About this project
Purpose of our Campaign
While we have received strong interest in Breakwater Chicago to-date, it is critical to the success of our project to have the support of individuals like you.
The goal of our Kickstarter campaign is to demonstrate public support for the Breakwater Chicago concept in its pre-funding stage. Even backing us with $1 will be a sign of support and that support means so much more than just the money alone.
In order to convince investors, public officials, and potential partners we must purchase a set of critical "tools." The more money we raise with Kickstarter, the more of these tools we can purchase, and the faster we'll be able to deliver Breakwater.
The most important tool we must acquire is a 3D video experience that will show everybody what a visit to our vessel will be like. Having a visual experience of Breakwater will drive support from the community and public officials, but it costs $30,000 to develop.
The second most important tool needed to make Breakwater a reality is a physical 1:100 scale model of Breakwater made to complement the 3D videos. This will be important for building support from the architectural and environmental communities, but it costs an additional $30,000.
Finally, if you help us reach $100,000 we will not only have amazing 3D videos and an impressive architectural model, but we can also add software that will tie the two together. This "live model" will allow folks to view renderings on a tablet PC, touch the area that they'd like to learn more about, watch the physical model light up around the area of interest, and then the tablet will play a fly-through animation showing your path from one area of the vessel to your selected area on the tablet. Being able to pay a virtual visit to a groundbreaking venue is a powerful tool... and it's also incredibly cool!
So chip in $1... donate $100... drop $5,000... whatever your level of comfort is for supporting Breakwater Chicago, please do so, and show your support for an exciting and unique project that will prove to the rest of the world that we, the United States, and we, the city of Chicago, continue to set the bar for innovation and architectural design.
Breakwater Chicago's mission is to create an entertainment venue utterly unique to Chicago: a national and international attraction bringing visitors to experience a world-class city in an unprecedented way, by enjoying an extraordinary location that is both luxurious and truly at harmony with its environment.
Breakwater Chicago is currently designing, and will later build and operate, a floating luxury entertainment venue. The venue will operate as a vessel (300’ long by 100’ wide) on Lake Michigan, located off-shore from Chicago’s beautiful shoreline during the summer. Breakwater’s unique entertainment venue will provide guests with a wide variety of amenities (pool, restaurants, and lounge) and offer a service level equivalent to a five-star hotel. We are targeting a grand opening just prior to summer 2015. The diversity of offerings aboard our vessel, along with our location on Lake Michigan, creates an amazing collage of daytime, evening, and nighttime entertainment that will represent the very best that Chicago has to offer. During the winter, Breakwater will be enclosed in a clear dome and tied to shore, providing Chicago with a local escape to a tropical pool environment even when its below freezing outside.
Americana Restaurant: The primary restaurant will be the largest food service space and will offer a creative American menu at a mid-tier price.
Seafood Restaurant: Since we're located on a lake, it's only fitting that we offer seafood, sushi, and raw bar options. Our team is even looking at ways to use locally sourced, sustainable fish from the Great Lakes.
Pop-Up Restaurant (TM): The third restaurant will be a unique concept that borrows from the recent “pop-up restaurant” movement in Europe and the US. The idea is to invite chefs to create a short-term themed menu and decorate the space according to that theme, allowing patrons to enjoy culinary treats for a limited time before that pop-up ends and another begins.
Nightclub / Lounge: Breakwater will offer a nightclub that will allow guests to continue their entertainment from evening into the night hours. These areas will be located indoors on the vessel, primarily to control sound, but guests will still have access to the main decks after dark.
“Private Island” Club: The final area designed as part of the overall Breakwater vessel is a private club, accessible by members or on an invite-only basis.
Sun Decks: Open decks will be located throughout the vessel for guests to get some sun and mingle with the crowd. Guests will be able to choose from a plethora of relaxation options including: lounge chairs, daybeds, lily pads, cabanas, and bungalows.
Wading Pool: 10,000 square feet are included in the conceptual design to provide water for guests to enjoy, as well as to help breakup the spacious main deck. This pool is meant more for wading than for swimming laps and shallower depths provide a safer environment for our guests.
Spa & Wellness: Additional amenities will be provided to our guests through a spa and wellness area to include massages, manicures, pedicures, hairdressing and makeup services.
Retail: A relatively small retail area will be dedicated to the sale of merchandise such as clothing, shoes, sunglasses, sunscreen and other products that enhance the experience on our "boat," and that people can take home to use and remember their last visit to Breakwater.
