Neighbors Of Obama Library Project Want ‘Benefits Agreement’

(CBS) – The Obama Presidential Center has promised not only a library, but an economic opportunity and growth for the South Side.

But some current residents want to hold the Obama Foundation accountable.

CBS 2’s Charlie De Mar reports.

A handful of South Side residents camped out Wednesday night, ahead of a Thursday foundation meeting at the Hyatt Regency Hotel at McCormick Place.

They say they want a written agreement that ensures project neighbors benefit from the $500 million presidential center in Jackson Park.

“What’s going to happen when the Obama library comes and property taxes go up?” Woodlawn resident Jeanette Taylor asks.

“The people who benefit from it are not the people who live in the community,” Kenwood’s Alphonso Jones says.

The residents are pushing for a “community benefits agreement” with the Obama Foundation.

Residents want guarantees of economic development, education and housing.

“My biggest fear is losing my nice place to live in my nice neighborhood,” Jawanza Malone says.

The foundation says it’s interested in having an “ongoing dialogue with local residents.”

That dialogue continues at the public meeting Thursday morning.

Redfin reports between February and July, Woodlawn had the third highest increase in home values compared to similar neighborhood across the country.

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