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Obama Center Is Finally Coming, And 'The Right Organizations Are At The Table'

August 13, 2021

Rendering of center

Clearing away the many legal and regulatory hurdles encountered by the proposed Obama Presidential Center, which could break ground as early as next week, won’t bring an end to controversy over how the $700M complex will impact the South Side neighborhood of Woodlawn.

Such a high-profile project will undoubtedly attract attention from some market-rate developers. And with local housing prices already on the way up, plotting out strategies to avoid displacing residents of the low-to-moderate-income neighborhood will take years, according to Bill Eager, senior vice president of nonprofit developer Preservation of Affordable Housing, which has acquired or developed more than 700 Woodlawn residences.

“People are trying to find the perfect balance between the right amount of economic growth that benefits the neighborhood, but does not lead to displacement,” he said.

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