Jerry Reinsdorf has spent $44M buying up land around United Center

Stadium-anchored mixed-use development could be in the works

Jerry Reinsdorf Spends $44M Buying Property Near United Center
Jerry Reinsdorf with the United Center at 1901 West Madison Street (Getty, Google Maps)

Chicago White Sox owner Jerry Reinsdorf continues to make headlines with plans for a new ballpark in the South Loop. Meanwhile, he’s quietly amassed an assemblage of land near his NBA franchise’s gameday arena. 

A Reinsdorf-affiliated company has spent $44.7 million over the past 19 months on vacant parking lots around the United Center, where the Chicago Bulls and Blackhawks play, the Chicago Sun-Times reported

Reinsdorf, who bought the Bulls in 1985, could be plotting a mixed-use district that would be anchored by the United Center, similar to what’s in store for the proposed White Sox stadium in The 78, a $7 billion megadevelopment spearheaded by Related Midwest. 

Reinsdorf bought the parking lots from two politically connected families that have long offered discounted parking for Bulls and Blackhawks fans. More than half of the $44.7 million has been paid to enterprises linked to Joseph Feldman Sr., a prominent business figure in Bridgeport with deep political ties. 

The United Center, jointly owned by Reinsdforf and Blackhawks owner Danny Wirtz, has served as a catalyst for economic growth on the West Side since its inception three decades ago.

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While United Center officials remain tight-lipped about their future plans for the parking lots, Alderman Walter Burnett, whose ward encompasses the arena, confirmed that a redevelopment is on the horizon. 

“I would like them to do something with all those lots,” Burnett told the outlet. “Personally, I wish they’d built an enclosed parking lot. They don’t even use all their lots any more” since many fans take ride shares to concerts and games.

The acquisition spree started after Red Top Parking sold some of the vacant land it owned for decades, catalyzing a chain of transactions culminating in the formation of RE Holdings Group LLC. This entity, fronted by White Sox senior vice president Howard Pizer and senior vice president of stadium operations Terry Savarise, has orchestrated various multi-million-dollar deals to expand Reinsdorf’s footprint around the United Center.

Most recently, RE Holdings Group paid $12 million for nine vacant lots in the 1600 block of West Madison Street. In July, the firm purchased about half of the vacant block bounded by Adams, Washington and Wood streets and train tracks to the east for $17.2 million. Several smaller transactions preceded that deal.

—Quinn Donoghue 

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