Wrigley Renovations: Rahm Says 'Maybe' To Sheffield Deck

Courtesy Chicago Cubs

There's news on trading-deadline day other than trades and rumors of trades.

I know, I know. You're all focused on the trade deadline Wednesday at 3 p.m. CT.

But there is other Cubs news to discuss, so I thought I'd make a place for you to talk about the new proposal to put a party deck over Sheffield Avenue, behind the right-field bleachers at Wrigley Field. Mayor Rahm Emanuel has weighed in on this topic:

“What I do know — which I thought was interesting given the usual rift that exists between the rooftops and the Ricketts [family] — here’s the one idea that the two of ’em agreed on,” Emanuel said.

“But it was brought up toward the end. It’s too soon to have shoe-horned it in to the planned development that City Council passed. ... The right way to do this — and what we all agreed to — was the alderman is gonna run a community process because the community has to be heard as they were throughout the process.”

Honestly, despite the headline on the Sun-Times article ("Emanuel opens door to Wrigley deck over Sheffield"), that statement seems pretty noncommittal. "Too soon". "One idea." "Community process."

We're a long way from actually having this deck built over Sheffield. Some of the neighborhood groups, predictably, aren't too happy:

Jill Peters, president of the Southport Neighbors Association, said she has scheduled an Aug. 14 community meeting to present the plan.

“We are taking this into consideration in exchange for their agreement to remove the [pedestrian] bridge from Clark Street,” Peters said.

But, she quickly added, “I said from the beginning we didn’t want to see a party deck over Sheffield because of the potential for that to be perpetuated up and down the entire block and on Waveland. It is a private use of public space for private gain and they’ve already received a lot of compensation for the use of public way.”

And get this. The rooftop owners either like it, or they don't:

Sources said a rooftop club owner first suggested the Sheffield deck, but it was confined to just a couple of buildings. The Cubs countered with a much larger deck that would extend for most of the block.

Ryan McLaughlin, a spokesman for the Wrigleyville Rooftop Association, issued a statement declaring the group’s opposition to, what he called, “this massive patio deck” on Sheffield.

But he said, “We look forward to continued conversations working towards a solution that do not block the views of the rooftop owners.”

It seems to me that the modifications the Cubs made to their original plan minimize any blockage of views from the rooftops. As I have said consistently here, the rooftop owners need to stand down from their constant threats of lawsuits and make nice. Maybe then the Cubs would make a deal to extend their agreement past 2023; as of now, the Cubs really have no reason to do so.

If I had to make a guess right now, I'd guess this patio will never be built. But stay tuned.

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