Skyscraper City Forum banner
1 - 2 of 2 Posts

·
Banned
Joined
·
9,194 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Park District floats plans for 3 harbors
$120 million project seen as boon for city's Olympic bid

By Noreen S. Ahmed-Ullah
Tribune staff reporter
Published June 13, 2007

Hoping to secure the 2016 Olympics and find space for more boaters, the Chicago Park District is putting efforts to build two -- and possibly three -- new harbors on the fast track.

It's the first time since 2000 that a new harbor would be built in the city, where Park District officials say 500 boaters are waiting for slips.

E-mail this story

Printable format

Search archives

**RSS


Graphic


Chicago Harbors at a glance
June 13, 2007


Harboring an Olympic quest
June 13, 2007



Related News
from the Web
• Outdoor Recreation
• Boating
Powered by Topix.net

The new marinas near Navy Pier, 31st Street and at the site of the former USX steel mill in South Shore would add 2,230 new slips to the city and cost more than $120 million, according to park officials. Chicago currently has nine harbors with a total of 5,100 slips.

The 31st Street harbor has been proposed as the site for Olympic sailing competitions.

Parks officials said Tuesday that they are forging ahead with a financial analysis to determine whether they can pay for the construction of the harbors. They plan to issue bonds to pay for the project, which would be repaid with mooring fees.

"We're not going to build something that can't support itself," said Park District Supt. Tim Mitchell, adding that there's still a waiting list for slips despite the opening of DuSable Harbor seven years ago.

"We know two of these will absolutely work," Mitchell said.

In addition to sorting out financing, parks officials have to clear the projects with federal regulators and hold public hearings. If approved, construction could begin on at least two of the harbors in 2009.

The proposals will be discussed at Wednesday's park board meeting.

The 31st Street location, a potential Olympic site, would include about 830 new slips and require adding a new breakwater south of the existing beach pier.

"The 31st Street harbor is good news for us," said Patrick Sandusky, spokesman for Chicago 2016. "It's one of the things that will help our chances as we move forward to a 2009 decision."

Officials estimate that it will cost $42 million for a new harbor with a multi-use facility for boaters and the public at the 31st Street site.

The Navy Pier location, at what is popularly known as Dime Pier, is being proposed for larger boats and transient boaters -- people sailing into Chicago from around the Great Lakes and beyond. In May, the Park District swapped land with the city to create a harbor at Dime Pier, which runs parallel to the south side of Navy Pier.

With up to 400 slips and concession and comfort stations for boaters, the new harbor, called Chicago Gateway Harbor, has been priced at about $24 million. In the event the city lands the Olympics, the harbor could also be used to moor boats from Monroe Harbor, a proposed Olympic venue for rowing competitions.

"In the business of boating, it is location, location, location," said Ned Dikmen, chairman of Great Lakes Boating Federation. "I know they will fill faster than the speed of light."

The location near 87th Street would help spark a much-needed revitalization of the South Shore, officials said. The USX mill was closed in 1992 and the Park District has been discussing for some time the need to build a harbor there. They also hope to build a new causeway at the harbor that would lead to a new park on a small peninsula.

A harbor would add approximately 1,000 new slips to the system and be the most expensive of the projects at up to $58 million. The financial analysis will help park officials determine if boaters are willing to travel that far south of downtown or if there's enough interest from boaters in neighboring Indiana and the South Side to make the harbor viable.

Erma Tranter, president of the Friends of the Parks, said additional green space should also be included in plans for the new harbors.

Tuesday's announcement comes after a harbor study commissioned by the Park District in 2005. The consultants, JJR LLC, a Michigan planning and design firm, led more than 19 community meetings trying to narrow sites for future marinas.

After the city embarked on its bid for the Olympics, parks officials waited for nearly a year to release the study because they wanted to see if the new harbors could potentially become venues for the Game

In all, JJR is proposing four new sites for harbors, with the fourth just east of DuSable Harbor adding 500 slips.

Rob Rejman, the Park District's director of lakefront construction, hopes to soon begin designs and preliminary engineering on at least two of the new harbors and start the process to get permits by the end of the year. He hopes to open the harbors in 2010.

E-mail this story

Printable format

Search archives

**RSS


Graphic


Chicago Harbors at a glance
June 13, 2007


Harboring an Olympic quest
June 13, 2007



Related News
from the Web
• Outdoor Recreation
• Boating
Powered by Topix.net

By then, the Park District will be able to inform slip-owners in the new harbors if they need to move to another harbor because of the Olympics. Mitchell believes some owners may opt to stay in the 31st Street harbor because of their front-row seats to the competitions.

Parks officials are also planning 500 new slips in Jackson Park, Burnham and Montrose Harbors in response to the rising popularity of boating among Chicagoans as more women and minorities purchase boats, Rejman said. Although officials haven't publicly discussed how they would reconfigure the harbors, they said they plan to add the slips.

Boats have become waterfront condos, especially for suburbanites. Dikmen said it's affordable for some people to moor a 30-foot boat in the city, which can cost up to $500 a month for the season.

"It's become a beautiful home on the lake away from home," he said.

Over the years, however, boaters have complained at park board meetings about the lack of facilities at existing city harbors -- including bathrooms, showers and washers and dryers -- which they can find at other harbors around the Great Lakes.

This year parks officials have hiked mooring fees by 8 percent, drawing boaters' wrath even further. The fees vary based on the size of the slip and which harbor a boater uses.

The Park District has promised to open a $3 million building at DuSable Harbor with a restaurant, store and bathrooms. They also said they would upgrade facilities at other harbors this year.

"If any more increases come to the boaters and they don't see what's been promised to us happen before they build new harbors, they will be very upset," said Capt. Walter Lisowski, president of the Friends of the Marine Community. "Before they build new harbors, they need to finish facilities at the existing harbors."
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
9,194 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2 ·
the new harbors along the lakefront seem like a win/win situation. they pay for themselves, enhance the parkland, and allow it to be put to more use.

what i did not see in the initial plans and would like to see is the ability to take advantage of harbor locations for the development of shoreline restaurants (unsuited for the direct lakefront) and fun-type shopping.

No, and I want to make this very clear, I emphatically do not want to turn other parts of the lakefront into Navy Pier clones. Parkland is parkland and should be respected as such.

What I would like to see is a limited number (one or two per location) of shoreline restaurants with outside decks to be included in each harbor plan (save for the one adjacent to NP). A few shops would also be an added ammenity. The "hard edge" location of Navy Pier is suited to instesne commercialization but even the "soft edge" of a harbor and other such parkland can use a highly limited amount of commercializatin to enhance its product.
 
1 - 2 of 2 Posts
Top