During the summer months, Breakwater will be anchored in an existing anchorage zone just inside the outer breakwater (see map below: yellow areas indicate potential summer locations). While anchored offshore, Breakwater will only be accessible by boat. Accommodations will be available at Breakwater for private boaters to tie-up with our vessel, providing a great destination for boaters in Chicago and from surrounding states. Water taxis will also be available to shuttle non-boating guests to and from our location, making Lake Michigan even more accessible, with or without your own boat.
For the rest of the year, we intend to put a clear dome over Breakwater so that guests can continue enjoying a tropical pool environment even during the harshest of winters. During these colder months, Breakwater will be anchored adjacent to shore so that guests can walk up to the venue directly.
Irrespective of exact location, Breakwater will comply with all local, state, and federal regulations for operating a commercial passenger vessel on the navigable waterways of the Great Lakes.
Breakwater Development Process
Breakwater is currently in its conceptual form; however, the Breakwater team has been working on the pre-development stages of the project for over two years. During this time, the team has arranged meetings with pertinent federal, state, and local government agencies who have shown initial interest in the project. The Breakwater team has laid the ground work with many of these groups such that when the time comes to obtain approvals, permits, and/or support, these groups will already be familiar with the Breakwater concept. Our goal has been to work closely with these agencies from the very beginning, not only to avoid surprises later, but also to ensure that we're on the right path from the get-go. We are always excited to discuss the project with governmental agencies, community groups, and non-profit groups who have an interest in Breakwater and we welcome their feedback and advice.
In addition, we have interviewed several architects, construction firms, general contractors, interior designers, and operators for the project. Based on this diligence, we chose to partner with the following organizations thus far:
Aon Risk Solutions: Global insurance broker based in Chicago, IL.
Chicago Harbor Safety Committee (member): Committee comprised of local, state, and federal regulatory officials and businesses with a vested interest in maintaining safety within the Chicago Harbor.
Elliott Bay Design Group: Naval architecture firm based out of Seattle, WA.
Illinois Restaurant Association (member): Founded in 1914, the Illinois Restaurant Association is a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting, protecting, educating and improving the restaurant industry in Illinois.
Mac Strategies Group: Nineteen-time award winning public affairs and public relations firm with offices in Chicago, IL and Springfield, IL.
National Restaurant Association (member): National trade organization whose vision is to lead America's restaurant industry into a new era of prosperity, prominence, and participation, enhancing the quality of life for all they serve.
Projx Construction Group: General contracting firm based just outside of Chicago in Hoffman Estates, IL.
SPACE Architects + Planners: Architectural firm based in Chicago, IL.
Seed Chicago: The Seed Chicago program was launched in April 2013 and is the City of Chicago's curated Kickstarter crowdfunding page. Created through a partnership between Accion Chicago, World Business Chicago, and the City of Chicago as part of the Mayor's Plan for Economic Growth and Jobs, Seed Chicago features small business and community development projects which facilitate economic activity, revitalize neighborhoods, or promote education and training. The program is managed by Accion Chicago and through this collaboration with Kickstarter, Seed Chicago creates jobs and economic growth in Chicago's neighborhoods.
We have been actively seeking to raise capital to finance the project. To date, we have received several checks from equity investors and preliminary debt terms from lenders. As soon as we obtain necessary approvals for the project, we will begin to deploy these funds, starting with the commencement of our Detailed Design phase.
Our entire design team is ready to take Breakwater from the conceptual design phase to the detailed design phase. At the completion of Detailed Design, scheduled for this summer, our team should have construction drawings submitted to the U.S. Coast Guard for final review and to shipyards for final bids. Once a shipyard is chosen, construction will begin so that the vessel can be delivered to Chicago late in the spring of 2015.
Breakwater Leadership Team
Breakwater has assembled a talented and motivated leadership team. Led by Breakwater founder, Beau D’Arcy, the leadership team consists of experienced professionals across a variety of disciplines and with complementary skill sets.
