Despite the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, work is progressing on the Harrison Square development project, and parts of it will open soon.
In 2016, Civic Health Development Group, a private developer group led by Murphy Development Group and including Walsh Investors; MB Real Estate; Plenary Group; Granite Companies; and Skidmore, Owings and Merrill, formed a plan to redevelop a 13-acre parcel, now called Harrison Square, that includes the Old Cook County Hospital building.
The building will serve as the keystone for a mixed-use, transit-focused development. Two years ago, the team broke ground to restore the 342,000-square-foot structure as an adaptive reuse project to feature a food hall, a Bright Horizons child care and early education center, offices for the Cook County Health and Hospitals System, and 210 Hyatt House and Hyatt Place hotel rooms.
Several developers involved with the renovation commented on updates at the Old Cook County Hospital building at 1835 W. Harrison St.
Jackie Koo, principal of KOO, explained her firm operates as the interior designer for the project’s dual branded hotel portion. “We are in the throes of finalizing the installation of all millwork, finishes, furnishings, and art work, stated Koo. “It’s really coming together now, and the restoration of the historic details is beautiful.”
While the coronavirus (COVID-19) has affected many businesses, KOO and other firms in the development team continued working on the project. “Regarding COVID-19, construction is an essential service, so the project has remained mostly on track,” said Koo.
The project faced several challenges due to the pandemic, yet operations remained stable. “There have been a number of products that as interior designers we have had to re-select due to sudden lack of availability or delays in delivery, but considering the amount of tumult in the world, the project is progressing well,” added Koo.
“Our design staff is working from home, and the transition has been surprisingly smooth,” she said. Besides the hotel portion, KOO is the architect for the food hall which workers have just started constructing.
Karoline Eigel, senior vice president of MB Real Estate, agreed, noting that “The Harrison Square project, which includes the redevelopment of Old Cook County Hospital, is well under way.”
Eigel gave tentative dates for various project stages. The hotel will open this month, with the food hall ready in mid-July. The day care center remains in the planning phase with no start date yet. The Cook County Health and Hospitals System office will open sometime in July.
Opening dates remain subject to change, pending changes in State coronavirus mandates.
So far, construction has been moving forward without delay, Eigel said.
“The old Cook County Hospital redevelopment currently does not include a multifamily component; that component will be in future phases of Harrison Square,” she noted.
For more about KOO, log on to www.kooarchitecture.com or call (312) 235-0920. For MB Real Estate, log on to www.mbres.com or call (312) 726-1700.