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Old Posted Dec 30, 2014, 11:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Randomguy34 View Post
Man, seeing UIC's proposal I kind of want them to win instead of UChicago. Why isn't UChicago releasing their bid public?
Answer in article.

Chicago Obama library bids in trouble; foundation has 'major concerns' with U. of C. proposal

Posted: 12/30/2014, 12:45pm | Lynn Sweet

WASHINGTON — The Barack Obama Foundation has major problems with the University of Chicago bid for the Obama presidential library and museum and is uneasy about the bid from the University of Illinois at Chicago, leaving Columbia University in New York the frontrunner for the project.

A source close to the foundation told me that the University of Chicago bid is in jeopardy because it does not own — and has no definite path to acquiring at present — any of the South Side sites the school proposed in its Dec. 11 bid. The land is owned by the Chicago Park District.

“There are major concerns with the three potential sites in the University of Chicago proposal given the fact that neither the school nor the City of Chicago control the sites,” the source said.

The jolt from the foundation, led by Marty Nesbitt, a friend of President Barack Obama, puts pressure on Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Obama’s former chief of staff. “The point is the city needs to solve the problem as much as the University of Chicago,” the source said.

“Clearly the city has made no secret of its determination to make sure the Obama library is in Chicago. So given that, it is not unrealistic for the foundation to believe that the city can resolve the issues in a timely fashion.”

Emanuel adviser David Spielfogel told me...

In contrast, Columbia University owns the land it is offering to the foundation, has stable leadership and the mega financial muscle at least the equal to the University of Chicago.


As I’ve been reporting throughout the year – not based on official University of Chicago sources — that the University of Chicago proposed sites – at the South Shore Cultural Center and in Jackson and Washington Parks – are owned by the Chicago Park District.

This means that the University of Chicago strategy to win the library and museum – never officially asking the Chicago Park District for the land and keeping its sites secret until recently in order not to stir up public protest — is on track to backfire and prevent the school from even being in the running.

Land acquisition is a crucial component for the foundation. The bid is supposed to contain a “detailed proposed process to obtain control of the site and convey it to the foundation,” according to the bid document – called a “request for proposal” — that the foundation issued on Sept. 15.

The University of Chicago bid was submitted without that process in place.


But because the university has been so secretive, the public has no idea how many acres are involved or the locations of other parcels in the city that can be converted to parks.


Another factor that may complicate land acquisition for the university is the proposed George Lucas museum on Chicago Park District land south of Soldier Field. City Hall faces a lawsuit filed by Friends of the Park claiming that the city does not have the authority to give away the land.

I reported earlier this month that Friends of the Park president Cassandra Francis told me “We do not believe the parks are the University of Chicago’s to offer up to the library.”


LaVelle told me she would seek public input over giving up park land. But nothing official — meaning on the public record — has yet to come to the board.

I’m told the University of Chicago has been aware of the problem for some time – but never picked a site it has control over to include as an option. The school rejected an offer of empty, privately owned parcels on the Southeast Side at 79th and Lake Michigan that the owners were offering for free.

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