Reporting Bob Roberts
CHICAGO (CBS) — Residents of the neighborhood near McCormick Place heard Thursday night from Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority, DePaul University and city officials on plans to build a new arena for the Blue Demons and conventions.
The meeting began at 6:30 p.m. at the Second Presbyterian Church, at 1936 S. Michigan Ave.
The Prairie District Neighborhood Alliance asked for the meeting and has surveyed its members. The group’s president, Tina Feldstein said its members overwhelmingly want the DePaul arena built on vacant land at 23rd and State Streets, not at 21st Street and Prairie Avenue, as proposed by MPEA.
“They are talking about putting an arena in a residential neighborhood, shoehorning it into a parcel that also has to program a 500 room hotel as well as their commitment of ground level walking retail. It’s not feasible. The accessibility of the site is unrealistic,” said Feldstein.
Mayor Emanuel has said he wants the arena linked to the existing McCormick Place complex. The Prairie Avenue site would accomplish that by means of a pedestrian bridge, while the 23rd Street site is two blocks to the west.