Wrigley Field Restoration Update: Rooftop Owners File Lawsuit

Wrigley-71014According to multiple reports and as expected, eight members of the Wrigleyville Rooftop Association filed a lawsuit Thursday against the City of Chicago and the Commission on Chicago Landmarks to overturn the city’s approval of the team’s plan to expand, restore and renovate Wrigley Field. The lawsuit does not include the Chicago Cubs.

Crain’s Chicago Business reported the suit states “the city broke its own rules in approving the plan and effectively deprived them of the property rights without due process.” The eight club owners, which include about half of the rooftops “most affected by the proposed new signs”, asked a “judge to reverse the approval, an action that, if granted, almost certainly would bring the project to a screeching halt.”

Danny Ecker reported Thursday afternoon the Cubs are “still planning to move forward with renovation as of now, but if rooftops get injunction, things could come to a halt.” The negotiations between the Cubs and rooftops are ongoing.

Thomas Moore of Anderson & Moore PC filed the lawsuit that states the establishments “have suffered and will continue to suffer irreparable harm from the planned and imminent development, construction and operation of the Jumbotron, outfield signs and additional bleacher seats.”

According to the Tribune, “the plaintiffs allege that the [Landmarks] decision violates a 2004 contract the rooftop club owners signed with the Cubs that guaranteed their views into the ballpark in exchange for 17 percent of the clubs’ annual revenues.”

PrintCrain’s Chicago Business reported that the Cubs told the rooftop owners after receiving Landmarks Commission approval “they could either sell their businesses to the Cubs at a fraction of both cost and fair market value or have their businesses destroyed when the Cubs block their views.”

Representatives of the Cubs, the City and the Rooftop Club owners did not make public comments Thursday afternoon.

Cubs Making Changes to Wrigley Plan?

According to a report from the Tribune’s Blair Kamin, the Cubs are making additional changes to the Wrigley Field plan that was unanimously approved last month at the request of the Landmarks Commission.

The Cubs are “pressing” for the five additional outfield signs in addition to the video board in left field and the see-through sign in right field. The five additional signs (each would be a maximum of 650 square feet) would further block the views of the rooftops, even with the approved spacing in between each sign. Blair Kamin reported the fine print on the Cubs’ plans that he read “shows they could be conventional, opaque billboards, not see-through at all.”

Kamin’s report did not indicate what changes the Cubs have been asked to make to the approved plan.

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