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Chicago Tribune from Chicago, Illinois • 45
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Chicago Tribune from Chicago, Illinois • 45

Publication:
Chicago Tribunei
Location:
Chicago, Illinois
Issue Date:
Page:
45
Extracted Article Text (OCR)

SECTION REAL ESTATE AND RENTAL WANT ADS AND NEWS SUNDAY, APRIL 23, 1967 REAL ESTATE AND RENTAL GUIDE mm 9 For elm Firm 'Biseomr Chicago City's Advantages Lure Industries from Abroad SOUTH COMMONS RENEWAL 1 Tells Retail Area's Need for Offices BY ALVIN NAGELBERG Real Estate Editor zz A 20-million-dollar project now goin up v-J on the near south side is X. to contain M0f units with rentals starting at $05 and $116. i Chicago's location at the hub of a vast transportation network almost in the center of the United States is drawing increasing attention from major companies abroad and is adding a new dimension to the industrial real estate market here. The Chicago story has been told often. It includes the fact that there are 19 major intercity rail lines serving Chicago, that some 30.0(H) trucks enter and leave the city daily with ovcr-the-road cargo, that overseas cargo handled at the city's ports amounted to a record tons last year, that the amount of air freight traffic in and out of the city has been expanding annually and amounted to 713.rt2n.000 pounds last year, and that more than 22.6 million persons passed thru Chicago airports last year.

Meigs field, the business man's airport, last year handled more than 21.000 persons. German Firm Moves Here The great impact of the Chicago story on foreign firms can best be gauged when an industrial company like Robert Bosch GmbH of Stuttgart, Germany, decides to switch the North American headquarters of its sales subsidiary from Long Island City. New York, to Broadview, in western Cook county. Bosch manufactures a wide range of electrical equipment for automobiles, agricultural machinery', industry, and the home. The industrial divisions of major real estate firms like Arthur Rubloff Co.

are becoming internationalized as they seek to fulfill the potential of the foreign demand. Howard Brown Jr. and Lee Miglin, officials of the Rubloff company, worked for two years to bring the Bosch corporation to the Chicago area. Officials of Bosch, the seventh largest Community with Variety Is Aim of South Commons Development firm in Germany, had first planned to establish a branch office in the Chicago area and retain their Long Island operation as their headquarters. After studying the market for three months, the firm decided to move its headquarters to a newly-constructed, built-to-suit plant here and make Long Island the branch operation.

Tells Reasons for Move Kurt Lostcn, managing director of Bosch, commented on reasons for the move during dedication ceremonies at the 7'i-acre site last month. "All of us in the world-wide Bosch organization are very proud of this attractive new building, not only because of its physical appearance and well-planned facilities, but also because of what it represents better and faster service for our customers. "This building, in the heart of the United States, puts us much closer to the manufacturers of tractors and diescls who use our products," Losten said. "We are also fully aware of Chicago's proximity to the major manufacturers of United States automobiles." English Firm in Elk Grove Another example of a foreign company's interest in the Chicago area is Wickman Machine Tools Overseas Ltd. of Coventry, England.

The firm, which had a sales office in Rochester, N. has purchased an office-warehouse building in Centex Industrial district in Elk Grove village. Add to the list Kanematsu New York, a subsidiary of Kanematsu Ltd. of Japan, which has leased a building in Rosemont for warehousing and distribution of machine tools. Bosch may expand its operation on the 7'2-acre Broadview site, and Wickman is considering starting a major assembly plant, according to Rubloff officials.

Transportation Costs Are Factor Foreign companies are finding that transportation costs are a major item in remaining competitive, Brown said. They cannot ignore the advantage of a location convenient to their markets. Traditionally, foreign firms have established a toehold on United States markets by establishing offices on either coast in one of the cities with a glamorous image, Brown said. "Much of the world is still in the process of discovering Chicago," he said. "But, after exposure to the market, they find it is better to be in the center of the marketing area." The changing complexity of retailing is demanding more of the broad companion services offered by the office building, either inside or adjacent to the shopping center, an architect-planner said recently at a meeting of the International Council of Shopping Centers.

Marshall D. Lieb, who heads a firm bearing his name, has been involved in the design and construction of 15 outlying city or suburban office buildings in the last seven years. The office building and retail store have been Inseparable from the very start of central city areas, he said. Only recently have some outlying shopping centers isolated the store from the office. There are large regional centers where office buildings are an integral part of the planning as in Oakbrook, Old Orchard, and River Oaks Shopping centers.

But there are many local centers where the only service provided is retail shopping. Views Center of Future Lieb believes there are indications that the shopping center of the future must be all-encompassing, offering large scale comprehensive services. He said: "As the automobile multiplies, it contaminates and chokes the environment The distances it is supposed to shorten become irksome and hazardous exposures to frustrations. "The family car becomes a cumbersome and costly truck when drafted into an essentially pedestrian and urban prt occupation shopping." Thus, he said, there is a desire to make shopping a further part of the nonmotorized activities that involve banks, doctors, theaters, restaurants the primary attributes of the central city. Small Retailers Priced Out "Man, too, has multiplied," Lieb said.

