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Economy

Hope and Change Collide on the South Side

Chicago’s Obama Presidential Center will bring a surge of investment to a long-troubled neighborhood. Why aren’t the residents celebrating?
Jeanette Taylor wants her neighborhood to be protected from dislocation when the Obama Presidential Center opens.
Jeanette Taylor wants her neighborhood to be protected from dislocation when the Obama Presidential Center opens. Max Herman/The Chicago Reporter

Seven years ago, Jeanette Taylor moved from the South Side Chicago neighborhood of Bronzeville three miles south to Woodlawn. Her Bronzeville unit was going to be rehabbed, the rent tripling. She needed a more affordable neighborhood.

Now Taylor fears her family may be uprooted again. In 2021, the Obama Presidential Center, an estimated $500 million library campus devoted to the 44th president, is slated to open in nearby Jackson Park, a stroll from Lake Michigan.