St. Anthony Hospital moving to Little Village in 'transformational' redevelopment

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Plans to move Saint Anthony Hospital to Little Village were approved by Chicago's City Council Wednesday.

The move to the old Washburne Trade Center location has been years in the making, and it involves more than just a new hospital for the neighborhood. Developers said the plans for the site at 31st and Kezdie could transform the entire community.

Hundreds of jobs are expected to come to Little Village in a massive redevelopment.

"This is gonna be be an absolute game changer for the Little Village community and the southwest side of Chicago," said 22nd Ward Alderman Mike Rodriguez.

The soon-to-be new home for Saint Anthony Hospital and more is called the Focal Point Community campus.

"It'll bring education, recreation, and business opportunities to our community," Rodriguez said.

The project is set to bring not just the hospital to the 30 acres at 31st and Kedzie, but an entire campus which includes child care options, a vocational school, community market, restaurants, affordable housing and more.

The project is 10-plus years in the making, and will transform the site of the former Washburne Trade School.

President of Saint Anthony Hospital Guy Medaglia said the development will bring an influx of jobs and services to a community that needs them.

"We have the construction jobs that will be coming in and all the jobs that will be associated with the recreation center, the retail business, the incubator the accelerator, and all the other programs," Medaglia said.

Not to mention the 1,000 jobs that will continue at the new Saint Anthony Hospital.

But with that development comes some fear of displacement for people who live and work in the area.

"It's pushing us out, so that's kind of concerning," said Elly Salazar. She runs a small embroidering company just across from the redevelopment site. "Prices will be going up so it's gonna at one point make it more harder for me to afford a rent right here."

But Medaglia said the goal is to add services and improve quality of life while keeping people in their homes and businesses.

"We know that there's gonna be improvement. Our concern is not driving people out of their community and that's gonna be the objective," he said, adding he hopes to address those fears with a property tax proposal.

Medaglia said demolition at the site will begin this week, with a full opening of the campus slated for 2025.

He hopes the current Saint Anthony Hospital in Douglas Park will be converted into a senior center.
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