivery
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Q4: Elementary School in New Eastside

Wednesday, February 7th, 2007

Fourth of five questions posed to Aldermanic candidates at a recent NEAR meeting. 

What actions will you take to ensure construction & opening of the new elementary school in the New Eastside and how do you see our community involved in the process?
 
Ward outlined three possible locations within the Lakeshore East development. The first was what was originally approved in 2001 as part of the PD #70 ammendment. This location is in the northeast corner Lakeshore East park.
 
The other two locations are just north of the park. The school could be placed in the lot between the Lancaster and the Shoreham buildings. However, there are walls on all four sides which would limit the light and windows, especially at the lower levels. The final proposed location could be next to the Tides building currently under construction. It would be just west of the Tides between the parking structure and the fire station.
 
It was Reilly turn to respond to this question first. Reilly explained that the developer has agreed to put up half of the money to build the school, which has roughly a $5 million dollar price tag. He noted that people have moved into the neighborhood in anticipation of a new school and that the Chicago Public School system depends on the state for funding. He said that the new school should have been taken care of a long time ago and that the community will be involved in questions such as where to site the school and what it should look like.
 
Natarus mentioned that he had insisted that Lakeshore East put in the requirement for a school. Three months ago the City of Chicago passed a bond issue that has money for the school. He said that the state is not funding the school, the city is funding the school. It is his opinion that the original location, in the northeast corner of the park is the best location. He said that building against the garage (either of the other two locations) is “ludicrous”. He assured attendees that the school will be built and that he is very much in favor of the school and supported the bond issue.generic cialis in australia cialis online discount buy cialis uk cheap buy cialis next day delivery
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Q3: Daley Fieldhouse Renovation

Tuesday, February 6th, 2007

Third of five questions presented to the Aldermanic candidates at a NEAR meeting last week. 

What plans do you have with the Chicago Park District to secure funding to improve the physical condition of they Daley Bi-Centennial Plaza Fieldhouse and do you have any timetable for the improvements?
 
Reilly recommended that he would try to get money from the state for the renovation and mentioned that he has a good relationship with our State Representative.
 
Natarus was careful not to make promises he could not keep but pomised to be creative about finding a solution for this. He suggested that the developer of the next high-rise that is put up in the area could be asked to chip in with a contribution for the renovation. He mentioned that the Park District does not have a good funding mechanism. He said that this is a top priority but that he will make no false promises.generic cialis in australia cialis online discount buy cialis uk cheap buy cialis next day delivery
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Q2: Children’s Museum Relocation

Tuesday, February 6th, 2007

This is the first of five questions presented to the Aldermanic candidates last week at a meeting hosted by NEAR.

If the Children’s Museum relocates from its current home at Navy Pier, do you have any locations you support or oppose?
 
The Chicago Children’s Museum (CCM) originally planned to move to the Daley Fieldhouse location; however the proposal met fierce opposition from local residents. Ward showed photographs of the Fieldhouse and the new proposed location at the NE corner of Columbus and Monro. The mentioned that concern has been expressed about having the CCM move into Grant Park would open the floodgates to more museums moving into Grant Park. Ward outlined however how only one other location in Grant Park, also along the north side of Monro Dr. could be suitable for a “below-grade” building.
 
Natarus mentioned that the Monro Dr. location was recommended by Daley. A number of organizations oppose putting the museum on Monro Dr. such as the the Grant Park Advisory Council (GPAC) and Friends of Grant Park. Natarus says he sees two possibilities: they could try relocating the Children’s Museum down to the Museum Campus by the Shedd Aquarium or they might stay put at Navy Pier.
 
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Q1: Monro Street Garage Renovation

Monday, February 5th, 2007

This is the first of five questions presented to the Aldermanic candidates last week at a meeting hosted by NEAR and moderated by NEAR President Richard Ward. Stay tuned this week as our complete report is posted. 

What plans do you have to minimize disruption of the neighborhood during the Monro Street garage renovation?

Richard Ward presented photographs of the state of the garage’s deterioration and reported that from his observation it was his opinion that there is a need to rebuild the garage. The garage was originally constructed back in 1976 or 1978. The garage is rectangular and encompasses the entire block bounded by Randolph St., Columbus Dr., Monro Dr., and the walkway where Lake Shore Drive used to be twenty some years ago, i.e. the Cancer Survivors Plaza. The northeast corner is approximately where the playground is next to the skating rink and the Daley Fieldhouse.

It is a large area and during the construction all of the following will likely be disrupted at one point or another: the children’s playground, skating rink, tennis courts, the BP/Gehry bridge and possibly access to the Daley Fieldhouse.

Reilly noted that the Fieldhouse will not be torn down or displaced as part of the garage reconstruction. His suggestion was that he would recommend to phase in reconstruction of the garage if financially feasible.

Natarus stated that the reconstruction will be done in phases under the supervision of the transportation department and that he will do everything he can to minimize the dust and debris caused by the construction.generic cialis in australia cialis online discount buy cialis uk cheap buy cialis next day delivery
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News in the Neighborhood Recap

Monday, February 5th, 2007

A was held in the hospitality room on the seventh floor in Outer Drive East () Wednesday night, January 31st.

for 42nd Ward Alderman to attend and answer questions regarding neighborhood issues. Mike “Libby” Libert could not make the meeting as he was not feeling well. Brendan Reilly and current Alderman Burton did make the meeting and were the center of attention for most of the evening.

The three candidate’s web sites and their position on the ballot are listed below:

Brendan Reilly – #51
Ald. Burton Natarus – #52
Mike Libert – #53

NEAR president Richard Ward prepared five key questions, introduced the issues and presented slides and photographs, and moderated the evening’s discussion. In a series of upcoming posts we will recap the questions presented to the candidates as well as their opening and closing statements.

Also, an annoucement was made that Howard Adlin is moving to Florida and will leave his position as NEAR treasurer, a position in which he has served for many years.generic cialis in australia cialis online discount buy cialis uk cheap buy cialis next day delivery
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Aqua Construction to Begin Next Month

Friday, February 2nd, 2007

From GlobeSt. - “Construction is expected to begin as soon the developer receives the final building permit, which should be within a few weeks, Carlins says.” ”The 81-story building will feature condominiums, apartments, an 18-floor hotel, retail and office space.” The building is expected to be complete in mid-2009. “Amenities will include indoor and outdoor 25-yard lap pools, an outdoor wading pool, a track, fire pits, hot tubs, a spa section, weight rooms and a theater component.”

For more information see —

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Magellan to use Rosenfield’s Titan

Thursday, February 1st, 2007

The Tribune reports that Magellan will begin to use Titan for commercial leasing. Titan was formed by Ben Rosenfield who was formerly with Millenium R/E which Magellan had been using for commercial leasing.

Titan will focus on retail space in Aqua. Presumably, Millenium R/E dealt with the space next to 340 On the Park including the new Treasure Island.

 For more information, see the third news item at –

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