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Lollapalooza, Private Funding Sought for Grant Park Skate Park

By Lizzie Schiffman Tufano | November 18, 2013 7:01am | Updated on November 18, 2013 7:44pm
 Preliminary drafts of a skate park in Grant Park near the Museum Campus.
Grant Park Skate Park Renderings
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Editors note: This story previously incorrectly stated the expected contribution from Lollapalooza.

SOUTH LOOP — Lollapalooza's organizers will chip in toward the cost of building a sleek 3-acre skate park and entertainment hub at the south end of Grant Park, said Bob O'Neill, president of the Grant Park Conservancy.

Funding will be raised privately to augment the $2.5 million in Near South TIF money already allotted to the project, O'Neill said at a Greater South Loop Association state of the neighborhood meeting on Saturday.

The project on the land bounded by 11th Street and Roosevelt Road, Michigan Avenue and Columbus Drive will include an obstacle course of ramps, rails and ledges and a projection screen and mini-amphitheater surrounded by landscaped hills.

"I talked to the main producer of Lollapalooza about funding that and perhaps working something out with one of his sponsors, because that is a direct hit in terms of their demographics," O'Neill said in July, as preparations were underway for Lollapalooza 2013. "They were very interested."

(Click on the photo above to see a slideshow of early renderings.)

Architecture firm Altamanu has been tapped to execute the project, working with a committee of Chicago skateboarders to optimize the design.

One South Loop resident questioned why O'Neill's Grant Park Conservancy made the skate park a priority.

"One: It's a growing sport," O'Neill said. "Two: We're trying to attract more young people to the city. Three: No city in the world actually has one in their front yard. And four: We want to activate Grant Park with a lot of different uses, and improve it."

New renderings will be presented at a community meeting later this week, O'Neill said.

Lollapalooza also contributed significantly to Maggie Daley Park, adjacent to the potential skate park site, which is set to open "right on schedule" in the spring of 2015, O'Neill said.

Contributions built in to Lollapalooza's new contract with Chicago amounting to $5 million will help fund the dog-friendly park set on 20 acres of green space.

Maggie Daley Park's $20 million price tag was funded largely by private donations.