Bally’s Corporation has gotten the green light from Chicago officials for its new hotel design. The Rhode Island-based company is getting ready to start development on the city’s first casino and was dealt a setback when changes had to be made to the original plans because of concerns over underlying water pipes. The hope is that construction work will start in July; the first phase will include a permanent casino and a 100-room hotel.
new plan did not need approval from the City Council
Bally’s originally planned to build an additional 400-room hotel on top as part of phase two before the water pipe issues came to light. The new plan did not need approval from the City Council – the facility will be built on the southern part of the site, rather than on the north end close to the Chicago River.
Some concerns from locals
A spokesperson for Bally’s welcomed the decision by City Zoning Administrator Patrick Murphey to approve the plan on Thursday. The spokesperson noted that the new design is fully compliant with all requirements and maintains the exact same floor area ratio as when the company first outlined its intentions. The change in design will not impact the timeline for starting construction.
Not everyone is happy with the changes. The River North Residents Association has consistently battled against the casino project since the beginning over traffic and public safety fears. It believes the recent revisions need a transparent and complete review that would include input from the community.
Recent results of the temporary casino
The temporary casino that Bally’s set up at Medinah Temple while the development work takes place has fallen short of expectations so far.
third in the rankings of the 16 Illinois casinos
It reported a $9.3m profit for last month, putting it third in the rankings of the 16 Illinois casinos. This means that $913,000 in tax revenue will go to fire and police pensions. Mayor Brandon Johnson was hoping the casino would generate $35m in tax revenue in 2024.
It also had over 88,000 visits, placing it only behind Rivers Casino in the rankings. Bally’s is hoping to improve results by offering more bus and shuttle routes, introducing valet parking, and opening VIP areas.
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