The company that lost the concession contract at
And Chicago Aviation alleged that for years the city had blocked it from expanding its offerings beyond security checkpoints, where far more money could be made.
At a hearing in Cook County Circuit Court that could be held as early as tomorrow, lawyers for the company will ask a judge to block the city from awarding the contract to Westfield and instead give it to Chicago Aviation — or order a restart to the bidding process. Over the longer haul, it seeks an unspecified cash award for damages caused by the city's allegations.
As it now stands, Chicago Aviation Partners has been ordered to vacate the terminal by the end of the month.
There was no immediate response from the city Law Departments, but many of the suit's claims were not new. Aviation Commissioner Rosemarie Andolino has consistently defended the choice of Westfield, saying its projections are more realistic and its projections more reliable.
The council last Thursday voted 45-3 to approve the contract with Westfield, which has pledged to spend $26.2 million to upgrade the shops and restaurants at the terminal. The Westfield proposal guarantees the city at least $5.1 million in annual rent in addition to the renovations.
But in its lawsuit, Chicago Aviation says its contract would have returned between $75 million and $120 million more to the city over the life of the deal. It also says the city could get stuck covering the $26.2 million.
After the deal was approved, Emanuel declared "a new future for the city" that includes more transparency and fairness in contract negotiations. "In past deals, nobody showed up because everybody knew before the process started what the end result would be," Emanuel said.
Chicago Aviation is owned by Duty Free America and McDonald’s Corp. Jeremiah Joyce, an ally and friend of former