Naming rights to Chicago’s numbered streets will be put up for bid, according to a proposal that Mayor Rahm Emanuel plans to introduce in the City Council today.
“We’ve seen strong interest in the naming rights on the part of multiple bidders. This measure will go a long way toward countering the widespread perception that the South Side of Chicago is worthless,” said Mayor Emanuel in a news release.
Street names would not be subject to aldermanic approval, but aldermen will receive 5% of the proceeds from any sale. “This eliminates the pricing uncertainty that businesses would face if aldermanic approval were required,” said City Chief Financial Officer Lois Scott. “Knowing an alderman’s price in advance is critical to re-establishing business confidence in municipal government,” she added. Sale proceeds will be allocated among alderman in proportion to the length of the street segments in their respective wards, their tenure on the City Council, and the number of people who voted Democratic in their ward in the most recent mayoral election.
In response to pressure from South Side aldermen, companies identified by the BDS Movement as exporting or selling Israeli products will be barred from bidding for naming rights. There have been reports that 43rd Ward alderman Michele Smith will seek to extend the ban to companies that trade in fur-bearing animals.
Winning bidders will be responsible for the costs of installing and maintaining the new street signs.
The proceeds of sales will go into the general corporate fund and be used “for keeping our libraries open and meeting the needs of our police and fire departments,” said Mayor Emanuel.
Glock has already signed a letter of intent to acquire rights to 79th Street. “With so much competition, it’s important for us to stay top-of-mind in this critical market,” said a Glock spokesperson.
Mick Dumke could not be reached for comment.
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