CHICAGO, Aug. 5, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois (BCBSIL), a division of Health Care Service Corporation (HCSC), is planning to open a new multipurpose solution center on Chicago's South Side. BCBSIL has leased nearly 130,000 square feet of space at 119th Street and Marshfield Avenue.
"This center is the latest example of HCSC's longstanding commitment to invest in the communities we are fortunate to serve," said Maurice Smith, president of Health Care Service Corporation. "We are member-owned, so our focus is on the needs of our members and the communities in which they live – not shareholders. We are committed to improving the communities where we operate, which includes tackling health issues and societal factors, such as joblessness, that keep people from being their best selves."
The center will become the second South Side location for Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois. In April, BCBSIL opened the Blue Door Neighborhood Center in Pullman. That location is entirely focused on making a positive impact on the health of people beyond the walls of hospitals and physician offices. The new Morgan Park site will combine community health outreach with employee workspace.
"This further expansion into Chicago's South Side demonstrates our ongoing commitment to supporting and empowering our local communities," said Smith. "This new center will eventually bring 550 jobs to Chicago's 34th Ward – most of those will be new positions. Our aim is to create a multifunctional space for both employees and the local community once we open our doors in 2020. The site will integrate our capabilities at a local level to meaningfully improve health outcomes and experiences."
"This facility represents the type of collaboration, partnership and investment we need to improve the lives of residents while also boosting the economic development of our communities," said Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot. "I am grateful to Blue Cross and Blue Shield for recognizing the bright talent and value available across Chicago, as well as their commitment to our citywide mission of growing jobs, creating opportunity and improving the health and life outcomes for all Chicagoans."
"Economic development is a comprehensive concept that can only succeed when the needs of people lead the discussion," said Samir Mayekar, Deputy Mayor of Economic and Neighborhood Development, City of Chicago. "This facility will bring jobs, positively impact the health of the community, and revitalize the area – themes that should be the goal of every responsible development project."
The Marshfield Plaza location formerly housed a large retailer, which closed earlier this year, eliminating more than 100 local jobs.
"Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois is stepping in and bringing back opportunities to people on Chicago's South Side," said Rep. Justin Slaughter (D-27). "It's not just the jobs. We hope the influx of people to this new center will give a boost to other area businesses and help revitalize the local economy."
Marshfield Plaza is owned and operated by DL3 Realty, a firm committed to accelerating the transformation of emerging communities. DL3 Realty projects create a pipeline of development opportunities that improve the quality of life for everyday Chicagoans.
"We are excited to partner with Blue Cross and Blue Shield to reinvigorate Marshfield Plaza, and their impressive commitment of over 500 jobs will encourage other anchor institutions to venture south and explore new opportunities," said Leon Walker, managing partner DL3 Realty.
Construction will begin later this summer to reimagine the space to accommodate the multiple functions planned for the site. Doors will likely open in the second quarter of 2020.