Northwestern University is proposing to demolish the Prentice Women’s Hospital Building, in the Streeterville neighborhood of the City of Chicago in Cook County, Illinois, to build new research space at that site. The National Trust for Historic Preservation, however, counter-proposes the construction of the desired research space at an adjacent location that is controlled by Northwestern, and the preservation of Prentice into usable office and retail space.
Our team was hired to evaluate the impacts of the Trust’s counter-proposal to preserve and reuse Prentice. We have determined that the Trust’s project is likely to generate significant upfront and ongoing economic benefits:
1. Upfront rehabilitation of Prentice, and the spillover economic activity that results from it, will generate about $100 million in one-time expenditures, support about 600 temporary jobs and generating about $400,000 in tax revenues to local and county governments.
2. Ongoing operations at Prentice, and the spillover economic activity that results from them, will generate about $150 million in annual expenditures, support about 1,000 permanent jobs and generating about $1 million in tax revenues to local and county governments.
3. The combination of preserving Prentice and adding new research space at an adjacent location is likely to generate more positive property value impact nearby than simply demolishing Prentice and building new research space there, with attendant increases in property tax revenues to the City of Chicago and Chicago Public Schools on the order of hundreds of thousands of dollars per year.