Aug 062017
 

Courtesy of Perkins+Will. Rendering of Ancora

Approximately 65 neighbors attended the GSLA’s July Neighbors’ Night Out to meet representatives from the Riverline development team, CMK and Perkins + Will, and to get a close-up look at the current construction progress.  The event was held at Sociale (800 S Clark St).

The development team brought printed materials for attendees to review that included the history of the site and plans and renderings for the future.  Small groups of attendees were escorted on a walking tour to view the construction progress of the first building, known as Ancora, which will soar 28 stories and contain 420 apartment units, including some 2-story townhomes.  The Ancora building is located to the north of River City and will be completed in approximately 12 months.

Permits are in process for the second building, an 18-story high rise located South of River City called Current, which will bring 251 condo units to the neighborhood.   Completion targets cannot be released until permitting has been secured.

From a vantage point on the north side of River City’s public walkway, key site features were described, including features of the Ancora building itself and of the park space which will serve as a key feature of the development.  The 14-acre site is planned to have approximately 4 acres of green space throughout.  The park and river walk on the site should be complete in about 3 years, with a focus on completing the park sooner if possible.  The development team is also hoping to get a water taxi stop somewhere along the tract.

The river walk, and how it will connect the site through the existing River City development, was a topic of particular interest.  The current plan will direct pedestrians along the outer walkways around the curve of River City or straight through the middle via a publicly available walkway.

The Ancora building site is highlighted in orange, and Current site is highlighted in dark red. The red and blue dotted lines represent the pedestrian traffic path to connect the site and the future river walk.  Courtesy Perkins+Will. 

Several attendees noted that the “walking tour” aspect of this NNO was interesting, and it was informative to get an up-close look at the site and talk with the development team.

Below is a summary of written feedback collected from attendees via a questionnaire we distributed at the event:

Top aspirations for future development (in order of most frequently mentioned):

Rendering of completed Riverline development, to the north and south of River City. Courtesy Perkins+Will.

Connections between South Loop and nearby neighborhoods

Open to the public for enjoyment – not private

Restaurants with a fun and eclectic feel, not too “stuffy”

Green space

A really good coffee shop!

Pedestrian access to the loop

Most desired riverfront amenities desired at the site:

River walk

Original River City 2 site plan, as envisioned by architect Bertrand Goldberg.

Locally-owned shops & restaurants

River/outdoor recreation spots

Pet-friendly amenities

Water-based activities

Walking/running path

Kayak storage/launch

Canoe rental

Water taxi with direct downtown access

Top responses to look and feel of the site 20 years from now:

It doesn’t make the neighborhood feel too congested

An area where all types of residents can interact

Not too touristy, green space for recreational use

Continuous river walk that has the look and feel of the area

Accessibility (seniors, disabled access, strollers)

Most important aspects/considerations for the site:

River access

Pet-friendly

Small businesses

Pedestrian-friendly

 

You can learn more about the Riverline development via their website.

About the GSLA:

The Greater South Loop Association (GSLA) is a 501c3 non-profit organization founded in 1998.  Our mission is to bring neighbors together to maintain and improve the South Loop as a vibrant, diverse, and inclusive community.

About Neighbors’ Night Out:

The GSLA’s Neighbors’ Night Out is a monthly series of informal gatherings at local restaurants/bars where neighbors may gather to meet and discuss topics relevant to our neighborhood.  The topics change from month to month based on feedback from our annual State of the South Loop survey and other current events that impact the South Loop.