Imagine This Floating On Lake Michigan

By Chuck Sudo in News on Jun 10, 2014 4:30PM

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Will crowdfunding ever jump the shark, if it hasn’t already? That’s what we’re asking after reading about Breakwater Chicago, a plan to build a permanent floating party deck on Lake Michigan complete with shopping, a swimming pool, docks for boats and water taxis, restaurants, a wellness spa, a lounge and a VIP members club. It’s as though the group behind Breakwater Chicago wants to bring a little bit of South Beach or Vegas to the lakefront. Wait. That’s exactly what they want to do; check out the video below.

Breakwater Chicago isn’t asking for some obscene amount of money for their Kickstarter campaign. Beau D’Arcy, the visionary behind the project, says the money will “demonstrate public support for the Breakwater Chicago concept in its pre-funding stage.” This would include building a scale model of the project and a 3D video experience to show people what to expect. In the past, “demonstrating public support” meant holding meetings and organizing petition drives.

As of post time the Breakwater Chicago Kickstarter campaign is already more than half way toward its funding goal with a damn good chance of reaching the $100,000 D’arcy says will allow his team to “add software that will tie” the 3D videos and model together.

During the winter months, Breakwater would be anchored adjacent to shore so that guests would be able to walk up directly, and would be covered by a clear dome to provide a tropical experience even during polar vortices.

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D'arcy and his group have already partnered with some clout-heavy organizations such as the Illinois Restaurant Association, National Restaurant Association, Chicago Harbor Safety Committee and Seed Chicago, the city's official curated Kickstarter page. The group's advisory board includes Chicago Yacht Club board member Lou Sandoval, N9NE Group president Andy Belmonti and former Smashing Pumpkins drummer Jimmy Chamberlin. That's only a few of the heavy hitters backing this project.

D'arcy and his team believe Breakwater could become a welcome presence on the lakefront that will help with Mayor Rahm Emanuel's goal of reaching 55 million tourists visits to the city by 2020. And tourists would likely account for much of the visits if the project is realized. D'arcy told the Tribune he hopes to raise the funds for the project through more conventional means and has rounded up nearly $500,000 for the project so far.