SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax      Advertise Here      Mobile Version     Exclusive Subscriber Content     Updated Posts    Contact
To subscribe to Capitol Fax, click here.
*** UPDATED x1 *** Big McCormick Place deal in works while Chicago retiree health care subsidies cut

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

* The Sun-Times initially broke the story about a mega-project near McCormick Place that would house DePaul’s basketball team, two major hotels and possibly a new casino

Mayor Rahm Emanuel is expected to announce this week plans for a $300 million 12,000-seat arena for DePaul University at McCormick Place — a proposal that will call for millions in taxpayer dollars, sources tell the Chicago Sun-Times.

The mayor will also announce plans to build two mega hotels on McPier property in the hopes of aggressively growing convention and meeting business in Chicago. […]

“If I was a betting person, I would say McCormick Place is where you’re going to find a Chicago casino,” said an official who has taken part in development discussions. “I would guarantee you that’s where it’s going.” […]

A source with knowledge of the proposal said one of the mega hotels is slated for the site directly north of McCormick Place between Indiana Street and Prairie Avenue. The other would be on the north side of Cermak Road, which is owned by Centerpoint, a huge industrial real estate property owner, sources say. The west side of McCormick Place, near Cermak, is the area tentatively being considered for the arena.

Sources familiar with the plan said the city would attempt to sell the proposal as not just a basketball arena for DePaul but as a place to attract mid-size convention shows that are too small for McCormick Place and too large for Navy Pier. […]

Gov. Pat Quinn is ruling out any direct infusion of money from the state budget.

“We’re not discussing any scenarios where there would be direct state support. That’s not something the state can afford right now,” said Brooke Anderson, a Quinn spokeswoman said.

* Deets from the Trib

The facility would be partly funded with $125 million in public money — $55 million in special taxing district funds and $70 million in McPier bond funds supported by hotel taxes, a second source familiar with the deal said. DePaul University would chip in another $70 million, the source said. […]

Emanuel spoke with Illinois House GOP leader Tom Cross and told him the project would require state legislation so that McPier bond funds and city tax increment financing funds could be directed toward it, a spokeswoman for Cross said.

House Speaker Michael Madigan said he’s talked “a little bit, not a lot” with the mayor about the proposed project and said it’s uncertain what action the legislature might need to take to make it happen.

“It is certainly worthy of consideration because it’d be a huge construction project, but we’d like to get the details,” Madigan said.

* Meanwhile

Chicago will phase out its 55 percent subsidy for retiree health care by January 2017 but continue that coverage for the oldest retirees, under a mayoral plan that will free taxpayers from a $108.7 million a year burden. Thirty thousand retired city employees will be forced to switch to Obamacare.

“With an increasing retiree population, earlier retirement ages and longer life spans, the ability of the city to continue to provide these benefits is totally untenable,” City Comptroller Amer Ahmad told the Chicago Sun-Times on Tuesday.

“It’s far too expensive and could have an adverse impact on our credit worthiness and add a significant long-term liability to the city’s financials,” he said. “This is just a number that continues to grow over the years. We have to be financially responsible.”

*** UPDATE *** From AFSCME…

“AFSCME is gravely concerned that the Emanuel Administration has offered no details except to say non-Medicare retirees will have to seek private insurance through an exchange that hasn’t yet been launched. This uncertainty will cause anxiety and fear for tens of thousands of seniors who gave their working lives to public service—men and women whose retirement savings are already under attack in the name of ‘pension reform.’

“Our union will be working to get answers to our many questions, to ensure the City Council closely oversees the administration’s proposals, and to protect access to affordable health care for city retirees now and in the future.”

* Other stuff…

* Quinn on new FedEx facility: Best way to help people is with a j-o-b

* Illinois adds tech jobs ahead of national rate

* Mexican official pitches business in Chicago

* Illinois passes law to make Busch divest beer distributorship

* Craft beer’s conundrum

* Illinois House Passes ‘Homeless Bill of Rights’

* Voluntary school merger bill goes to Quinn: The measure comes out of Lt. Gov. Sheila Simon’s Classrooms First Commission, which studied ways for schools to save money by reducing duplicative practices and combining educational offerings.

