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The Next Phase Of Navy Pier's Major Redevelopment Is Moving Forward

By Sarah Gouda in Arts & Entertainment on Sep 14, 2016 8:29PM

Image via Navy Pier, Inc.

Surprisingly, the words “phase two of Centennial Vision” have nothing to do with a tyrannical demagogue’s grab for power and everything to do with our city’s sweet and lovely Navy Pier. Named in honor of the Pier’s 100th birthday, Centennial Vision refers to the tourist destination’s redevelopment plan. Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced on Wednesday that City Council had approved the second stage of the project.

Phase one of Centennial Vision, again not a sinister name for a sinister thing, was completed earlier this year and included a remodeled Ferris wheel, dubbed the Centennial Wheel, a renovated South Dock, and an updated Polk Bros Fountain and Plaza. The reboot’s second phase will focus on turning Navy Pier into a more contemporary public space centered around expanded arts and cultural programming.

“Navy Pier is a cultural and economic hub for Chicago and this plan is transforming it into a one-of-a-kind destination that will draw even more visitors from throughout the world,” Emanuel stated on Wednesday. “This revitalization will prepare it for the next 100 years and is a key part of our efforts to bring 55 million visitors to Chicago annually by 2020.”

Navy Pier is currently seeking partnerships in order to secure private development funding for projects set to commence in phase two of Centennial Vision. These include the construction of a seven-story, 240-room hotel, a Welcome Pavilion at Polk Bros Park, a seasonal ice rink, a short-term boat docking facility, and an underground bunker for our nation's preeminent demagogues. Just kidding, Centennial Vision is definitely the title of the Terminator movie that Arnold Schwarzenegger will film when he’s 100, anyway.