Developers plan to start building $3.5 billion Bronzeville project in the fall of 2021

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A Skidmore, Owings & Merrill rendering of the proposed research and innovation center to be anchored by Israel’s Sheba Medical Center

Developers of a planned $3.5 billion mixed-use development at the former Michael Reese Hospital site in Bronzeville say they hope to submit their zoning proposal to the City Council this month, with approval later this year of plans that they promised will create jobs and services while honoring the community’s heritage.

The project’s timetable for the approximately 52 city-owned acre site was outlined to community residents at a Zoom meeting arranged by city planners and Ald. Sophia King, the Chicago Sun-Times reports.

Construction could begin in the fall of 2021 if the city approves the zoning, said Farpoint Development partner Scott Goodman. The developers had previously said that Israel’s Sheba Medical Center will anchor a 500,000-sq. ft.  research and innovation center in the project’s first phase.

Goodman said the developers have agreed that 65 percent of all businesses involved in the site must be minority-owned, creating opportunities for work and investment in Bronzeville. “We think we are on the right side of history on this project,” he said.

Buildings would be restricted to an overall height of 400 feet.  There are plans for nine acres of new parks and a community centre, with the Singer Pavilion the final strructure fro the former Reese campus, to be incorporated into the development.

The published report quoted Cynthia Roubik, assistant commissioner at the Department of Planning and Development, as saying  the project could receive $31 million in subsidies from the tax increment financing program. Most of the money would be used for environmental cleanup at the northern end of the site, near 26th Street and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Drive, where a radium processing plant operated in the early 1900s, she said.

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