Updated 05/12/15 – 6:51 p.m.

CHICAGO (CBS) — President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama confirmed a decision that has been clear for nearly two weeks early Tuesday, as they announced online the Obama presidential library is coming to “Sweet Home Chicago.”

“All the strands of my life came together, and I really became a man when I moved to Chicago. That’s where I was able to apply that early idealism to try to work in communities in public service. That’s where I met my wife. That’s where my children were born,” President Obama said in a YouTube video. “And the people there, the community, the lessons that I learned, they’re all based right in this few square miles where we’ll be able to now give something back and bring the world back home after this incredible journey.”

After a competitive run against three other universities, the University of Chicago won the bid for the Barack Obama Presidential Center.

Obama Foundation chairman Marty Nesbitt acknowledged the competition for the library was always Chicago’s to lose, but he said the foundation still wants a relationship with the three finalists that were not chosen – the University of Illinois at Chicago, Columbia University in New York, and the University of Hawaii.

The decision has been known for nearly two weeks, as sources close to the selection process revealed in late April that the South Side would get the facility.

The complex, officially named the Barack Obama Presidential Center, was expected to cost more than $500 million, funded by private donations to the Barack Obama Foundation.

Nesbitt said the library complex could open as soon as 2020, but first the foundation must choose a specific location, and an architect. He said it’s too early to know if the library would be built in Washington Park or Jackson Park, the two sites proposed by the University of Chicago.

“We have a lot of work to do to figure that out. We think they’re both terrific sites. There’s just some physical due diligence that needs to be done; from a real estate perspective on the land, and conditions,” he said. “Provided that that process ends up with both sites being equal, then there will be some qualitative issues that we’ll have to figure out.”

Community activist Carol Adams, who sits on the university’s library community advisory board, said whichever site is chosen, the library is needed on the South Side.

“The bold decision to erect this presidential library in an urban inner-city community is transformation; and we eagerly await the economic, cultural, and educational development that is sure to follow,” she said.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel applauded the intention to make the complex a center for community action.

“The library will catalog the past, but it will also be a catalyst to the future,” he said.

The foundation and Obama’s offices after he leaves the White House also will be headquartered at the library site, meaning the president will spend a lot of time in Chicago after his second term is up, but Nesbitt said he can’t say where the Obamas will live.

The City Council has already agreed to donate approximately 20 acres of parkland in Washington Park or Jackson Park to the library for $1. The mayor has vowed to replace any green space lost to the building itself with new parkland elsewhere.

The president and First Lady Michelle Obama said their strong Chicago ties were major reasons for their choice.

“I’m thrilled to be able to put this resource in the heart of the neighborhood that means the world to me. Every value, every memory, every important relationship to me exists in Chicago. I consider myself a South Sider,” Michelle Obama said in their video.

The official announcement video featured several south Side residents discussing their hopes for the community and the city as a whole.

The president also expressed his expectations for how the library would impact the area where he started his political career.

“With a library and a foundation on the South Side of Chicago, not only will we be able to encourage and effect change locally, but what we can also do is to attract the world to Chicago,” he said.

Typically, after presidential libraries are built, the National Archives takes over, and funds operations with federal dollars.

A study by the University of Chicago has estimated 800,000 people will visit the library each year. Visitors could spend up to $31 million a year and food and retail.

A decision on Washington or Jackson Park is probably six to nine months away.

Both sites are in Bobby Rush’s 1st Congressional District.

“The economic impact on the surrounding community would be much greater in Washington Park,” Congressman Rush said.

Alderman Leslie Hairston is pushing for the Jackson Park site, in her 5th Ward. Will Burns wants it in Washington Park in his 4th Ward, where the President lives.

“I don’t think he gets lobbied by aldermen, I think it’s my job to take his trash out,” Burns laughed.

Friends of the Parks today repeated its opposition to both sites. Asking for a location that would minimize impact on parkland.
“Friends of the Parks looks forward to working with the Foundation, the City, the Chicago Park District and the University of Chicago to protect and promote parkland, public space and public access,” said Lauren Moltz, executive director for Friends of the Parks, in a statement. “We would like to ensure that any impact on historic Jackson/ Washington Park will be minimal and will fit within the vision of Frederick Law Olmsted ‘s design.”

The Obama Presidential Center is expected to open its doors in 2020 or 21.