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Obama Presidential Center approved by Chicago plan commission

CHICAGO —Construction of the Obama Presidential Center in Chicago has taken a major step forward with a city commission's decision to sign off on the project.

The Chicago Plan Commission on Thursday approved a proposal to build former President Barack Obama's center in Jackson Park on the city's South Side. The action came over protests from opponents who want an agreement that local residents will benefit from the $500 million project.

The plan still has other hurdles to clear, including City Council approval.

Protesters interrupted Thursday's meeting and demonstrators were outside City Hall earlier to make their voices heard ahead of the vote.

On Monday, a group called Protect Our Parks filed a lawsuit to block the project. They are trying to block the project on the grounds it is not a true presidential library. The group takes that stance because the center will only have a digital archive of documents and not the documents themselves.