A Chicago City Council committee is currently holding hearings on the Cubs' proposal to renovate Wrigley Field in advance of a vote by the full Council. Once that happens -- and that's expected to be approved by the Council -- the process can begin.
Even before the hearing was complete, though, news was made: the Cubs agreed to drop from the plan the proposed pedestrian bridge over Clark Street (pictured at the top of this post):
Mayor Rahm Emanuel today said a bridge the Cubs want over Clark Street will not be built for the foreseeable future, and indicated no new signs will be built in the outfield for the next 10 years beyond the two large signs already approved.
These are two of the things that Ald. Tom Tunney (44th) had asked for, leading me to wonder why he didn't simply try to negotiate with the mayor in private, instead of whining in public. Here's the full text of Mayor Rahm Emanuel's statement:
“Today Alderman Tom Tunney and I met to discuss the remaining two issues regarding the planned development of Wrigley Field and adjacent properties. Alderman Tunney and I agree that in addition to the portico over Patterson, which the Cubs agreed to defer last week, that the proposed bridge over Clark Street will also be deferred indefinitely. Additionally, we agree that further discussion is necessary on the location of the entrance to the Hotel. While Alderman Tunney, Tom Ricketts and I have agreed that only the two outfield signs they have secured will be authorized for the duration of their agreement. I am pleased that the Cubs and Rooftop Club owners are having serious discussions to resolve their remaining issues for the duration of their current agreement and I encourage the parties to complete their negotiation. Alderman Tunney and I also agree that there must be public input regarding any future revisions to Sheffield Ave before plans would be approved by any city department and the alderman. While work still needs to be done, overcoming these remaining issues will allow the planned development to go forward so the Cubs can begin investing in Wrigley Field and Wrigleyville.”
Thus, those who complained that the Ricketts were running roughshod over the neighborhood were incorrect; this has always been a give-and-take and all parties are getting something out of it. The Cubs' original proposal read like a wish list, and clearly, they were willing to give on some of the requests in order to remain good neighbors.
There doesn't seem to be any doubt now that this proposal will be approved and the Cubs will be able to begin construction when the 2013 season ends.