Casino, Obama Library Could Boost South Side: Report

Company claims either project could take over Michael Reese site

Wednesday, Nov 20, 2013  |  Updated 11:55 AM CDT
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Casino, Obama Library Could Boost South Side: Report

AP

President Obama speaks at the dedication of the George W. Bush presidential library on the campus of Southern Methodist University in Dallas.

A Chicago-based urban planning company is suggesting a casino or President Barack Obama's presidential library could boost development on the city's South Side.

Skidmore, Owings and Merrill LLP said in a report that either project would draw tourist activity to the site of the former Michael Reese Hospital, Crain's Chicago Business reported.

A casino would cost the city $208 million but would generate significant land and tax increment proceeds, the report said. It would also create 7,000 jobs.

An Obama library also has potential, according to Crain's. It would cost the city $142 million and create around 4,000 jobs. Plus, the president himself is reportedly very interested in having a library of his own.

The City of Chicago currently owns the Reese site but is hoping to sell it to a developer before next year. That's when interest payments on a $91 million promissory note will kick in, Crain's reported.

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