Zoning Panel Passes Obama Center Plan; City Council Next

Craig Dellimore
May 22, 2018 - 4:00 pm

Obama Foundation

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CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- Plans to build the Barack Obama Presidential Center in Jackson Park passed the Chicago City Council Zoning Committee Tuesday, setting the stage for a full City Council vote Wednesday.

The zoning panel approved the project 9-1, even as opponents continued to say it could end up displacing South Side residents if property values explode.

Fifth Ward Ald. Leslie Hairston said it can be worked out.

She noted Jackson Park was the site of the 1893 Columbian Exposition.

“This continues that legacy,” she said. “What we intend to do here is create a model for urban development.”

South Side Ald. David Moore was a “no” vote. He said the Obama Center project will enjoy $175 million in public assistance for roadwork, while streets in his 17th Ward are in terrible shape.

“You’re asking me to vote against my constituents,” he said.

The full City Council is expected to approve the plan.