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Cubs Victory Delayed Wrigley Work, But Plaza Will Be Ready In April: Team

By Ariel Cheung | November 16, 2016 3:00pm
 The third year of Wrigley Field offseason renovations include finishing the triangle plaza and digging out space for premiere clubs under the ballpark.
Wrigley Field Renovations Kick Off Third Year
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WRIGLEY FIELD — Wrigley Field renovations are only just starting up again, but the Chicago Cubs certainly aren't complaining.

The third year of offseason renovations in the massive overhaul known as the "1060 Project" had to wait for the Cubs to finish their season — and that meant waiting until November as the Cubs stormed to their first World Series since 1908.

What lies ahead could include fierce winter weather, which could hamper plans. That's what happened back in the 2014-15 offseason, forcing some work to spill into the season.

But it's full steam ahead now that the Cubs are on their postseason victory tour and the weather is cooperating.

Completing the office building at Waveland Avenue and Clark Street is the top priority, as the club hopes to move its operations from up the street by March. The other big-ticket item, the so-called triangle plaza, will be ready for the Cubs' home opener April 10, officials said.

The office building will include several ground-level restaurants and other retail, although tenants have not been announced. Across the street, Big Star, Smoke Daddy BBQ and two other Chicago eateries will open inside the under-construction Hotel Zachary.

The Cubs office building, seen here on Oct. 17, will be completed early next year, with several restaurants opening on the ground floor. [DNAinfo/Ariel Cheung]

Work is already underway digging the foundation for the hotel, which will occupy the northwest corner of Clark and Addison, where the Cubs Store and a McDonald's were demolished earlier this year.

Hotel Zachary won't open until early 2018, so fans won't be booking rooms for the 2017 season.

RELATED: Here's A First Look At Plans For The New Hotel Across From Wrigley Field

Similarly, the American Airlines 1914 Club will take two years to build behind Wrigley Field's home plate. It will be the first of four premiere club experiences that will roll out by 2020.

Already, the Cubs have removed seats from the ballpark to dig into the foundation and make room for the clubs. Don't worry, though — new, cozier seats will be back in place behind home plate in time for Opening Day 2017, a spokesman said.

The American Airlines 1914 Club will offer a VIP experience for fans starting Opening Day 2018. [Provided/Chicago Cubs]

Meanwhile, the famed outdoor bullpens along the foul lines will be moved under the bleachers, ending the era of relief pitchers casually chatting with fans in the outfield during games. 

The pitching mounds will be leveled off — a welcome relief for outfielders and infielders chasing foul pop flies. Four new rows of premium seats will be built along the foul lines.

Concession kiosks behind home plate near Gate F will also get upgrades, although that work will continue during the 2017 baseball season, as will work on the 1914 Club.

RELATED: Wrigley Field's Famed Foul-Line Bullpens Enter Their Final Innings

On Addison Street, stucco panels have been removed and will be replaced in the final phase of the facade restoration that began last year.

As such, the sidewalk has been blocked off to make room for the construction work. Across the street, developers of the separate Addison & Clark project are erecting enclosed walkways on the south side of Addison to allow pedestrian access.

Unlike last year, Sheffield and Waveland avenues will be open to pedestrians and vehicles, although the walk way on the south side of Waveland is still blocked.

From outside the ballpark, the 2016-17 renovations might not seem as extensive as last year, when virtually every piece of steel was replaced and the historic Wrigley Field marquee was removed for restoration and video board upgrades.

RELATED: Wrigley Field Marquee Is Back Up ... With A Big Video Board Under It

Last year's work also included a new clubhouse for the team, while visitors like the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Cleveland Indians were stuck in the worst visitors clubhouse in Major League Baseball.

Officials said the visiting team's batting tunnel will be rebuilt this year.

This year's renovations at Wrigley Field are already estimated to cost $78 million, according to city building permits. However, additional permits will likely be filed through the offseason, adding to the cost.

RELATED: 'Majestic' New Wrigley Field Greets Cubs For 2016 Home Opener

Foundation and ground-level work on Hotel Zachary and building the relocated Cubs Store cost an additional $10 million, city records show.

Hotel Zachary is expected to open in early 2018 and will become host to restaurants from the groups behind some of the city's best-known restaurants. [Provided/Hickory Street Capital]

In 2015, Wrigley Field renovations cost an estimated $41 million, including work during the 2015 baseball season on the then-unfinished Budweiser Bleachers, video boards and caretaker's house.

The entire 1060 Project, including Hotel Zachary, is expected to cost about $750 million and take five years, officials have said.

 

The Cubs and Wrigley Field are 95 percent owned by an entity controlled by a trust established for the benefit of the family of Joe Ricketts, owner and CEO of DNAinfo.com. Joe Ricketts has no direct involvement in the management of the iconic team.

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