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Wrigley Field street vacating gets OK amid questions

Relying on only one appraisal paid for by the Cubs, a City Council committee agreed Tuesday to vacate up to 25 feet of street and sidewalk on Waveland and Sheffield to pave the way for the renovation of 99-year-old Wrigley Field.

Marous & Co. valued the land at $3.75 million and the air rights above it at $250,000. The city did not order its own appraisal.

Normally, the city authorizes two independent appraisals and splits the difference between the two.

“I’m quite taken aback that we did not have an appraiser . . . to make sure this is just and fair compensation for the city,” said Ald. Bob Fioretti (2nd).

That’s not the only thing that raised eyebrows at Tuesday’s meeting of the City Council’s Transportation Committee.

Aldermen also questioned the Emanuel administration’s decision to require no additional compensation to Chicago taxpayers — beyond the $4.75 million commitment the Cubs have already made to Wrigleyville residents.

Instead of paying that amount into the city treasury as most developers do when public land is vacated for their projects, the Ricketts family that owns the team has agreed to contribute $3.75 million over 10 years to the so-called Cub Fund created in 2003 to mitigate the impact of additional night games.