Bidding for the Games -- Chicago Deals for Olympic Village Site

(ATR) Just in time for the printing of the bid book for the 2016 Olympics, the city of Chicago secures land needed for the Olympic Village.

Michael Reese Hospital would be torn down to make room for the Olympic Village in the revised plans for Chicago 2016.(ATR) Just in time for the printing of the bid book for the 2016 Olympics, the city of Chicago secures land needed for the Olympic Village.

A statement released late Monday by bid committee Chicago 2016 announces that the city has made a deal to purchase the land, location of the now-shuttered Michael Reese Hospital. The campus is located on the so-called Near South Side of Chicago.

The location is less than one mile south of the original site proposed for the Olympic Village, which was adjacent to McCormick Place, the huge convention center is designated for the Main Press Center and a number of sports.

The switch in plans was prompted when the 37-acre hospital site was put on sale in May. The city of Chicago views the location as more suitable for long-term development than the site next to McCormick Place. The Michael Reese Hospital was one of Chicago’s oldest when it closed after more than 120 years of operation.

The city will spend $86 million to acquire the site, while Medline, the corporation owning the hospital will spend $32 million for demolition and remediation which be considered as a charitable contribution.

Ben Bradley of WLS TV reports that “on-again, off-again negotiations resumed several weeks ago” between Chicago 2016 Chairman Patrick Ryan and Medline to seal the deal for the hospital land.

“We are very pleased that we have been able to reach a final agreement, and we appreciate Medline’s flexibility in structuring a transaction that fits our needs. Their charitable contribution clearly indicates that they share in our vision for how Chicago 2016 chair Patrick Ryan pushed negotiations forward for the acquisition of the village site. (ATR)the Village development can provide long-term benefits to the City, such as affordable housing, new job development and the creation of a new environmentally advanced community. For that we thank them,” said Ryan in the Chicago 2016 statement.

While plans had been developed for the prior site of the Olympic Village, included in Chicago’s bid two years ago for the U.S. nomination for 2016, the look of the village for the new site has not been unveiled yet. The Chicago 2016 release says the hospital campus is more advantageous for A prototype for the prior location of the Chicago Olympic Village. The new site is also close to the Lake Michigan shoreline. (ATR)development.

“The additional land gives prospective developers more flexibility to deliver an Olympic Village that will be converted into a mixed-use, residential neighborhood after the Games, including affordable housing. If Chicago is not selected to host the Games in 2016, the City of Chicago will continue to pursue development of this new lakeside community on the City’s Near South Side,” says the statement.

The certainty of the hospital site for the village comes as Chicago and the three other 2016 bid cities put the final touches on their bid books to be submitted to the IOC in February.

As far as is known, the Olympic Village plans for Madrid, Rio de Janeiro and Tokyo will remain as proposed so far. Madrid will develop a suburban location close to Olympic venues and the airport. Rio de Janeiro plans a village that is part of an Olympic Park to be built in a western suburb. Tokyo proposes a site in the east of the city that would be close to new venues such as the Olympic Stadium.

Written by

Ed Hula

For general comments or questions,

click here