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Transformative Cook County Hospital redevelopment takes key step forward

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Developers secured financing to adapt the 104-year-old hospital building into new hotel rooms

Raymond Boyd/Getty Images

The long-awaited multiphase redevelopment of Chicago’s old Cook County Hospital campus to a mixed-use complex is just weeks away from breaking ground.

Private developer Civic Health Development Group secured $135 million in financing to commence work on the 14-acre project as early as mid June, reported the Chicago Tribune on Friday.

Expected to open in the summer of 2020, this first phase will focus on the hospital’s 1914 main building which has sat vacant since 2002. The 345,000-square-foot Beaux Arts structure at 1835 W. Harrison Street will reopen as Hyatt House and Hyatt Place hotels delivering a combined 210 guest rooms as well as new medical offices and retail space.

Phase two of the Cook County Hospital masterplan calls for a new building just east of the granite and terra-cotta main structure. Further phases are still being finalized but are likely to include additional new buildings featuring residential, commercial, and medical research components.

Led by Chicago-based Murphy Development Group, Civic Health Development Group is joint venture consisting of MB Real Estate, Walsh Investors, Plenary Group, and Granite Companies. Architect Skidmore, Owings & Merrill was tapped as lead designer and will collaborate with Koo Interiors.

The redevelopment of Cook County Hospital could grow into $1 billion project, John T. Murphy told the Tribune. It joins a number of developments poised to transform Chicago’s Illinois Medical District. Notable projects include the new Cook County Central Campus Health Center, the $300 million IMD Gateway project, a $500 million outpatient care facility from Rush University, and the glassy 19-story SCIO apartment tower.

A 2016 conceptual rendering illustrating future phases of the Cook County Hospital redevelopment plan.
Cook County Hospital