Obama Presidential Center land-grab in prime real estate Southside Chicago. @RichardAEpstein

Feb 09, 01:10 AM

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Obama Presidential Center land-grab in prime real estate Southside Chicago.

@RichardAEpstein

"…Here are the salient objections. The proposed 20-acre site will have its epicenter—a massive tower that could reach 160 to 180 feet—near East 60th Street, close to both the Museum of Science and Industry as well as the University of Chicago, two major South Side institutions. The scale of the major and auxiliary buildings requires closing a six-lane north-south artery, Cornell Avenue, which winds its way through the park. As a result, the city of Chicago, which is hard-pressed for cash, will have to spend untold millions to make major alterations to expand two nearby arteries, Lake Shore Drive on the east and Stony Island Avenue on the west. Additional parking facilities will have to be built somewhere inside the park. Meanwhile, an initial OPC proposal to build a massive structure above ground was withdrawn after it was met with a chorus of boos. But Chicago’s high water table makes it an expensive proposition to build a substitute facility below ground. The tight boundaries around the complex will make it difficult to develop complementary businesses in the immediate neighborhood…."