Ward Room
Covering Chicago's nine political influencers

Emanuel Breaks From Daley on O'Hare

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Alderman approve a land-swap deal to annex land near O'Hare International Airport and a concession deal for Terminal 5.

    Big changes have been planned for Chicago's O'Hare Airport .

    The City Council Wednesday approved one piece of airport related legislation, and Mayor Rahm Emanuel reintroduced another. Both could change O'Hare's ancillary make up.

    Council members made moves on a land-swap deal with neighboring suburb Schiller Park to help expand the airport boundaries.

    Schiller Park will pay $255,000 for one acre of land owned by the city, and the city will annex 190 acres of land to the south of the airport. They already own the land, but now will likely earmark it for hotels and such.

    The second piece of O'Hare related business has more to do with swapping mayors than swapping land.

    Emanuel reintroduced a 25-year contract for control of airport concessions.

    During the Daley administration airport concessions were controlled by Chicago Aviation Partners, a partnership between McDonalds and Duty Free International. Daley cronie Jeremiah Joyce was a part owner in that venture, as well as a paid consultant.

    But Emanuel appears to be pushing for another company, Westfield Concession Management, as the lead.

    The last City Council declined to vote on an proposal to give Westfield control after the parking meter deal turned out to be such an albatross for Chicago. They wanted to vet the deal more closely. The city has been operating on a month-to-month contract since 2003.