SNEED EXCLUSIVE: Developer plans to make old county hospital a community anchor

SHARE SNEED EXCLUSIVE: Developer plans to make old county hospital a community anchor

The restoration of the Old Cook County Hospital building at 1835 W. Harrison has just taken a great leap forward. | Sun-Times files

The patient is finally heading to rehab.

• Translation: The restoration and redevelopment of Old Cook County Hospital has just taken a major step forward.

Sneed has learned a long-term, 99-year lease has finally been turned over to a private development team in anticipation of moving the major project into its first phase.

The private developer, Civic Health Development Group (CHDG), is led by Chicago-based developer John T. Murphy and includes Walsh Investors, Murphy Development Group, MB Real Estate, Plenary Group and Granite Companies.


• The stats: CHDG plans to invest about $130 million of private dollars to transform the historic Old Cook County Hospital building into a community anchor for the hospital complex and surrounding community. The first tenants of the rehabilitated hospital building are expected sometime in 2019.

• The lease became effective Dec. 31. “It commits the developer to finalize construction plans so restoration work can begin this summer,” said a source.

“With the signing of this lease, we can look forward to restoring this amazing building and its historic architecture,” said Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle.

“Additionally, the redevelopment of Old County Hospital will unlock tremendous economic potential for the Near West Side and the Illinois Medical District,” Preckwinkle added.

The first tenants of the rehabilitated old Cook County Hospital, which was derelict for nearly 14 years, will include a major hotel, administrative/medical offices and ground floor retail in the midst of the 16-acre Illinois Medical District.

The building, at 1835 W. Harrison St., was designed by architect Paul Gerhardt and listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Historic restoration plans have been developed by the world-renowned architecture firm of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill.

Sneed is told CHDG is partially financing the project through federal historic tax credits, a benefits program managed by the National Park Service.

Police blotter . . .

Listen up!

Sneed’s exclusive tip Chief Anthony Riccio, head of the Chicago Police Department’s Organized Crime Bureau — which handles gangs and narcotics — was a top contender to be tapped as CPD’s second in command, replacing retiring First Deputy Chicago Police Supt.Kevin Navarro, is now a fact.

The Nagy patrol . . .


The Bears don’t feel they are wasting any money on new head coach Matt Nagy. A Sneed spotter claims they flew Nagy into Chicago on a $40 million private plane and let the press have a peek at the arrival. “It’s a pretty over-the-top gesture, even for such precious cargo,” the source said.

All in the family . . .

Head ’em up!

Ride ’em out!

Sneed is told 20 members of the Kennedy clan, including Ted Kennedy Jr., son of legendary U.S. Sen. Ted Kennedy—as well as Kerry, Rory, Kathleen and Patrick, plan to hit the Chris Kennedy gubernatorial campaign trail, attend the Women’s March, commemorate Martin Luther King Jr.Day and attend the Rev. Jesse Jackson’s PUSH breakfast — all within the next 10 days.

Mamma miaaaa!


Former first lady Michelle Obama’s mother, Marian Robinson, isliving in a South Loop apartment complex and happily living a “normal” life under the radar with her Chicago friends, according to a close family source.

Sneedlings . . .

How time flies. U.S. District Court Judge Samuel Der-Yeghiayan, who was nominated to the bench in 2003,is retiring. . . . It’s a nail-biter: The 2018 St. Pat’s Queen contest is set this Sunday following the traditional judging contest sponsored by Plumbers Local 130 UA, the coordinators of Chicago’s annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade. . . . I spy: Cubs pitcher Eddie Butler spotted at Harry Caray’s on Kinzie on Thursday before heading to the Cubs Convention. . . . Northwestern University football head coach Pat Fitzgerald dining at Harry Caray’s in Rosemont on Wednesday. . . . Today’s birthdays: Zayn Malik, 25; Howard Stern, 64; and Issa Rae, 33.

The Latest
They were near the sidewalk about 5:40 p.m. in the 600 block of East 40th Street when someone opened fire, striking them both, Chicago police said.
Less than a year after the Stonewall Riots on June 28, 1969, the group Gay Liberation won recognition as a campus organization at the University of Chicago.
The second volume of “Mercury” is upbeat, often Caribbean-spiced and throbbing. It’s the sound of a band getting its arena groove back.
The Republican candidate for governor praises Trump, disses teachers, and serves up immorality wrapped in faith.
Director Bartlett Sher’s staging turns away from the rom-com aesthetic that defined both the 1956 Broadway debut and the 1964 movie.