Cubs may be bleacher bums on Wrigley parking garage

August 7, 2008

BY FRAN SPIELMAN City Hall Reporter

It looks like the Cubs may never build the 400-space parking garage adjacent to Wrigley Field promised to area residents in exchange for a 1,791-seat bleacher expansion.

Cubs Chairman Crane Kenney said the building planned for a triangular parcel adjacent to the stadium has been “completely re-designed” by Tribune Co. CEO Sam Zell’s real estate team to include more retail and office space at the expense of parking.

The new garage would shrink to 250 spaces to accommodate players, team officials, sponsors and media whose late departure from Cubs games would not exacerbate post-game congestion. To make up for the loss of parking, a smaller garage could be built on less valuable land away from Wrigley, sources said.

And instead of topping off the triangle building with a quaint rooftop garden, the top floor would include a revenue-generating stadium club. “It’ll be a first-class opportunity for business fans and those who entertain at the ballpark to do so” in style, Kenney said.

The revamped design includes an upscale restaurant, retail stores specializing in Cubs merchandise and team offices. Below ground, there would be batting cages, pitching mounds and workout facilities for Cubs players. More concessions and washrooms are also planned.

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