CHICAGO (CBS) — The Cubs could score a big win Wednesday, if the Chicago city council, as expected, votes final approval of the ballclub’s $500 million dollar plan to renovate Wrigley Field and redevelop the area along Clark Street to the west of the ballpark.
The $500 million plan cleared its next-to-last hurdle Tuesday, when the plan won unanimous council zoning committee approval.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel set the stage for the zoning committee vote by meeting with Wrigleyville Ald. Tom Tunney (44th) beforehand. Agreement was reached on a key point with opponents — the indefinite deferral of the proposed sky bridge over Clark Street.
Emanuel and Tunney issued statements that were almost identical in content. They said there would be further discussion on the location of a hotel entrance that Tunney wants moved off of residential Patterson Avenue. Neighbors immediately to the west of the site, who voiced the loudest opposition at Tuesday’s hearing, also want reconsideration of the loading docks and service entrance for the hotel, off an alley they share with the site.
Emanuel and Tunney said they also have reached agreement that only the two outfield signs already approved — a video scoreboard in left field and a see-through sign in right field — will be authorized for the 10 years that remain on the Cubs’ revenue-sharing agreement with rooftop club owners.
“Ald. Tunney and I also agree that there must be public input regarding any future revisions to Sheffield Avenue before plans would be approved,” the mayor said in his statement.
Tunney said it was the definition of compromise, one in which no one comes away completely happy. Yet he predicted that “miracles will occur at Clark and Addison.”
When a colleague asked Tunney how long the bridge would remain “deferred,” he said that nothing is forever but “if anything comes back, it has to come through our city council.”
Negotiations will continue between the Cubs and the rooftop owners, who have threatened a lawsuit that could bog down the project.
The Cubs are expected to begin construction as soon as the regular season ends. Tunney said it is a very different project from what the Cubs first envisioned, thanks to the negotiating and community input.
“We’ve achieved many of the goals and victories through this very, very rigorous process,” he said.