Wrigleyville apartment owners pursue redevelopment after losing ballpark views

Proposal a response to videoboard that blocked Wrigley Field sightlines, tanking revenue

Apartment Redevelopment Proposed to Revive Wrigley Field Views
Alderman Bennett Lawson; rendering of five-story apartment building at 3627-3633 N. Sheffield Avenue (Getty, 44thward)

Owners of three small apartment buildings across from the Chicago Cubs’ Wrigley Field are proposing a residential development to replace them, nearly a decade after their rooftop views were obstructed by a massive video scoreboard.

The ownership group, led by Marc Anguiano and Edward McCarthy, wants to raze the three-story structures at 3627-3633 North Sheffield Avenue to make way for a five-story apartment building, CoStar reported. While the new project wouldn’t revive rooftop ballpark views that made the buildings prime pieces of real estate, it would add more apartments and thus rental revenue to the site.

Alderman Bennett Lawson, whose 44th Ward encompasses the site, is seeking community feedback before deciding whether to support the owners’ requested zoning change.

“Anything this close to Wrigley Field gets an additional layer of scrutiny,” Lawson told the outlet. “There’s certainly more interest than there would be with something just a few blocks away. We need to be very mindful with what we put forward and how it will affect the top paid tourist attraction in the state.”

The proposal comes nearly a decade after the apartment owners took legal action against the Cubs’ owners, members of the Ricketts family, to halt construction of the video scoreboard, but their litigious efforts were unsuccessful.

The buildings served as a lucrative business for rooftop operators selling game tickets and refreshments before their sight lines were obstructed in 2015.

McCarthy views the proposed redevelopment as a pivot to adapt following significant revenue losses. The rooftops, once bustling with fans enjoying baseball games, have since remained largely vacant, with operators forced to rely solely on apartment rents rather than game-day profits.

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The buildings at 3631 and 3633 North Sheffield were particularly well-known among Cubs fans, with one featuring a Torco advertising sign and the other bearing the famous “Eamus Catuli!” sign, tracking the team’s championship drought that was finally broken in 2016.

McCarthy’s involvement in the redevelopment heightened when his LLC acquired one of the buildings in 2023. The proposed project is slated for 29 apartments, 11 parking spaces and two pickleball courts, the outlet reported. It’s part of a broader trend of redevelopments in the area, including projects by the Cubs’ owners themselves.

While initial renderings incorporated the iconic “Eamus Catuli!” phrase, newer versions omit it. Anguiano expressed a commitment to preserving the area’s history while navigating community concerns and logistical challenges associated with construction near the ballpark.

—Quinn Donoghue

Editor’s note: This story has been updated to clarify that the redevelopment won’t revive rooftop ballgame seating revenues.

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