Friday, November 2, 2012

More Talk About Building Up Area Around McCormick Place

Talk continue to swirl about building up the area around McCormick Place, this time from McPier CEO Jim Reilly (via Chicago Tribune):
Image from Chicago Tribune
McCormick Place officials are aiming to vastly expand the amenities surrounding the convention complex to include more hotels, restaurants, entertainment venues and an arena that could host large-scale corporate assemblies and potentially such collegiate sports as DePaul Blue Demons basketball, its top executive told the business community on Tuesday. 
"What Las Vegas has that we don't have is a mega-hotel complex where 3,000 people can meet, eat, be entertained and sleep without ever going outside," Jim Reilly, CEO of the Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority, the state-city agency that owns McCormick Place and Navy Pier, said at a City Club luncheon. Orlando now offers similar amenities, he added.
While this is encouraging, talk is cheap.  We've been hearing about this for years now and as far as we can tell little action is really happening (here, here, here, here and ok we're bored with posting links).

We're probably being impatient, but there are only so many stories like this that we can read (well i guess not since it feels like this is pretty much all we read in regard to the topic).

To be a little more rational about this topic, this type of stuff obviously takes a long time to materialize.  To the credit of the city, the new Green line CTA stop at State and Cermak is progress.

We will continue to follow this story as it obviously is important to the continued evolution of our neighborhood.


Jason said...

I hope they never get around to doing this. I enjoy the lake path behind McCormick the way it is, and knocking out a bunch of trees and park space to put up hotels and restaurants would significantly change the atmosphere of the area.

Brianbobcat said...

I don't think anyone is suggesting anything but potentially the arena being built east of LSD. Even if the arena is built, it's been said that it would go on the parking lot, not parkland, in between McCormick Place and Soldier Field. The buildup would be along Cermak and in the Motor Row District. I would love to see more of a connection between McCormick Place West and Motor Row, since they're not just 1 block apart. The former auto building at Indiana and 23rd was just featured on an episode of Chicago Fire on NBC and would certainly be rife for restoration and development. Imagine a bar or music venue with a rooftop deck directly across Indiana from McPW.

Anonymous said...

Not gonna happen. The convention centers in Vegas and Orlando not only offer far superior whether and costs (thank you Chicago Unions!), neither are located directly adjacent to hang-infested, war-torn neighborhoods like Bronzeville and Englewood. Remember what happened to the last entertainment venue in motor row, e2? It would be a nightmare for the city if a bunch of conventioneers were to be caught in the middle of gang crossfire while at a nightclub in motor row. Way too big of a gamble. And just wait until the new green line stop connects hoodlums from points further south to the area around McCormick in mere minutes.

Anonymous said...

Agreed. Vegas and Orlando blow McCormick out of the water in every category. I'm a 10-year south loop resident and I always advise my company to select Vegas and/or Orlando for meetings. The fact that there is ZERO to do outside of McCormick, and huge safety concerns of our corporate heads (especially after out CEO was booked at the South Loop Hotel in Bronzeville a few years back), we will stick with the "sure thing" in Vegas and Orlando.