Aldermen Nervous About O’Hare Concessions Contract

CHICAGO (WBBM) — Chicago aldermen this week have put off a vote on a plan to redo the food vendors, shops and security checkpoints at the O’Hare International terminal.

As WBBM Newsradio 780 Political Editor Craig Dellimore reports, jitters in the wake of the parking meter deal are partly to blame.

LISTEN: Newsradio 780 Political Editor Craig Dellimore reports

Mayor Richard M. Daley’s administration wants approval for shopping mall developer Westfield to overhaul concessions at Terminal 5 at O’Hare International Airport.

Eateries, retailers and duty-free shops would be moved inside the security perimeter, where the passengers wait.

But some aldermen in the Aviation Committee balked at the 20-year lease with an option to renew. Others noted that a politically-connected group, including Daley ally Timothy Degnan, made a higher bid than Westfield.

Ald. Freddrenna Lyle (6th) said in light of the last major long-term deal the City Council approved – the 75-year, $1.15 billion deal in late 2008 that leased the parking meters to a private company – she and her colleagues are gun-shy.

“We have to be either heralded as being great economic wizards at making proper decisions, or get lambasted day after day after day, like we have been regarding the parking meter deal,” Lyle said.

The ordinance has been held in committee.

  • Christine Gerulat

    The lack of eateries outside of the security perimeter makes it really hard to get refreshments if you are waiting for someone to arrive! It appears to me a frequent flyer the shops and eateries within the boundaries appeal to a wide swath of the public already. Is this another attempt to spend money where it’s unnecessary? Looks like one of the Daley cronies is using the final term of the Mayor to benefit their pockets..which of course will result in higher fees to the public for something NOT necessary

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