It now seems likely that the Barack Obama Presidential Library will rise on Chicago's South Side, according to an exclusive report by WBBM-TV issued Thursday. Nothing has been officially confirmed, but the South Side location was “implied” in a phone conversation last Friday between Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and state Democratic legislative leaders.
WBBM reporter Jay Levine was one of the first to break the news via Twitter. The message quickly garnered dozens of shares and favorites.
— Jay Levine (@jaylevinecbs2) April 30, 2015
New York and Honolulu were also in the running for the presidential library, but the Windy City, where the president began his political career, is the front-runner, the news site said.
The date of the official announcement is as yet unknown, but it will probably take place the week of May 11, Levine said in his tweet. The library's exact location, should Chicago win out, is either Washington Park or Jackson Park.
The president has reportedly been involved in discussions about the building and supposedly thanked legislators.
But the price tag is something some Chicago residents are worried about.
— tom sorrells (@tcsorr) April 30, 2015
— paulyballgame (@paulyballgame) April 30, 2015
@JimPethokoukis @jaylevincbs2 Who is going to pay for that? How does an uneducated misfit like Obama get to name a library after himself?
— MAGS (@MAGSinCO) April 30, 2015
The construction costs are estimated at $500 million, WBBM reported, but if the library is built, it could create 1,900 jobs and generate $220 million in economic activity.
To date, the Obama Foundation has raised only $6 million for construction. One of the project's backers, the University of Chicago, has an endowment of $7 billion.
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