MEDICAL DISTRICT — Cook County is moving forward with a plan that would see the shuttered Old Cook County Hospital redeveloped, officials announced this week.
A private redevelopment agreement and land lease that would see a hotel, apartments, shops and parking developed at the old Cook County Hospital site will be presented to the Cook County Board of Commissioners Wednesday, April 13 and referred to the County Board's Finance Committee, officials said in a news release Wednesday.
Construction would begin in 2017 and completion of the new building is anticipated in mid-2018. The project is expected to create more than 2,000 temporary and permanent jobs.
The hospital's beaux arts facade would be restored and preserved as part of the project, and office space, retail shops, additional apartments and a technology center are expected to be developed on the larger site in phases, according to County documents.
A conceptual map shows what the Old Cook County Hospital and surrounding properties could look like after redevelopment. [Cook County Board President's Office]
Civic Health Development Group has been selected to redevelop the Old County Hospital, and the firm is expected to invest about $600 million in the project and will pay at least $2 million in annual rent to the county over the term of the lease, officials said.
“Seeing the old historic facade of the 1914 hospital building come alive again with housing, hospitality and dining totally transforms the entire IMD and surrounding institutional and residential communities” said Cook County Commissioner Robert Steele, who represents the district in which the Old County Hospital is located.
Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle said the project would foster "true urban transformation." The redevelopment project requires no capital investment or direct subsidy from the county, officials said.
“New residential, retail, office and hotel construction will create a vibrant mixed-use community enhancing the adjacent Illinois Medical District and Chicago’s Near West Side," she said.
After review by the Cook County Board's Finance Committee, the full Board may vote on the redevelopment agreement at a May 11 meeting.
Civic Health Development Group, the firm selected to redevelop the hospital property, is led by Real Estate Services and is comprised of a number of firms, including Plenary Group, Walsh Investors, Walsh Construction Company, Granite Development, Loop Capital, SOM, Health Management Associates and Legat Architects, according to Cook County records.
Seven development teams were finalists in the request for proposals process.
In October 2014, five civic groups pitched their visions for the Cook County site, which included residential lofts, a hotel and a business incubator.
To honor the hospital's rich legacy, some former hospital employees previously said they want a Cook County Medical Museum incorporated into future developments.
The former hospital, 1835 W. Harrison St., was replaced by Stroger Hospital of Cook County. Completed in 1914, the remaining former hospital structure was previously used as the administrative wing and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It closed in 2002.
A conceptual drawing shows plans for a new nine-story Central Campus Health Center on the Medical District campus. [Cook County Board President's Office]
New outpatient care center
Plans also call for a new Central Campus Health Center to be developed, which would adjoin the current Stroger Hospital.
The new $108.5 million state-of-the-art outpatient facility will provide patients of the Cook County Health & Hospitals System with improved health care delivery and consolidate many functions now housed in three older buildings, officials said.
The new nine-story, 282,000-square-foot building will consolidate many of the services in the current administration building on Polk Street, the Fantus Health Center and the Hektoen Administration Building. Altogether, these old buildings comprise about 680,000 square feet of real estate on the campus.
The three outdated buildings will be subsequently decommissioned and demolished, reducing the County's real estate footprint in the area, and surface parking will be added on the current Fantus site.
The measure will be introduced at the April 13 meeting and then referred to the Board's Finance Committee.
The old Cook County Hospital, 1835 W. Harrison St., closed in 2002. [Jeff Dahl]
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