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Report: Group May Be Willing To Drop Fight Against Lucas Museum On Lakefront

(CBS) – The group Friends of the Parks appears willing to deal with the city about allowing the construction of the Lucas Museum on lakefront property.

The catch: Friends of the Parks has a list of demands. But representatives from the Lucas Museum don't like them.

The parking lot south of Soldier Field, where Bears fans tailgate, was the original proposed site of the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art; but Friends of the Parks filed a lawsuit.

As a compromise, Mayor Rahm Emanuel proposed tearing down McCormick Place East and building the museum there.

The parks advocacy group balked at that idea, too, because it also would allow construction along lakefront property it believes should be open.

Now, according to Crain's Chicago Business, Friends of the Parks is willing to negotiate -- if six demands are met. Among them: no other development on the lakefront for a century; the original proposed site would become a "green event space"; and five percent of the museum's revenues would go to a neighborhood parks fund to pay for capital improvements in "disinvested" neighborhoods.

It's the demand for 5 percent that drew an angry response from sources close to the museum. They called it "extortion" and "unprecedented," and accused Friends of the Parks of not being serious about negotiating with the city.

Sources tell CBS 2 it's a small minority of the parks group board that opposes the museum, but that minority carries a lot of weight.

None of the parties could be reached for comment Friday.

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