United Center Owners Propose Retail Expansion

Restaurants, bars, an event space and a team store would be added to the H lot

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    NEWSLETTERS

    TK
    Bulls owner Jerry Reinsdorf reportedly proposed a plan along with Hawks owner Rocky Wirtz that would bring 260,000 square feet of restaurants, bars, an event space and a team store to the H Lot on the east side of the United Center.

    The United Center could be getting a championship upgrade.

    Owners of the home to the Chicago Bulls and Blackhawks want to build a retail development that would cost between $75 million and $85 million, according to Crain's Chicago Business.

    Bulls owner Jerry Reinsdorf proposed a plan along with Hawks owner Rocky Wirtz that would bring 260,000 square feet of restaurants, bars, an event space and a team store to the H Lot on the east side of the United Center. A source told the Chicago Sun-Times the space would be like a mall attached to the stadium.

    Crain's reports the venture would be privately funded and is intended to build up the West Side neighborhood that typically only thrives during Bulls and Blackhawks games.

    Ald. Walter Burnett Jr., 27th, told the publication the neighborhood is surrounded by parking lots, and area residents would rather see those spaces used for commerce.

    Planning documents for the proposal indicate the 10 new businesses would create several hundred jobs, including 300 during construction and 500-plus after the project is complete.

    Despite the community's potential growth, there are a couple concerns regarding the proposed renovations. The first is whether investors will fund a new Morgan/Lake stop on the CTA's Green and Pink lines, scheduled to open in June and costing around $38 million.

    The other involves the neighborhood's residents spending taxpayer money on the expansions.