CHICAGO — Along the Chicago River at the intersection of North Halsted Street and West Chicago Avenue, the old Chicago Tribune publishing plant is set to be transformed as Mayor Lori Lightfoot announced the site as the home for the city’s upcoming casino.
The Bally’s Casino proposal includes a casino, hotel, exhibition hall, outdoor music venue, six restaurants and a sports museum.
The casino’s placement in a residential area has left some who live nearby conflicted.
Kathleen Griffin lives at Kinzie Park on Grand Avenue near the proposed casino where an estimated 11,000 people live.
“I’ve seen the plans and we were asked to write letters as to why we were opposed and I oppose it for all of the reasons listed. Congestion, crime, all those things,” Griffin said.
Before the new entertainment district is built, a temporary casino is planned for the old Medinah Temple at 600 North Wabash Avenue in River North.
Medinah Temple was chosen for its proximity to public transit and existing retail and hospitality corridors. It is slated to open in the second quarter of 2023.
Brian Israel of the River North Residents Association feels the process has been rushed and circumvented the Special Casino Council Committee.
“City council still needs to vote and we will turn our attention full force to try to persuade as many members of the council that this is a bad idea for the neighborhood and the city,” Israel said.