Old Cook County Hospital Redevelopment Kicks Off with Ceremonial Groundbreaking

Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle was joined today by a host of elected officials, numerous stakeholders and members of the developer team in a ceremonial groundbreaking for the restoration and redevelopment of Old Cook County Hospital. 

"This beautiful historic building has sat empty and unused for far too long,” Preckwinkle said. “The redevelopment of Old Cook County Hospital will unlock tremendous economic potential in this community and provide much-needed amenities for residents and visitors to this area. This project creates historic and lasting urban transformation in the heart of our County.”

The redevelopment project will lead to the end of the 16-year vacancy for the 104-year-old Beaux Arts landmark, which for decades was lauded for its medical innovations and its work as a teaching institution. 

The building, located at 1835 W. Harrison St., was designed by architect Paul Gerhardt and is listed in the National Register of Historic Places.

The redevelopment project is headed by the Civic Health Development Group (CHDG), which is led by Chicago-based developer John T. Murphy and includes Murphy Development Group, Walsh Investors, LLC, MB Real Estate, Plenary Group and Granite Companies. Skidmore, Owings & Merrill is the architect, Walsh Construction is the contractor and Jackie Koo, of Koo Interiors, is the interior designer. 

“What everyone has said for years can’t be done will finally be successfully completed. Once we restore this historical building, we’ll not only have a beautiful structure once again, we will see explosive development in the Illinois Medical District that will provide outstanding educational, employment and medical research opportunities not only for the City of Chicago, but throughout the world,” Murphy said. “This remarkable project will unlock billions of dollars in investments and jobs.” 

Late last year, the County entered into a 99-year lease with the group for redeveloping the massive block-long property on Chicago’s Near West Side. The lease followed a lengthy and comprehensive process, which involved numerous stakeholders, to determine the programming of the final project, which will not require any capital investment or direct subsidy from the County. The multi-phased development plan is valued at more than $1 billion.

CHDG secured about $135 million in financing. The deal can expect to receive approximately $24 million from historic tax credits. 

Construction will commence immediately, beginning with interior, non-structural demolition.  Facade restoration is slated to start in July.  

A dual-branded 210-room Hyatt House/Hyatt Place will be the first tenants of the rehabilitated structure and is expected to open in 2019 and 2020. Additional spaces include 71,000 square feet of medical office space and 25,000 square feet of retail. Subsequent phases of development may include mixed-use residential, office, retail and parking on County land north, south and east of the existing building.

Historic restoration plans have been developed and refined by the architecture firm of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill. Detailed plans on the restoration elements of the project have been submitted to Illinois State Historic Preservation Office. 


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