CCAC eNews
September 2016
CCAC eNews is the monthly newsletter of the Chicago Central Area Committee. For more information about the CCAC or to inquire about membership, please contact Kelly O'Brien at (312) 602-5148 or

Download the 2016 Meeting Calendar!
The CCAC 2016 Meeting Calendar is ready to download in PDF format. The Calendar lists this year's dates and locations for our popular luncheon speaker series, hosted each month by a different CCAC member organization. (NOTE: Locations subject to change--see website for newest calendar. Meetings open to paid members and guests, only.)
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CCAC Hears About Chicago's Urban Development, Riverline
CCAC would like to thank Gina Berndt, Managing Partner, Perkins+Will for hosting CCAC’s monthly luncheon on September 13, 2016 at their office located in the beautiful Wrigley Building. 
Riverline is a joint venture of CMK Companies, Ltd., a leading Chicago‐based residential developer, and Lendlease, one of the world’s largest international property and infrastructure companies. Perkins+Will is also collaborating with landscape architects in the design of the master planning for the project. Both Prasan Kale, Director of Development, CMK Companies, Ltd., and Matt Kirkwood, Development Manager, Lendlease specifically partnered on the Riverline Project. The 3600+ unit with 13 acres of land, 8 high-rise multi-family buildings, and 1 townhome pad broke ground on September 12th.
Matt Kirkwood, Development Manager, Lendlease; Tom Kasznia, Principal, Perkins+Will; Gina Berndt, Managing Director, Perkins+Will; and Prasan Kale, Director of Development, CMK Companies, Ltd.
Kirkwood explained the concept of Urban Regeneration. He said, “We are very familiar with Urban Regeneration here at Lendlease. It’s a well-established, global trend.” According to Kirkwood, Urban Regeneration accounts for 70% of Lendlease’s $45 billion global pipeline. Kirkwood continued to elaborate and said “The underlying driver is the projection that by 2030, over 60% of the world’s population will live in an urban environment.” He continued, “Even if you live in an area like Chicago, you can see a distinct multi-generational trend for people who want to live downtown in the intercity environment and gain everything the lifestyle has to offer.” According to both Kale and Kirkwood, “Urbanization creates increasing pressure to plan for, and accommodate a denser population.” Typically, they are greater than $1B development value, CBD/CBD fringe, often government owned land, mixed use, medium to high density, long dated timeframes, and economic, socially, and environmentally sustainable.
“Riverline forced us to think!” Kale expressed. He indicated the team started with research of the target market and the demographics. Kale indicated questions started to arise as in, "What are we trying to build here? Is this the correct mix of the right product? etc. We have standards to meet, but how do we exceed those standards and create a place where the building represents more than that?" Both Kale and Kirkwood highlighted what’s missing. Some important components that are missing include: sustainability, ecology- in relation to the Chicago River being in the backyard, environment, preservation, density, vertical living, amenities, affordability, feasibility, and community. Kale stated, “From a design standpoint, Perkins+Will’s team truly did a masterful job in designing. From there we can balance what’s economically attractive from the number of units to the density and the square footage of the units with creating open space---and in return create a vision for the whole site.
With regards to preserving Riverline's natural environment, our speakers emphasized the term, “Urban Natural Environment” which is lending nature while applying urban environment. Matt Kirkwood briefly discussed a storm water process that picks up the water, re-circulates into the Chicago River as a benefit to the ecology and the environment. Prasan Kale joined in and said, “One of the key driver’s regarding the Chicago river’s edge is restoring it back to its natural state. It truly lets people engage with the river which is right in our backyard and that’s one of the many amenities of the site.”
Amenities play a huge role in the development of the Riverline project. “We started to think about what residents would want within the building,” Kale noted, "and the target demographic for those buildings are millennials." He explained, "They’re choosing to rent over purchasing a home and also choosing a place that offers them amenities to truly live, work, and play. A lot of millennials aren’t working in traditional work environments." He continued, "What do millennials want? What historically has been done in Chicago? Do we want to go a step above that or stay at the market rate while keeping the density and affordability in mind?” Both Kale and Kirkwood elaborated on the challenges of spending to accommodate the amenities. Developers are adding 40,000 square feet of amenities into apartment buildings—from the pool, spa, fitness room and more. Kale said, “The bottom line is, there’s more fun with more amenities. Therefore we had to place all the amenities in Riverline to compete with other neighborhoods.” He jokingly mentioned, “If you didn’t want to leave this building to head to work, you wouldn’t have to." The reason Riverline has decided to add a vast number of amenities to its site is to cater to the Millennials (who are a big chunk of their market), the empty nesters, the 40+ year old professionals wanting to live in decent apartments that are close to work and people wanting to live in a work/live/play environment for the sense of community.
Retail development will be used as an amenity. Both Kale and Kirkwood mentioned the first 30 ft. of the building will be filled with retail space. There are varying shop fronts complete with individual character and destination design. The spaces will primarily be used for traditional brick and mortar restaurants but there is room for food trucks, pop-up restaurants, and farmer’s markets. Both Kale and Kirkwood expressed the importance of buzz, activation and visual interest in retail developments in conjunction with the prevalence of social media. Above all, the rental spaces will be high quality offerings at reasonable prices.
Looking forward, Kirkwood highlighted Urban Regeneration trends and the opportunities that will follow. Some trends include: tighter links and dependence between infrastructure and development which will lead to smart cities infrastructure; the continued demand to further improve real estate affordability leading to lower cost design led production and innovative use of materials and automation; and sustainability and community accountability leading to energy generation, storage and ownership.
The ultimate goal with Riverline is to create a live/work/play environment. There’s real value in creating a community within the building. Kale said, “If people believe in where they’re living, they’ll continue to live there longer.” Kirkwood agreed and added “It makes the most business sense to do these things.”
Next CCAC Meeting:                                       
Tuesday, October 11, 2016 at Roosevelt University
Join us at Roosevelt University on Tuesday, October 11, 2016 for the next CCAC lunch meeting, hosted by Jon DeVries, Director, Marshall Bennett Institute of Real Estate, Walter E. Heller College of Business.


