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DePaul Arena/McCormick Place Redevelopment Hits Roadblock

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[renderings via the Chicago Tribune]

The Cubs aren't the only organization in Chicago putting big plans on hold due to a legal dispute. The city's plan to build a large entertainment district surrounding McCormick Place, Chicago's behemoth convention center, has hit a major road block due to a lawsuit from a landowner. The plan is to erect a giant event center and arena for DePaul University's basketball team along with two hotels at a total cost of $600 million. Over the weekend, the Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority, or McPier for short, released an updated map of the reworked project, moving all proposed development out of the parcel of disputed land adjacent to the convention center.

Even with the abrupt change in plans, city officials say that they are confident that the final sticker price won't change - only if a private developer can be convinced to drop major cash on the project once the contested land is available. Last year, city residents protested DePaul's plan to use controversial tax increment financing, or TIF funds, for the land acquisition. DePaul University announced that it will not accept the $55 million of TIF money and McPier has stepped in to help fund the university's arena. DePaul and McPier will both front $70 million. However, the TIF funds have been redirected to the Marriott Hotel project, which is estimated to cost a hefty $400 million. With shuffling funds and shuffling plans, the city says not to worry, but should we?

· McCormick Place entertainment district proposal gets makeover [Tribune]
· Previous DePaul Arena coverage [Curbed Chicago]