Wrigley Renovations: Waveland, Sheffield Narrowing Approved

Al Yellon

In which we inch closer to actual final passage by the Chicago City Council of all the club's plans.

One day, I'll be able to write here:

"Cubs begin construction on Wrigley Field restoration project."

Today, however, is not that day. Instead, I have yet another report of a Chicago City Council committee approving a portion of the Cubs' plan, via Danny Ecker at Crain's Chicago Business:

The city's panel on Transportation and Public Way today OK'd the team's plan to move its property lines farther into Sheffield and Waveland avenues than what was previously approved.

That includes extending Wrigley Field's footprint 25 feet closer to Sheffield Avenue and just more than 24 feet on Waveland than it is today, allowing the team to move exterior outfield walls back to accommodate new signage.

In return, the Cubs will pay $3.75 million over the next decade into the "Cub Fund," which the city uses for infrastructure improvements to the Lakeview area, including new lighting and new traffic signals along Clark Street between Belmont Avenue and Irving Park Road.

The narrowing of Waveland and Sheffield is somewhat controversial, because it will make both those streets two-way with no parking at any time (there already has been no parking during ballgames for more than a decade). The Cubs have offered spaces in their area parking lots to residents on non-game days (284 days of the year). This will likely work out in the end; probably 40 or 50 street parking spaces are being lost.

The full City Council will consider, and presumably approve, this portion of the Cubs' proposal at their regular meeting Wednesday.

So we're done, right? Bring in the backhoes and other heavy construction equipment? Nope! There's more!

Even if the full Wrigley Field renovation planned development gets City Council approval, the team still wants to finalize terms of a proposed ordinance that would allow fans to carry alcohol out of the ballpark and into an adjacent plaza in a marked cup.

Then, it comes down to its ongoing discussions with rooftop owners, and the team maintains that it will not start work on large portions of the renovation and redevelopment plan unless the Wrigleyville Rooftop Association agrees not to sue the team over blocked views.

Ah, yes. The rooftops. It always seems to come down to the rooftops. As always, we await further developments.

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