Tunney Gives Thumbs Up to Wrigleyville Mall

Displaced business owners outraged

By Matt Bartosik
|  Friday, May 14, 2010  |  Updated 5:16 PM CDT
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For more than wo years developers have been planning major changes for Wrigleyville.

This week they got closer to realizing thier plans when Alderman Tom Tunney green-lighted the  "Addison Park on Clark" development, a project that includes 145,000 feet of retail space and a $100 million hotel in the heart of the neighborhood.

The proposal would place a 137-room Hyatt Hotel, 135 residential units, and about 400 underground parking spaces on the southeast corner of Clark and Addison Streets. Prospective retail tenants include Best Buy, Dominick's, an Apple Store, and a CVS Pharmacy, reports the Sun-Times.

That's practically a mini-neighborhood inside an area that's already heavily congested.

All of that new business means several standing businesses will be displaced, including the Red Ivy, Mullen's, Bar Louie, Goose Island Pub, Salt & Pepper Diner, and the iO Theater.

On Monday, Tunney gave his approval to the retail plan, which is odd considering his concern over a new Toyota sign at Wrigley Field.

His endorsement has business owners and residents into an uproar.

"It'll be the end of a very hip neighborhood," Charna Halpern, owner and director of iO Theater (and the project developer's cousin), told the Sun-Times. "It's a fun block that's good for the neighborhood ... Now, there'll be nothing. It'll be Best Buy. How exciting is that on a Saturday night?"

Locals began a Facebook campaign, "People Against the 'Malling of Wrigleyville'," that has more than 3,400 members as of noon Friday.

Tunney insists, however, that the project is "a good development for the neighborhood," especially given the state of the economy, according to the Sun-Times.

Still, one has to wonder who would want to live in that building. Have they seen that area on a post-game evening?

Residents have scheduled a strategy-planning meeting for Sunday at 6 p.m. at iO Theater.

Matt Bartosik is a Chicago native and a social media sovereign.

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