The Cubs say the renovations are necessary, but area residents disagree as the Chicago Plan Commission passed the project along to the City Council Thursday. Charlie Wojciechowski reports.
The Chicago Plan Commission approved the Chicago Cubs' $500 million framework to renovate Wrigley Field and the land surrounding it Thursday.
The decision also came with the approval of Ald. Tom Tunney (44th), who as early as Wednesday had thrown a new wrench into negotiations, asking for a 10-year moratorium on new stadium signage as part of the deal.
Tunney had opposed a pedestrian bridge across Clark Street that would connect a planned office building to a new hotel, but the two sides agreed to continue discussions concerning the bridge. A planned terrace onthe Patterson Street side was removed from the deal -- for now.
"Our community has achieved many goals and victories through this process," Tunney said in a statement. "As this project becomes a reality in the coming years, there will be more issues and details to be debated."
Overall, the plan calls for a 175-room hotel, an open-air plaza, and an office building with retail space and a health club.
Cubs spokesman Julian Green said the club is now in the "red zone" in terms of getting the deal done.
"We've said since the beginning that organizations that do not innovate stand still and they don't grow, and ballparks that don't evolve, become obsolete," Green said.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel released a statement calling the deal a "win-win for all involved, including the taxpayers who are not being asked to subsidize the project."
"I'm pleased this next important step has been taken to help ensure the Cubs can modernize Wrigley Field and bring investments to Lakeview that will benefit residents and Cubs fans alike," Emanuel said in the statement.
The plan still needs to pass through the zoning commission and the City Council.