(CBS) After gaining approval Thursday from the city’s landmarks commission to move forward with their $575 million proposal to renovate Wrigley Field and the surrounding area, the Cubs plan to start preliminary construction work in late July, vice president for communications Julian Green told the Mully and Hanley Show on Friday morning.
Initially, the work would be on surface lots surrounding Wrigley Field, and some of the most noticeable construction by season’s end will be the excavation of the purple lot west of the stadium and on the corner of Clark Street and Waveland Avenue.
“We’ll have a massive hole as we begin to lay the foundation for the clubhouse as well as sub-basements,” Green said.
The city council still has to give final approval on the Cubs’ plan, but considering that Mayor Rahm Emanuel has given his support, it’s expected that won’t be an issue.
On Thursday, the Cubs received permission to move forward with a plan that calls for seven signs to be erected at Wrigley Field, including a Jumbotron. That was much more ambitious than the two-sign proposal the Cubs had received approval for last year, and that has rooftop owners on across the street on Sheffield and Waveland avenues upset.
The rooftop owners believe those signs will block their views and destroy their business, and they’ve threatened to sue if the seven-sign proposal moves forward.
Despite a recent impasse in between the sides, the Cubs are still willing to negotiate, but they won’t ever go back to the two-sign proposal, Green said. When asked, he didn’t give a hint if there was a number between two and seven sides that might work, as the Cubs are focused on the current plan.
“We are open to any and all ideas with the rooftops as long as it doesn’t include going back to two signs,” he said. “We wouldn’t have wasted all this time over the last two months working with the Landmarks Commission just to get a bargaining chip.”
What the Cubs will do is be ready to move forward with construction.
The new clubhouse is expected to be completed by the start of the 2016 season, and a hotel/office building complex that’s part of the renovation plan for the surrounding area will be completed after that, Green said. The bleacher expansion of new seats and terraces will be done in 2015, Green added.
Listen to his full interview below.