Chicago’s Mayor Lori Lightfoot has floats five sites as possible locations for a casino in Chicago. The mayor office said on Wednesday. The five possible sites are all on the city’s South and West sides. The state-hired consultant will go to work on those sites to conduct an economic feasibility.
The consultant will present its findings to the state and city. The city officials have stressed that the five sites are not mandatory as other location could be considered as well. The officials have characterized the sites as test sites. The five sites are on the South and West sides.
The sites are Harborside location at 111th Street and the Bishop Ford Freeway, near the Pullman neighborhood; the former Michael Reese Hospital site at 31st Street and Cottage Grove Avenue; a site at Pershing Road and State Street, which is near Guaranteed Rate Field; the former U.S. Steel parcel, known as South Works, which is between 79th and 91st streets along South Lake Shore Drive; and the lone West Side site, at Roosevelt Road and Kostner Avenue.
The downtown sites are the notable absentees from the list. Real estate experts and newspaper columnists have branded sites like McCormick Place Lakeside Center and Navy Pier as possible casino locations. They have argued that if a casino is built downtown, it would maximize revenue and job creation. During her mayoral campaign, Lori Lightfoot had stressed for economic development for the city’s South and West sides.
Lightfoot has said in a prepared statement that, “While a Chicago casino has been talked about for more than 30 years, today we are moving forward to ensure the new casino is viable for Chicago and all of its communities.” Illinois General Assembly had given a go-ahead for an expansion of casino gambling to Chicago.