"He has gobbled up the land and pushed the price of remaining tracts beyond the limits of reasonable return for limited, small retail establishments." The office building in outlying centers with extensive parking provides conveniences to tenants, employes, and customers, allowing them to combine business and shopping in one stop, he said. Office hours complement the slack period of shopping center use. The lack of evening and week-end hours avoid conflicting use of parking facilities during these normally heavy shopping On a 30-acre tract on the near south side, men and machines are WTestling with material to build a 20-million-dollar residential development called South Commons. They are translating into steel and concrete, the ideas of a group of men who want to create a community of people not just a grouping of buildings. The development in the area bounded by Michigan and Prairie avenues, between 26th and 31st streets will contain clusters of 21 and 22-story high- rises, 4 and 5-story apartment buildings, plazas, parks, a shopping center, and a community building.

The South Commons site was acquired by the Chicago department of urban renewal starting in 1958 for $5,644,050. Three hundred families and 224 individuals were relocated and 181 buildings demolished. The land was offered for sale to private developers and sold to McIIugh-Levin Associates for $1,067,224. Behind this project is the philosophy of fftr i ti mmsm rt: "Wit 3 Community house at South Commons development. 2 Find Models Are Big Business James D.

Callaghan and Joseph Seiler think small about big projects. such men as Daniel Levin, an attorney and a real estate developer. Levin believes that a successful community, as well as a successful city, must be a blending of many types of people. Prefers Variety of Backgrounds "A city that is homogeneous can't be as rich as that which combines a variety of backgrounds. It is a distortion and it loses the important qualities of life," he said.

Levin and his partner, James P. Mc-Hugh, vice president of James McIIugh Construction company, will be trying to attract a variety of people with a variety of housing in the 23 buildings planned. In one section, high-rises and 5-story buildings will have rentals from $116 to $135 for studio units and up to $325 for three-bedroom units. In another section, rents in two 21-story buildings range from $95 for studios to $136 for two-bedroom units. A group of 4 and 5-story buildings will have rentals of $156 for three-bedroom units and $175 for four-bedroom apartments.

There also will be 72 townhouses for sale, with prices starting at $30,000. Variety of Financing Used The different rentals are achieved by using variety of financing programs available for Federal Housing administration insured loans and conventional mortgage channels. "We could have had 100 per cent luxury units and rented all, but we wouldn't have had a community," Levin said. The primary goal of McHugh-Levin Associates is to attract people of a range of incomes to an environment that has shopping and transportation conveniences, in the hope that residents will blend together into a community. Variety also will be achieved thru different heights, shapes, roof lines, and different textures of materials.

The master plan was devised by Ezra Gordon Jack M. Levin and Associates and L. R. Solomon J. D.

Cordwell and Associates. The buildings are arranged in clusters to create micro-communities within the larger community. From the inception of the planning Levin has been consulting with sociologists from the University of Chicago and Loyola university. They commented on the size of the plan, the cost of housing, and the anxieties and needs which people will bring to this situation, Levin said. Community Building Is Catalyst One' of the catalysts provided for the blending of the residents is a community building that will serve as a church, meeting place, and a social focal point for children and adults.

The community house also will serve as a bridge to the surrounding residential community, facilitating meetings between residents of both areas, Levin said. "People will tend to remain anonymous unless they are stimulated," Levin said. But Levin also believes that the people coming to the new community "have a commitment to want to live there and to want to take part. Many people will want to move there for more reasons than good housing." "We have to take advantage of the reasons for living in the city or we won't keep the middle class in the city," he said. They are big time developers of scale models rep-presenting such diverse projects as the ere site of the Air Force academy in Colorado to a school building in Fairbanks, Alaska.

In their workshop in South Realtor Tells Advantages of Condominium Many persons would do well to "con-dominumize" their cooperative apartments, that is to convert them to a condominium type of ownership. That is the view of Roy Schoenbrod, president of Condominium Real Estate corporation, and an architect who has designed both types of units. It has been 15 to 13 years since he designed the co-ops in the Budlong Woods area between Foster and Peterson avenues, and Kimball and Western avenues. "Some people now want to sell, perhaps because the kids have grown and gone, or because they want to upgrade," Schoenbrod says. May Owe on Mortgage However, he added, they may have $2,000 left on their $15,000 or $18,000 mortgage and are having a hard time finding persons with $13,000 or $16,000 cash to make the purchase.

Some owners have become involved with purchase money mortgages or second mortgages, he said. One solution would be to refinance the mortgage, but this requires the consent of all the owners, and Schoenbrod said he has found few cases where total agreement is given. If all the owners agreed to change the building to a condominium, each could enjoy the benefit of owning his own unit and could refinance his own mortgage if desired. Schoenbrod, who bought the land, designed, and built the condominium now nearing completion at 3470 N. Lake Shore said persons who buy well-designed condominiums in good locat-tions can expect to make a profit when they sell.

