Former President Barack Obama has announced that the Obama Foundation will break ground on the Obama Presidential Center in Chicago later this year.
“Today, with the conclusion of a careful federal review process that spanned several years, we’re ready to get to work. Through this process, we’ve shown that our plans for the Obama Presidential Center — including new gardens, playgrounds, walking trails, and bike paths for all to enjoy — won’t just preserve historic Jackson Park, they’ll bring opportunity and breathe new life into the community we love,” Obama said during a video message.
Set in the city's historic Jackson Park area, the center will feature a museum, library, children's play area, community garden and other amenities. The Obama Foundation also hopes the $500 million investment will bring jobs to the south side of Chicago as well as provide business for independent local vendors.
“It will be a catalyst for economic development and there are real benefits that will come from it — amenities to the park and jobs. It’s really a good day,” Michael Strautmanis of the Obama Foundation stated.
If all goes according to plan, the Obama Foundation believes that the center will have a $3.1 billion economic impact on the city of Chicago while attracting 700,000 visitors annually. Also, the center plans to award up to 50% of the subcontracting packages to diverse vendors and offer 5,000 direct and indirect job opportunities.
“The Obama Presidential Center and nearby capital improvement projects will undoubtedly distinguish our city’s historic South Side as a world-class economic and cultural hub," Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot stated.
"Through opportunities both created and attracted by these initiatives, residents in the surrounding communities, will have long-overdue access to much-needed, sustainable and good-paying jobs and other neighborhood resources.”
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