Breakwater Board of Advisors
In order to enhance and expand the strategic capacity of the Breakwater management team, a small number of advisers were approached about joining Breakwater. The members of our Board of Advisors are as follows:
Friends of Breakwater
We have also assembled a highly distinguished group of individuals who support Breakwater with advice, introductions, and public support. We consider these individuals, "Friends of Breakwater," and they include:
Stella Black: Owner of Stella Black Real Property Consultants; Board Member for Neumann Family Services
Ann Buttenwieser: Author, urban planner, and founder of The Neptune Foundation, Inc. and The Floating Lady; a free, public pool in New York City
Emilia DiMenco: Non-profit executive in Chicago; former Executive Vice President of BMO Harris
Jim Kinney: President-elect for Illinois Association of Realtors; VP Luxury Home Sales at Baird & Warner; president-emeritus at Midwest Eye-Banks
Seth Kravitz: Co-founder of Technori
Scott Paddock: President of Chicagoland Speedway; former Director of Gatorade Sports Marketing
Dong Ping-Wong: Co-founder of +Pool in New York City
Tod Reynolds: Director of Chicago Match Race Center (CMRC)
John Tolva: President of PositivEnergy Practice; former Chief Technology Officer to Mayor Rahm Emanuel
Photo Mosaic ($1) - Each supporter will be able to submit a photo of their choosing, which will be combined with the photos submitted from all other supporters, to create a mosaic image of our conceptual rendering of Breakwater. There are amazing software products available that will combine thousands of images into one giant photo-mosaic, which we will then print onto an entire wall within Breakwater. You'll receive a digital copy of the mosaic to print or post, as well as a "map" so you can visit the wall at Breakwater and quickly find your beautiful face on a permanent feature within Chicago's newest icon. Here's an example of a photo mosaic made from hundreds of small photos of kids, but when zoomed out it represents the Cloud Gate sculpture in Chicago's Millennium Park, commonly known as "The Bean."
Free Pass ($10) - The average cover charge to enter Breakwater will be $20 per person, which gets you a round-trip water taxi ride to and from our vessel as well as access to all of the amenities at Breakwater (except the "Private Island" club). This pass will give you one free admission to Breakwater any time after the grand opening weekend.
Private Kickstarter Party ($25) - We will be hosting a huge celebration for all those Kickstarters who supported Breakwater and helped us to reach our goals. Before the grand opening events, you will be invited as one of the first people to experience the Breakwater vessel and our soon-to-be world famous cuisine and service. Want to make your friends jealous on Facebook? This is one invite that will have them all green with envy.
"Sick Day" at Breakwater ($50) - Speaking of green, we've all seen the famous Chicago movie Ferris Bueller's Day Off, right? Imagine having one of the founders of Breakwater Chicago LLC calling your boss to say, "[your name] has a slight fever and in his/her weakened condition, he/she could take a nasty spill down the stairs and subject himself/herself to further work absences." Life moves pretty fast... if you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it. Don't miss this chance to enjoy some PTO while working on your tan! [limited to 100]
VIP Private Kickstarter Party ($100) - When we have our private Kickstarter party, we'll have specific areas reserved for the Very Important People. Cabanas, lily pads, lookouts, all geared to be focal points of the party while providing a level of exclusivity that not everybody can enjoy. Being a VIP will give you access to this part of the soiree and first dibs on the semi-private spaces for bottle service. [limited to 500]
Sailing with Captain Beau ($200 for 2 people) - We know that you're excited to get out on the water next summer when Breakwater Chicago open, but if patience is not your virtue, here's a chance to get out on Lake Michigan in a sailboat this summer with president and co-founder (and experienced sailor) Beau D'Arcy. You'll get a 5-hour cruise on Lake Michigan in a 34-foot sailboat, including some time at the helm, and all of the panoramic views that come along with seeing Chicago from the lake. This reward is good for you AND a guest = the best buy one, get one deal you'll ever find. [limited to 10]
Lifetime VIP Card ($500) - A select few will be lucky enough to receive a lifetime VIP card to Breakwater, which will give you all kinds of incredible perks. Imagine taking a private boat to Breakwater, cutting to the front of the line, not paying a dime to get in, and having everybody else wondering, "Was that a movie star that just walked in?" [SOLD OUT]
Summer Family Pass ($600) - Most of us spent our childhood summers nagging our parents to pack up the floaties, suntan lotion, and colorful towels so everybody could spend an afternoon at the local public pool. Remember those family passes?! They were just a laminated piece of paper with our names printed on them, but at that age, it might as well have been an amex black card. Give your kids that same memory and bring the family out any time. We’ll waive your admissions fee for two adults and up to three children at a time when you bring your Summer Family Pass, and we’ll also pay for your water taxi rides (one round trip fare per person per day), all for 5 consecutive months. If you bring more than three kids, you'll just need to pay a small admission fee for the kiddo(s). Bring out your inner child - floaties optional! [limited to 25]