Need Long Range View They must have a long range view of location to determine whether the neighborhood is changing, anJ if so, for the better or worse. He also advises persons to retain a qualified person to determine if the building is well constructed. Whether it is buying or selling a condominium in a high rise or a single family home, he suggests the use of experts. The professional can tell the owner what repairs and improvements are needed and what is the reasonable price for the property, he said. Seiler Builders See an Increase in New Housing A nation-wide survey of home builders shows that they expect an increase in housing starts this year and a continued climb during 1968.

Leon N. Weiner, president of the National Association of Home Builders, said the builders' outlook has changed markedly from the gloomy forecast of a 17 per cent decline in housing starts predicted last fall at the height of the tight money crisis. Members of the trade group's Builders Economic council now expect housing starts will rise about 6.6 per cent from 1966. Private housing starts last year totaled 1,220,000 units. If the prediction is correct this would mean an additional 80,000 units and a total of 1.3 million starts.

In a breakdown of figures, Weiner said single-family home starts are expected to rise by 7 per cent and multiple dwelling units by 5 per cent This means about 852,000 single-family homes will be started this year, and 450,000 multiple-dwelling units. "The survey shows money is now available," Weiner said. "Interest rates have declined somewhat from last September." The discount points for Federal Housing administration insured loans or Veterans administration guaranteed loans are lower, Weiner said. Weiner also observed that the inventory of housing for sale has been declining rapidly and now is at the lowest level since the bureau of census began keeping statistics on this four years ago. model makers apply the exact material or many times what appears to be the proper material, whether it is stone, steel, copper, or travertine marble.

On some models with brick exteriors even itie mortar lines are scored into the surface. Even the thickness of the material is selected for accuracy. The wall must jut out from the plexiglass windows in the same relative distance as the real facade. People Made to Scale Trees, cars, people are cast by the model makers in proper scale. One model of a grain elevator required a realistic scale model of a freighter docked alongside.

In another model, the partners had to assemble more than 100 tiny prisms of blue plastic to form an intricate light gathering tower for the building, which the developer later eliminated because of the cost. All the parts are made before the assembly and all have to be crisp, without glue or fuzz to- destroy realism. Seiler and Callaghan have complemented their store of tight production tools with adaptations of instruments used by dentists and doctors to make the fine detail work. Require Months to Construct Sometimes up to four and five months are spent assembling a model, as with a University of Wisconsin campus project. And occasionally the eight-hour day is forgotten and the two create cities and campuses thru the long night hours.

It seems appropriate that their headquarters is in their native South Bend. From that small city comes the miniaturized version of the cities and buildings of the world of tomorrow. is so fine and perspective so true that this small size cannot be detected in photographs. In some models, cars are one-quarter inch long and up to 7,000 cars are "parked" in the streets and lots. Joined Forces 14 Years Ago Callaghan and Seiler joined forces 14 years ago.

Callaghan had been with another model maker for seven years. Seiler had been involved in model and furniture making. Model making is not a sometimes hobby, it is a full time job requiring artistic ability, patience, understanding of blueprints, some drafting knowledge, and creative ability, Seiler said. The work begins at a meeting between the model makers and the architect or developer. They determine the scale to be used, the colors, and other specifications.

Back at the studio, their operations vary with the project. Sometimes both make all the buildings first, then the landscape, other times one makes the building, and the other the base. Use Birchwood "Skin" A laminated birchwood "skin" is shaped to fit the exact contours of the terrain. Blocks of wood are shaped for rugged areas where the "skin" would be convoluted too sharply, A special flock material is used for the grass. The smaller the scale, the finer the flock, Seiler said.

"We keep to the scale scrupulously," he stressed. 'That is the secret of a good model." Close' viewing would make the scene look phony if even the grass was out of perspective. The main mass of the building is made of plexiglass. Over the exterior, the Bend, they have created a model of the 25-mile section of downtown Chicago, and the central city areas of St. Louis; Kalamazoo, Tel Aviv, Israel; Cedar Rapids, and Rome, N.

Y. They work in a Lilliputian world where houses, cars, people, and trees are reduced to a fraction of their size, but still retain minute accuracy. In building the model of South Commons, a near south side renewal project, one inch equaled 32 feet, a car is one-half of one inch long, a 21-story building about 6V2 inches high, and a tree only one inch tall. Accurate Detail Brings Realism Yet the detail is so accurate there is realism in close-up photographs. This is a quality appreciated by developers and architects.

The model cost about $12,000. South Commons was on a giant scale compared with the Air Force academy site model, where one inch equaled 1,000 feet, or Tel Aviv, which was reproduced at one inch to 400 feet For a project in Hannibal, a group of 2-story buildings are less than one-quarter of an inch high, yet the detail.

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