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SNEED EXCLUSIVE: Developer plans to make old county hospital a community anchor

Friday, January 12, 2018
Chicago Sun-Times
by Michael Sneed

 

The patient is finally heading to rehab.

• Translation: The restoration and redevelopment of Old Cook County Hospital has just taken a major step forward.

Sneed has learned a long-term, 99-year lease has finally been turned over to a private development team in anticipation of moving the major project into its first phase.

The private developer, Civic Health Development Group (CHDG), is led by Chicago-based developer John T. Murphy and includes Walsh Investors, Murphy Development Group, MB Real Estate, Plenary Group and Granite Companies.

• The stats: CHDG plans to invest about $130 million of private dollars to transform the historic Old Cook County Hospital building into a community anchor for the hospital complex and surrounding community. The first tenants of the rehabilitated hospital building are expected sometime in 2019.

• The lease became effective Dec. 31. “It commits the developer to finalize construction plans so restoration work can begin this summer,” said a source.

“With the signing of this lease, we can look forward to restoring this amazing building and its historic architecture,” said Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle.

“Additionally, the redevelopment of Old County Hospital will unlock tremendous economic potential for the Near West Side and the Illinois Medical District,” Preckwinkle added.

The first tenants of the rehabilitated old Cook County Hospital, which was derelict for nearly 14 years, will include a major hotel, administrative/medical offices and ground floor retail in the midst of the 16-acre Illinois Medical District.

The building, at 1835 W. Harrison St., was designed by architect Paul Gerhardt and listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Historic restoration plans have been developed by the world-renowned architecture firm of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill.

Sneed is told CHDG is partially financing the project through federal historic tax credits, a benefits program managed by the National Park Service.



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