Cubs Game with Ashvin ($700) - It is hard to find anyone who knows as much about baseball as our co-founder, Ashvin, does. It's even harder to find someone who goes to as many Chicago Cubs games as he does! Spend an afternoon with Ashvin, along with two of your friends at Wrigley Field for a Cubs game; then join him and the other Breakwater co-founders for postgame festivities at Breakwater Chicago. Oh, and we promise* the Cubs will be good next year! (* some exclusions apply) [SOLD OUT]
Lifetime VIP Card, Round 2 ($750) - releasing a few more of the hot commodities! [SOLD OUT]
Sunset Cruise with Cap't Beau ($800) - The president and co-founder of Breakwater Chicago, Beau D'Arcy, will take you and 6 of your mates for a 5-hour sailing cruise on Lake Michigan. Beau will show you the ropes (they're called "lines" on a sailboat!) and even let you take the wheel to experience sailing first-hand. The boat will be a 34-foot Hunter sailboat, fittingly named Priorities, and kindly provided by Sail Chicago of which I’m a member and huge supporter. Sail Chicago is a non-profit sailing organization whose mission is to offer quality instruction in sailing and boating safety and provide affordable sailing opportunities to their members and others in the Chicago area. Check out their website at www.SailChicago.org and let's hit the water! [limited to 1]
Dockmaster Pass ($900) - Breakwater Chicago will have approximately 30-slips available on her docks to accommodate boaters who want to tie-up and come aboard so they can enjoy the amenities at our venue. For this reward, one lucky boater will have a golden ticket that guarantees them a slip at Breakwater throughout an entire month. On busy days in the summer, we expect our docks to be filled with boats and people will be dying to get on board. This is a must-have for all you lucky dogs out there who own your own boat. We'll even take care of up to six admission fees per day, so bring the whole crew! [limited to 1]
Dinner Cruise & Design Review ($1,000) - Once the final design for Breakwater has been etched in stone, or more likely just saved on a computer, our team will charter a private dinner cruise on Lake Michigan to share the plans. You'll enjoy a great dinner, with even better company, under a firework display sometime this summer. Imagine being one of the first people in Chicago to lay eyes on these plans. That should make for good conversation with your land-lubber pals. [SOLD OUT]
Lifetime VIP Card, Round 3 ***PLUS*** Dinner Cruise & Design Review ($1,001) - See the descriptions for each of these two items above in the $750 and $1,000 reward levels. [limited to 5]
Bears Game "Tailgate" Party ($1,500) - After we launch during the summer of 2015, the next amazing thing to happen in Chicago will obviously be the Bears winning another Super Bowl. To be ready for that, we're going to host you and 9 of your friends for a top shelf pre-game party at one of our restaurants. We'll take care of your transportation from our vessel to the game, too, and trust us... you'll be traveling in style! [SOLD OUT]
Super-VIP Party Package ($1,750) - Take care of your friends, impress your family, entertain your customers... any way you slice it, you'll be the man of the hour as a Super-VIP at our exclusive pre-launch Kickstarter party! You'll get eight (8) VIP invites to the party ($100 each), so start thinking about who you'll choose as the lucky few to join you. Your crew will be picked up in style in a stretched-limo and served some fine bubbly, all courtesy of VAM Executive Transportation [www.VAMsedan.com]. Once onboard at Breakwater Chicago, you'll be treated like a celebrity with your very own private cabana or nightclub table to have a party within a party. After enjoying the event, your limo will pick you up and get you to the post-party venue of your choice. And yes, "home" is an acceptable post-party venue! [SOLD OUT]
Bears Game "SUPER Tailgate" Party ($1,908) - This reward would have the Fridge doing a Super Bowl Shuffle! We're going to host you and 19 of your friends for a top shelf pre-game party at one of our restaurants. Your crew will be picked up in style in an executive-bus, courtesy of VAM Executive Transportation [www.VAMsedan.com], and dropped off at Breakwater for the festivities. Then the bus will take your crew from Breakwater to Soldier Field for the game. After the the Bears bring home another "W" your bus will take you home... or out to cause some trouble... whichever you prefer. Oh, in case you're wondering, the price tag is an homage to Daniel Burnham, whose "Plan of Chicago" was finished and submitted in 1908. [limited to 1]
First Dive into Breakwater Pool ($2,000) - There are not very many times in one's life where jumping into a pool has any significance, unless your name is Michael Phelps of course, but this is it. You will be the first human being to jump into the pool at Breakwater, right after the ribbon is cut, and we'll have every press outlet in Chicago there to cover it. Then we'll etch this memory into stone, literally, so that all will know that you were the first to conquer the pool. [SOLD OUT]
Board of Advisers ($2,500) - Have you ever wondered what it'd be like to sit at a long, expensive table with a bunch of wealthy and powerful business leaders while deciding the fates of mere mortals such as ourselves? Yep... us, too. But this is an opportunity to live that fantasy as an ABM (advisory board member) on Breakwater's Board of Advisers. You'll have the inside scoop as the company develops Breakwater and your voice will be heard as the biggest and most important decisions are made. Titans of Industry, here we come. [SOLD OUT]
