Medinah Temple temporary casino proposal gets green light from traffic study

CHICAGO (CBS) — The temporary casino coming to Medinah Temple in River North has obtained the stamp of approval by a brand new traffic study.

Commissioned by town and ready by V3 Companies and the Fish Transportation Group, the study discovered that the River North space will be capable to deal with the rise in traffic that comes from the casino.

The study additionally beneficial that valet parking operations be arrange on Ohio Street alongside the Medinah Temple constructing, with rideshare suppliers utilizing the curb space on Ohio Street west of the valet space – and constitution and shuttle buses loading and unloading alongside the west facet of Wabash Avenue.

Further, the study beneficial that traffic management aides be posted onsite throughout peak casino exercise intervals.


Not everyone seems to be in settlement with the conclusions of the study.

Ald. Brendan Reilly (42nd) referred to as the study “seriously flawed,” “overly vague,” and “clearly written for the sole purpose of concluding a casino will work at Medinah Temple.”

He accused the study researchers of numerous failures, from “vastly low-balling the number of vehicular trips to the casino” to “vastly overestimating the number of people who will be dumb enough to take the CTA or walk to this casino with cash in their pockets.”

Reilly was additionally dismissive of contentions within the study that valet operations can be helpful for traffic circumstances.

“If you can show me one valet in the City of Chicago that has ever ‘improved traffic conditions’ at a particular location, I’ve got a bridge to sell you in Brooklyn,” he wrote.

“Having read literally hundreds of traffic studies over the years, I can tell you this one is thin gruel and lacks the credibility that an independent analysis would’ve provided,” Reilly concluded.

Bally’s plans to open a temporary casino within the landmark Medinah Temple constructing in River North within the second quarter of 2023, with the everlasting casino in River West anticipated to open within the first quarter of 2026.

The Medinah Temple was inbuilt 1912 for the Masonic Order of the Mystic Shrine on Wabash Avenue – then referred to as Cass Street – between Ontario and Ohio streets. The ornate Moorish revival constructing initially housed a 4,200-seat auditorium that over the a long time featured occasions such because the annual Shrine Circus, Chicago Symphony Orchestra recordings, concert events that includes A-listers, and stay performances of the radio present “A Prairie Home Companion” with Garrison Keillor. The auditorium featured a 92-rank Austin pipe organ.

In 2001, the Medinah Temple and neighboring Tree Studios artists’ residence had been redeveloped, and in 2003, a Bloomingdale’s Home and Furniture retailer opened within the Medinah Temple constructing. The Bloomingdale’s retailer closed in 2020 and the constructing is now vacant.

The selection to accommodate the temporary casino at Medinah Temple if the mayor’s plan was thought-about a giant victory for its present proprietor, Friedman Properties.

River North developer Albert Friedman donated $600,000 to Mayor Lightfoot’s marketing campaign the identical day she narrowed casino bids from 5 to a few.

But with the Medinah Temple being proper subsequent to the Grand Avenue CTA Red Line cease, neighbors this previous spring stated they fear a casino there’ll simply add to River North crime – which has been sseeing a serious spike.

Back to top button