Proposed Expansion Plan Envisions A Pier without Peer

March 01, 2006 |

Officials of Chicago's Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority have released plans for an ambitious redesign of Navy Pier, one of the city's most popular lakefront attractions. The plan is estimated to cost in the hundreds of millions of dollars, and the authority said it would decide whether to pursue it—and how it would be financed—by the end of the year. The proposed revamp, designed by Toronto-based planning firm Forrec Ltd., includes a floating hotel, several restaurants, a larger ferris wheel, a new 900-seat theater, a monorail, an 80,000-sf water park, and twice the amount of parking spaces as the current pier. The revamp plan was designed to generate more revenue, especially outside of the summer months, which currently account for 60% of the visitors to the pier each year.

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