UPDATED 05/05/11 7:46 a.m.
CHICAGO (CBS) – The wheels are now in motion for the city’s first-ever indoor skate park.
Presiding over his last and final City Council meeting Wednesday, Mayor Richard M. Daley introduced an ordinance calling for selling — for $1 — four city-owned parcels from 1600 to 1752 S. Clark St. to the Chicago Park District.
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The properties include a building that will be transformed into the indoor skate park.
“I’m very, very happy with that. It’s right on the corner of 16th and Clark. It’s going to be an indoor park and it’s going to be fabulous for skateboarders. Really,” the mayor said. “It’s going to be open 24 hours a day. A lot of young people work at night. They get off at one or two o’clock in the morning. Of course, they want to skate around the city. So, this will be a great indoor facility. It’ll be the only one of its kind in the country. It’ll be a public park. It’s fabulous.”
The $3 million plan calls for rehabilitating an existing building on the site and turning the 27,000-square-foot space into an indoor skateboard park complex that includes a lobby, locker rooms, a skating surface and a viewing area with seating. The plan also calls for improvements to the building’s exterior, landscaping and a parking lot.
The skating area itself will include traditional skate elements, including ramps, ledges and paths with “unique obstacles,” the mayor said.
Just how the rehab project will be paid for was unclear Wednesday, said park spokeswoman Jessica Maxey-Faulkner. She also couldn’t say whether an opening date had been set for the indoor park.
The city already has eight skate parks throughout the city. Some of the most popular ones are located at 700 W. Wilson Ave. in the park of Lincoln Park adjacent to the Uptown neighborhood; at 3400 S. Lake Shore Dr. in Burnham Park, and at 2430 W. Logan Blvd. in Logan Square near Western Avenue and the Kennedy Expressway.
But nearly all those skate parks are open-air, though the Logan Square skate park has a bit of a roof if you count the Kennedy overhead.
“An indoor skate park would truly be a unique offering,” Maxey-Faulkner said.
The facility won’t just be for skateboarders. Inline skaters and even those rocking the old-school roller skates will be welcome, too, she said.
Added Daley: “Who gave me the idea? A number of people working in various restaurants — young people who want to do some physical activity. And it’s really important for us.”
The Chicago Sun-Times contributed to this report, via the Sun-Times Media Wire.