First hurdle cleared for Chicago’s new floating destination

CHICAGO—Breakwater Chicago was accepted into the city’s Seed Chicago program with the goal of raising $30,000 in 30 days. Thanks to the public’s warm reception of this proposal, the $30,000 goal was exceeded in only 36 hours and funding continues to arrive.  Breakwater is proposed as the first major public boating destination in Chicago Harbor, and is poised to become an iconic attraction making Lake Michigan more accessible for locals and visitors to Chicago alike.

breakwaterchicagoThe Seed Chicago program was created in 2013 through a partnership between Accion Chicago, World Business Chicago, and the city as part of the Mayor’s Plan for Economic Growth and Jobs; in essence, it is the City of Chicago’s curated Kickstarter crowdfunding page. It aims to support community development projects that will ultimately create new jobs and economic growth in Chicago’s neighborhoods.  Plus, Breakwater Chicago will help the city and state further their tourism goals, including Mayor Emanuel’s objective of reaching 55 million visitors per year by 2020.

“Funding through Seed Chicago and Kickstarter will allow us to acquire digital 3D imagery of the vessel, which in turn helps us to raise our remaining capital and better demonstrate to public officials exactly what type of project they are approving,” said Beau D’Arcy, president and chief executive manager of Breakwater Chicago LLC.

The innovative vessel will be luxurious, but also family friendly, exceptionally safe, and environmentally conscious. Breakwater will be anchored more than one mile off-shore offering visitors breathtaking views and an unparalleled experience of sundecks, spas, restaurants, nightlife and even swimming pools. Access to the Breakwater Chicago vessel will be available by private boat or through partnerships with existing water taxis. In the off-season, Breakwater Chicago will be anchored adjacent to shore and enclosed with a transparent air-structure dome providing an escape from Chicago’s winters.

Annual economic impact from Breakwater is projected over $100 million. Breakwater will employ approximately 200 full-time and year-round staff, while also providing 200 additional part-time and seasonal positions.  In addition, Breakwater Chicago’s operations are estimated to support nearly 2,500 jobs in parallel industries such as taxi drivers, hotel staff, boat captains, restaurant workers, and employees at other popular local and regional attractions.

For people who wish to join the crowdfunding effort, attractive incentives can be found at including $10 vouchers allowing for a round-trip water taxi ride to the vessel and access to all of Breakwater’s amenities.

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