CHICAGO — Here are some of the long-awaited dreams, ideas, and major projects that will finally become real for Chicagoans in 2017:
(You can also find out how new laws will effect Chicagoans in 2017)
Shiny, new license plates
Illinois is getting new license plates starting January 2017 which feature a picture of Abraham Lincoln and skylines from Chicago and Springfield. And the newly-designed plates will be free of charge, according to Secretary of State Jesse White.
A new vision for the Michael Reese site
Proposals of what to do with 49 acres of the former site of the Michael Reese Hospital in Bronzeville that have sat vacant since 2009 are due in February, and a developer will be selected in April. A casino might be in the works.
Updated El Stops
The revamp of what the CTA president at the time said was one of the worst stations in the system, with riders complaining about dirt, order and poor conditions, is slated to be completed in mid-2017. Commuters can also look forward to newly updated stops on the Red Line at 95th/ Dan Ryan, and in the Loop at the Washington/Wabash station.
New tech and strategies for police
Police fast-tracked plans to equip all CPD officers with body cameras, and are now going to have them rolled out by the end of 2017. This is just part of the department’s latest plans for improving policing and taking on crime in 2017.
Butter burgers and concrete you can eat
After initially delaying plans to come to Chicago, Culver’s will be setting up shop in Wrigleyville and Bronzeville in 2017. The chain is known for their butter burgers (just what they sound like) and concretes (actually super-thick shakes).
Shiny new intersection at Western and Belmont
Construction has caused major headaches for commuters in the Northwest Side area as an outdated overpass was demolished and a new intersection built. Construction was expected to be completed in the summer of 2017.
Draft Town Hockey Edition
Already the host city for the NFL draft in 2015 and 2016, Chicago will be the site of the 2017 NHL draft. It will be the first time the hockey draft is coming to the city.
Minimum wage goes up
Effective July 1, 2017 the minimum wage in Chicago will go up to $11 an hour, as it makes its way up to $13 an hour in 2019.
Amazon sells books – in person
Amazon is opening a brick-and-mortar book store in Lakeview, and plans to build a whole new fulfillment center in Aurora over the next couple of years.
Extreme Makeover: Wrigley Edition
The World Series Champions and fans will be welcomed back to a newly made-over home at Wrigley Field, including a new level of club seating, a new plaza outside the stadium (with beer), and dugouts built under the bleachers. Things might get a lot more interesting for pitchers as they warm up.