CHICAGO (CBS) –A much-debated proposal to renovate Wrigley Field and add controversial features such as a pedestrian bridge won the endorsement of the Chicago Plan Commission Thursday.
The plans call for a 175-room hotel across from Wrigley Field and and a sky bridge connecting the hotel with a new office building. The vote was unanimous after critics again blasted the plan as detrimental to the residents of Wrigleyville.
Ald. Tom Tunney says the Cubs have given him enough assurances that he now backs the project. The team dropped plans for a beer garden facing residential Patterson Avenue, will discuss moving the proposed hotel entrance to Clark or Addison and won’t seek outside signage beyond what’s planned.
“Through months of negotiations and discussion, we now have arrived at the point where I have no objections to this project,” Tunney said in a prepared statement.
Mike Lufano, Cubs executive vice-president, told planning commissioners: “The bridge connects the hotel guests to the office building on the second floor It allows people to go back and forth without going to ground floor. That was its intent.”
But Mark Church believes it is just too close to his Patterson Avenue home.
“Have you ever thought, god, I’d love to live back behind the loading docks, the garbage bins and a public, open bar because that will really improve the quality of my life,” Church said.
Neighbors want the hotel entrance moved off Patterson street — a detail that proponents say could change.
“I’m pleased this next important step has been taken to help ensure the Cubs can modernize Wrigley Field and bring investments to Lakeview that will benefit residents and Cubs fans alike. The framework is a win-win for all involved, including the taxpayers who are not being asked to subsidize the project,” Mayor Emanuel said in a written statement following the vote.