For many months I have been working with my community, the Chicago Cubs, the Mayor’s office and City departments on the Cubs’ redevelopment proposal.
All along, it has been my mission as the elected representative of the 44th Ward to ensure that the final plans are as compatible as possible with the neighborhood and fit within the context of the greater Lakeview community. In my view, and that of my constituents, more community input is critical when dealing with a planned development that impacts residents’ daily living and should provide them with greater protections.
Collectively we are making progress. As I requested in a June 26 letter, the Cubs have now agreed to discuss moving the entrance to the hotel from a purely residential street, Patterson, to Addison or Clark and have agreed that there will be no portico or beer garden over Patterson. As people saw last evening and heard at the hearing today, these are key issues for the residents of the area and their quality of life.
Dialogue must and will continue about the appropriateness and need for a bridge over Clark Street to connect the hotel to the office building. The Mayor and the Cubs have agreed that we will continue our discussions on this element. Finally, as I noted at the Commission on Landmarks meeting last week, I have assurances from the Mayor and the Cubs that there will be no additional outfield signs for many years to come.
Through months of negotiations and discussions, we now have arrived at the point where I have no objections to this project. I believe that working together we will have the modifications I noted above included in the plan before the City Council meeting next week.
Our community has achieved many goals and victories through this process. As this project becomes a reality in the coming years, there will be more issues and details to be debated. As the officials elected to represent the people of Lakeview, Mayor Emanuel and I will continue to be diligent in our oversight of this project.
I would like to thank Mayor Emanuel, Tom Ricketts, and the Cubs for continuing to work together with me on a plan for Wrigley Field and adjoining areas that accomplishes the overall goals of improving the Lakeview community while also providing the Cubs with the resources needed for a winning baseball team in a winning neighborhood.
The Cubs are an important and valued business stakeholder in my ward. Lakeview residents are proud that they call our neighborhood home. We are one of the most dynamic, vibrant neighborhoods in the city and look forward to hosting a World Series in the 44th Ward.
Alderman Tom Tunney