Chicago to Issue RFP for Shuttered Hospital Site

The city hopes to transform the 49-acre Michael Reese Hospital site into a vibrant mixed-use destination.
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel

Chicago—Previous plans for the redevelopment of the former home of Michael Reese Hospital in Chicago’s Bronzeville neighborhood have gone by the wayside, but now the city of Chicago is seeking new ideas. The city will issue a Request for Proposals Oct. 12, in hopes of breathing new life into the revitalization-starved South Side community with the transformation of the 49-acre property into a mixed-use destination.

A renaissance of the Michael Reese Hospital site has been a long time coming. The city acquired the shuttered hospital property on the 2900 block of Ellis Avenue in 2009, and in the years since, unrealized concepts for the land have included a technology park and a proposed venue for the 2016 Olympics should Chicago have won its bid to host the Games. (Blame it on Rio). Now, officials are envisioning a multi-phase, 6.5 million-square-foot development on the property, where the demolition of all but one of 29 buildings was completed in 2014.

“This is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to transform a part of the south side and generate economic opportunities that will reach throughout Chicago,” Mayor Emanuel said in a prepared statement. “With projects like this we are investing in the economic growth of our neighborhoods, in this case Bronzeville, building a brighter future block by block and neighborhood by neighborhood.”

There’s a lot of space to play with at the hospital site—as well as a lot of options. Developers will be allowed to present a maximum of two proposals featuring a combination of commercial, institutional, residential and recreational segments. The Department of Planning and Development will accept submissions until Feb. 22, 2017.