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Obama Presidential Center Clears Last City Hurdle, Others Remain

The Chicago City Council on Wednesday approved an agreement between the Obama Foundation and the city to build the presidential center in Jackson Park. It’s a 99-year lease for $10. The land will still be owned by the city, which will also assume ownership of the Obama Presidential Center buildings after construction.

After the 48-0 vote, Mayor Rahm Emanuel read a letter from President Barack Obama.

“Michelle and I couldn’t be prouder and more excited to bring the center to the South Side, a community that has given us both so much. We look forward to continuing our work with our neighbors and friends across the city to build this center and for it to serve as a reminder to every child in Chicago and every visitor from around the world that potential is limitless,” the mayor read on behalf of the former president.

The $500 million presidential center will include a museum, forum space, Chicago Public Library branch, and public plaza. The Obama Foundation estimates an economic impact of $3 billion for Chicago during the presidential center’s construction period and first 10 years of operation.

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