By TONIA HILL
Imagine Development has made public a proposal for the Michael Reese Hospital Campus Site, 2960 S. Ellis Ave., the development group envisions what they call a “city within-a-city” to enrich the Bronzeville community’s history of arts, music, commerce and medical innovation.
The Imagine project would include luxury condos, affordable housing, sports and entertainment venues and hotel space for the 112-acre site.
“Our vision is a vibrant, sustainable, diverse, pedestrian and family-friendly, community honoring the history of Bronzeville, said Paul McDermott, IMAGINEdev Project Manager. “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 aim of the proposal according to Imagine is to create a walkable “smart city” where people can live, work, and play. The proposal includes four sectors dedicated to technology and innovation, education and research, recreation and sports training and the arts.
The Imagine project would create 5 million square feet of office, lab and conference space, 1.4 million square feet of new hotels and two foreign university extensions as well as student dormitories and academic space for local universities.
The project calls for 4,000 residential units featuring luxury condos, affordable housing, and micro apartments to single-family homes. 400,000 square feet of retail space, 200,000 square feet of restaurants, bars and nightclubs, and 12 acres of recreation and sports facilities. In addition the project also requests 50 acres of professional grade athletic training and completion facilities for over 30 sports.
Imagine projects that the redevelopment will spur 4,600 construction jobs, create 27,000 jobs onsite once completed and another 35,000 jobs through indirect economic impact.
The Michael Reese Hospital Campus Site has been vacant since the hospital closed in 2008. The city purchased the site in 2009 hoping to host the 2016 Summer Olympics, the winning bid for the Olympics was granted to Rio de Janeiro.
In October of last year, the Department of Planning and Development called for proposals to redevelop the property. The response date for requests ended Feb. 22, and the city will choose a developer on April 6.