January News

Columbia Yacht Club sails into 125th year

For fans of the Columbia Yacht Club, 2017 will be the “Year of the Bash.”

“We want to celebrate [our] 125th anniversary each day, at varying levels,” says General Manager Nick Philp. “There will be multiple events every month — all kinds of craziness.”

From its humble beginnings as a windswept shed in 1892, the club — now permanently anchored on the M.V. Abegweit in DuSable Harbor — emerged as a force in the city’s philan- thropic and sailing scene over the past century.

To celebrate the CYC’s unconventional history, Philp said the club will divvy up the year into five segments. Each will correspond to an era—the club’s beginnings as a shack, then a floating clubhouse, and finally its three nautical incarnations: the Pierre Marquette, the S.S. Florida, and the 372-foot Abegweit.

Philp says most festivities will be limited to members, but that a Pirates’ party on Saturday, Feb. 4 will offer neighbors a chance to experience the club’s bounty. New Eastsiders interested in attending should call (312) 938-3625.

Bockwinkel’s Harbor Point shelves plans to expand

Grocery store Bockwinkel’s Harbor Point says it will not pursue plans to expand, citing a series of “roadblocks.”

“We did [want to expand]… but we don’t have any intention to at this time,” a manager told New Eastside News.

According to Harbor Point’s December newsletter, Bockwinkel’s owner Jerry Bockwinkel made multiple requests in 2016 to the Harbor Point Condominium Association to expand. The first was in May of 2016, when he asked to expand into the empty Stunard commercial space to the right of the store, toward Randolph Street. According to the newsletter, the expansion plans would give Bockwinkel’s greater access to Harbor Point’s sun deck. In June, the board’s lawyers advised the board not to permit the request.

In October, a request to expand in the other direction, toward “the corridor in front of the Pedway doors,” was again denied by the board’s lawyers.

According to the newsletter, after the second request, Bockwinkel posted a notice asking the board give him permission to expand, or to terminate his lease Dec. 31. Neighbors report seeing a notice posted earlier this year, in Bockwinkel’s window, offering detailed expansion plans and explaining the benefits of the expansion. That sign has since been taken down.

Harbor Point property manager Tifanni Sterdivant says that the condo board “was not opposed to expansion” and that she had reached out to Bockwinkel to meet with him in January, but hasn’t yet heard a reply. Sterdivant, who signed on as property manager

in October, says she hasn’t yet seen actual plans for expansion, and does not know the end date of Bockwinkel’s lease. Mr. Bockwinkel couldn’t be reached for comment.

“It would be premature to say there’ll be no expansion,” Sterdivant said.

In November, the condo board formed a “Commercial Tenant Relations Committee” to address any ongoing issues with Bockwinkel’s.

The smallest of Bockwinkel’s three Chicago locations, Bockwinkel’s Harbor Point has been serving New Eastsiders since 1995.

333 N. Michigan nears end of $50 million facelift

Standing proudly over the Chicago River, Art Deco beauty 333 N. Michi- gan is close to being fully restored to its former glory — with a few modern touches.

“The bulk of [the renovation] is done, but [pieces] are ongoing,” says Denny McGann, an agent with property man- ager MB Real Estate, about a $50 million renovation project begun in 2012.

Renovations to the 35-story skyscraper, built in 1928 by Holabird & Root, include a refurbished entrance and lobby, a new amenity floor, and new luxury suites on floors one through three. Street-level tenants include Fannie Mae, Starbucks and the Chicago Blackhawks store.

Separate bike and pedestrian paths for Lakefront trail

The Chicago Park District received a $12 million donation from Ken Griffin, Illinois’s richest man, to separate the bike and pedestrian paths of the Lakefront Trail. The currently shared trail presents safety issues where numerous accidents involving bikes and pedestrians are reported each year. The new paths will be completed in 2018.

New Eastside News racks at Village Market removed

New Eastside News racks will no longer be located at the Village Market on levels one and three. A representative from Magellan Development Group who manages the Village Market, requested the removal of the racks citing maintenance issues. A new location for racks is currently being sought.

Aqua elevator closed until January 5

The Aqua Pedway elevator connecting the west end of Lake Shore East Park to the Pedway and Upper Columbus will be closed for repairs until at least Jan. 5, according to Magellan. Magellan says it is working on replacing a “very rare” spare part.

A sign posted on the elevator encourages pedestrians to take The Tides public parking garage elevator to level six, which provides access to Upper Columbus and Wacker. The new route requires pedestrians to navigate through three sets of doors, none of which have an “automatic” handicap button wheel- chair users can push.

“If you use a wheelchair you have to be inventive,” says New Eastside Associ- ation of Residents (NEAR) president Richard Ward. “But you shouldn’t have to be inventive in downtown Chicago.”

In November, Magellan completed repairs to the Lancaster elevator’s lights.

Construction project leaves muddy trail in Lake Shore East Park

An eight-foot construction project beginning at the western edge of Lake Shore East Park, and stretching toward the foot of the grand staircase, has stripped a wide swath of grass and left a muddy “smile” in its wake.

“It’s just ugly, that’s all,” says Harla Hutchinson of The Buckingham.

Throughout most of December crisscrossing boards covered the project, until the boards were removed on Dec. 20. Magellan confirmed that the work was not “Wanda related.”

“It [was] temporary electrical work being conducted in the park by ComEd,” says Magellan Community Relations Director Vanessa Casciano.

— Tricia Parker, Staff Writer


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