Category: Real Estate Development

  • It’s a New Year – 2011!

    As I keep reminding people, any good Canadian Prairie Kid can tell you that there’s a good three or four days left to celebrate Christmas… In exchanging Seasons Greetings with my colleagues, the universal response has been something to the effect that “2011 will definitely be better than 2010 because it couldn’t get much worse”.  […]

  • An Expanding Role for Babuk Presentations

    The relationship enjoyed by Canada and the United States is a model to be envied around the world.  While the cross border relationship thrives in many ways, the intertwined nature of both countries’ economies is fascinating:  not only are both countries each others’ largest trading partner, but the value of exports from one virtually equals […]

  • The North Avenue Architecture Photo Party

    North Avenue, the border between the north side of Oak Park and the Galewood neighborhood of Chicago, is relatively newer than many surrounding neighborhoods. While the buildings along North Avenue post date Frank Lloyd Wright, he golfed here with friends and clients. Many used the area as a place to get away and hide from […]

  • Lessons Learned From Both of the Post-war Development Periods

    The changing economy and its effects on the retail streetscape may be best studied in the pre-war and post-war streetscape: pre and post First World War. This particular timeframe holds fascination as it depicts a landscape before and after the automobile’s influence. Oak Park offers another excellent set of examples: it has both types of […]

  • Happy New Decade!

    Happy New Year.  It’s surprising to see that we’re already a decade into the new century. Previous posts have spoken about vacant storefronts and even vacant buildings, all from the aftermath of the latest economic turn.  There is so much vacant space out there that based on current absorption rates, some markets have several years […]

  • Tall Buildings Fall Short

    A recent news report from the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat cites fifty major, tall building projects worldwide that have been halted by a global economic downturn. Last Friday, the Chicago Architecture Foundation’s “Chicago Model City” exhibit temporarily included the scale model of Santiago Calatrava’s “Spire” condominium project, the real one being on […]

  • Convenient Access by Car

    While early industrialists had grand visions of mechanized buildings and cities that walked, many of those ideas were whimsical at face value.  Mind you, when applied as small parts, they were very useful – like the passenger elevator.  One of those side concepts probably came to be applied to personal transportation – the automobile – […]

  • If Buildings Could Walk…

    A previous post described “if walls could talk”, but what about if buildings could walk? It’s not that far fetched an idea.  Taking cues from the railroad industry, it wasn’t uncommon at the turn of the 20th century to find fixed structures – buildings – with large moving parts.  Bridges were prime examples.  It took […]

  • Is your morning commute still fun to drive?

    Time was, driving was a fun recreation.  From a casual Sunday excursion, to a cross country trip, to something energetic like Nascar racing, the experience generated by being catapulted through ever changing scenery was exciting. Automotive design enhanced the experience. Swooping masses of sheet metal clad in bright colours, outlined in shiny chrome, housed behemoth […]

  • Architecture as a Machine

    Many early-modern architectural theoreticians were impressed by inventions of the machine age.  Some, like French Architect Le Corbusier, promoted the concept of architecture as a “machine for living”.  Still others, like Mies van der Rohe, spoke of the ‘machine aesthetic”. From that same historical period, one may find many examples of “architecture as a machine” […]