CHICAGO — After more than six community meetings where parking spaces were cut, delivery hours restructured and patient beds reduced to appease area residents, a new Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago facility was approved Wednesday to be constructed at 630 N. McClurg Ct.
A roll call vote in City Hall revealed unanimous support for the plan to build a new 420-foot-tall research hospital that would house 242 rehabilitation patients and create 691 parking spaces for medical staff.
The plan approved Wednesday is scaled down from the initial proposal, which called for 272 patient beds, 830 parking spaces and a 480-foot-tall, 27-story facility. The Streeterville Organization of Active Residents held firm in a series of meetings about their concerns for traffic congestion.
Gail Spreen, SOAR's vice president, endorsed the final plan before the commission's vote Wednesday afternoon.
"SOAR supports having the best rehabilitation hospital in the world right here in Streeterville," Spreen said. "Changes to the design are greatly appreciated."
Also appreciated is the funding the institute has promised to update traffic signals surrounding the building, adding right and left turn signals and timers in addition to publicly-accessible bicycle parking.
The new facility will create an initial 350 job openings at the center, and the current five-year plan would create an additional 200 jobs for a total of 550, Rehabilitation Institute Vice President Ed Case said at the hearing. Building the center will employ 1,500 construction workers.
Loading times will be restricted so that 30 percent of deliveries happen between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m., and the rest will occur between 7 p.m. and 6 a.m., attorney Jack George, representing the institute, said at the hearing.
The Rehabilitation Institute owns the land where the new facility will be constructed. Case said that the hospital currently does not have concrete plans on how they will "dispose of" the current building at 345 E. Superior St., but said that there's currently no plan to repurpose it.