Tuesday, September 29, 2009

MAC Restoring Grande Dames at the Shoreland and Del Prado

posted by chicago pop

Terra cotta figure on upper stories of Del Prado Building

A community meeting on MAC's plans for Shoreland will be held at 7PM, at the Shoreland, on Wednesday evening, September 30, 2009.

As part of the community discussion of MAC Property's plans to restore the Shoreland Hotel to its former glory, HPP offers you a photo tour through the inside of both the Shoreland (this post) and the Del Prado (forthcoming). Bringing these historic and unique buildings back onto the market for modern, quality mid- to high-end rental units at key locations in Hyde Park will be an inestimable service to the neighborhood, its local economy, its heritage, and its quality of life.

HPP supports both of these projects 100%.

Crystal Ballroom in Shoreland Building

What criticism there is of the Shoreland project has focused on parking. This is no great surprise. It is also no great argument against either project. Parking is tight in East Hyde Park, as it is in all urban, dense, high-rise neighborhoods, and that will never change.

MAC's current proposal will add considerably fewer units to the market than the building was meant to hold as a hotel, or ever did as a dormitory. Which means that, in an auto-centric age, its impact on neighborhood parking is already considerably less than it could be.

Fallen Mask Wall Decoration, Shoreland Hotel

And, if it adds the maximum number of parking spaces allowable within the physical constraints of the building and Chicago city code, it will be able to provide parking for all patrons to any restaurant in the Grand Ball Room, and rental spaces for approximately 30% of the Shoreland's occupants.

Al Capone's Old Hideaway, Shoreland Building

MAC tells us that this number (30%) is in line with the demand for rental parking at its other high rise properties. HPP adds that this is in line with what ideal parking ratios should be -- and often are by default -- in high density urban areas as well.

Parking ratios lower than 1:1 (one parking space per residential unit, as opposed to 1:3) help to lower housing costs for everyone, while allowing MAC to invest more in its building and amenities than it would otherwise have to spend on a parking garage. Lower parking ratios also stimulate demand for people who may choose a car-free lifestyle, relying instead on alternatives such as car-sharing through I-Go or Zip-Car.

Entrance to Grand Ballroom, Projected Site of New Restaurant, Shoreland Building

Upshot: bringing the Shoreland and Del Prado back on line will not add to Hyde Park's parking problems, because higher-density development tends to reduce auto ownership, lowers development and neighborhood housing costs, and will ultimately support those amenities that make it less desirable to drive everywhere.

Adding more parking than what MAC has proposed would mean gutting a significant portion of the southern wing of the Shoreland. This would go counter to the goals of either preserving the integrity of the building, and of making more room in Hyde Park for people instead of cars.

Fallen Plaster Wall Decorations Stored in Attic of Shoreland Hotel

MAC's Shoreland plan will restore the great majority of a historic building at a conspicuous location, bring a new restaurant to the old Grand Ballroom and rental banquet space to the Crystal Ballroom, and add up to 350 units of rental housing to Hyde Park's housing stock. These are clear benefits to the neighborhood, to the South Side, and to Chicago as a whole.


Peter Cassel said...

Come to the Public Meeting on the Shoreland to express your support for the Antheus plan on Wednesday September 30, 2009 at 7PM at the Shoreland (5454 S Shore Drive).

There are tours of the building available at 4:30PM and 5:30PM - call Peter Cassel at 773 347-3451 to make a reservation.

Elizabeth Fama said...

That building is way, way cool.

So on the subject of parking: I understood that there was a deal to build dedicated parking spaces for the residents of the 5490 building as part of the Shoreland rehab. Is that still happening?

Anonymous said...

I desperately want to attend the meeting and take the tour but I have to WORK. :-( Stupid night shift.

I agree that owning a car is pretty much unnecessary in East HP. The only time I ever used mine when I lived there was to do my grocery shopping. I took the Metra to work and social stuff. Everything else I needed was within walking distance.

chicago pop said...

Elizabeth, to my knowledge there is no plan to build dedicated parking for neighbors in 5490.

MAC plans to get enough spaces out of the limited underground footprint to provide a minimum of 100 code compliant parking spaces, or, if they opt to do valet parking with mechanical stackers, 150 to 200. Those would all be dedicated to Shoreland renters and future Grand Ballroom restaurant patrons.

To provide further dedicated spots for neighbors would of course require significant expense, on the order of at least $10,000/spot, and would require gutting 6 stories in the south wing to build an above-ground garage. The cost of doing this, which might have made sense when the building was slated for condo conversion, is not feasible for a what is now a rental project, and certainly not gratis for someone else's parking spaces.

Bringing the Shoreland back is enough of an accomplishment. If this project isn't viable on its own terms -- for its own patrons -- it stands a chance of becoming another vacant lot.

Asking Antheus/MAC to take on more risk than they already are in order to solve their neighbor's parking problems just makes no sense, especially when they are saving the building.

LPB said...

Where do the residents of 5490 park their cars currently?

Anonymous said...

Where do the residents of 5490 park their cars currently?

Up and down Shore Drive, on SHPB, Cornell, or anywhere else they haven't placed meters yet. I also see cars parked in that lot across from the Flamingo overnight, even though it supposedly closes at 11.

Matthew said...

In a somewhat surprising mood, the editorial page of the Herald is supportive of the 100 parking space plan. Maybe there is hope for the Christmas Tree lot on 53rd....

David Farley said...

By serendipity, there's a discussion on density in The Straight Dope this week.


I support this project pretty much the way it's been proposed, although I live around the block from the Shoreland and own a car.

christoph said...

it would be great if this conversation about parking as a whole could deviate towards calmoring for better/more frequent/more visible public transportation here in Hyde Park. of course all of this dialogue is likely to change (escalate?) come Friday's olympic announcement.

Elizabeth Fama said...

The 5490 parking spaces weren't supposed to be gratis -- the residents of 5490 were going to buy them...for the $10,000 or whatever it took to build them.

chicago pop said...

That makes sense, though Antheus' current plan
doesn't provide for that.

Anonymous said...

Are any of our friendly HPPers attending the meeting/tour today? It would be great for those of us who can't attend to see pictures! :-D

chicago pop said...

We've got it covered, Greg. :)

TA said...

Great proposal this evening Peter. I think the meeting showed good public support for the project and provided valuable feedback that can be inputted into the project. Personally I hope that I reside in Hyde Park long enough to see this come to fruition since for a long time I've wanted to see the Shoreland's public spaces restored.

I sent my email off to Alderman Hairston in support of the project this evening and I hope that more do the same!