FESTIVAL MARKETPLACE - MCCORMICK PLACE
The view from McCormick Place is spectacular. It overlooks Lake Michigan, Burnham Harbor, Meigs Field, and downtown Chicago. Incredibly, the Lake side of the building is a truck loading dock! The visitor never sees the Lake and cannot enjoy the sailboats, airplanes, and bicyclists maneuvering along the stunning park and harbor.
The location is ideal for a Festival marketplace. Conventioneers and local citizens could eat overlooking the lake and harbor, shop in boutiques, and enjoy the vista. They would spend a substantial amount of money and thoroughly enjoy our City.
Existing dining facilities are limited and not what a world class city should offer. Most waterfront cities have dining facilities on the water. We are an exception. The festival marketplace would attract local citizens who would enjoy eating and relaxing next to the Lake. Our model for this development is the Baltimore Harborfront, which turned a underused area into the best part of City. The Festival Marketplace would achieve the same success.
The Festival marketplace with "Restaurant Row" will be a tremendous asset to McCormick Place and the City of Chicago. Restaurant Row could be constructed below the existing roof, or just below the existing building, or above the truck loading docks. The development would be a public/ private endeavor to tax expenditures low. The facility would provide a substantial revenue to entrepreneurs and to the City, and make conventions more pleasant.
PANEs (People Against Nearly Everything) will automatically oppose any lakeside development. But McCormick Place exists. The location is stunning. The replacement of a truck loading dock with an attractive amenity would greatly enhance the city.
Restaurant Row would enhance Chicago and improve its attractiveness for future conventions. It would provide additional revenue to the city. New business opportunities would be created. It would provide a place for Chicagoans to dine overlooking the Lake. It requires vision to make it a reality. It should be built.