* Allegedly drunk limo driver prompts House bill to boost DUI penalties: The proposal, sponsored by House Republican leader Tom Cross (R-Oswego) and Rep. Dennis Reboletti (R-Elmhurst) comes in response to limo driver Richard Madison taking 23 Oswego East High School students to their prom in Glen Ellyn last weekend while allegedly driving with a blood alcohol level that was three times the legal limit.

* Senate OKs bill for arrested 17-year-olds to be sent to juvenile court

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Plutocrat03 - Wednesday, May 15, 13 @ 12:11 pm:

    What a bunch of hooey. If there is no money to pay the promised health care subsidies, then there should be no public participation for yet another arena in Chicago.

    There seems to be a double standard here. White Sox get $$, Cubs don’t, DePaul gets $$ and in the face of the international convention business declining, the city wants to double down and pin their hopes on another expansion? Sheesh.

    Let these plans go forward on private money. The city is already having to rob Peter to pay Paul with the current Pier bonding responsibilities.

    How may times can they back the wrong horse before common sense prevails.

  2. - wordslinger - Wednesday, May 15, 13 @ 12:14 pm:

    The spin on this is hilarious. Who is actually supposed to believe that this has anything to do with DePaul basketball?

    $300 million for 18 games for the former doormat of the Big East? At Mac Place — even harder to reach than Rosemont for students without cars? When they can play at the United Center for free?

    What’s the point of the obfuscation? It’s an entertainment complex — concerts, boxing, musicals, etc.,– linked to a casino.

    It’s laughable — except to Donald Trump who would love that casino to fill up his empty ground floors.

  3. - Billy - Wednesday, May 15, 13 @ 12:20 pm:

    Wait till the state gets rid of the state’s subsidy for health insurance for retirees. Makes you want to think twice about accepting Cullerton’s choice pension plan, for health insurance from the state. Think we might be better off taking the COLA and saying no to health insurance from the state if it becomes law!

  4. - hisgirlfriday - Wednesday, May 15, 13 @ 12:24 pm:


    This mayor cuts off free water to the Catholic church and all city charities, supposedly for the sake of Chicago taxpayers, and then decides to use tax money to build a basketball arena for a Catholic university’s basketball team, despite that team already having a perfectly fine arena in Rosemont and offered 10 years rent-free usage of the United Center?

    This mayor adamantly refuses tax support for renovations at one of the top tourist attractions in the state of Illinois and the historically and culturally significant Wrigley Field, apparently not on principle but for other reasons, because he’s going to pour Chicago tax money into a sporting arena for a private college’s basketball team that hardly anyone in the city care about?

    This mayor is going to close dozens upon dozens of public high schools on the claim that there isn’t money to support them, and then use the TIF money he skimmed off the top of the public school financing base to support a private university’s athletic department?

    This mayor is pushing for state legislation to allow taxpayer funds to go toward building a brand new basketball arena for a private Catholic university that already has a 17,500-seat arena built in 1980 at the same time that the state’s flagship public university and most popular basketball program, the University of Illinois, is completely on its own in coming up with funds to finance a renovation of their basketball arena opened in 1963?

    The juxtaposition of taxpayer funds for this arena and shafting of Chicago retirees is troubling, but man there are stories for days of all the ways this decision is wrong and hypocritical and disgusting.

    Also, who are the clouted developers who own the land around McCormick Place that would be the location of this arena and new hotel complex? And is this some kind of bailout of all the land speculators who popped up around the Chicago 2016 Olympics bid? I sure would like to know.

  5. - Thomas paine - Wednesday, May 15, 13 @ 12:26 pm:

    Wordslinger, agree with you on everything you said but the travel. Red line from Fullerton to Chinatown and 5 block walk….just did it for comic-con no problem.

