Chicago’s South Side Can Expect to Continue to See New Developments & Capital Investments

August 03, 2022

Since breaking ground nearly one year ago, the Obama Presidential Center is well under-way. The center, estimated to cost around $830 million, will sit on a 19-acre site within Jackson Park. Jackson Park is a 551-acre park located on the eastern-most end of Woodlawn, a neighborhood on Chicago’s South Side. The park was also the site of the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition, which drew millions of visitors to Chicago that year.

This will be Chicago’s first presidential library, and one of the few presidential libraries built in a predominantly African American neighborhood. The center’s projected completion is sometime in 2025, and will bring thousands of jobs to Chicagoans, specifically South Siders. It is reported that 28% of short-term construction jobs will go to South Side residents, while the remaining 72% will go to residents of Cook County. Upon completion, 86% of the long-term jobs will go to residents of the South Side.

Since its announcement in 2016, local and national investors have taken note to the exceptional amount of economic expansion that will come with the center’s completion. Some of the economic expansion has already begun, with developments and investment capital emerging in the surrounding neighborhoods like never before. A mere two months after the project broke ground, plans for a new townhouse development just eight blocks from the center’s site came out. Known as Presidential Square, all 34 townhomes have since been completed and many have already sold. Similarly, the University of Chicago erected a 15-story hotel, The Study, that opened in 2021; and Hyde Park welcomed its first boutique hotel, Sophy Hotel.

Furthermore, The University of Chicago put out a study that found the project could generate $31 million in restaurant and other retail developments in the area and adjacent neighborhoods. As the Obama Presidential Center gets closer to its completion, it is safe to anticipate that developers will continue to pump capital into neighborhoods like Woodlawn, South Shore, Jackson Park Highlands & Hyde Park.

“Our team has been tracking the progress of this as well as other developments surrounding Woodlawn. There is no doubt that this area is trending upwards as a place to both invest in and reside. Both local and out of state multifamily investment groups have too caught onto this hot neighborhood,” said Essex Director Brian Mond.

Mond is the head of sales for the Woodlawn and South Shore markets at Essex where he has facilitated a slew of transactions. He is also heavily involved in the South Side Builders Association of Chicago, a not-for-profit association of real estate professionals dedicated to the rejuvenation of Chicago’s South Side. Mond has observed the appreciation of the South Side for the past decade and has never seen a boom as economically impactful as the Obama Presidential Center. As construction progresses, it is safe to assume new developments and rehabilitation of existing real estate will continue.

If you are interested in learning more about Chicago’s South Side and any investment opportunities there, please visit the Properties page on our website.

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