McCormick Should Go Private: Advisor

Saturday, May 1, 2010  |  Updated 9:00 AM CDT
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A shot of McCormick center.

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McCormick Place should go private, says an advisor to lawmakers who is searching for ways to reduce costs at the struggling convention center.

James Reilly, a former chief executive of the agency that runs McCormick Place and Navy Pier, has proposed putting the property under temporary control of a trustee. The trustee would have eighteen months to find a private management firm.

Reilly also happens to be a candidate for that trusteeship.

The creation of a trusteeship would lead to the ouster of Juan Ochoa, the current CEO of the Metropolitan Pier and Expansion Authority.

Reilly's proposed plan, according to the Sun-Times, includes:

  • eliminating McCormick's exclusive electrical franchise, called Focus One
  • forbidding McCormick from marking up prices for food and electrical services
  • work-rule changes to reduce costs for overtime

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