After years of delay, the city of Chicago is nearly ready to sell off the Michael Reese Hospital site and make good on its investment. Built in 1881 and named after a local real estate developer, the Bronzeville complex was originally purchased for $91 million during the Daley administration as part of the failed 2016 Olympic bid and meant to serve as the Olympic Village. But after the city was passed over, it was stuck with the deteriorating site. With the current move to finalize the bidding process and sell, the city's timing gels with an upswing in the real estate market and should allow them to avoid being on the hook for a sizable investment. In addition to the $91 million, taxpayers would also have to foot the bill for $43 million in interest over the next decade, as well as pay back the $21 million used for the original purchase, according to the Tribune.
Considering the numerous plans that have been floated for the 49-acre site, situated near development at the McCormick Center and the newly opened Cermak-McCormick Place Green Line station, the city should have no problem finding a buyer. In 2012, Skidmore, Owings & Merrill was hired by the city to create a plan for the site and suggested a casino. More recently, the site has been put forward as a potential site for the Obama Presidential Library or the Lucas Museum.