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Wrigleyville Residents, Business Owners Oppose Development

By Lindsey Miller in News on May 18, 2010 6:20PM

2010_05_18_wrigleyville.jpg Opposition is heating up against a plan that would turn the southeast corner of Addison and Clark across from Wrigley Field into a new hotel-apartment-retail space. Leading the charge is the iO Theater, which has called its space on Clark just south of the intersection home since 1995. The Facebook group started by an iO instructor opposing the development, "People Against the 'Malling of Wrigleyville," has grown to more than 8,000 members (and counting) since last week. Additionally, 100 people showed up to a meeting at iO on Sunday to learn more about the development. Theater owner and directer Charna Halpern says the development threatens the character of the neighborhood and the future of her theater.

"The alderman (Tom Tunney) said this will be good for the neighborhood, but we're in the middle of a recession," said Halpern, who said she would have to move the theater out of its current location if the development were built. "This is not a kind time to be throwing people out of their businesses."

Ald. Tom Tunney (44th) supports the development despite his opposition a Toyota sign at Wrigley because of its "visual impact ... on the historic character of the ballpark." The city Plan Commission will vote on whether to approve the project next month. If it's approved, the City Council's Zoning Committee will vote, and the City Council will make the final decision.

Upright Citizen's Brigade founding member Matt Besser weighs in on the "Big Corporate Mess" below.