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Developer says New Sox park will bring riverfront-friendly design and economic gains

A new White Sox stadium near downtown would bring explosive growth to the South Loop by making the most of views of the Chicago River and Willis Tower, potential developers said Wednesday.

Related Midwest’s renderings show a new stadium with walls of windows overlooking the South Branch of the Chicago River, while spectators inside look out onto the skyline of new high-rises just outside the park.

According to the developer’s unpublicized estimates, this development will generate a $9 billion investment, $4 billion in stable annual economic impact and $200 million in annual tax revenue. These projections include the establishment of the Discovery Partners Institute, a government proposal for a technology and research centre.

Plans also include a housing complex and a football stadium in and around the Sox’s current home stadium, Guaranteed Rate Field.

The bidding so far is speculative and no way to pay for the new park has been identified. Public financing will require action from lawmakers. Governor J.B. Pritzker has expressed general opposition to taxpayers financing 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 did not mention a new stadium or field.

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

Mayor Brandon Johnson later said the proposal looked like what a new park with unspecified community benefits should be.

The new plans call for 5 million annual visitors (about three times the Sox’s attendance last year) plus 1,000 affordable housing units and 1,300 new housing units at the existing Sox home near Bridgeport. football field.

Related Midwest owns 62 acres of the proposed park near Clark Street and Roosevelt Road. Dubbed The 78 as a hypothetical 78th city neighborhood, this prime land is vacant, wedged between the Metra Rock Island rail line and the river, and was once proposed as a new casino site.

“This development will 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 White Sox ballpark to the South Loop riverfront,” Related Midwest wrote. Tribune.

While Related Midwest doesn’t own the land near the current Sox park at Guaranteed Rate Field in Armor Square, company officials have developed plans for the surrounding area to suggest what could go there, acknowledging it would require a “robust community process” to determine. best use of land.

The proposal is complicated by the fact that the Chicago Bears are considering building a new stadium, potentially on the lakeshore near their current home at Soldier Field or in the northwestern suburb of Arlington Heights.

Soldier Field and Guaranteed Rate Field, just three miles from the proposed new field, were still built or renovated through borrowing paid for from taxpayer funds.

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

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