Cubs make changes to clear way for approval of Wrigley plan

The deal was changing up until the moment it went before the zoning committee Tuesday. There were a lot of moving parts between Wrigleyville residents, the Cubs and rooftop owners.

The deal being voted on is as good as it can get, because no one is completely happy.

As crews worked on the grounds inside Wrigley Field Tuesday, the heavy lifting continued inside of City Hall as the Wrigley renovation deal hit the zoning committee and Chicago politics again.

The original $500 million plan by Cubs owner Tom Ricketts, which includes building a hotel west of Clark and moving the right field wall of the ballpark out toward Sheffield by eight feet, has gone through a number of changes.

The final sticking points, being negotiated even Tuesday afternoon, include moving the hotel entrance off a side street and onto Clark or Addison, deferring the building of a portico next to the hotel, as well as deferring indefinitely the building of a pedestrian bridge over Clark Street between the hotel and Wrigley.

Ald. Tom Tunney, 44th Ward, and Cubs representatives said the deal is good to go.

“It means change, and like any project in an urban neighborhood, it means we have to balance the needs of our business with those of the residents and businesses around us. But no matter how you look at it, this project is a tremendous opportunity to attract acclaim and be a major asset for years to come,” said Chicago Cubs Executive Vice President Mike Lufrano.

“From the outset, my overall goal was to improve the Lakeview community while also providing the Cubs with the resources needed for a winning baseball team in a winning neighborhood,” Tunney said. “I wanted to insure that the plan development reflected input from the community and took into account the issues that a development of this scope has on a largely residential neighborhood.”

The mayor only released a statement that said, in part, “There must be public input regarding any future revisions to Sheffield Ave before plans would be approved…”

That part of the statement is referring to the plan to increase the size of Wrigley. Perhaps to the east, over Sheffield Avenue that part of the plan isn’t being voted on Tuesday.

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