The Committee on Special Events and Cultural Affairs approved the reappointment of Martin Laird Koldyke to the Chicago Park District Board of Commissioners, a plan to spend $395,000 on a new quarter-acre park for Nettelhorst School, and a one-year contract with Home Run Inn for beverage service at Millennium Park.
Most questions at yesterday’s committee meeting had to do with the beverage agreement with Home Run Inn for the concession stand adjacent to the Jay Pritzker Pavilion at Millennium Park, mainly because the restaurant was the only entity to bid on the public Request for Proposals (RFP).
According to Deputy Commissioners Kenya Merritt and Matt Nielson of the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events, Home Run Inn will provide only beverage services, no food, for night concerts and events at the Pavilion. Asked by Ald. Michael Scott, Jr. (24) why a pizza catering company was the only restaurant to bid on the opportunity, Nielsen said it was because the agreement is only for a limited time (night events).
The city will pay Home Run Inn a management fee of $72,000, in addition to a 1-2% bonus depending on sales. The operator would be allowed to serve draft beer, wine, premium low alcohol beverages, bottled water, soft drinks and coffee. Goose Island held the previous contract, but to due to their recent acquisition by Anheuser-Busch, the local beer operator could no longer provide the service and the city had to end the contract, said Nielson. Home Run Inn will start beverage service at Millennium Park this Wednesday, pending approval by the full City Council. As for food services, Nielson said the city is looking to “farm out” the contract to multiple food trucks.
According to Meg Gustafson, a representative with the city’s Department of Planning and Development, Nettelhorst School wants to take advantage of approximately $395,000 in so-called “Open Space Impact Fees” to support the construction of a quarter acre school garden, active play area and a small turf field. The kindergarten through eighth grade school of more than 900 students is located on the corner of Broadway and Belmont in the 44th Ward.
Chicago Public Schools owns the lot at 3252 North Broadway, which is where the approximately 32,000 square-foot park is to be located. The lot is currently made of asphalt, although most of the surface is cracked, said Chairman Tunney, whose ward includes the school. The city will cover the lot with a special material called “resilient acrylic surfacing”, similar to a tennis court surface, but students will be able to draw on it. The park will be open to the public when school isn’t in session.
And since Koldyke was being reappointed to the Park District board, he wasn’t present at yesterday’s meeting. Instead, Chairman Tunney supplied copies of his resume to everyone on the committee. Koldyke, a co-founder and managing partner of Winona Capital Management, was first appointed to the seven member board in 2011 by Mayor Emanuel.