A new hope? CA Bay Area wants another shot at Lucas museum

Dive Brief:

  • In the wake of the opposition that the $300-$400 million Lucas Museum of Narrative Art has encountered in Chicago, the city of Oakland, CA, and the Bay Area Council are reaching out to George Lucas in the hopes he will consider building the museum there, according to the Silicon Valley Business Journal.
  • During a recent legal proceeding regarding the 300,000-square-foot museum, an attorney for the city of Chicago reportedly told a judge that the Lucas team was considering other locations for the museum and that the project’s future in Chicago could be "in jeopardy."
  • The Friends of the Park group in Chicago filed a lawsuit seeking to prevent construction of the museum in its currently planned location. The group said the $10, 99-year ground lease agreement between the museum and the Chicago Park District, "would authorize the construction of a museum that would preclude the use of the trust property as free and open space with access to the activities on Lake Michigan."

Dive Insight:

Lucas had previously sought to build his museum  which will house the director’s stash of "Star Wars," "Indiana Jones," and other sci-fi, fantasy and movie memorabilia — on a site in San Francisco, convenient to his home base in Marin County. But that deal fell through, so he opted for Chicago after being aggressively courted by Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

Oakland officials said they have tried to contact Lucas in the past about the possibility of building the museum there but have received no response. However, they added that this was at a time when the Chicago option was much more of a certainty than it is now, the Business Journal reported.

"If plans for a museum in Chicago do not come to fruition, we’d be thrilled to explore the possibility of this exciting project coming to life in Oakland," Oakland mayor’s office spokesman Erica Terry Derryck told the Business Journal.

Chicago has filed a motion in federal court to "lift an order barring the start of construction before the legal fight (with Friends of the Park) is resolved," the Chicago Tribune reported last week. A decision is expected on April 21.

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Filed Under: Commercial Building Legal/Regulation
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