Ricketts family plans boutique hotel across from Wrigley Field
BY FRAN SPIELMAN AND ART GOLAB Staff Reporters January 17, 2013 11:52AM
A McDonald's restaurant sign advertises to Chicago Cubs fans across the street from Wrigley Field in Chicago, Monday, April 20, 2009. McDonald's Corp. said Wednesday that its first-quarter profit climbed nearly 4 percent as more customers worldwide came to the Golden Arches for a cheap meal. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)
Updated: February 19, 2013 3:05PM
The Ricketts family has made a deal to build a boutique hotel on the site of a McDonald’s restaurant and parking lot across from Wrigley Field, according to an announcement by Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide. But the hotel will happen only if the Cubs find a way to get public money to help renovate the historic ballpark.
“Once we know how we can save Wrigley Field, the Ricketts family is looking forward to the opportunity to build a hotel across the street,” said Ricketts family spokesman Dennis Culloton in the announcement.
Last spring, a deal that would have diverted $150 million of city amusement tax growth to the Cubs was torpedoed when Ricketts family patriarch Joe Ricketts considered funding a $10 million ad campaign attacking President Barack Obama. City Hall sources said that no serious progress for public financing has been made since.
The Cubs also need City Hall to relax the landmark rules for Wrigley to allow the owners to squeeze as much as $150 million in advertising and sponsorship revenues out of the stadium.
Ald. Tom Tunney (44th), whose ward includes Wrigley Field, said he’s all for the idea of a boutique hotel on the McDonald’s site.
“It’s been a requirement in our master plan for 10 years to have a hotel around there. It’s needed, not just for the Cubs season, but there’s also demand year-round from our residents and families,” Tunney said.
But, he added, “I want to see the plans and review it with the community.”
Other investors have proposed building a Hyatt hotel as part of a new eight-story building that would go up on Addison immediately south of the ballpark. The project by M&R Development LLC has been held up by financing.