McPier files lawsuit for arena site

In an attempt to secure the land to build a new DePaul basketball arena and a 500-room hotel, McCormick Place sued Lakeside Bank on Monday. The bank owns the site where the arena will be built and negotiations on a sale price have been unsuccessful.

According to Crain’s Chicago Business, McPier offered $6.2 million for the site despite the fact that it had made an $8 million offer when it had previously tried to acquire the land five years ago.

The lawsuit is known as an eminent domain, which permits the government to take possession of property, but only if the court can agree that there is significant public use for the site. The two sides then continue to debate a price until an agreement is reached.

The Cacciatore family, a longtime donor and member of the DePaul community, owns Lakeside Bank, which could make for a conflict of interest as the negotiations continue.

In an interview with the Chicago Tribune, Victor Cacciatore admitted that he had no plans to sell the land and wants to ensure that his bank is treated with respect.

Once the lawsuit resolves, it will not be the end of the sale process for McPier. The organization still needs to grab two other pieces of land in the vicinity. As of now, no eminent domain lawsuits have been reported with regards to those sites, and McPier hopes to have all the sales done by the end of the year.
The agreements have no bearing on DePaul’s stake in the arena. The university is still on track to contribute $70 million for the construction of the arena, which has an overall price tag of $173 million.