After lengthy review process, Obama Presidential Center groundbreaking set for ‘later this summer’

Chicago News
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CHICAGO — After years of trying to gain federal approvals, the Obama Foundation announced Wednesday that the Obama Presidential Center groundbreaking in Jackson Park is set for later this summer.

Construction could begin as early as August with pre-construction work beginning in April, according to the Obama Foundation.

“Getting to this point wouldn’t have been possible without the folks in the community who have been a part of this process along the way,” said former President Obama.

To coincide with the announcement, Mayor Lightfoot said the Chicago Department of Planning and Development, Department of Housing, Department of Transportation, Park District and Public Library will move forward with several capital investment projects surrounding the center.

The Obama Foundation estimates the construction costs of the Center and development of the parkland on-site will be nearly $500M. Pursuant to its agreement with Chicago, the Obama Foundation will bear 100 percent of the costs to construct and maintain the grounds and structures within the OPC site, turning over ownership to the City upon completion.

“With this final step in the review, Chicago is now officially the home of the presidential center for our country’s first Black president,” said Mayor Lightfoot. “The Obama Presidential Center and nearby capital improvement projects will undoubtedly distinguish our city’s historic South Side as a world-class economic and cultural hub. Through opportunities both created and attracted by these initiatives, residents in the surrounding communities, will have long overdue access to much-needed, sustainable and good-paying jobs and other neighborhood resources.” 

The full press release from the mayor’s office on all of the economic developments is below.

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