Monday, May 6, 2013

Scaled Back Chicago Post Office Redevelopment Announcement Coming In June

Joseph Antunovich, architect for British developer Bill Davies, said during a May 3 fire safety meeting with City of Chicago officials that this coming June he expects his client to release a scaled back version of plans for redevelopment of Chicago's old main Post Office building straddling the Eisenhower Expressway at the Chicago River. A massive redevelopment plan released in 2011 called for construction of five residential, hotel and office towers on the site. That proposal has proved not to be economically viable.

The forthcoming, more modest plan will include retail shops on the bottom three floors of the existing  nine story structure, with residential space above. Davies also plans a 100 story hotel and residential tower on the portion of the site between the existing structure and the riverbank, atop Amtrak and commuter rail yards at the water's edge. Davies will also propose a parking garage just west of the old Post Office building, containing robotic car elevators designed to bring each driver's vehicle back to the exit lanes.

The announcement of the forthcoming design release came during a meeting with CFD officials to discuss improved sprinkler standpipes within the existing building and the 24 hour per day operation of the building's 11 exhaust fans to clear away diesel exhaust fumes from idling Amtrak and METRA commuter locomotives using Chicago Union Station's train sheds and rail yards.
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