Alderman Munoz pushing for community hospital

December 8, 2010 3:22:42 PM PST
Alderman Ricardo Munoz is hoping to build a community hospital to serve residents in the city's Pilsen and Little Village neighborhoods.

It would replace the hospital's existing facility.

The century old St. Anthony Hospital on the city's West Side is looking for new home. It is proposing a multi-million dollar project that not only includes a brand new hospital, but new park district facilitates as well.

The proposal was privately introduced at City Hall Wednesday. Alderman Munoz is hoping to get the project on a fact track.

Nestled between train tracks and Douglas Park, the West Side hospital sits mainly unnoticed, but St. Anthony's is hoping to get noticed by City Hall. The 113-year-old non-profit hospital has outgrown its current location. It is hoping to move to a piece of vacant land at 31st and Kedzie.

"Right now we have 11 acres of open space," said 22nd Ward Alderman Munoz. "It is publicly owned. That should be used for the neighborhoods benefit."

The site is in Munoz's ward. The proposed project would not only include a brand new hospital, but also multipurpose community center, fitness center and an indoor pool.

The cost is $250 million. It will serve about 500,000 West Side residents, including the Pilsen and Little Village neighborhoods

"There is a private money source...so there are ways of financing this deal," said Munoz.

Munoz, who is up for re-election, is anxious to get this project on the fact track. He is hoping Mayor Daley will help push it through before he retires.

"There are a lot of steps," Munoz sad.

Before the project becomes a reality, it must go through the City Planning Commission, development commission, zoning committee and other steps.

while a project like this could take years before it breaks ground, Munoz is hoping, with the mayor's backing, it will only take months.

The mayor made it clear Wednesday he is not pushing through any developments.


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