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Momentous Navy Pier Redevelopment Gets Re-Rendered

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Following closely on the heals of the city's announced $1.1B strategic investment plan for McCormick Place's environs and Navy Pier's redevelopment, the pier's management, Navy Pier, Inc., released updated renderings by James Corner Field Operations (JCFO), nArchitects, and Gensler on Friday. We're a wee bit late to the party, but it's still worth joining in. The phase one plan of attack is scaled back somewhat from the ambitions of last year's preliminary set of designs, but that's to be expected when dealing with funding streams. McPier will plug $115M of public funds into the project, about two-thirds of the total investment and twice the public expenditure initially discussed.

As we noted in last week's post, some of the project's signature components — the swimming pool, sand beach, and marshes — have been negated. Intrigue has migrated to the front plaza with its interactive fountain; the grand stairs with a 'wave wall' that "will be like the Spanish Steps in Rome," according to James Corner; and a spruced-up retail and food court scene. Simultaneously, the Children's Museum will embark on an expansion. The balance of funds will go into landscaping and aesthetics, focused on a densification of greenery. Phase one has a targeted summer 2015 completion. The scope of a second phase of redevelopment is dependent on the level of corporate participation, reports The Tribune, but another $100M or so can be reasonably expected.
·Navy Pier Remake Would Add Urban Park Elements [Trib]
·City Promotes Bundled Investment in McCormick Area, Navy Pier [Curbed Chicago]
·In All Likelihood, 'High Line' Architect Will Redesign Navy Pier [Curbed Chicago]