Chicago picks three finalists for transformative casino bids
The long-awaited Chicago casino this week took one step closer to reality after the city announced the three finalists for the project.
Why it matters: This will be the first casino in Chicago after decades of rejecting legalized gambling within city limits.
Details: The city says they will pick between three mega-development sites all proposing mixed-use living and entertainment venues, including:
- The Hard Rock at One Central: It would be just west of Lake Shore next to Soldier Field and McCormick Place. The mega-development has stalled since it asked taxpayers to foot the bill for a new train station, but a casino may make it easier for lawmakers to have that happen.
- Rivers at The 78: Located on the South Branch of the Chicago River, it would also include a new Red Line stop at 15th Street.
- Bally's at the Tribune publishing plant: Close to Lincoln Yards on the Near North Side, the site would include a 500-room hotel and remake the River West neighborhood near Halsted Street and Chicago Avenue.
The intrigue: The bid to retrofit the old Lakeside Center at McCormick Place did not make the final round.
What's next: The city says they will pick the winning bid in early summer. The plan would be to open a temporary casino in 2023-24 with the permanent space opening in 2025-26.
📣 Sound off: If this were your decision, which site would you pick? Take our poll and we'll publish the results next week.
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