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Affirm moves to Chicago

Tech News: Health tech hub planned for Michael Reese site

The group planning a huge mixed-use project just south of McCormick Place has landed an anchor tenant to kick off the first phase of the development: a medical innovation center founded by the largest hospital in Israel.

The ARC Innovation Center would open in the first building on the former site of the Michael Reese Hospital, part of a 15-million-square-foot development that could cost as much as $7 billion. The project’s developers, a joint venture led by Chicago-based Farpoint Development, aim to build an ARC-anchored health-science cluster that would spin out new biomedical technologies—and create thousands of jobs—by harnessing the collective power of the area’s universities, companies and entrepreneurs.

The focus on health will seep into all aspects of the project, which will include apartments, a community center, and retail and office spaces.

‘We envision it being the healthy community of the future,’ said Farpoint Principal Scott Goodman.

The ARC deal represents a key first step for the project, known as Bronzeville Lakefront Development, currently 100 mostly empty acres stretching from McCormick Place to 31st Street. Once considered a site for Amazon’s second headquarters, Bronzeville Lakefront exists only on paper right now, one of a group of Chicago mega-developments that could add tens of thousands of jobs and homes to neighborhoods ringing the central business district.

The developer of one of those projects, the 78 in the South Loop, also is betting on innovation, recently cutting a deal with the Discovery Partners Institute, a University of Illinois-led research center that will anchor the development. If they deliver on their promise, DPI and ARC could boost Chicago’s status in the tech world, lifting the region’s economy with growing companies and high-skill, high-paying jobs. Read More

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