United Center seeks Huge Expansion… Hopefully Championships Arrive First

May 04, 2012

The Chicago Blackhawks are done for the season. Derrick Rose has a torn ACL and will miss the rest of the Chicago Bulls playoff run.  Fans across the Chicagoland real estate region, from the south suburbs to the northern most point of the state, are devastated watching their favorite Chicago teams suffer. So what is the United Center, home of the Bulls and Blackhawks, going to do to offset this string of bad news pouring into the Windy City like hail at a Grant Park picnic?

United Center photo by ZOL87

The United Center: Photo Courtesy of Zol87

Expand of course.

With the likelihood of a NBA championship greatly diminished (but not completely out of the question…more like an outlier) by the lose of Rose, why not build a retail development to the United Center parking lot?

Owners Jerry Reinsdorf and Rocky Wirtz are eager to build a 263,000-square-foot retail-and-entertainment center on the east side of the stadium.  According to the Metropolitan Planning Council documents, the new site would include  four bars, four restaurants, a team store, an event space, team offices, a terrace, an atrium, parking, and a green roof.

The expansion is estimated to cost somewhere in the neighborhood of $75 to $85 million, which would be paid by the owners. There is a caveat. The owners want an extension on legislation that puts a cap on property taxes for the United Center until 2017.

No doubt the idea for this expansion is to add the United Center to the list of must-see Chicago attractions. Come to the United Center to take your picture in front of the famed Michael Jordan statue and then stay for  dinner followed by a trip to the team store and maybe a nightcap at one of the UC’s bars is the frame of mind here.

It takes money to make money and Reinsdorf and Wirtz feel confident that their idea should generate income and jobs to the Madhouse on Madison location. Hopefully the success of the teams that call the 1901 West Madison location home can justify the fervor for expansion.

How do our Chicago readers feel about the proposed expansion of the United Center? Is it a good idea or not? Fell feel to leave us your comments.

About The Author

Read All Stories By Mitch Levinson

Mitch Levinson is the author of “Internet Marketing: The Key to Increased New Home Sales” published by BuilderBooks. He is an Internet marketing expert with expertise in search engine optimization, website development, email marketing, social media and CRM consulting services. He is known for creating effective programs that can be tracked through analytics to prove effectiveness and ROI. Mitch is founder and president of MLC New Home Marketing and MLC FlatFee Realty, as well as managing partner of mRELEVANCE, LLC, a Marketing, Communication, Interactive agency with offices in Chicago and Atlanta. He currently leads the Chicago team. A Multi-Million Dollar Sales Producer who earned an MBA in Computer Information Systems and eCommerce, he brings a unique perspective and experience to the field of real estate communications. Mitch combines the two interests in order to help home builders and developers gain a competitive advantage through the Internet and technology. When he isn’t behind a computer, he enjoys participating in sports and coaching his kids’ teams. Mitch resides in Arlington Heights, Ill., a northwest suburb of Chicago, with his family, which includes two rambunctious labs. Visit my Google+ profile.

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