  6. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, May 15, 13 @ 12:27 pm:

    Thomas paine, you can also take the electric train from Michigan and Randolph right to McCormick Place.

  7. - Chavez-respecting Obamist - Wednesday, May 15, 13 @ 12:35 pm:

    What a sleazeball. I’m already on board with voting Republican just to get this Republican out of office.

  8. - wordslinger - Wednesday, May 15, 13 @ 12:38 pm:

    TP, you’re right. You can also take the Blue Line to River Road and buses are waiting to take you right to Allstate. And Rich is correct about the electric line.

    My point is, Mac Place is being spun as being easier for students at the Lincoln Park campus to get to games. It’s not impossible, but it’s not easier.

    Again, the United Center is offering 10 years rent-free for DePaul. And that’s closer than either Allstate or Mac Place to the Lincoln Park campus, if any of this had anything to do with DePaul basketball.

  9. - siriusly - Wednesday, May 15, 13 @ 1:00 pm:

    I like the idea. DePaul shouldn’t be playing in the suburbs. Maybe thsi plan is a mega plex and has not as much to do with DePaul basketball - but still I like it. More amenities, more conventions, more jobs, more economic activity in Chicago, more revenues. I think it would be good for the economy and a relatively small capital investment to make.

  10. - wordslinger - Wednesday, May 15, 13 @ 1:07 pm:

    I would think any big new development around Mac Place would mean the oldest building — Lakeside Center — comes down.

    It’s a white elephant with loads of deferred maintenance and cannot compete with the glut of convention space around the country.

    But it’s prime real estate. My guess is that’s your casino site.

  11. - carbaby - Wednesday, May 15, 13 @ 1:29 pm:

    I travel in that neighborhood several times a month to the DCFS builing on Indiana and have for the last 18 years. I can’t see the people who live in that area would really want this- that would completely take away why people chose to move to the South Loop area. It’s already a challenge to park over there. I have noticed in the last few weeks a lot of construction. So perhaps they are already beginning to clear the way. I can’t see the State being able to stay there much longer. I see the lease rates taking quite a considerable jump.
    wordslinger and hisgirlfriday- I completely agree

  12. - anon - Wednesday, May 15, 13 @ 1:39 pm:

    Secular Sports Team- No way we give you public money to help maintain an internationally known landmark

    Religious-affiliated Sports team- Sure, here’s some public money to build a generic new basketball stadium.

  13. - Robert the Bruce - Wednesday, May 15, 13 @ 1:41 pm:

    Building the casino as close as possible to the convention center thankfully is still the plan. Might as well gobble up out-of-state folks’ money, a big change from Illinois residents’ money going to Indiana casinos.

    But city-developed and city owned? Oh my, Chicago may be corrupt/stupid enough to actually manage to lose money ultimately on this deal.

    Also, what’s in it for DePaul? If the source is right, is $70M a good price for a new arena vs. their option of 10 years rent-free at UC? Or are they getting something back from Mayor Emanuel completely separate from this deal?

    btw, this new location is not less convenient for Lincoln Park DePaul students. The Blue line (to Rosemont to shuttle or walk up River Road) doesn’t stop within an easy walk from DePaul’s campus. Public transportation-wise, this new proposed location is similar to getting to the United Center from Lincoln Park - slightly more miles, but with no transfer. But this new location isn’t hugely more convenient; I can’t imagine this will really do much to boost attendance. A better team would. Maybe the city could hire some friends and relatives of the top Chicago-area hs basketball prospects.

  14. - wordslinger - Wednesday, May 15, 13 @ 1:49 pm:

    I wonder how DePaul spins ponying up $100 million for a stadium at McCormick Place, given that they have a rent-free offer at United Center? Students paying at least $33,000 in tuition might want to know.

    Maybe they can get a business professor to explain that one.

