Four years after then-Mayor Richard M. Daley borrowed $85 million to buy the Michael Reese Hospital site with a dream of building an Olympic Village there, Mayor Rahm Emanuel is moving to realize his predecessor’s back-up vision: to turn the 37-acre site into a technology park.
Days before leaving office, Daley released a report by a panel of experts chaired by then-Commonwealth Edison CEO Frank Clark that concluded Chicago could get its investment back—and create as many as 25,000 jobs—by converting the land into a combination tech park and thriving residential neighborhood for those workers.
In January 2009, when Daley’s Olympic dream was still alive, the site that once housed 27 buildings was rezoned for mixed use development that may include: residential units, business, commercial, transportation and accessory uses. A new, more efficient road network has also been approved by the city.
According to the RFP, the city’s current goals are to: create “high-quality, 21st Century” jobs; attract established companies and foster creation of new companies in emerging business sectors; attract individual and institutional investors to support those companies and foster redevelopment of the nearby Bronzeville and South Loop communities.