Chicago City Council approves Obama Presidential Center plan
CHICAGO, May 23 (Xinhua) -- The Chicago City Council on Wednesday approved the plan for the construction of 500 million U.S. dollars worth Obama Presidential Center project in the city's south side.
The approval, which came on a 47-1 vote, means the Obama Foundation can move forward into federal reviews of the project with city support as a badge of endorsement.
The project remains under federal review because the construction site, Jackson Park, is on the National Register of Historic Places. However, the City Council decision is a major step forward.
The Obama Foundation said it would support thousands of new jobs during construction and after the center opens, claiming it will have a total economic impact of 3.1 billion dollars in the first 10 years.
But opponents have been skeptical that the center will yield such benefits to the local community and have decried the lack of a formal agreement with residents. Others have challenged the use of local parkland for the project.
In May 2017, former President Barack Obama unveiled the preliminary design of his presidential center in Chicago's lakeside Jackson Park.
Obama expressed his hope that the center, expected to be completed by 2021, will draw hundreds of thousands of visitors every year, and in the meantime revitalize the relatively less prosperous south side.