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US – Bally’s Chicago given green light by Chicago Department of Planning and Urban Development

By - 15 May 2023

Bally’s Corporation has announced that the proposed site plan for Bally’s Chicago Casino was approved by the Chicago Department of Planning and Urban Development, solidifying plans to begin construction on the mixed-use entertainment space in late 2024. The $1.7bn development is projected to bring over 3,000 permanent jobs to the City.

In addition, Bally’s Chicago released renderings for its much-anticipated permanent casino resort development.

The updated design is a result of months of meetings with casino officials, stakeholders and the planning department.

“The overall appearance is more contextual with the character of adjacent blocks, the Riverwalk and park are more accessible and accommodating to pedestrians, and car traffic will be more efficiently managed through multiple roadway and parking improvements,” a spokesperson said.

The riverfront location is being hailed as a springboard for the next generation of entertainment, as the first ground-up mixed-use gaming complex and resort located in the center of a major metropolitan city. The new casino resort development harnesses the urban riverfront site to create inclusive, dynamic spaces, including a casino, food hall and restaurants, a theater and event space, a museum and exhibition area, and VIP areas, as well as a 500-key hotel. The more than 10 acres of outdoor space includes a park for the community, which will allow for various programming such as art fairs and farmers markets.

“Inspired by the city’s interplay—grit and grandeur, structure and the organic, historically-charged and cutting-edge—the design of Bally’s Chicago creates a sense of wonder and adventure accessible to everyone,” said Bally’s Senior Vice President of Design and Development Joyen Vakil. “The plan is uniquely focused on bringing in nature and wellness through the addition of numerous public plazas and parks.”

The spirit of this urban venue is outward-facing, and the first-of-its-kind design allows the energy and vibrancy to flow across the development. This reinvention of the previously industrial Tribune site connects the lower riverbank to multiple levels of engagement with areas for outdoor dining, community gatherings, and opportunities for public art, as well as maintaining an integration into the larger city.

The development team includes a collection of Chicago-based and minority-owned businesses. The development is a fusion of green space, arts and entertainment spaces, and exclusive hospitality areas. The iconic form of the hotel tower, which includes a spa and food and beverage venues, anchors the master plan at the north end of the site and features a shimmering facade that reflects and responds to the movement of the nearby Chicago River.

“We are confident that this team will bring to life this one-of-a-kind urban space,” said Vakil. “The unique and exciting design celebrates Chicago’s motto, urbs in horto – city in a garden – and creates a dynamic public realm on site.”

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