ACCORDING TO THE CHICAGO TRIBUNE:
It should be a good citizen and a draw to the city. It should be open to the world, and neighboring businesses, and a safe and welcoming place Chicagoans take their visitors with pride.
We’ve read all the proposals, listened to arguments. We think Rivers is the most qualified and suitable operator, and the area known as The 78 is the most viable site.
Rush Street Gaming is a proven operator of arguably the most successful of the current Illinois casinos, Rivers in Des Plaines. The major investor, Neil Bluhm, has deep roots in this city and a vested interest in doing right by everyone.
Rivers has shown an ability to showcase Chicago businesses, such as Hugo’s Frog Bar, which has an outpost in Des Plaines. And we think it is the easiest of these three entities for Chicago to hold accountable in the long term.
The 78 (the name is a riff on Chicago’s existing 77 neighborhoods) is located south of the Loop and north of Chinatown. It’s bordered by Roosevelt Road to the north, Clark Street to the east, 16th Street to the south, and the South Branch of the Chicago River to the west. An important caveat is that the casino does not interfere with plans for the Discovery Partners Institute, the important research center to be operated by the University of Illinois. But there’s plenty of room on this 62-acre parcel of former railroad property now owned by Related Midwest.
The 78 site long has been a missing developmental link between downtown and the South Side. It’s an easy reach from the hotels in the Chicago Loop, especially once the planned new CTA station is built at 15th Street. And it does not displace anyone. Plus the planned infrastructure already is well along, which you cannot say about one of the more up-in-the-air competing sites, One Central.