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New DePaul University arena to anchor hotel, retail development

After settling on the design of a proposed new DePaul University arena at McCormick Place, a developer is working on additional investments that could yield housing, hotel and retail spaces.

The design from New Haven, Conn.-based Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects — yes, that is the firm led by award-winning Cesar Pelli — calls for a humpback roof, an intimate venue seating only 10,000, and space to add restaurants and coffeeshops to the mix. The Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority voted unanimously to give the $7.2 million design contract to the Pelli firm.

One big reason for the $173-million arena: to add needed concert and meeting space to McCormick Place. The other big rationale: drive development in the area. And sure enough, CenterPoint Properties Trust and CBRE Inc. are pushing plans for a mixed-use development in the area.

New DePaul arena

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