CHICAGO, Jan. 15, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- The City of Chicago through the Department of Housing and Economic Development is beginning the process of transferring the vacant lot at 31st and Kedzie to Chicago Southwest Development Corporation (CSDC) for development of Focal Point, a community campus that will bring thousands of jobs and a range of retail, wellness, education, arts and recreation elements to enrich the lives of the more than 400,000 residents in Chicago's West and Southwest Sides.
"A project like this will not only bring needed jobs to the North Lawndale and Little Village area; it will bring positive attention to Chicago across the country because of the innovative concept," said Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel.
The vision for Focal Point was developed by Chicago's Saint Anthony Hospital and will be brought to life under CSDC, the not-for-profit organization established to develop and maintain the Focal Point property. The negotiated sale of the property – for $1 – was approved today during Chicago's Department of Housing and Economic Development Community Development Commission (CDC) hearing.
"The Focal Point community campus is a first-of-its-kind development designed to empower residents of North Lawndale, Little Village, Pilsen and Back of the Yards – just to name a few – and to serve as a model for community development across the country," said Guy A. Medaglia, president and CEO of the newly formed CSDC, as well as of Saint Anthony Hospital, a community hospital that has been serving residents of Chicago's West and Southwest sides for more than 100 years. "While many community development efforts come and go due to changes in funding, Focal Point is designed to be financially self-sustaining, so will finally be the solution these neighborhoods deserve to deliver the medical, education and other services they need for success."
Through the campus model, rental income from revenue-generating tenants—such as retail stores and schools, hospitality and day care, a parking garage, an outpatient clinic and Saint Anthony Hospital, which will relocate to serve as a tenant of the campus—will be reinvested into programs and services provided through the campus, such as continuing education and wellness classes, a center for creativity and a park and recreation center. Beyond being designed to provide the balance necessary to keep the model financially sound, each aspect of the campus was custom-selected based on research by Saint Anthony Hospital and other organizations on the needs of the community. The new campus will transform the almost 11-acre vacant lot into an active complex offering a variety of services housed within a nearly 1 million square-foot complex, including three main buildings and an approximately 1,200 space parking garage. The campus will also include a junior size soccer field and an approximately 32,000 square-foot recreation center.
Community members will benefit in many ways from the campus. According to estimates released by CSDC during the CDC meeting, the campus will create 2,100 construction jobs through the development and building of the campus, 400 new healthcare jobs (adding to the 1,000 current full-time jobs at Saint Anthony Hospital), 600 new jobs for multiple levels of retail and 400 new jobs in education, recreation, hospitality, childcare and campus operations.
Residents of communities surrounding the campus will also be served by retail tenants providing important access to healthy food choices and to staples such as clothing and household goods; wellness programs that will educate on topics such as healthy food preparation, parenting skills and more; basketball courts and a half Olympic-size pool that will provide a sanctuary for at-risk youth; and Saint Anthony Hospital, which will continue to provide emergency and medical care that turns no one away, regardless of ability to pay.
"Because most community hospitals and organizations are highly dependent on government payments and charitable donations, their ability to deliver wellness care and education is limited," said Medaglia. "This is why we thought outside-the-box, and created the vision for Focal Point, whose funding model will add rental revenue to the mix and thereby reduce dependence on traditional streams. This not only decreases dependence on limited sources, but also allows funding of needed community programs and services that promote wellness in a more holistic way, helping reduce overall health care costs."
The newly constructed Saint Anthony Hospital, which will reside at Focal Point, will replace its current location on 19th and California. According to Medaglia, construction of the Focal Point campus is anticipated to begin in the first quarter of 2014 and be completed by 2017. The total project cost of approximately $430 million will be financed through a mix of fundraising, grants and other sources like New Market Tax Credits.
Individuals seeking more information or wanting to make a donation can visit www.FocalPointChicago.org.
About Chicago Southwest Development Corporation
Chicago Southwest Development Corporation is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to providing support and coordination of health care, programs and services in the Southwest Chicago community. It was established to develop and manage the Focal Point campus. More information is available at FocalPointChicago.org.
About Saint Anthony Hospital
For more than 100 years, Saint Anthony Hospital physicians and staff have provided medical care, social services, and outreach to its community, consisting of North Lawndale, Pilsen, Little Village, Back of the Yards, Brighton Park, McKinley Park, Cicero and Berwyn. Saint Anthony Hospital is a community-centric hospital providing quality health and wellness services, and a wide variety of free bilingual community health education/outreach programs. Saint Anthony Hospital staff work with community-based organizations, schools, parishes and other agencies to offer health education, early childhood and mental health services. To further expand its efforts to support the well-being of the community, Saint Anthony Hospital, will relocate to serve as a tenant of the Focal Point community campus. More information is available at www.SAHChicago.org.
SOURCE Chicago Southwest Development Corporation