*Former President Barack Obama has announced that construction of his highly anticipated presidential center in Chicago will finally begin this year.
In a video message posted to Twitter on Wednesday, Obama said the Obama Presidential Center will break ground in Jackson Park in 2021, and it comes after a four-year delay.
“Getting to this point wouldn’t have been possible without the folks in the community who have been a part of this process along the way,” Obama said. “Michelle and I want to thank you for making this project even better — a space for the community, built in partnership with the community.”
Watch his video update below.
I’m proud to announce that the Obama Presidential Center will officially break ground in 2021. Our hope is that the center will breathe new life into historic Jackson Park while delivering jobs, growth, and much more to the South Side.
Let’s get to work. pic.twitter.com/cOqoPmaLkf
— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) February 3, 2021
The Obama Foundation said the ground will break as early as April and construction is expected to take about four years, costing around $500 million.
“In addition to attracting visitors from all over our city and around the world, the OPC will also bring in new businesses and create new jobs — providing residents in the surrounding communities with the resources they need to lead happy, fulfilled and stable lives,” said Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot.
After an extensive federal regulatory review, we are excited to announce the Obama Presidential Center will break ground on the South Side of Chicago in 2021.
— The Obama Foundation (@ObamaFoundation) February 3, 2021
The multi-building project will include a museum, public library, athletic center, children’s playground and test kitchen, the AP reported. It is being financed through private donations, including $3.5 million from the Obama Foundation for a public facility for track and field competitions. The center will not include a formal “presidential library,” the Sun-Times reported.
Obama has described the center as a hub for youth programming and public gatherings. The center will help create about 5,000 jobs during and after construction.