A decade after the City of Chicago bought the Bronzeville space that used to be Michael Reese Hospital, a plan has been put together to turn it into something useful.
The last time someone took a serious whack at repopulating this fallow field was when Mayor Richard M. Daley thought it would make a swell location for the athlete’s village of the 2016 Summer Olympics. You may remember that instead of Chicago hosting the Olympic flame, Brazil introduced the world to the vuvuzela, and Mr. Daley jumped the shark.
Now, instead of sweaty, impossibly good-looking athletes running around the Reese site, the plan is to fill it with scrubby, impossibly good-looking doctors. This, because the centerpiece of the plan is a half-million-square-foot medical research facility aligned with Israel’s Sheba Medical Center.
Also of interest is the relocation of the 27th Street Metra Electric station up to 31st Street, another half-million square feet of senior housing and retail space, plus a new park. Twenty percent of the housing is supposed to be classified “affordable.”
Phase one will be mostly at the south end of the site, along 31st street. Its cost is pegged at a cool half-billion dollars, with construction starting late next year. The full monty, which envisions 14 million more mixed-use square-feet in buildings up to 800 feet tall, cha-chings at six billion dollars, and tick-tocks around the year 2035, just in time for everyone to get their flying cars and robot maids.