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Developer Chosen For Vacant Michael Reese Hospital Site

CHICAGO (CBS) -- A developer has been chosen to lead the revitalization of the old Michael Reese hospital site in Bronzeville.

The medical center complex had been razed back in 2009 after the city bought it as part of its plans for the 2016 Olympics. The Sun-Times reports, Chicago borrowed $85 million to purchase the land and help pay for construction of an Olympic Village.

The 49-acre site, just south of McCormick Place, has sat largely vacant ever since that bid failed.

"What I would say is a drain on city resources and its now going to be a driver of economic growth and job creation," Mayor Emanuel said at a news conference.

David Reifman, the city's planning and development commissioner, predicts the variety of projects will include offices, hotels and open spaces.

Some community leaders feel left out of the process, CBS 2 Political Reporter Derrick Blakley says.

"Taxpayers are the ones who should have the most input on the front end," says Shannon Bennett of the Kenwood Oakland Community Organization.

Paulette Robinson, a community leader who's on the development team, is thrilled with the prospect of also possibly bringing a tech center and high-tech jobs to the area.

Leading the Michael Reese project is Farpoint Development, a company that's brought new economic activity to Fulton Market and the Pullman area.

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