New Sox Park Would Bring Waterfront-Friendly Design and Economic Gains, Developer Says| Trending Viral hub

A new White Sox stadium near downtown would take full advantage of views of the Chicago River and Willis Tower, bringing explosive growth to the South Loop, potential developers said Wednesday.

Drawings from Related Midwest show a new stadium with walls of windows overlooking the South Branch of the Chicago River, while spectators inside look out at the skyline, with new skyscrapers just outside the park.

The development would generate $9 billion in investment, $4 billion in annual stabilized economic impact and $200 million in annual tax revenue, according to the developer’s projections, which were not publicly substantiated. Those projections include construction of the Discovery Partners Institute, a state proposal for a technology and research center.

Plans also include a housing complex and a football stadium on and around the site of the current Sox stadium, Guaranteed Rate Field.

So far, the proposal is speculative and no way to pay for the new park has been identified. Public financing would require action by legislators. Gov. JB Pritzker has expressed his general opposition to taxpayers funding private development beyond typical infrastructure costs.

When the proposal was first made public in January, the Sox and Mayor Brandon Johnson issued a joint statement, but made no mention of a new stadium or site.

“Mayor Brandon Johnson and Chicago White Sox President Jerry Reinsdorf met to discuss the team’s historic partnership with Chicago and the team’s ideas for remaining competitive in Chicago in perpetuity,” the statement reads. . “The partnership between the city and the team dates back more than a century and the Johnson administration is committed to continuing this dialogue going forward.”

Mayor Brandon Johnson later said the proposal looked like what a new park should look like, with an unspecified community benefit.

The new plans call for 5 million annual visitors (roughly triple the attendance the Sox drew last year) plus 1,000 affordable residential units and 1,300 new housing units at the Sox’s current home near Bridgeport, redeveloped in the plans to a smaller size with a football field.

Related Midwest owns the 62-acre site of the proposed park near Clark Street and Roosevelt Road. The prime piece of land, called The 78 as a hypothetical 78th city neighborhood, sits vacant, sandwiched between the Metra Rock Island rail line and the river, and was once proposed as a site for a new casino.

“The development would be a catalyst for the creation of Chicago’s next great neighborhood, creating tens of thousands of permanent and construction jobs and bringing a state-of-the-art baseball stadium for the White Sox to the South Loop riverfront,” Related wrote Midwest to the Tribune.

Although Related Midwest does not own the land near the current Sox park at Guaranteed Rate Field in Armor Square, company officials developed plans for the surrounding area to suggest what might go there, although they acknowledged it would require “a robust community process” to determine the best use of the land.

The proposal is complicated because the Chicago Bears are also looking to build a new stadium, potentially on the lakefront near their current home at Soldier Field, or in the northwest suburbs of Arlington Heights.

Both Soldier Field and Guaranteed Rate Field, just three miles from the proposed new site, were built or renovated through loans that are still being repaid with taxpayer funds.

Renderings of the new park include a river walk along the park, huge video screens, a picnic lawn in center field and exploding pinwheels, similar to the current scoreboard.


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