LITTLE VILLAGE — St. Anthony Hospital is getting more than $900,000 in federal funds to launch the design and relocation of the hospital to the Focal Point Community Campus in the heart of Little Village.
The $923,000 was passed through Congress with the support of Rep. Jesús “Chuy” Garcia, who represents the area, according to a news release.
“These investments support underserved areas and make a real difference in the lives of working families in Chicago and suburban Cook County,” Garcia said in a news release last week. “I am proud to have fought for funding that will make our communities healthier, safer, stronger, and even more resilient as we recover from the health and economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.”
The funds will be used for architectural programs and design to establish the framework, operations and physical space and structure of the St. Anthony Hospital, a Focal Point spokesperson said. The hospital will be the anchor of the 30-acre development project at 31st Street and Kedzie Avenue.
“We are grateful for [Garcia’s] support and help in securing this initial investment into the new hospital that will be providing greater access to health care for a community of over 400,000 people,” the spokesperson said.
Plans for the Focal Point project were approved by City Council in January. It will bring a hospital, a vocational school, day care center, public market, affordable housing, restaurants, retail and sports fields to the area.
The new development will be located on the former Washburne Trade School site, which closed down in the ’90s and was demolished a decade ago. For years, the fate of the Chicago Public Schools-owned site remained in limbo.
St. Anthony and North Lawndale-based film studio Cinespace launched competing bids for it. Ald. Mike Rodriguez (22nd), whose ward includes the property, announced he would support St. Anthony’s proposal in March 2021.
City Council approved the $5 million sale of the land to developers in April. As part of a redevelopment agreement, St. Anthony Hospital and the Chicago Southwest Development Corporation will also pay $3 million to remediate the site
The project has been met with a mixed response from Little Village residents. Some have argued the project will gentrify the area and drive out neighbors, while others have hailed it as a welcome investment.
Demolition is expected to begin on the project soon. Construction is slated to begin in 2023 and wrap by 2026.
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