Last night, reps from the Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority (aka McPier) presented the latest, updated master plan for the $400 million McCormick Place entertainment district that will include a 55 story hotel, multipurpose arena, new data center and the reuse of the landmark American Book Company Building. The presentation introduced a new design of the Marriott Marquis, but focused primarily on the new 12 story data center, the Rees House relocation and traffic studies. The ginormous hotel will contain 1,200 rooms and McPier reps hope that the new structure will become a beacon and a symbol of pride for the neighborhood. However, planning for the new data center required a bit more care, as the current building has been seen as a major source of noise pollution by residents of the neighborhood. One thing Alderman Pat Dowell did make very clear was that the community wants McPier to include a park space in the massive redevelopment project, otherwise the neighborhood would veto the plan.
McPier is putting a lot of eggs in this redevelopment basket, as an attempt to boost Chicago's tourism and convention dollars, but also as a hope to revitalize sections of the area that they feel are somewhat out of place, and not coherent with the rest of the neighborhood. Reps from the organization also hope that the new Cermak-McCormick Place Green Line station will tie the plans all together.
As far as timelines are concerned, McPier wants to move quickly with the plan. It had previously been held up due to a land dispute, however now that the map and (some of the) buildings have been redrawn, McPier says that it is now go time. The ginormous redevelopment proposal heads to the Chicago Plan Commission on April 23, and if all goes according to the predetermined schedule, everything will be completed by Spring 2017.
· Previous McCormick Place coverage [Curbed Chicago]