    DePaul averaged about 7,500 fans last year at 16 games at Allstate. That ain’t exactly Cameron Crazies. What’s the ROI at Mac Place?

    Not all the cards are on the table yet. My guess is they’d be in the entertainment business linked to the casino.

  15. - Robert the Bruce - Wednesday, May 15, 13 @ 1:54 pm:

    It is only $70M from DePaul, wordslinger, not $100M. Or maybe you are baking in an estimate of the eventual inevitable cost overrun (though that would probably make the $70M more like $140-$210M)?

  16. - wordslinger - Wednesday, May 15, 13 @ 2:03 pm:

    Robert, Sun-Times had $100 million. I guess we’ll find out eventually. I don’t know that the soft rollout is going so well, though.

  17. - wordslinger - Wednesday, May 15, 13 @ 2:18 pm:

    Is any public money needed at all in relation to the development of the sole casino in Chicago — especially if done in conjunction with a convention center’s captive market?

    Money is pouring into the stock market, junk bonds and IPOs chasing returns. Why can’t this just be a private deal? So politicians can claim they’re “creating jobs?”

  18. - Will Caskey - Wednesday, May 15, 13 @ 2:22 pm:

    Relative to labor press releases this is pretty low on a scale of “meh” to “WARRRRRRR!”

  19. - Anonymous - Wednesday, May 15, 13 @ 3:12 pm:

    I know someone who knows about the details of the arena proposal. One of the things that these stories are missing is that the offer from the United Center wasn’t exactly “free.” Operating costs, for example, were projected at about $250,000 annually. Additionally, the United Center would retain all revenues from parking, concessions, catering and ticket and suite sales. De Paul receives money for all of those at the All State Arena.

    Finally, the United Center couldn’t guarantee practice time for De Paul or its opponents before games. There was no provision for the women’s basketball team to use the facility,or for graduation ceremonies or other uses. So the United Center offer was basically for 18 men’s basketball games and nothing else.

    I’m not nuts about the city proposal but thought these other facts would add to the big picture.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

* Question of the day
* I don't think this is gonna work as planned
* More like this, please
* Rauner doesn't escape this time
* One of the best ads of 2016
* Asbestos lawyers launch high-dollar ad campaign in appellate race
* Back to the drawing board
* Proft on GOP, Trump and Madigan
* As usual, the blowhard walks it back
* Kirk taking page from Trump debate playbook
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Supplement to today’s edition
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Today's edition of Capitol Fax (use all CAPS in password)
* Yesterday's blog posts

Visit our advertisers...






Search This Blog...

Search the 98th General Assembly By Bill Number
(example: HB0001)

Search the 98th General Assembly By Keyword

* Apple Announces Universal TV App for 'Unified TV Experience'
* Apple opens up October event with focus on accessibility, iPhone 7 photos, Apple TV
* Minecraft is Coming to Apple TV by the End of the Year
* UberEATS fires up surge pricing for deliveries in some U.S. cities
* Microsoft Surface Studio, Windows 10, & Surface Book Event Highlights (Video)
* Could LG Pay have MST? It could appear on G6
* LG V20 Real Camera Review: 2 sensors, 3 mics, and a ton of control

* One possible White Sox future playing out in Toronto
* pnoles' offseason plan
* Three times the 2005 White Sox never happened on Monday
* White Sox developing promising OF prospects
* Josh Nelson's Offseason Plan
* Podcast: 2016 White Sox Outfield Review
* mikecws91's Offseason Plan


