The City of Chicago and baseball's Chicago Cubs on Sunday announced an agreement to perform $300 million in renovations to the ball club's 99-year-old Wrigley Field and develop $200 million in hospitality, office and retail space on parcels adjacent to the iconic structure.
Though plans must be formally submitted to Chicago's City Council, Planning Commission, and Landmarks Commission, the deal effectively ends years of negotiations between the city and Cubs management to upgrade Wrigley Field, the nation's second-oldest ball park, while providing additional sources of revenue to the Cubs franchise.
In broad strokes, plans call for extending the park's frontage along one elevation and constructing a two-story, mixed-use facility along portions of another. While a 175-room hotel and 75 parking spaces will occupy one adjacent parcel, Cubs office and meeting space will occupy a second parcel. A pedestrian bridge will link the ballpark and adjacent facilities.
Additional plans include construction of a 5,000-sq-ft video screen, or jumbotron, in left field and signage in right field.
Under the deal, the city will transfer ownership of a sidewalk and street lane to the Cubs, owned by the Ricketts family, at no cost.
On Monday, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel lauded the plan for maintaining the historic integrity of the iconic ball park. Cubs Chairman Tom Ricketts was expected to provide more details on the project on Monday.
The $500 million, five-year project is considered a boon to Chicago's construction industry, which has found few major commercial projects to rally around since the nation's economic collapse in 2008.
Construction is expected to begin this fall.