Fioretti out to downzone X/O site

by Joe Zekas on 7/20/07

Crain’s Chicago Business is reporting that newly-elected 2nd Ward Alderman Robert Fioretti will propose a downzoning of the X/O Condominiums site.

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{ 24 comments… read them below or add one }

Ecker July 20, 2007 at 1:21 PM

WHY does it “just [not] belong”? This isn’t Seasame Street, Mr. Fioretti, it’s CHICAGO!

The NIMBY groups say it “overwhelms” the neighborhood, but I have yet to read a report of a person who suffered physical injury or mental illness due to the height of a neighboring building.

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Sam July 20, 2007 at 1:37 PM

It’s a total joke. No court in the land would uphold a downzoning of this project. Once again we get some new activist alderman who claims that he’s not beholden to any special interest groups (specifically meaning developers) and it turns out that of course, just like everyone else he’s beholden to special interest groups, just not the ones he doesn’t want to appear to be beholden to (in this case he is proving to be beholden to the small minority of very loud, very design and urban planning-challenged, very exurban-minded wacko NIMBYs that make up the Prairie District group and some others throughout the South Loop. But in the end, I’m not too worried about X/O not happening or being downsized because, as I have stated, the developer will win the lawsuit he is sure to file…

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EM July 20, 2007 at 1:38 PM

Please, whats a NIMBY?

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Alex July 20, 2007 at 2:17 PM

May or may not happen, but this does not help. If this is such a wonderful and widely accepted project, how do you explain the relatively poor ‘claimed contracts’ at “about 200″? This project has probably been advertised more than any project in the Central, South, and West Loop since August of last year, and even touted as Yo-Chicago’s development of the year. With this, it seems sales are pretty disappointing compared to other projects that still did well in a relatively cooler market.

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Joe Zekas July 20, 2007 at 3:34 PM

Sam,

In a world in which the rule of law prevailed, you’d be right.

Unfortunately for all of us, this case will begin in the Circuit Court of Cook County, a dim dark slimy recess where the law only occasionally intrudes. Been there. Done that. Years back – and I suspect that not much has really changed – I wasted $700K in legal fees before a corrupt judge who’s now back in the practice of law.

What Fioretti is doing here is beyond appalling.

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irishpirate July 20, 2007 at 4:55 PM

Fioretti is an eejit.

Time will tell whether The Leprechaun King, da mare, tries to block the proposed zoning change. Da mare may want to avoid the legal costs of a likely losing court case. Gotta save that taxpayer money for the hired scandal settlements.

The only area the alderbeasts currently have real power is over zoning. It is also the area most likely to involve stupidity, corruption, and lucrative campaign contributions.

Not allowing those buildings in that location should be CRIMINAL.

Da Mare should introduce Fioretti to some of his mobbed up dinner buddies.

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Sam July 20, 2007 at 5:13 PM

Alex – you couldn’t be more wrong about sales performance of X/O. The project is actually a market outperformer. I’ve seen sold figures of 60%+ for Tower I, 30%+ for tower II. Given that Tower I has been officially on sale for 8 months and Tower II officially for 2 months, and given the slower market, this performance is quite strong indeed – probably better than any other major high-rise with similar release dates

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Matt July 21, 2007 at 11:09 AM

EM…..Not In My Back Yard

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Jack July 21, 2007 at 5:48 PM

“Alex” sounds a lot like Jeff from the NIMBY PDNA Board

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Joe Zekas July 21, 2007 at 6:03 PM

Jack,

Jeffery has been pretty open and straightforward in the past. He’s even given up his real name on the site.

I don’t think he’d be hiding behind a different screen name. Possible, but highly unlikely is my take.

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Jeff July 22, 2007 at 8:03 AM

Hi Joe, I am out here, just been very busy…but I have stopped by check out the the show. Peace!
As to Alex’s question, I agree partly; it did not seem that the buzz surrounding this project was anywhere near the level Museum Tower I&II, or some of the Lakeside/River East projects.

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the urban politician July 22, 2007 at 8:24 AM

Who cares about whether it had ‘buzz’ or not? This project was doing well enough to likely receive financing in the near future. 60% on Phase I and 30% on the more recently introduced Phase II sounds pretty good to me, so what’s the issue here?

Sounds like some people just want to think this project was doomed to fail. Nothing could be further from the truth, and you all know that.

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Laura Louzader July 22, 2007 at 9:17 AM

NO!! Say it ain’t so!

Sounds like the residents need to get together and rally for the beautiful XO project.

Don’t let the NIMBYs and CAVEs (Citizens Against Virtually Everything) run your neighborhood. They will consign it to permanent stagnation and eventual deterioration.

And something that someone should bring up…. do the property owners and developers have any RIGHTS in this? It is incredibly unfair and unjust to downzone a parcel AFTER a project that meets all the rules has been approved,and plans have been drawn and financing secured. It should be legally impossible to do this.