Main Menu
Pundit rankings
Subscriber Content
Blagojevich Trial
Updated Posts

October 2016
September 2016
August 2016
July 2016
June 2016
May 2016
April 2016
March 2016
February 2016
January 2016
December 2015
November 2015
October 2015
September 2015
August 2015
July 2015
June 2015
May 2015
April 2015
March 2015
February 2015
January 2015
December 2014
November 2014
October 2014
September 2014
August 2014
July 2014
June 2014
May 2014
April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
September 2013
August 2013
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
January 2013
December 2012
November 2012
October 2012
September 2012
August 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
January 2012
December 2011
November 2011
October 2011
September 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
March 2011
February 2011
January 2011
December 2010
November 2010
October 2010
September 2010
August 2010
July 2010
June 2010
May 2010
April 2010
March 2010
February 2010
January 2010
December 2009
November 2009
October 2009
September 2009
August 2009
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009
April 2009
March 2009
February 2009
January 2009
December 2008
November 2008
October 2008
September 2008
August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
December 2007
November 2007
October 2007
September 2007
August 2007
July 2007
June 2007
May 2007
April 2007
March 2007
February 2007
January 2007
December 2006
November 2006
October 2006
September 2006
August 2006
July 2006
June 2006
May 2006
April 2006
March 2006
February 2006
January 2006
December 2005
April 2005
March 2005
February 2005
January 2005
December 2004
November 2004
October 2004

Blog*Spot Archives
November 2005
October 2005
September 2005
August 2005
July 2005
June 2005
May 2005


RSS Feed 2.0
Comments RSS 2.0


* AFSCME leaders rejected offer of bereavement le.....
* Rauner Raises Awareness Of Breast Cancer; Criti.....
* Meet the man most likely to raise your taxes in.....
* Rauner's Facebook Live session on breast cancer.....

* Death of asthmatic teen who saw shooting ruled homicide
* Prof gives free pass to student who ditched class for Series
* Altria to close 2 tobacco facilities affecting 580 workers
* Some Cook County suburbs not happy with $13 minimum wage law
* Ex-officer asks for disability pay after fatal shooting
* Springfield panhandling laws heading to federal mediation
* WWI-era grenade found in woods behind house in Yorkville
* Oil pipeline protesters brace for confrontation with police
* Illini start sports Hall of Fame, Dick Butkus in 1st class
* Bob Zondor of northwest Indiana is a true Cubs Ambassador

* Bobcat hunting opponents seek permits, won't use them
* Opponents emerge against Illinois road fund ballot question
* Feds end lease with Illinois for state park, citing neglect
* Statehouse Insider: Tomorrow's a new day; in Illinois, that may not be good
* Cook County lawyer who posed as judge criminally charged
* 1,100 non-union state workers getting $3,016 bonuses
* Springfield veteran honored for volunteer work
* Central Illinois soldier killed in Afghanistan
* Rauner administration awarding more than $3 million in bonuses to non-union workers
* SIU injury-prevention program reinstated through stopgap budget

* Why buyers are paying more for small local manufacturers
* Twitter is shutting down its Vine video app
* Some Cook County suburbs not happy with $13 minimum wage law
* Gannett mum on its Tronc bid
* To applause and boos, Kerry urges Trans-Pacific Partnership passage

* Wrigleyville residents ordered to move their cars off streets
* Dwyane Wade feeling good about season start and his LeBron bet
* NW Indiana man shot to death in Calumet City
* Read Options: How will Leonard Floyd follow up his breakout game?
* Firm cited after worker killed during first day on job in Monee
* Police: Tinley Park 8th-grader posted video threatening students
* The power of words still resonates with GZA
* Take 2: What to make of Bears’ struggling pass defense?
* Death of teen who had asthma attack after shooting ruled homicide
* Unclaimed $100K lottery ticket expires next month

* Police believe shooting deaths of 2 men in Goose Island neighborhood are related
* Man imprisoned for murder to be freed after conviction tossed
* Man charged with attempted murder of officers during Joliet drug sting
* Wheaton rejects idea of allowing chickens in backyards
* Family dog killed in Geneva house fire
* Hillary Clinton wins Maine South High School mock election
* Secret recordings by a kidnapped celeb couple reveal much about Kim Jong Il and North Korea
* Bayless receives Julia Child award tonight
* Kristin Cavallari to be black cat for Halloween, day of Cutler return
* How to navigate your way to and from Wrigleyville during Cubs' World Series

The widget AQL4JYGHIY powered by Feed Informer does not exist.

