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City of Chicago selects redevelopment team for Bronzeville’s former Michael Reese site

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The multi-phase plan would include “technology-oriented commercial spaces,” retail, housing, and a hotel

City of Chicago

After issuing a formal Request for Proposal (RFP) last fall, the City of Chicago has selected a winning bid to redevelop the former Michael Reese Hospital site in Bronzeville. According to Crain’s, city officials have tapped the team of Draper & Kramer, Farpoint Development, Chicago Neighborhood Initiatives, McLaurin Development Partners, and Bronzeville Community Development Partnership along with architectural consultant Skidmore, Owings & Merrill to revitalize the parcel just south of Chicago’s McCormick Place convention center and entrainment district. The vacant site has been in the hands of the city since 2009 and was envisioned as the Olympic village in the Windy City’s unsuccessful bid for the 2016 summer games.

The latest plan would encompass both the 49-acre Michael Reese site plus air rights over the 28-acre truck marshalling yards controlled by Chicago’s Metropolitan Pier & Exposition Authority. Initial phases of the lakefront redevelopment could include a logistics center servicing McCormick Place as well as a new event space. Longer-term plans would feature "more than 5 million square feet of technology-oriented commercial spaces, retail uses, homes and a hotel, depending on market demand," read a statement from the City of Chicago.

A conceptual rendering of the redeveloped Michael Reese site and the marshalling yards. Note the skybridge connection to McCormick Place [right].
City of Chicago

Though improvements such as the creation of a Metra Electric Line station, parkland, and connections across Lake Shore Drive were suggested by the city when the RFP first went out, details of the winning proposal remain relatively sparse at this time. The development team reportedly paid $144.5 million to acquire the two properties and will also be responsible for future site planning, environmental remediation, infrastructure upgrades, marketing, and securing the necessary zoning changes.