City Council OKs Obama Park Land Swap | NBC Chicago
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City Council OKs Obama Park Land Swap

"I do believe with this [vote] today, the city has put its best foot forward," said Mayor Rahm Emanuel

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    Chicago aldermen on Wednesday approved an ordinance that would allow park land to be used for President Barack Obama's presidential library if the city wins the bid. Land would be leased to the Obama Foundation if one of Chicago's bids is chosen. NBC Chicago's Mary Ann Ahern reports. (Published Wednesday, March 18, 2015)

    Chicago aldermen on Wednesday approved an ordinance that would allow park land to be used for President Barack Obama's presidential library if the city wins the bid.

    "I do believe with this [vote] today, the city has put its best foot forward," Mayor Rahm Emanuel said Wednesday. 

    In late December, the Obama foundation let it be known publicly that it had serious concerns about the University of Chicago's bid — in particular, the school's failure to prove it could secure the Chicago Park District land on which it was proposing to build. That set off a scramble by university officials and Mayor Rahm Emanuel for a land transfer deal.

    The park district's board in February voted unanimously to transfer 20 acres to the city, to be leased to the foundation if the University of Chicago gets the library. The Chicago Plan Commission approved the agreement at a March 9 meeting.

    City Council Expected to OK Obama Park Land Swap

    [CHI] City Council Expected to OK Obama Park Land Swap
    Land would be leased to the Obama Foundation if one of Chicago's bids is chosen. (Published Wednesday, March 18, 2015)

    The University of Chicago is competing with the University of Illinois at Chicago, Columbia University in New York, and the University of Hawaii in Honolulu to host the Obama Library.

    "We have beautiful museums in our parks already," said Ald. Joe Moore. "This will be a wonderful addition."

    The Associated Press a week ago, citing sources, said Obama decided to hold off on announcing the location for his future presidential library until after Chicago's runoff election for mayor.

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