Despite telling Mesa voters that development would be part of the mix at new Chicago Cubs spring-training complex, owner Tom Ricketts now says Wrigleyville West will need to wait until the new ballpark opens — if it happens at all.
The issue is pretty simple: early feedback indicates there’s little demand from retailers and restauranteurs to commit to the project. Of course, the project is still early in the process — an architect and construction firm still needs to be chosen, and there’s now some doubt as to whether the new complex could open in time for Spring Training 2013.
The Wrigleyville West component was key to what the team and the city pitched to voters who approved the project in November, but Cubs board member Todd Ricketts said his organization needs to make the stadium its priority.
“I’d like to get the stadium and the facilities built and then we can focus on the commercial side,” Ricketts said.
The economy will play a role in the timing. Ricketts said it wouldn’t make sense to build a project unless shops and restaurants are willing to move in.
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