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SBD/August 2, 2013/FacilitiesPrint All
The Cubs have threatened to "take immediate advantage of the authority the City Council gave them to put up a 650-square foot see-through sign" in the right field of Wrigley Field if rooftop club owners "won’t agree not to sue to block the stadium renovation project," according to Fran Spielman of the CHICAGO SUN-TIMES. Cubs VP/Communications & Community Affairs Julian Green said, "We will not start renovations to the ballpark until we resolve the remaining issues with the rooftops. However, that does not preclude us from putting up signs in the outfield." Cubs Senior VP/Community Affairs & General Counsel Mike Lufrano added, "The Jumbotron does require moving the walls back. The right-field sign you could conceivably put inside the ballpark without moving the wall back. ... We hope (for) a global solution that everybody is happy with. But if there were a time when we realized it wasn’t going to happen, approval for those signs has been granted and you could put up some of those signs." Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Wrigleyville community leaders earlier this week "opened the door to resolving the dispute between the Cubs and the rooftops by allowing a deck that would hover over and darken Sheffield Avenue." Sources said that a rooftop club owner "first suggested the Sheffield deck ... but it was confined to just a couple of buildings." The Cubs "countered with a much larger deck that would extend for most of the block but only if the rooftops agreed not to sue to block the outfield signs that would largely bankroll" the $500M project (CHICAGO SUN-TIMES, 8/2).
SWEETENING THE POT: In Chicago, Hal Dardick reports the Chicago Landmarks Commission on Thursday "endorsed the tax relief" available to "land owners who rehabilitate historic structures." The tax break is "estimated to be worth" $8.1M. The City Council also will "have to approve" the relief to the Ricketts family. Cubs attorney Thomas Tully said that property tax payments on the ballpark even with the tax break "still will be higher after the work is done because the renovation adds value to the stadium." Tully added that the team now "pays about $1.5 million a year in property taxes on Wrigley." Dardick notes Wrigley will be "assessed at 10 percent of its value for the first 10 years after the renovation." The property in the 11th year will be "assessed at 15 percent, and in the 12th at 20 percent." The assessments come Year 13 will "increase to the full 25 percent level placed on commercial property." Cubs attorney David Reifman said that even with the break, projections show the team would pay $31.2M "in property taxes during the 12-year period" (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 8/2).
Scheduling conflicts at PNC Arena between the Hurricanes, N.C. State Univ. and Gale Force Holdings, which is the holding company for the Hurricanes and operates the arena, have "been settled for this year," according to Jason deBruyn of the TRIANGLE BUSINESS JOURNAL. However, the parties all "still seem far from a long-term agreement about how future concerts, shows and games will be scheduled." NCSU contractually has "first rights for scheduling dates, but Gale Force leadership, including Canes President Jim Rutherford, say the university lays claim to too many dates, not leaving enough for Hurricanes games or other events." Talks "grew heated this year, and even though it seems that any conflicts have been resolved for this year, both sides still disagree on the process to come to scheduling agreements in future years" (BIZJOURNALS.com, 8/1).
In Atlanta, Tucker, Leslie & Stafford in a front-page piece report the Georgia World Congress Center Authority Thursday walked away "from its several-months-long attempt to acquire one of the two churches on the preferred site" of the new Falcons stadium. The GWCCA in a letter told Mount Vernon Baptist Church that it is "'officially terminating negotiations' and 'abandoning its efforts' to purchase the church’s property." The letter and other documents show that the action "came after the church 'unanimously rejected' the GWCCA’s 'best and final offer'" of $6.2M. The stadium without Mount Vernon's property "cannot be built on the site just south of the Georgia Dome long favored by the city and the GWCCA" (ATLANTA JOURNAL-CONSTITUTION, 8/2).
THIS IS FOR THE BIRDS: In Minneapolis, Rochelle Olson reports concerns about birds flying into the new Vikings stadium "appear to have been quelled in an environmental report issued Thursday." Several agencies had "asked the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority to consider the fate of birds migrating along the Mississippi River corridor." The concern was the birds "might fatally fly into the glassy new structure or be disoriented by the bright lights." The MSFA will "turn off the lights overnight at the stadium in the spring and fall and will continue to work with the Audubon Society to ensure bird safety" (Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE, 8/2).
IT TAKES A VILLAGE: In San Diego, Roger Showley reports the plan to build Ballpark Village, a proposed residential and commercial area near Petco Park, "is back." The "keystone in the Petco Park master plan, first approved eight years ago, is now a $250 million, 634-unit residential project, 51,000 square feet of retail space." The city's redevelopment arm Civic San Diego is "expected to take formal action" on the project this fall. If it "wins final approval, construction could start at the end of next year" and open in '16-17. The project is "being developed by JMI Realty, former Padres' owner John Moores' real estate company, and Lennar Communities, the national housing company" (SAN DIEGO UNION-TRIBUNE, 8/2).