Friday, October 5, 2012

Ideas for Old Michael Reese Campus Floated Around Again

Image of Old Michael Reese Hospital Grounds from Chicago Reader
Remember when we covered everything to do with Chicago's Olympic Bid?  Man those were some interesting times and posts.

Well a lingering one continues to give us material.  Chicago Real Estate Daily had a recent story about concepts for the large, vacant former Michael Reese Hospital site (just South of the Sloop):  
The former Michael Reese Hospital site on the South Side is blank slate, but planners and residents took an initial stab at figuring out how to fill it at a meeting Monday evening. 
Suggestions for the 37-acre property on South Lake Shore Drive included building an Obama Presidential Library, transforming it into a technology park and using it for a casino. 
The pressure is on the city of Chicago to do something with the site before October 2014, when the city must starting paying down a $91 million loan on the property, which the Daley administration had wanted to use for the 2016 Olympic Village. Earlier this year, the City Council refinanced the property in a deal with Medline Industries Inc., the Mundelein-based hospital supplier that provided the loan and sold the property to the city.
Interesting stuff.  Still not sure what would be best for the Sloop, but it will be fascinating to see what happens with this space.  The idea of the Obama library is interesting to us.  However, we can think of many other places where we think it would be better placed.


Anonymous said...

high end Resort and Casino. It would really have to be world class and I would suggest a cover to enter to keep the trash out. Would have to be fully gated and entrances overstaffed with security. This would instantly take away half of Horseshoe Hammonds business.

Anonymous said...

Completely agree with your comment. If it isn't an extremely high end casino we will all end up regretting it. The Lumiere in St Louis was really nice when it first opened and the clientele is questionable at best now. This really needs to be thought through before any decisions are made.

Anonymous said...

I would somewhat reluctantly agree that a casino seems the most plausible option.. In addition to the tax benefits for the state, it could have synergies with McCormick Place

Paul Botts said...

Blea, not a fan of that idea. Half of Hammond's casino business has already gone to The Rivers, do we really want the other half? Not sure how once it's opened you can as a practical matter keep an urban hotel/casino from going the way of the Lumiere. Besides casino revenues nationally got absolutely hammered when the bubble burst and have not yet recovered even slightly, that doesn't necessarily look like a real growth sector anymore.

I certainly wouldn't devote all of that site to something like a presidential library, but it does seem like such an institution could draw pretty well in such an accessible location. And it wouldn't have the downside aspects of a casino.

Anonymous said...

If you believe that a casino is the answer... then you haven't been to Detroit for a decade.

Casinos destroy neighborhoods!

Michael said...

Apparently no one wants to mention that soil within the Michael Reese site has radioactive contamination, as a result of a radium separation company that operated there in the early 1900's. Yes, we're talking radium and uranium. The EPA ordered a cleanup late last year. That's why demolition was stopped.

On the other hand a glow-in-the-dark casino does sound kinda cool.

Unknown said...

Something along the lines of the College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering at State University of New York would be great. See following link for story on job creation:

Anonymous said...