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City Ready To Do Something With Michael Reese Hospital Site

Michael Reese Hospital, Chicago, before its 2009 demolition

The city is finally moving forward on redeveloping the former site of Michael Reese Hospital, which has been vacant since the 49-acre campus was demolished in 2009.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel's office announced it will begin accepting proposals for the site beginning Oct. 12. Final submissions will be due to the Department of Planning and Development by Feb. 22, 2017, and bids may include commercial, residential, recreational and institutional uses.

There will be plenty of competition for the site. Former Mayor Richard Daley approved the demolition of the campus after the hospital's 2008 closing, with an eye on using it as the Olympic Village if Chicago won its bid for the 2016 Summer Olympics. (We know how that turned out.) The site has also been touted as a home for the Obama Presidential Library, a casino and an alternate site for the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art.

Michael Reese Hospital opened in 1881. Throughout its history, it was one of Chicago's largest hospitals and was a major center for research and training generations of doctors. Preservationists tried to prevent the campus' demolition, citing the architectural significance of its buildings. The City's renewed push to do something with the site is another sign of future development along the south lakefront, along with the Obama Library calling Jackson Park home and an uptick in interest in South Shore.