Private Dinner at Breakwater ($3,000) - Before Breakwater is open to the public, you'll have a chance to bring your friends, your family, or both out to the vessel for a private dinner experience unlike anything you've ever seen. If you've ever wondered what it'd be like to own your very own island, like Larry Ellison or Richard Branson, here's your chance... minus a few zeros on the price tag. [SOLD OUT]
Christen the Breakwater Vessel ($5,000) - Like so many of those photos we've all seen from generations past, war vessels and cruise ships are always christened by some monarch... you know, like the Queen of England or something (sorry, mum!)... but this is your time. You'll be the only person to smash a ceremonious bottle of champagne on Breakwater's hull before she's launched in Lake Michigan for her maiden voyage from the shipyard to Chicago Harbor. Well, you'll be the only person to do this without getting arrested! Maybe we'll even bring you a crown to wear while you do the honors. [limited to 1]
Mayor Rahm Emanuel has challenged Choose Chicago and the entire city of Chicago to reach 55 million visitors per year by 2020 and he wants to propel Chicago from #9 to #5 on the U.S. List of Destinations for International Tourists. We heard the Mayor's challenge and we believe that Breakwater Chicago will help to achieve both by driving approximately 760,000 visitors annually from cities all over the world. We are very excited about the future prospects of Breakwater and believe your upfront support for this project will go a long way towards making it a reality. Daniel Burnham is a famous architect who wrote "The Plan of Chicago" in 1909, which set the stage for development in Chicago for nearly a century. Burnham famously was quoted saying, "Make no little plans; they have no magic to stir men's blood and probably themselves will not be realized. Make big plans; aim high in hope and work." Breakwater is anything but small, so we think Burnham would be pleased to know that his dreams for Chicago continue to be realized to this day.
Risks and challenges
Breakwater Chicago is an innovative, first-of-its-kind floating entertainment vessel. Given the size and unprecedented nature of Breakwater, there are risks involved with the development of the vessel. The Breakwater team has been working to mitigate these risks and we believe with the proper financial backing and community support, we can achieve our goals of designing, building, and operating Chicago’s first floating, luxury entertainment venue. The top risks that we have identified include:
Governmental Support -
Given that Breakwater is a large, multi-jurisdictional development project, we need governmental support. We will need to obtain permits and approvals from local authorities. We will also need support from elected officials across Chicago and Illinois. We have notified and informed many of the relevant stakeholders about the Breakwater project, and preliminary feedback on the project has been positive. We believe the support we have already generated, along with a successful showing of public support generated through this Kickstarter campaign, should put Breakwater in a favorable position to obtain the approvals we need.
Noise Levels -
Given that Breakwater is an entertainment vessel, we need to be mindful of our noise levels. In order to mitigate the noise impact, we plan to locate the vessel 1.1 miles away from the nearest residential building. We will ensure that Breakwater will comply with all applicable City noise ordinances. In addition, we are working with an acoustical engineering firm to ensure that Breakwater is designed to deflect sound away from the shoreline.
Environmental Impact -
Due to Breakwater's size and location on Lake Michigan, we intend to develop and operate Breakwater in an environmentally friendly way. We plan to adhere to LEED standards from the U.S. Green Building Council. We are going to incorporate the first GreenHull (TM): a mock coral system across the bottom of our hull to promote algae and seaweed growth (similar to planting trees on land) while also providing cover for fish. We will also design systems to recapture exhaust heat from electrical generators to warm the space in winter months and we can use the coolness of the lake water for cooling instead of using air conditioners in summer months.
Construction Delays -
As with any large development project, Breakwater faces the risk of construction delays. If our project faces any delays across the development process, it will push our opening date back later than we anticipated. We have hired some of the best architects, engineers, and design firms to work on Breakwater, and we believe these experienced professionals will be able to complete the project within our expected timeframe.
Additional Capital Raising -
The development budget for Breakwater is over $20 million. We have lined up several investors who are committed to fund a large portion of the equity that is required to develop Breakwater. We have also spoken with several banks and have project-level financing lined up for Breakwater. If any investor or bank is unable to meet their funding commitments, we will need to raise additional capital, which could take time.
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