Bally’s, a major player in the casino industry, is facing a setback in its plans to develop a permanent casino and entertainment complex in Chicago, scheduled to open in 2026. The company has been forced to revise the design of the project after discovering that the foundation of a 35-story hotel tower could interfere with the municipal water pipeline at the River West site.
As reported by the Chicago Sun Times, the executives at Bally’s are now working with city officials to find an alternative location for the tower on the 30-acre site, which is currently home to the Chicago Tribune printing plant at Chicago Avenue and Halsted Street. The original design, which included a 100-room riverbank hotel development, was approved by the City Council in 2022. However, plans to build the foundation for the 505,000-square-foot tower revealed that it could damage water piping near the river, leading to the need for a revised plan.
The revised design relocates the 100-room hotel development to a 74-foot tall building in the south end of the site, while the tower will be situated elsewhere on the property. Bally’s has expressed its commitment to working closely with stakeholders, including the city, to move forward with the project and is aiming to begin construction this summer.
The announcement of the project’s relocation comes as Bally’s aims to extend its casino operations in Chicago, following the opening of a temporary casino at the Medinah Temple in 2023. Despite generating lower-than-expected tax revenues from the temporary venue, Bally’s is determined to focus on building a hotel tower that will not interfere with the municipal water system.
The company’s proposal for the glass-faced hotel tower played a pivotal role in winning the casino operator deal in Chicago, obliging Bally’s to invest approximately $1.34 billion in the project. The company remains committed to opening the permanent casino by September 9, 2026, as mandated by state law. Bally’s plans to leave the temporary Medinah venue and transition to the permanent casino are reported to be on schedule, despite the need for revisions to the project’s original design.