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Report: Alderman Proposes Allowing Electronic Signs On Mag Mile

Magnificent Mile

(Credit: Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Mike Krauser Mike Krauser
Mike Krauser has been a reporter, anchor, producer, writer, managing...
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CHICAGO (CBS) — Ald. Brendan Reilly (42nd) has proposed an ordinance that some say could make the already Manhattan-like Magnificent Mile look like Times Square.

As WBBM Newsradio’s Mike Krauser reports, the Chicago Tribune says Reilly has introduced an ordinance that would allow electronic signs on the Magnificent Mile.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Mike Krauser reports


But there would be some restrictions on the signs. They would have to be mounted on businesses occupying at least 300,000 square feet and hosting at least 10 tenants – like the Water Tower Place or the Shops at North Bridge, the Tribune reports.

Signs would be no larger than 1,000 square feet, the newspaper reported.

Water Tower Place general manager Mitchell Feldman told the Tribune that allowing the huge signs would be “of great interest to us.”

But preservationists aren’t so enthused. Jonathan Fine, director of Preservation Chicago, points out that the Magnificent Mile is known for its elegance, and tells the Tribune he thinks such signs might not be appropriate. He also tells the newspaper that if big electronic signs are permitted, “everyone’s going to want a Jumbotron.”

Back when the city was in the process of rewriting its zoning ordinance in 2002, planners took aim at intrusive signage such as video billboards and advised that they be reduced in number.

But flashing signs such as digital LED billboards had already taken a foothold in Chicago by that time – a video billboard has been mounted on the Days Inn at Clark Street and Diversey Parkway for more than a decade – and they have only grown in number since.