|Image via Curbed Chicago|
A casino/entertainment complex, a major convention hotel and a Barack Obama presidential library are being floated as possible anchors for a mixed-use redevelopment of the former Michael Reese Hospital site on the Near South Side.
These possible scenarios were presented Thursday evening by a team led by architecture firm Skidmore Owings & Merrill at a community meeting held at West Point Missionary Baptist Church in Bronzeville.
The city of Chicago commissioned the exploration of potential possibilities.
The idea would be to build an entertainment center, casino and hotel on the north end of the site, near McCormick Place, to boost offerings for conventioneers and tourists.
Casino developers often are willing to pay for infrastructure improvements, a critical need for the site, said Douglas Voigt, director of urban design and planning at SOM.
The casino aspect, which would require approval in Springfield, drew strong opposition from many residents at the packed meeting, who feared it would cheapen the development and the area.
These ideas aren't new. They're just a little more formal now that the pros at Skidmore Owings & Merrill have presented them.
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