Brad McConnell

Deputy Commissioner for Executive Projects and Operations

Department of Planning and Development

City of Chicago 



Tuesday, October 11, 2016



12:00 -- 1:30 p.m.



Walter E. Heller College of Business

Roosevelt University 

425 S. Wabash Avenue, Room 1315 

Chicago, IL 60605 



Jon DeVries

Marshall Bennett Institute of Real Estate

Roosevelt University

Kelly O'Brien at

“Action Plans for the Neighborhoods- An Update on the Chicago Neighborhoods Now Framework"
Brad McConnell serves as Deputy Commissioner for Executive Projects and Operations for the City of Chicago’s Department of Planning and Development.  He leads a number of executive projects that focus on building community relationships, repurposing underutilized assets, and enhancing City planning policy.  He also oversees legislative affairs, finance, HR, and technology for the department.
Please join us for this special lunch hour event.
CCAC Members Participate in A Cultural Exchange with Cuba
The Chicago Central Area Committee and the Alliance for Regional Development, in partnership with Global Relations Travel Club, organized members to participate in a cultural exchange and visited Cuba in early September.
The trip provided opportunities to explore Old Havana, Vinales Valley, Pinar del Rio city and Havana.  The delegation was addressed by speakers discussing the Cuban healthcare system, the construction and development process, land ownership, private business ownership, the tobacco industry, agriculture and other insightful topics.  The agenda also included a visit to the home of Ernest Hemingway, transport in vintage American cars, cooking lessons and tours of organic farms and factories.
In addition to being part of a once in a lifetime tour, members discovered new opportunities for collaboration back home.
CCAC Young Leaders Tour One of Chicago's Most Famous Landmarks, Navy Pier
Young Leader Executive Committee member Andrew Moddrell, Partner, PORT Urbanism and Thomas Braham, Studio Director and Senior Associate, Gensler provided a walking tour of Navy Pier that included insights into the 100-year Pier History and the Centennial Vision for the third quarter Young Leader event held on Wednesday, September 14th. 
Immediately following the tour, CCAC sponsored a "Happy Hour" networking reception at RIVA Chicago Restaurant. The event sold out and again provided an evening of learning and networking.
  Andrew Moddrell, Partner, PORT Urbanism hosts CCAC Young Leader Tour at Navy Pier
 Kelly O'Brien, Executive Director, CCAC; Greg Hummel, Chairman, CCAC, Thomas Braham, Studio Director & Senior Associate, Gensler; and Andrew Moddrell, Partner, PORT Urbanism 
CCAC Young Leaders Membership Tier 
CCAC is pleased to have launched this new membership tier.  As you know, this initiative is geared towards young professionals, and includes dynamic programming and networking opportunities tailored to Chicago’s next generation of leaders.  Through its Young Leader initiative, CCAC is aiming to ensure that Chicago’s future continues to have thoughtful and civic-minded leaders to meet the future demands of a world-class city. Please stay tuned for information on our Fourth Quarter Young Leader event in November. 
Young Leaders whose firms are CCAC Members are automatically included and welcome to attend.  Non-firm/Individual Young Leader Membership is $1,000.00 annually.  
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