Mayor Rahm Emanuel and developers broke ground Thursday morning on a project in Wrigleyville that will see restaurants, a movie theater and almost 150 condos.
The project will cover 2.3 acres at the intersection of Clark and Addison streets, right near Wrigley Field, but will be built around an existing auto body shop and a sports memorabilia store.
“I have been in this neighborhood for 40 years. To see this kind of investment ... the combination of the Ricketts family and M&R Development ... this is a billion dollar investment,” said Ald. Tom Tunney, 44th.
An M&R Development representative said it’s time for a change in the area.
“I think it kind of represents a new era … particularly when looking at it with regards to what the Cubs are doing. It’s a time of change and for some people change is unsettling,” Tony Rossi said. “So, you have to approach it carefully and make sure you can blend into the community as opposed to take over.”
Emanuel touted the development as a win for his plans for transit-oriented development in the city due to the closeness of the CTA’s Red Line to the project.
“When you have public transportation, you can get the density and the economic development,” the mayor said.
Some Wrigleyville residents say the development will be welcome.
“I think it’s great. We actually just bought a place last year, so we are kinda ready for it to up our value,” Kia Cvengros, a Wrigleyville resident, said. “I think it’s going to be good for the neighborhood.”
But not everyone agrees.
“I am not the biggest fan of it. I work at one of the bars over there so it is going to change the vibe. Hopefully, it stays good and brings in more people, except I know it’s not going to be quite the same.”