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Chicago Entrepreneur Dreams Of Chicago’s Own Island Resort

Artistic rendering of Breakwater Chicago, a $23 million barge a Chicago entrepreneur wants to build in Lake Michigan as a year-round island resort. (Credit: Chicago Breakwater LLC)

Artistic rendering of Breakwater Chicago, a $23 million barge a Chicago entrepreneur wants to build in Lake Michigan as a year-round island resort. (Credit: Chicago Breakwater LLC)

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CHICAGO (CBS) – A young entrepeneur wants to build a huge barge off Lake Michigan’s Chicago shoreline as a sort of island resort.

WBBM Newsradio’s Regine Schlesinger reports the vision of Beau D’Arcy and his two partners calls for a floating vessel, 300-by-100 feet, almost twice the length of the Odyssey cruiseliner.

The barge would feature a swimming pool, bars, restaurants, shops, and even a spa.

WBBM 780’s Regine Schlesinger

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The $23 million project, called Breakwater Chicago, would be built a mile offshore just east of Erie Street. It would operate year-around, with water taxis taking visitors out to the barge, and private boaters able to dock and spend the day.

D’Arcy, a Harvard business school graduate, said he was jealous of friends sailing out of Los Angeles to spend a leisurely day on Catalina Island.

“My hope is to recreate what Catalina Island is to Los Angeles, here in Chicago; to create that destination for folks on the lake here in the city,” he said.

He’s raising the money for the project through Kickstarter, and still has to get approval from the U.S. Coast Guard, the state, and the city. Despite the hurdles, he hopes to have Breakwater Chicago up and running by July 2015.