CHICAGO, Ill. - The Chicago Tribune – The pitch for a floating entertainment center about a half-mile off Chicago’s shore is gaining the public’s support — and dollars.
The crowdfunding campaign spearheaded by Plainfield native Beau D’Arcy to raise money for his multimillion-dollar project, Breakwater Chicago, reached its goal of $30,000 within about 36 hours last week, D’Arcy said. By Tuesday night, the campaign had received well over its goal with $38,180 pledged on Kickstarter.
About half the more than 430 donors to the project as of Tuesday were people D’Arcy said he and two project collaborators had never met, he said. D’Arcy said he suspects the proposed development’s widespread media attention last week is part of the reason for the outpouring, along with its originality.
“The uniqueness of the project really (has) drawn people to it,” said D’Arcy, 33, a Harvard Business School graduate who now lives in Lincoln Park, by phone Tuesday night, adding “we’ve been completely blown away by the support.”
D’Arcy’s plan includes a floating 300-foot vessel with sun decks, restaurants, a swimming pool and room for boats to dock. He told the Tribune last week he sees the project potentially being Chicago’s’ “next Bean,” a reference to Millennium Park’s popular Cloud Gate sculpture.
But there’s much work to be done before permits can be gained and construction can begin. D’Arcy estimates the entire cost of the project could be $23 million. He said private capital investments have been accruing, but he hopes individuals interested in the idea will once again open their pocketbooks, proposing a new Kickstarter goal of $60,000. With that amount, D’Arcy said he hopes he could produce a video featuring a 3D walk-through of what the vessel would look like and a model of the island.
D’Arcy acknowledges his timeline for the project — he proposes opening it by summer 2015 – is dreaming “big.”
“We hope folks will support us and help us reach those timeline goals.”