Navy Pier will put one piece of a planned renovation on hold until late next year so it may tinker with the design and spare guests at least some of the grief of ongoing construction, a spokesman said Wednesday.
Work on the tourist attraction’s Family Pavilion won’t begin until fall 2016, according to Nick Shields, a spokesman for Navy Pier Inc.
“You only get one shot to have that space look amazing,” Shields said. “And so we’re going to make sure that we get it amazing. There’s zero reason to rush it.”
The complete renovation planned for Navy Pier would cost an estimated $278 million, Shields said. But the work on Family Pavilion is part of a first phase expected to cost about $115 million, he said. The remaining pieces of that first phase, including work on Polk Bros. Park, the south dock and new restaurants within the south arcade area, are still expected to be complete by summer 2016, according to Shields.
“That’s already a significant amount of renovation,” Shields said.
It all comes as Navy Pier is preparing to celebrate its 100th anniversary next year.
The work on Polk Bros. Park, formerly Gateway Park, is funded by a $20 million legacy gift from the Polk Family last year to Navy Pier.
Shields said that gift led to changes in planned design and construction at Navy Pier. So pier officials asked for a new round of proposals from a previously established pool of qualified construction firms.
Though Madison Evans Construction Group had been chosen earlier to manage the work at Navy Pier, Shields said, James McHugh Construction was chosen from the new round of proposals to work on the Family Pavilion and Polk Bros. Park. Madison Evans is continuing to work on the south arcade and south dock, he said.
Navy Pier is the largest tourist attraction in Illinois, attracting almost 10 million visitors a year.