Chicago Venues Hope Proposed $6B Project Doesn't Harm Local Indie Scene

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Several small music venues on Chicago's North Side have joined forces to lobby for "reasonable development" at the site of a proposed $6 billion project that would include several venues operated by Live Nation.

Representatives from The Hideout and other venues are expected to unveil their efforts on Thursday ahead of a public hearing on the massive Lincoln Yards project, which they say could potentially harm the indie music scene.

Hideout co-owner Katie Tuten told the Chicago Sun-Times that she and her allies are concerned about the planned tax-increment financing (TIF) for the project, expected to total about $800 million, nearly half of the $1.7 billion in subsidies planned to propel the project forward. Supporters are worried that development at the site -- which includes the old Finkl Steel plant and the old Michael Reese Hospital -- could push out area live venues.

Part of the plan would include several new performance venues operated by Live Nation.

Other members of the coalition include Subterranean, Schuba's, Martyrs' and Empty Bottle.

"We hope that we can have a seat at the table," Tuten told the Sun-Times, before cautioning, "This isn’t just about the venues. It's also about parks. We love our city and we want to see it grow in a way that is sustainable."

The site's developer, Sterling Bay, said in a statement, "The independent music scene in Chicago is unique and important to the city’s culture, and we want to complement at Lincoln Yards. We love The Hideout. It's part of the fabric of the neighborhood -- past, present, and future -- and we hope it stays and flourishes for decades to come."


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