Illinois' most popular tourist attraction is up for a major facelift.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel used his second anniversary as mayor, to announce major changes to Navy Pier. (Click here to read about the plans for McCormick Place.)
The Navy Pier renovations will add a new park, an expansion of the Chicago Children's Museum, and additional bars and restaurants.
Plans include an interactive fountain at the pier's entrance, as well as a $48 million flyover to ensure the safety of guests walking to the pier. City officials say they plan to remake the nearly 100-year-old attraction by mixing contemporary design with function.
“We are taking what is good and making it great,” Navy Pier Inc. CEO Marilynn Gardner said. “We have a unique opportunity to create one of the world’s signature attractions, one that, like Millennium Park, bridges elevated, contemporary design with popular appeal.”
The $278 million redevelopment plan will be completed in two phases beginning this fall.
The two projects combined amount to a $1.1 billion plan that Emanuel says will create 10,000 construction jobs and 3,700 permanent jobs in Chicago.
Private investments will pay for the hotels and DePaul and the Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority will pay for half of the arena.