The long empty Cook County Hospital building is one step closer to getting a new lease on life as two separate hotel properties and office and retail spaces thanks to $135 million in financing.
According to the Chicago Tribune, construction on the site is set to begin in about two weeks. The 14-acre site will see as many as five development phases and will include office spaces as well as some apartments. The hospital has sat unoccupied since 2002 and this facelift has been long awaited.
“What everyone said can’t be done can finally be done,” said John Murphy, chairman and CEO of Murphy Development Group, the team leading the renovation and construction. “We’re going to turn a dilapidated building into the first phase of what could become a $1 billion project.”
Murphy has had a hand in restoring other old buildings in Chicago which were slated for demolition including the old Chicago Motor Club building which was converted into a Hampton Inn.
The first phase of this project is expected to be done by the summer of 2020 with the second phase – to the tune of between $300-$400 million – to start as soon as later this year.