Clark Park/ Lane Stadium funding passes $24.75M

May 14, 2012
Proposals for development of Richard Clark Park moved forward last week with agreements to fund a high school baseball diamond. The announcement of the agreement by Ald. Ameya Pawar in his ward newsletter last week indicate two stumbling blocks in the agreements have been overcome. The $5.2 million plan will use $1.25 million of TIF as well as $2.7 million of private donations and $1.25 million combined from the schools and the parks to create the only regulation high school baseball diamond in the city. The baseball announcement comes on top of Mayor Rahm Emanuel's plan to spend $4 million on a boathouse to replace the container currently being used to secure canoes and kayaks rented at the site. That plan would build a boat house designed by a team led by Jeanne Gang. Approval of that plan sailed through the Chicago Park District last week with a new price tag of $9.45 million, more than double the original plan. Costs increased due to a significant increase in the size of the boat house. About $2 million of the boat house funding will come from Western Ave South TIF funds. Lane Stadium, which was in a deteriorated condition, is in the second phase of a $3 million upgrade of the field, locker rooms and other facilities. Two other plans dealing with Clark Park also seem to have been dealt with. The Chicago Department of Transportation is beginning the design of the North Branch Riverwalk Trail connection under the Addison Street Bridge. The trail connection to California Park includes a bridge over the Chicago River at about Grace Street. The cost of that connection is $7.1 million, according to the 2012 City budget.