Monday, April 11, 2022

Casino Bids Face Stiff Opposition from Neighbors

Last week was when the three remaining Chicago Casino bids had a chance to further lay out their vision and get public support.  Judging by all the reviews from the meetings, nobody wants a Casino in their neighborhood.

For us in the Sloop, it seems as if this poses a big problem as two of the sites sit squarely in high profile spots in the neighborhood.

Interestingly, one Alderman came out and said he couldn't support the plan in his ward (via Block Club):

Ald. Byron Sigcho-Lopez  (25th) wrote in a letter to a powerful colleague this week that he “cannot support” a proposal for a casino to be built as part of “The 78” mega-development brewing in his Near South Side ward, imperiling the proposal’s chances as it competes with two other plans.

Sigcho-Lopez’s support hinges on the backing of the 78 Community Advisory Council, a group made up of neighbors and community leaders who should collectively be considered a “subject matter expert” in the vetting process for any new development along the 62-acre swath being developed by Related Midwest, the alderman wrote in a letter to Ald. Tom Tunney (44) on Monday. Mayor Lori Lightfoot picked Tunney last week to chair a new Committee on the Chicago Casino, which will head up the city’s consideration of the three remaining casino projects. 

In his letter, Sigcho-Lopez pointed back to a resident survey conducted by the 78 Community Advisory Council that found overwhelming opposition to the casino plan last month. Of the 378 neighbors polled, 78 percent said they were either “highly unsupportive” or “somewhat unsupportive” of Related’s and Rivers’ casino proposal. 

So you're telling me that 78% of South Loop neighbors don't support a casino at the 78 development?  Well that's a funny coincidence.

If you look at the other proposed South Loop casino site - One Central - just west of Soldier Field, it doesn't sound like it went much better (via Block Club):

If the team behind the Hard Rock casino proposal hoped to win over the public, they may have their work cut out for them.

In a contentious Tuesday night meeting at Harold Washington Library in the Loop, residents blasted city officials and company leaders for the lack of details around the project, and questioned how it would affect crime in the area and spur community investment. Some roundly rejected the idea, saying they worried about the scale of the project on the southern end of One Central, a massive mixed-use project covering 32 acres between Museum Campus and McCormick Place. 

Alderman Dowell - who represents that ward - hasn't officially stated where she stands on this project, so in some respect it would seem like One Central currently sits in a better space than The 78 proposal.  That said, she could very well come out and say she's against it.

It also seems like the proposal for the Bally's location on the Chicago River just north of the city also is facing stiff neighborhood opposition.  So should be interesting to see how this all plays out.

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