7/19/2013 10:43 A.M. ET
Cubs a step closer to Wrigley renovations approval
Plan Commission OKs changes; zoning group, city council likely to follow suit
By Cash Kruth / MLB.com
The Chicago Plan Commission on Thursday approved the $500 million renovation project to and surrounding Wrigley Field, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.
The plan, which will update the 99-year-old ballpark, also will develop land around Wrigley Field. The Sun-Times reported the city council and its zoning committee are expected to approve the development next week.
Thursday's approval came after a surprising change of stance by Alderman Tom Tunney, who earlier this week questioned the plans for the area surrounding the ballpark.
Among the most controversial were issues with a hotel across from Wrigley Field and a pedestrian bridge connecting the hotel to the ballpark. The Sun-Times reported a decision on the hotel beer garden has been "deferred" and the building's entrance, while still on Patterson Street, will be closer to Clark Street than originally planned.
Perhaps the biggest issue was the bridge, which the team is "seriously considering" enclosing after Tunney raised concern about fans throwing things from the bridge.
Although there will definitely be a bridge, the consideration of enclosing it was enough for Tunney to drop any issues.
"Through months of negotiations and discussions, we now have arrived at the point where I have no objections to this project," Tunney told the newspaper.
The Cubs also were pleased to put this step of the renovation project behind them.
"This has been a long time getting here," Cubs spokesman Julian Green told the newspaper. "But today, we were able to hold hands with the city, the alderman … and the community. We were glad to have his support."