New Healthcare Centers Proposed in Washington Park

New Healthcare Center Proposed in Washington Park2

The University of Chicago and UChicago Medicine, in collaboration with City Colleges of Chicago, have unveiled a transformative project set to rejuvenate underutilized land on Garfield Boulevard. This venture not only promises to create new job opportunities but also to establish comprehensive healthcare career pathways for South Side residents, marking a significant step forward in community development and education.

At the heart of this ambitious project are two interconnected developments. UChicago Medicine is set to erect a state-of-the-art facility on a vacant parcel owned by the University of Chicago. This facility aims to consolidate existing clinical labs, modernize operations, and enhance lab test efficiency, thereby elevating the standard of care provided.

Adjacent to this, on land owned by the Chicago Transit Authority and immediately east of the Garfield Green Line station, City Colleges of Chicago plans to construct a new Malcolm X College Learning Center. This center will focus on healthcare education, providing an essential bridge to in-demand healthcare careers through accessible one- to two-year degree programs.

Urbanize Chicago states that both facilities are designed with the community in mind, incorporating new ground-floor retail spaces to support local businesses and cater to the needs of residents, employees, students, and commuters from the Garfield Green Line station. These developments are expected to inject a significant daytime population into the neighborhood, bolstering existing retail and dining establishments along Garfield Boulevard and fostering a vibrant community atmosphere.


“We at the university and our nearby neighbors know well there is an incredible well of possibility at hand. In advancing this project, I think we will help to counter some population loss and incredible disinvestment and some of the land vacancy that has really faced Washington Park.”

UChicago President | Paul Alivisatos


Construction and Design Considerations

For workers in the construction field, this project presents an array of opportunities and challenges. The construction of these modern facilities requires expertise across various disciplines, from groundbreaking to the implementation of cutting-edge laboratory equipment and the meticulous crafting of learning spaces designed to inspire future healthcare professionals. Workers will have the chance to contribute to a project that not only shapes the city's architectural landscape but also its social fabric, improving healthcare access and education for generations to come.

The Malcolm X College Learning Center would include:


 - Classrooms

 - Dry labs

 - Office space

 - Retail space at the street level

 - Support approximately 50 full-time and part-time employees


The UChicago Medicine facility would support 550 jobs—including approximately 200 new positions—and help the hospital add critical lab capacity to meet the expanded diagnostic needs of a new cancer pavilion, expected to open in 2027.

Each of the facilities will include new ground floor retail space to provide opportunities for local businesses and serve residents, employees, and students, as well as other foot traffic stemming from the Garfield Green Line station. The inclusion of a parking structure further ensures accessibility for students and employees alike.


A Community-Centric Approach

Ensuring community input and support has been a cornerstone of this project's planning phase. Regular meetings are slated to keep the community informed and involved, with forthcoming details on site plans, initial renderings, and the conceptualization of the retail spaces. This transparent and inclusive approach underscores the project’s commitment to being a catalyst for positive change on the South Side.

By merging healthcare innovation with educational advancement, this initiative not only promises to provide immediate economic benefits and job creation but also to lay the groundwork for a healthier, more educated, and vibrant community. As construction progresses towards the anticipated groundbreaking in 2025, the South Side stands on the brink of a new era of opportunity and growth.


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Posted by Judy Lamelza

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