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Graaskamp on the Road, Chicago

Posted By Emmet Gaffney, Thursday, December 7, 2017


This past Thursday, November 30th Badger real estate alumni, students, and sponsors gathered in Chicago for the latest installment of Graaskamp on the Road series. The event, held at the Chicago Cubs front office building at Wrigley Field, saw Tom Ricketts, owner of the Chicago Cubs, receive the Graaskamp Building Communities award for his work on revitalizing the Wrigleyville neighborhood since his acquisition of the storied baseball franchise in 2009.


After accepting the award, Mr. Ricketts spoke to the crowd about his tenure at the Cubs, focusing on how he rebuilt the franchise on the field, and, simultaneously, has worked to develop the area immediately surrounding the park into a dynamic urban neighborhood. The goal, Mr. Ricketts elaborated, was to make Wrigleyville into a thriving destination even when there aren’t Cubs games being played. With the development of the Cubs’ front office building and the new Hotel Zachary, coupled with programming in the adjoining park such as yoga, concert series, and ice-skating, Mr. Ricketts and the rest of his team have begun to re-create a sense of community. Moreover, the Cubs’ have given back to the City of Chicago, and have donated over $25 million to build baseball fields across the metropolitan area and serve under-privileged communities through charity.


The following Friday, December 1st, the group was given an opportunity to tour the under-construction Wrigley Field, where major renovations are being made to enhance the fan experience. The development team has done a fine job balancing the history held in the bones of Wrigley with contemporary design concepts.


The event was co-sponsored by the Graaskamp Center for Real Estate and the Wisconsin Real Estate Alumni Association in partnership with Zeller Realty Group, Oxford Capital Group, Stantec, Brennan Investment Group, AMLI Residential, Colliers, and Elmdale Partners for sponsoring the event. Additionally, major thanks to Real Estate Club Co-President Fordy Gates (MBA ’18) for helping coordinate the event!


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