Navy Pier are preparing a plan to boost visits and revamp the space

News Headlines(Crain’s) β€” The current and future managers of Navy Pier are preparing a plan to boost visits and revamp the space.

Board members of Navy Pier Inc., the non-profit entity that takes over Navy Pier operations Friday, will meet with executives from the Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority, which currently owns and operates the pier, Thursday morning to approve a new pier plan aimed at increasing attendance and creating better public spaces.

The new nine-member Navy Pier board, helmed by retired Boeing Co. executive Sarah Nava Garvey, was established in January, when the MPEA split operations of the pier and McCormick Place, which it also runs.

The MPEA announced it will lease the pier at no cost to Navy Pier Inc. The lease is slated to run for 15 years, with renewal options.

Other Navy Pier Inc. board members include Nora Daley, daughter of former Mayor Richard M. Daley; David Mosena, chairman of the MPEA interim board and president and CEO of the Museum of Science and Industry, and MPEA Trustee Jim Reilly.

Also July 1, McCormick Place will transition to private management. Philadelphia-based facility operator SMG Management Inc., which also operates Soldier Field, will take over management duties from the MPEA.

The transition is part of a state-mandated overhaul of the convention business that aims to make Chicago more competitive with rival convention destinations such as Orlando and Las Vegas.

When “Transformers: Dark of the Moon” opens in theaters Wednesday, moviegoers will recognize some local landmarks. See how filmmakers captured Chicago in their shoot here last summer.

The nation’s largest drugstore chain is bringing more work and more food to Chicago. Wrigleyville will soon be home to a new Wal-Mart store. And Wall Street lenders are once again betting on the Windy City.

The annual New Venture Challenge attracts venture capitalists as judges — and potential investors. Students who pitch their business plans get tough feedback and, sometimes, entree into a new world.

Whether it’s nanoparticles or sports drinks, they’re in the vanguard. Wander our streetscape and meet this year’s crop of dealmakers and risk takers.

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