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Alderman: Proposed Lakefront Party Barge 'Not A Good Fit For The City'

By Chuck Sudo in News on Jun 19, 2014 2:20PM


Breakwater Chicago, the “luxury yacht meets island resort” party barge proposed by a group for the lakefront, has exceeded its modest $30,000 Kickstarter campaign with 20 days to go. This means not only will the consortium planning the project be able to build a scale model and 3D video experience but also be able to develop the software to tie the two together.

Although Breakwater founder Beau D’Arcy and his team is saying all the right things about how they want the project to be a welcome addition to Chicago tourism and the lakefront, one alderman isn’t sold. Brendan Reilly (42nd) told constituents in his newsletter he doesn’t believe Breakwater Chicago is a good fit for the city, specifically because D’Arcy and his team have been crystal clear about it being an upscale party barge.

Per DNAInfo Chicago:

"According to ownership, the vessel would have the capacity to hold 1,000 [to] 2,0000 people and would include outdoor party decks, swimming pools, and several taverns serving alcohol to patrons," as well as "DJs, live music, parties and special events," read the announcement in the "Reilly Reports" newsletter.

"The alderman questions the wisdom of offering boaters an 'entertainment venue' in Lake Michigan where they can consume alcoholic beverages in a party atmosphere while operating watercraft," the announcement read.

"Typically boating and alcohol do not make a good mix."

And yet that doesn’t stop people from trying to mix the two like oil and water constantly.

D’Arcy and his team estimate they would need around $23 million to make Breakwater Chicago a reality. He would also need city, state and federal authorities (including the U.S. Coast Guard) to sign off on different aspects of the project. Breakwater Chicago is listed on Seed Chicago, the city’s curated Kickstarter project page, so someone in city government is high on the project already.

Reilly, for what it’s worth, isn’t completely opposed to the project.

The alderman doesn't oppose locating the barge near another neighborhood, his office said, but the statement concluded that "some proposals are not always a good fit for the residential and mixed-use density in the downtown core."