Farpoint’s plan for Michael Reese site includes resi complex, data center

The Burnham Lakefront megaproject in Bronzeville would include a 500K sf life sciences campus

Oct.October 09, 2019 05:00 PM
Rendering of the Michael Reese site, Alderman Sophia King and Farpoint Development's Scott Goldman (Credit: Alderman Sophia King)

Rendering of the Michael Reese site, Alderman Sophia King and Farpoint Development’s Scott Goldman (Credit: Alderman Sophia King)

It was once a hospital. Then, the city of Chicago bought it and it was a potential site for the 2016 Olympic Games. When that bid failed, there was talk of turning it into a casino.

Now, there are new plans for the 49-acre former Michael Reese Hospital site in Bronzeville.

Farpoint Development — which the city tapped to lead the redevelopment team — laid out its plan this week for 650,000 square feet of residential space on the near North Side location, according to the report. The project also includes a possible data center, and a 500,000-square-foot life sciences campus, along with the market-rate and affordable housing. Construction could start in the next 18 months, according to the report.

City officials and developers on the Burnham Lakefront megaproject announced the plans at a meeting with the community this week. In addition to Farpoint, developers include Draper & Kramer, Chicago Neighborhood Initiatives, McLaurin Development Partners, and Bronzeville Community Development Partnership.

The sprawling site, which the city bought over a decade ago, is also in a federally-designated Opportunity Zone. The $2 billion project at the Michael Reese site had already been in line to collect city funds for the construction of the new campus, according to an investigation by The Real Deal in May. Now, the site stands to gain significant federal tax incentives because of the Opportunity Zone designation.

Alderman Sophia King said the recent plans were not “set in stone,” according to the Block Club report. What is set in stone is that the location will not become a casino, as proposed earlier this year. [Block Club] — Kelsey Neubauer

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