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4 Bidders Vie For Children’s Memorial Hospital Site In Lincoln Park

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CHICAGO (STMW) – Children’s Memorial Hospital, which is selling its Lincoln Park property, said Friday it has narrowed to four its list of developers wanting to buy it.

The survivors were picked from nine development teams that vied for the six-acre site, a coveted slice of a busy, upscale neighborhood. The hospital has said it will select a winner with an eye on who can work best with local groups that will try to influence the development.

Details of the competing plans were not released. Children’s said it hopes to select a winner early in the summer.

Contenders making the cutoff are: David “Buzz” Ruttenberg and Greg Merdinger of Belgravia Group Ltd., with architectural firm GREC; Hines Interests LP and Magellan Development Group LLC, with architectural firm HOK; McCaffery Interests with architectural firm Antunovich Associates; and Related Midwest with architectural firm Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP.

All the firms are based in Chicago or have substantial presences here. Understanding the politics of local development will be important, as Lincoln Park residents are known for organizing against what they don’t like.

Residents already are battling over a smaller site, the old Lincoln Park Hospital, a couple blocks south of the Children’s property.

The Children’s site is at 707 W. Fullerton Ave. Children’s is building a new hospital at 225 E. Chicago Ave.

In a statement, Children’s said its advisor, U.S. Equities Realty, will work with the four groups to refine details in design and financing.

“We expect that this effort will lead to further improvements in each proposal and each team will be given an opportunity to modify their proposals accordingly,” the statement said.

A neighborhood planning process in 2009 produced guidelines developers were asked to follow. The guidelines include respecting the scale of the existing neighborhood and providing homes for a variety of income levels.

© Sun-Times Media Wire Chicago Sun-Times 2010. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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