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Opposition to 13-story office proposal feeds newest West Loop neighborhood group

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Newly-formed ‘Friends of Fulton Market’ vow to fight Sterling Bay’s 210 N. Carpenter and other tall developments

A recently-formed community group calling itself Friends of Fulton Market is up in arms regarding the size of a proposed 13-story building slated for the northwest corner of Lake and Carpenter. Developed by Sterling Bay and designed by Solomon Cordwell Buenz, the project is anticipated to offer office space to the various vendors and suppliers expected to follow McDonald's to Fulton Market when the fast food giant moves from suburban Oak Brook to the West Loop in 2018, reports DNAinfo.

According to a statement from Friends of Fulton Market, the 210 N. Carpenter proposal opens the flood gates for “mini skyscrapers” that would undermine the character of the once industrial neighborhood. The group not only seeks to see that project downsized, but is urging residents to sign an online petition to 27th Ward Alderman Walter Burnett, Jr. asking the elected official to enact ward-wide “reasonable, sustainable, safety-conscious building guidelines” for the booming neighborhood.

The group’s suggested rules for future building design in Fulton Market basically come down to three main points. First, new buildings situated next to existing residential buildings should not exceed the height of their neighbors. Secondly, the neighborhood needs to provide more parking—underground whenever possible. And finally, no new structures should exceed a height cap set by the roof of the Google office building at 1K Fulton.

Since the near-downtown area’s severe allergy to height is hardly new, it remains to be seen how receptive Burnett will be towards FoFM’s guidelines. The alderman has had to routinely cope with organized pushback from constituents bent on preserving their views and pumping the brakes on increasing density in the hot West Loop.