Chicago’s Focal Point Community Campus Gets the Green Light
The Chicago City Council has approved the first-of-its-kind, mixed-use community Focal Point Community Campus, anchored by a new Saint Anthony Hospital — a 30-contiguous-acre project in the works for over a decade. Approximately half a million Chicagoans live in the area that will be served by the Campus, which will provide education, affordable housing, workforce development and more.
The Focal Point Community Campus is a bold and visionary idea to provide Chicago’s vibrant west and southwest side communities greater opportunity to thrive while celebrating the diversity and rich history of its neighbourhoods: Little Village and North Lawndale.
“This project underscores what happens when groundbreaking research at the community level, user-centred design and an innovative financial model work together to drive transformative change,” said Tom Trenolone, FAIA, AIA, LEED AP, design director at HDR. “This project has been designed to promote health, wellness and education while improving the urban setting and social opportunities in a community.”
The project was endorsed by the Chicago Plan Commission on Jan. 20 and approved unanimously by the City Council Committee on Zoning, Landmarks and Building Standards Jan. 25 before full council approval Jan. 26.
“A plan that has become a self-sustaining campus designed to more collectively address the social determinants of health — this project shows what a community can do when it comes together,” said Guy Medaglia, Saint Anthony President and CEO. “We are creating a first-of-its-kind campus, nationally, that takes the net earnings from the project to support campus and community programs, benefiting the communities Saint Anthony has called home for more than 125 years.”
Several community leaders joined the meeting to speak on behalf of Focal Point and Saint Anthony Hospital. Rev. Robyn Hood, Pastor of Redeem Outreach Ministries and Director of Mothers Opposed to Violence Everywhere said: “We are looking forward to the community having living wage jobs, fresh vegetables, and food which our communities have been lacking for many years.”
Mike Rodriguez, 22nd Ward Alderman added: “The communities in and around Saint Anthony very much deserve a project like this.”
Construction is expected to begin in 2023 with approximate completion date of 2026.