McCormick, Navy Pier Get Reboot as Part of Elevate Chicago

 Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - BusinessMayor Rahm Emanuel, the Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority and Navy Pier announced Elevate Chicago, an ambitious tourism and tradeshow infrastructure redevelopment program. This program will bring to bear nearly $640 million in new investments, which will combine with $470 million of recently announced investments will become a $1.1 billion program that will create 10,000 construction jobs, 3,700 permanent jobs, and hundreds of millions of dollars in economic growth annually. The program initially features two major components: creation of a McCormick Place entertainment district and the redevelopment of Navy Pier so the popular attraction will draw even more visitors and elevate it to a world-class destination.

The McCormick Place entertainment district will boost the city’s convention and trade show industry and create a unique urban entertainment experience. It will include a 10,000-seat events center serving as a general session hall for conventions and trade shows, a multi-purpose events facility available for use by various organizations, and a home court for DePaul men’s and women’s basketball. The events center will be used by the City of Chicago and its sister agencies will be able to utilize the facility rent-free. These uses might include Chicago Public Schools events, such as athletic contests or graduations, as well as events from other City organizations.

The Navy Pier redevelopment calls for redesign of the Pier’s public and commercial spaces as it nears its 100th anniversary. The redesign will include an expansion of the Chicago Children’s Museum, the creation of additional dining and entertainment venues, and extensive improvement to the Pier’s physical infrastructure to increase visitors to the attraction. The estimated design and construction cost of the event center is $140 million. MPEA and DePaul will each contribute half of the cost to design and build the arena. The MPEA will oversee construction and manage the building.

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