Don’t tell me about the “community’s right” to a voice- the community already exercised its rights through the local zoning and planning board. Anyone who had objections to the project should have voiced them while this was in the planning stage, which was at least 3 years ago. This project has not been kept a secret- advertising for it appeared on my blog site 4 months ago.

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Jeff July 22, 2007 at 11:21 AM

3 Years ago? At least let’s be factual. The project was first presented May-June of last year and went to Plan Commission in August of 2006, approved in October. By my calander, this does not equal 3 years. And Local Planning Board, let’s be open to the fact that the developer is a board member on the “Local Planning Board”.

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Sam July 22, 2007 at 1:40 PM

Laura, fortunately there’s no need to rally on this one. Fioretti (Little Bobby) knows full well that a downzoning of the project will not stand up to legal scrutiny. However, we do need to rally for the future of quality, modern, tall, thin and dense development in the South Loop, as Little Bobby is proving that he is beholden

Welcome back, Section 8. Discussions had gotten much more intelligent and less NIMBYish in your absence…

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Sam July 22, 2007 at 1:42 PM

continuation of 1st paragraph above:

…..Little Bobby is proving that he is beholden to special interest groups, such as the highly specialized special interest NIMBY group, PDNA….

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Jeff July 22, 2007 at 2:48 PM

Sam, As usual, hiding anonomously behind your keyboard & computer screen calling people names I see.

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Joe Zekas July 22, 2007 at 2:50 PM

Sam,

Your confidence in the legal system is misplaced. This is Cook County, and one should never overlook that consideration.

Lawlessness and irresponsibility don’t always get checked when an alderman is the perp. Anyone who has their eyes open has seen even the clearest cases come out the wrong way in Cook County courts.

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UptownR July 23, 2007 at 12:53 AM

Helen Shiller’s attempted downzoning of the Lakeshore Drive site near the “New York” tower was challenged–and this older more established Alderman did lose that battle… However, the developer has scaled down the proposed tower for this site a bit to make Helen the Horrible happy, so concessions may still need to be made even with a successful court challenge. I doubt that we’ll ever see the X/O development as it was originally proposed. Too bad… It was one of the only Lucien LaGrange projects that didn’t make me want to vomit.

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Jack July 23, 2007 at 9:12 AM

The most significant difference between the “New York” site and X/O is that X/O has a PD and has invested significants sums in marketing and presales, has support of the community (including a majority of residents in the Prairie Ave District, excluding Jeff and Tina) and has enough presales to obtain financing. Yes, Cook County courts are undpredictable, but this attempt by Firoretti at downzoning is indeed unprecedented and will not succeed.

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Jeff July 23, 2007 at 4:45 PM

What is your basis that a majority of the Prairie Avenue District support the project and location? That is completely false. Anyone in their right mind knows 45 stories does not belong in the middle of the only District in the South Loop that there are stated goals to ‘protect scale, height, character’.
By Community support, do you mean the NSPB chamber of commerce that the developer is a board member of, or the GSLA, who has received advertising money from developer?

Do you find it ironic that these groups, who claim to represent the community, residents and ‘property owners’, also openly claim that, that despite ‘participating in the preparation of the Near South Community plans’ (possibly to display their credibility), do not advocate it’s use or enforcement, even though it is accepted by the planners, residents, DPD, and City Council. The Community spoke when those plans where prepared with our Taxpayer money. It seems that the former Alderman, Zoning, and ‘Community groups” did not do the job sticking to the plans.

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Sam July 23, 2007 at 7:17 PM

Jeff – clearly you do not get it and most certainly never will. Your group – the PDNA – is not a community group representing the area residents and their views. Rather, it is a radical, fringe group of loud-mouthed NIMBYs with extraordinarily poor taste in design, lack of appreciation of what really contributes to a “historic” district’s character and solid planning priciples. You and your exceedingly desperate cohorts continually grab at every last straw to prove that X/O, as presently planned, is somehow not a legally approved, or widely accepted and praised development. Perhaps as Joe Zekas suggested, I place too much confidence in our local court system – however the most likely outcome by far if Fioretti wishes for this matter to end up in court, is still that Kargill will win and X/O will be built as currently planned.

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Jeff July 24, 2007 at 9:45 AM

You have something on your chin :)

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Laura Louzader July 29, 2007 at 11:40 AM

When I said that this was three years in the planning stage at least, that means that the developer had put at least two years into working it up before proposing it publicly and presenting it to the planning board.

By the time the plans were first presented publicly, the developer had, you can be sure, already shoveled a considerable hunk of money into site selection, legal preparation, and architectural plans.

It’s been only a year since it was public, true, but you are leaving out consideration of the work and money that went into it before that.

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