CHICAGO — In baseball, there's home plate, home runs, home field advantage, but just outside the home of the Chicago Cubs—305 feet from the marquee to be exact—is a home with a special connection to the Friendly Confines.
For nearly 50 years, Dolores Wilson and her daughter, Dolly, have lived in the home at 1110 W. Addison St. in Wrigleyville.
“We enjoy the crowds, you can hear the ‘boos’ and the ‘woos.’ It's a lot of fun,” Wilson said.
Every home game, you'll usually see the mother-daughter pair selling parking spots—two on the side and three in back, which is prime access for fans wanting a short walk to the game.
It all started when Dolly Wilson was a just a kid. There have been a lot of memories in and outside the home’s four walls.
“My whole life has been lived here,” Dolores Wilson said. “My daughter was born here. My husband passed away over here. This house means an awful lot to me. It means everything to me.”
The house also means a lot of investors. Over the years, Dolores Wilson has received multiple offers on her home.
“Some have called and would request what I would ask for. I never quoted a price,” Dolores Wilson said.
Wilson said the owner of the Cubby Bear approached her, and more recently, Ald. Tom Tunney said the Cubs organization has shown interest.
Tunney has worked with the Rickett's family over the last five years on a $500 million reinvestment plan. Multiple projects unfolded including a $20 million deal to turn the old McDonald’s at Clark and Addison streets into the Hotel Zachary.
With a busy hotel, comes lots of deliveries and trucks that are having trouble navigating the narrow alley next to the Wilsons' home.
If the Wilsons' would sell, the house could be torn down to create wider access. But the owner isn’t budging.
“I’m going to hold off until the last minute,” Dolores Wilson said. “I love it here. I love it here.”
Realtors estimated that the Wilsons' home is worth about $875,000. But with the proximity to the hotel, and the ballpark, it's no surprise some say it could go for more than triple that.
With each baseball season that passes, the Wilsons watch Wrigleyville transform. Renovations to the facade of the ballpark, and soon the Taco Bell across the street, will come down, making way for a rock climbing gym and retail shops.
The Cubs issued the following statement:
"During the planning process, we spoke with many of the immediate neighbors as we considered the design and operation of the hotel. The ability to purchase land west of the alley was considered but would have required a re-zoning.
Ald. Tunney rejected this idea and so it was abandoned. Today, the hotel and restaurants have successfully energized the community and brought award-winning cuisine to keep the area vibrant."