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The response was underwhelming. According to a January, 2014 update by Trib reporter John Byrne, there were only four RFP filings - two major billboard companies, Lamar Advertising and CBS Outdoor, and boutique architecture firms Latent Design and architect Carmen Vidal-Hallet's EcoVidal Design. City officials indicated a decision on whether any of the entrants would be selected would be made within the year.
|Katherine Darnstadt (left)|
Under Activate! Chicago, ten locations are to be activated during the first year, which ends next summer, including at least one for each of five geographic regions into which the city was divided. Another twenty are to be activated in the final two years of the contract. The initial budget is a measly $50,000. To put that into perspective, the newly redeveloped Northerly Island came in at about $2.40 a square foot. Divided among the 12.4 acres of the 49 Peoples Plaza sites, that $5,000 comes out to about 9 cents a square foot. The cost of the new Riverwalk calculates out to $1,163 per square foot.
DNAInfo/Chicago's Alisa Hauser the plaza at 1260 North Milwaukee was created in the 1970's in what was formerly a staging area for the garment manufacturing industry that dominated the district earlier in the 20th century. The 175 square-foot kiosk, heated and permitted for retail and food service, was constructed out of a stripped-down shipping container.
Boombox / Between Startup and Storefront from LATENT DESIGN on Vimeo.
Darnstadt said the container . . .
. . . came from the south side of Chicago. The company we purchased it from cut down a standard 8x20 for us and removed all four sides and then shipped it to our warehouse for construction. We constructed the Boombox about 75% in a warehouse, then disassembled it to flatbed truck [it] to the site for final install. We cleared underpasses by only an inch. Literally. The Boombox weighs about 5,000 pounds and the exterior panels are the backside of good old cheap Hardie board [a cement board siding]. The pattern is the result of the dying process.
Boombox rents for $500 a week, with lease periods of two weeks to three months. Mautene Court should prove an attractive location, nestled next to Tocco restaurant along the trendy Milwaukee retail strip that mixes empty storefronts with hip retailers, restaurants and theaters.