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fifth third bank investment at navy pier 1

Sep. 19, 2017

Navy Pier Continues to Advance Centennial Vision as Construction for Family Pavilion Renovation Gets Underway

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The iconic lakefront destination’s historic entrance set to transform into contemporary marketplace-like space with enhanced guest experiences and new, improved features; Design and construction efforts to be led by Gensler and James McHugh Construction Co.

CHICAGO – Navy Pier, Chicago’s mission-driven cultural district, today announced the next phase of its redevelopment as it commences renovations in the Family Pavilion, located at the Pier’s historic entrance. As with prior renovations, the Pier will remain open throughout construction, including parts of the Family Pavilion.

The Family Pavilion, which houses several restaurants, retail shops, kiosks and more, has seen tremendous success over the years with the help of the Pier’s longstanding partners that have occupied it. Now, the space is set to complement those experiences and showcase a bold, contemporary design to match the new Food Experience that opened last summer. Drawing on Chicago authenticity, the renovation will also enhance the guest experience, with improved features and new partnerships to better accommodate guests as they explore the Pier and take advantage of the diverse offerings in the Family Pavilion.

“The re-imagination of the Family Pavilion, as outlined in the Pier’s Centennial Vision, marks a key milestone in Navy Pier’s transformational journey to becoming a world-class arts and cultural destination with this extraordinary space serving as a bustling marketplace and hub for retail, dining and leisure offerings inspired by our great city,” said Navy Pier President and CEO Marilynn Gardner. “We thank our partners and guests for their cooperation and understanding through this next phase of our redevelopment process.”

With completion slated for spring 2018, Navy Pier is working closely with its design and construction partners, Gensler and James McHugh Construction Co., to bring the vision of the new and improved Family Pavilion to life. Gensler’s multi-layered vision celebrates and showcases the Pier’s vitality and draws on the uniqueness and influence it has as a connector of the people who live in and visit the great City of Chicago. As a team embedded and invested in the city, the design is reflective of the mission to further Navy Pier as a global destination that is both family friendly and culturally sophisticated.

“Navy Pier has always been a place for the people of Chicago and those who visit – It’s the People’s Pier,” said Gensler Chicago Principal and Design Director Benjy Ward. “The design creates spaces that act as a background to enhance the bespoke experiences that millions of guests have every year. The architecture reveals the authentic, industrial nature of Chicago and the rich history of the Pier by stripping it down to its original intent.”

The Family Pavilion renovation is financed by Fifth Third Bank, title partner of the two-year Fifth Third Bank Centennial Celebration at Navy Pier and title partner of the 2016 and 2017 Fifth Third Bank Winter WonderFest.

“Fifth Third Bank is proud to partner with Navy Pier as this iconic Chicago landmark and international destination has hosted generations of guests, employees, community partners and friends,” said Fifth Third Bank Market President Eric S. Smith. “We are honored to help finance this critical redevelopment project as part of the Pier’s transformation readying it for the next 100 years and beyond.”

For more information regarding Navy Pier’s redevelopment plans and efforts, visit


Family Pavilion Renderings | Credit: Gensler


Gensler is a global architecture, design and planning firm with 44 locations and more than 5,000 professionals networked across Asia, Europe, Australia, the Middle East and the Americas. Founded in 1965, the firm serves more than 3,500 active clients in virtually every industry. Gensler designers strive to make the places people live, work and play more inspiring, more resilient and more impactful. Gensler Chicago was established in 1997. With over 300 architects and designers creating memorable experiences within hundreds of Chicago’s most important buildings and spaces, Gensler Chicago is woven in the urban fabric that makes Chicago a vibrant and livable city.


Fifth Third Bancorp is a diversified financial services company headquartered in Cincinnati, Ohio. As of March 31, 2017, the Company had $140 billion in assets and operated 1,155 full-service Banking Centers and 2,471 ATMs in Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana, Michigan, Illinois, Florida, Tennessee, West Virginia, Georgia and North Carolina. Fifth Third operates four main businesses: Commercial Banking, Branch Banking, Consumer Lending, and Wealth & Asset Management. As of March 31, 2017, Fifth Third also had a 17.8 percent interest in Vantiv Holding, LLC. Fifth Third is among the largest money managers in the Midwest and, as of March 31, 2017, had $323 billion in assets under care, of which it managed $33 billion for individuals, corporations and not-for-profit organizations through its Trust, Brokerage and Insurance businesses. Investor information and press releases can be viewed at Fifth Third’s common stock is traded on the Nasdaq® Global Select Market under the symbol “FITB.” Fifth Third Bank was established in 1858. Member FDIC, Equal Housing Lender.


Navy Pier is the People’s Pier, Chicago’s lakefront treasure, welcoming all and offering dynamic and eclectic experiences through partnerships and programs that inspire discovery and wonder.


Located on Lake Michigan, Navy Pier is Chicago’s mission-driven cultural district, designed to inspire, educate and connect communities. A nonprofit since 2011, Navy Pier is free and accessible to all. It has the autonomy to act in ways that serve the greater good, with support from the corporate and philanthropic community to create impact where it matters most. Stretching more than six city blocks and welcoming more than 9 million guests annually, Navy Pier offers year-round accessibility to its guests and forms an elegant canvas for the unexpected. Originally opened in 1916 as a shipping and recreation facility, the Pier features more than 50 acres of public parks, restaurants, attractions, retail shops, exposition facilities and more. Navy Pier continues to celebrate its centennial with a series of special events and programming, year-round rides on the Centennial Wheel and ongoing pier-wide redevelopment efforts. More information is available at

About Navy Pier

Located on Lake Michigan, Navy Pier is the top nonprofit tourism destination in the Midwest, stretching more than six city blocks and typically welcoming nearly 9 million annual guests. Originally opened in 1916 as a shipping and recreation facility, this Chicago landmark showcases more than 50 acres of parks, restaurants, attractions, retail shops, sightseeing and dining cruise boats, exposition facilities and more.

The Pier celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2016 with the unveiling of the iconic Centennial Wheel, Polk Bros Park, Fifth Third Bank Family Pavilion and Peoples Energy Welcome Pavilion. In 2021, Navy Pier continued to usher in its second century with ongoing Pier-wide redevelopment efforts—including Sable, a 223-room Hilton hotel, new restaurants and partnerships, and thrilling additions to Pier Park. The Pier is also proud to continue providing free, year-round arts and cultural programming designed to inspire, educate and connect communities across the city and globe. Click here to donate to Navy Pier, a mission-driven 501(c)(3) organization, in support of the organization’s post-pandemic revival and free public programming. For more information, visit


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