Developers reveal $6B redevelopment plan for Michael Reese site

Coalition betting on life sciences industry for the megaproject

TRD CHICAGO /
May.May 05, 2020 11:10 AM
Farpoint’s Scott Goodman and a rendering of the former Michael Reese hospital site (Credit: Farpoint; SOM)

Farpoint’s Scott Goodman and a rendering of the former Michael Reese hospital site (Credit: Farpoint; SOM)

A coalition of developers have revealed details for a bold reimagining of the former Michael Reese Hospital site in Bronzeville, with a plan to construct a 15 million-square-foot mixed-use campus focused on the life sciences industry.

At a projected cost of $6 billion, its price tag is similar to that of other megaprojects being absorbed into Chicago’s skyline — Sterling Bay’s Lincoln Yards and Related Midwest’s the 78.

The coalition, led by Chicago-based Farpoint Development, plans to show its vision to the City Council this month, according to Crain’s. If all goes well, it could break ground by the third quarter of 2021.

Farpoint’s first phase calls for about 1 million square feet of new buildings and a park along 31st Street. A 500,000-square-foot medical building, to be anchored by ARC Innovation Center, would be the crown jewel of the property. Nearby would be retail space, a community center and a park by the new Metra station.

The developers — which also includes Draper & Kramer, McLaurin Development Partners, Loop Capital, Chicago Neighborhood Initiatives and the Bronzeville Community Development Partnership — plan to utilize tax-increment financing to help pay for the new Metra station, which is expected to cost $175 million, according to Crain’s.

The second phase, to begin in 2028, would call for 5.5 million square feet of buildings, including apartment towers. Over the course of two decades, the project could also include workforce housing geared toward the biotech sector.

The developers have not locked down financing for the megaproject, which will likely be difficult to obtain during a recession.

In 2009, the hospital was demolished. Last year, The Real Deal investigated how the site landed in a federal Opportunity Zone despite an earlier analysis that left it out. [Crain’s] — James Kleimann


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