What might become of the old Michael Reese Hospital site? One development group has big ideas and is showing them off. Imagine Development calls for a tech park, sports facilities and new museums.
On Monday, Imagine Development, released a proposal to redevelop the site. Their plan pulls from just about every previous idea for the site as the city debates who will develop the property.
The developers are hoping its plans for luxury condos, affordable apartments, sports and entertainment districts and new hotel space will land the firm the deal to redevelop the 114-acre location when the city picks a developer on April 6.
“Our vision is a vibrant, sustainable, diverse, pedestrian- and family-friendly community honoring the history of Bronzeville,” said Paul McDermott, the project manager for the proposal. “We see it as a first-of-its-kind, mixed-use, urban revitalization project to not only transform the South Side, but also elevate Chicago’s global stature and enhance quality-of-life for local residents.”
The city bought the site for $89 million in 2009 in the hopes of building housing for athletes during the city’s bid for the 2016 Olympics. When the bid failed, it triggered a clause in the contract that increased the price to $91 million, and the city started looking for someone who would build conference space, hotels or a tech park for the site.
The Imagine Development plan includes all of those elements and more.The developer said it is negotiating with two Chinese universities to open extensions of their campuses in Bronzeville and is planning 5 million square feet of office, lab and conference space and 1.4 million square feet of hotel space.