Emanuel Announces $140M McCormick Place Renovation

Rahm Emanuel isn’t holding back on his second anniversary as mayor of Chicago as he celebrated by announcing major renovations to the city’s prized McCormick Place.

The city aims to give tourists and residents more reasons to visit the McCormick Place entertainment district with plans to build $140 million worth of new facilities including two hotels and a new arena that will be the home court for DePaul University as well as an expected draw for trade shows and concerts.

DePaul University will serve as the centerpiece of the new events center and will feature 10,000 seats, 22 suites and 300 club seats.

The new hotels will include a 1,200-room “headquarters hotel” and a 500-room boutique hotel near McCormick Place.

Other improvements include entertainment venues and shops intended to revitalize the historic Motor Row and nearby neighborhoods.

The new events center is projected to be a hub for the City of Chicago and its sister agencies to use for graduations, athletic contests and other city events.

“We are focused intensely on becoming and remaining the world's leading convention and trade show destination. To do this, we must have not only a state-of-the-art convention facilities, we also need this assembly hall and events center,” said CEO of McCormick Place Jim Reilly.

But the city isn’t stopping there.

Plans for the McCormick Place upgrade came along with the announcement of a major facelift to Navy Pier.

Combined, the two plans will amount to $1.1 billion in renovations that Emanuel said will create 10,000 constructions jobs and 3,700 permanent jobs in Chicago.

“Establishing the McCormick Place entertainment district along with the redevelopment of Navy Pier is a vital step in tapping the full potential of the City of Chicago,” said Mayor Emanuel.

Private investments will pay for the hotels and DePaul and the Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority will each pay for half of the arena.

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