July 6, 2009: The City of Chicago has closed a deal to purchase a 37-acre site for $87 million that would be home to the Olympic Village should Chicago be selected to host the 2016 Summer Games. According to Chicago 2016, because the sale is being financed by the seller of the property, "the city is not required to make any payments to the seller for five years or to pay the full purchase price for 15 years." Representatives said Chicago plans to sell the property to private developers who will proceed with construction. About a dozen development teams have expressed interest in participating in the project, according to Chicago 2016.
The site is the campus of the closed Michael Reese Hospital, just south of downtown and near Lake Michigan and McCormick Place, which would be home to 11 Olympic and eight Paralympic sports as well as the International Broadcast Center (IBC) and the Main Press Center (MPC). If Chicago is selected as the 2016 Host City, the Olympic Village would be home for 10,500 athletes and 6,000 team officials. Because of the development’s strategic location and its importance to the city’s plan for regeneration of the near South Side, it will go forward whether or not Chicago is chosen to host the Games by the International Olympic Committee, according to Chicago 2016. The IOC is scheduled to select the host city for the 2016 Olympics during a meeting in October,. The other candidates are Tokyo, Madrid and Rio.
“The Games represent a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for economic growth and social progress in our city,” Patrick Ryan, chairman and CEO of Chicago 2016, said in a statement. “The Olympic Village is a key component of that opportunity.”