SBD/January 18, 2013/Facilities

Ricketts Family Proposes Hotel Adjacent To Wrigley With Ballpark Renovations In Mind

Ricketts-owned property around Wrigley Field could be developed using private money
Cubs Owner the Ricketts family on Thursday said that they "would like to build a hotel next to Wrigley Field, a proposal that sweetens their bid for tax incentives and other government assistance to help pay for a $300 million renovation of the aging ballpark," according to Ameet Sachdev of the CHICAGO TRIBUNE. The family said that it has an "agreement with Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc., whose brands include Sheraton and the Westin, to develop a boutique hotel on property the family owns on the northwest corner of Clark and Addison streets that it acquired in 2011 from McDonald's." The Ricketts family has "framed the renovation of Wrigley as important not only to the team but also to the city's economy and its efforts to draw tourists." The family is willing to "move forward with redeveloping property it owns around Wrigley with private dollars in exchange for government assistance that could include tax money to pay for a stadium face-lift." Until now, the family's "development plans centered on a triangle-shaped parking lot next to Wrigley that could become a museum, retail shops and a restaurant." The owners "upped the ante by proposing a hotel." Ricketts family spokesperson Dennis Culloton said that the hotel idea "emerged from sponsorship talks Cubs marketing officials had with Starwood, now the 'official hotel' of the team." The McDonald's property also could "include a health club" (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 1/18). Chicago Alderman Tom Tunney said that he is "all for the idea of a boutique hotel on the McDonald’s site." Tunney said, "It’s been a requirement in our master plan for 10 years to have a hotel around there. It’s needed." But he added, "I want to see the plans and review it with the community." In Chicago, Spielman & Golab note other investors have "proposed building a Hyatt hotel as part of a new eight-story building that would go up on Addison immediately south of the ballpark" (CHICAGO SUN-TIMES, 1/18).

STAYING HOME: In Chicago, Gordon Wittenmyer reports the Cubs will play "all their home games at Wrigley Field while the anticipated work is completed." Cubs VP/Communications & Community Affairs Julian Green said that a plan that called for home games in April and May '14 and '15 to be moved to Miller Park in Milwaukee "was just one of 'a number of different options' being considered and is now 'off the table.'" The Miller Park plan "was considered seriously enough that the Brewers were consulted and at one point late last season Cubs business executives apprised the baseball-operations side about the possibility." While the plan never reached the point of seeking MLB approval, "it at least provides a glimpse into the team’s thinking on a timeline for its Wrigley Field projects, as well as expectations for a timeline on public-funding ­efforts" (CHICAGO SUN-TIMES, 1/18).
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