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Concerned that the proposed 600 N. Lake Shore Dr. development will block afternoon sunlight at Ohio Street Beach, Streeterville residents are asking Mayor Richard Daley to exercise his veto power over the project.

“We met with the mayor’s chief of staff and planning commissioner Christopher Hill yesterday,” says Bess Demopoulos, spokesperson for the Save Ohio Street Beach campaign. “We want Daley to use his veto power to block the project as it is currently proposed.”

Other concerned residents, however, are not convinced that Daley is sensitive to their concerns. “I don’t expect him to use the veto,” said Rosalind Hecim, president of the Streeterville Organization of Active Residents (SOAR). “He’s never done it. I think the last time the veto was used was by Mayor Harold Washington.” Both Mayor Daley and Ald. Burt Natarus, in whose 42nd ward the project falls, are strongly behind the project.

Given the likelihood that the Mayor will continue to side with Atlantis Properties, which is developing the 252-unit, 49-story luxury condominium tower, legal challenges are said to be in the works, according to published reports. A group of residents at 540 N. Lake Shore, which is immediately next door to the proposed site, are reportedly talking to environmental lawyers about what impact their independent shadow studies of the project might have in court. Brendan Duffy, a spokesperson for residents at the 540 building, could not immediately be reached for comment.

Resident’s say they are not opposed to developing the 600 N. Lake Shore site, which has been a vacant lot for twenty years. Opponants are proposing that the height of the building be cut from 49-stories to 39-stories. “We know that will mean less profits for Atlantis,” says SOAR’s Hecim. “But they plan on selling the space at $500 a square foot, so I think they’ll do ok no matter what the height of the building.”

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