|Nobody declared the rent to be "too damn high," but there was still a riveting debate about real estate last night in Chicago. Block 37, Pullman Park, and Addison Park at Wrigley drew criticism and praise at the Chicago Architecture Foundation's Malling of Chicago debate at Goose Island Wrigleyville.
|Preservation Chicago's Jonathan Fine argued historic buildings being torn down at Addison and Clark (like the one the group was in at 3535 N. Clark) were being replaced with faux historic buildings or finishes without character. He criticized Pullman Park for not integrating into the existing Pullman neighborhood, and including too many parking spaces without an L stop or other transit option. Chicago Plan Commission chair Linda Searl says the new mall at Block 37 needs better integration to the sidewalk. What she likes: the new Addison Park project provides density with its eight-story hotel and 135-unit apartment building near the Addison Red Line stop, which solves the “hotel desert” problem on the North Side.
|Culture blogger and moderator Edward Lifson took a poll that determined half of the 150 attendees think the city is becoming too suburban. Chicago Reader's Ben Joravsky agrees in the case of Pullman Park where he thinks the Walmart should have been a Dominick's or Jewel instead, but was likely blocked by city government. He thinks Addison Park shows the power that developers—abetted by the city—have in making a radical change to a neighborhood. Solomon Cordwell Buenz' John Lahey says Addison Park will offer Wrigleyville the best of both worlds: first floor indy retail and bigger national chains on second floors with small street-level entrances. He wishes Pullman Park had a less generic, suburban-power-center type structure to accommodate the historic neighboring areas.