* Our View: U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis deserves third term
* John Bouman: We all suffer from Illinois' budget crisis
* Eugene Robinson: Hillary Clinton is blazing a momentous trail
* George Will: Republican Party needs to revert to nominating Republicans
* Bernard Schoenburg: 9 on Sangamon County Board opt out of pension system
* Bobcat hunting opponents seek permits, won't use them
* Opponents emerge against Illinois road fund ballot question
* Our Opinion: LaHood endorsed in 18th Congressional District
* Leroy Jordan: Race Riot site must be preserved, taught to students
* E.J. Dionne: Trump is not a GOP aberration

* United Way loses its ranking as America's largest charity
* 10-27-16 Jim Turpin on The Art of Robert Zupkee @uiaa @illinifootball @illiniathletics
* Noon update: Baseball movies, bad horror flicks, Hayden Fry and Cubs photos
* Two suspects in drug operation with alleged ties to shooting of Carbondale officer plead not guilty to charges
* Two men sought after holdup at Urbana store
* Clarissa Cook: 10 years of serving life
* Dorothy Garvis waits for her call
* Daily Digest 10/27/16
* Iraqi forces find IS bomb factory, tunnels near Mosul
* Post-election unity? Clinton, Trump won't say yet

* Public invited to share thoughts on Buffalo Grove Police Department
* Hoffman Estates presents 'Meatballs-N-Mozart' Nov. 10 at Sears Centre
* New Dunkin' Donuts in Carol Stream
* Palatine police Drug Take-Back Day a success
* How Glenbard South closed enrollment gaps in AP classes

* House lawmakers overcome hurdle on key tra...
* Rodney Davis talks funding with Bloomingto...
* The agency that fought Illiana gets a new ...
* Rep. Dold takes educational cruise down Ch...
* Lawmakers decry high turnover rate of VA h...
* CBD Oil, and politics
* Simon considering state Senate bid
* Killer Congressman Tom MacArthur trying to...
* Shutdown? State may not notice
* Rep. Bob Dold

* Head Start, Early Head Start programs to r......
* US Senate-Elect -

* Kirk, Duckworth meet for first televised S......
* Kirk, Duckworth meet for first televised S......
* Kirk, Duckworth meet for first televised S......

* Cartoon Of The Day
* Windy City Aldermen Talk Municipal Budget, Chicago Cubs At Panel Discussion
* You're Invited To The Grand Re-Opening Party For Buena Park Circle This Sunday
* Wilson Avenue Closed Daily Wednesday-Saturday Next Week
* EXTRA: Somebody’s been listening to too much Charlton Heston lately
* Bucktown Felon Arrested After Mugging Woman At Knifepoint, Resisting Arrest (Updated)
* October Trash Movie Night Is A Halloween Double Feature At Fat Cat -- Tonight!
* Cartoon of the Day - 10/25/16 Trump toon
* City Club Of Chicago Budget Panel
* For those interested in write-in candidates....

* Don’t be a Ghoul, Don’t Drink and Drive - Police throughout Illinois step up patrols for Halloween weekend
* Honoring Illinois' Fallen - United States and State flags at half-staff from Sunrise, Saturday, October 29, 2016 until Sunset, Monday, October 31, 2016.
* 25th Annual HIV/STD Conference - Celebrating Success, Shaping the Future - Sexually Transmitted Diseases increase while HIV decreases
* Workers’ Comp Commission Updates Technology at No Cost to Taxpayer - Another step in Rauner Administration’s modernization of state government
* Governor’s Children’s Cabinet Makes Lead Poisoning Prevention A Priority - October 23-30, 2016 - National Lead Poisoning Prevention Week

      Hosted by MCS SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax Advertise Here Mobile Version Contact Rich Miller