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City of Chicago Approves $3.8B Mixed-Use Project at Former Michael Reese Hospital Site

Bronzeville Lakefront

Phase I of Bronzeville Lakefront will include a 500,000-square-foot innovation building, community center, retail space, a mixed-income senior housing building and new park. (Image courtesy of the Michael Reese Virtual Town Hall Meeting at chicago.gov)

CHICAGO — The Chicago City Council has given approval for the development of Bronzeville Lakefront, a $3.8 billion mixed-use project located in Bronzeville, a South Side neighborhood. Michael Reese Hospital and Medical Center, which closed in 2008, formerly occupied the 48-acre development site. The City of Chicago acquired the property in 2009 and cleared most of the land over the ensuing months. 

A team of local developers known as GRIT was selected to purchase the site for $96.9 million through a redevelopment agreement. GRIT comprises Farpoint Development, Loop Capital Management, McLaurin Development Partners, Draper & Kramer, Chicago Neighborhood Initiatives and the Bronzeville Community Development Partnership.

Upon completion, Bronzeville Lakefront will offer 7 million square feet of commercial and institutional space, as well as mixed-income housing, and will create up to 20,000 temporary and permanent jobs. The development team will break ground on the $600 million first phase of the project in late 2021 or early 2022. The site is bounded by 31st Street, 26th Street, Vernon Avenue and Lake Shore Drive.

Phase I will include a 500,000-square-foot Chicago Arc Innovation Building; retail space; a community center; a mixed-income seniors housing building; a new park; and the reuse of an existing building named the Singer Pavilion. The Arc Innovation Center will be led by Israel’s Sheba Medical Center, which will lease about one-quarter of the building, according to reports by The Chicago Tribune. 

The $3 billion second phase of development will revitalize the northern portion of the site through the addition of medical research facilities, mixed-income residential units, retail, offices and open green space, which will be constructed over the next two decades. Development on Phase 2 could start as early as 2023. 

The project will also include more than nine acres of green space, bike facilities, sidewalks and utilities through a $60 million infrastructure agreement with the City of Chicago, which will be financed through general obligation bonds.

Infrastructure improvements will re-establish a comprehensive roadway network through the site, with improved sections of 26th, 27th, 29th and 30th streets, Lake Park Avenue and Cottage Grove Avenue, all of which are scheduled for completion by 2024. 

Katie Sloan

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