CHICAGO – What was originally given to Saint Anthony Hospital by the Mayor’s Office in 2010 for a replacement facility was the catalyst to today’s much-needed and much-anticipated Focal Point Community Campus, a bold and visionary idea to transform Chicago’s West and Southwest Side neighborhoods.
Today, Chicago Southwest Development Corporation (CSDC), born out of the shared vision between the hospital and the City of Chicago, began the final steps of the purchase of an 11-acre parcel from the Chicago Board of Education at the corner of 31st Street and Kedzie Avenue, the former site of the Washburne Trade School. The purchase represents the culmination of efforts to acquire the entire 32 acres needed for the construction of Focal Point, a multi-use community campus anchored by a new Saint Anthony Hospital.
“The dream of access to a wide range of health care, retail and education for all residents of the West and Southwest Sides is coming full circle,” said Guy A. Medaglia, President and CEO of CSDC. “This acquisition will move us significantly closer to the reality of a new and desperately needed community campus on Chicago’s Southwest Side.”
The Focal Point campus is one of Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s “Opportunity Area” projects announced as his top development priorities in 2013. “Each of these areas is unique and full of potential and the City will play an important role in supporting their growth,” Mayor Emanuel said in a March 17, 2013 press release.
CSDC’s purchase documents include dozens of letters of support from community institutions and their leadership, as well as elected officials from the region. The message from all the interested parties was the same – this community needs Focal Point – and they consistently encouraged the Chicago Board of Education to use the land for this public good.
The new campus design, anchored by a new state-of-the-future hospital, include programs and services to support health and wellness, early childhood development, education, affordable housing and workforce development, which aligns with the economic and social factors influencing health status, also known as the “social determinants of health.”
“Focal Point will usher in a new era of hope into a community that has seen too much disinvestment for way too long,” Medaglia continued. “I am proud of the support this project has received from every corner of this community all the way to Washington, D.C., and am fully committed to seeing this visionary plan through for the City of Chicago.”
More information about the Focal Point Community Campus can be found at http://126.96.36.199/~chicagos/focalpointchicago.org; and Chicago Southwest Development Corporation at https://chicagosdc.com.]]>