CHICAGO (WLS) — A federal judge has denied a request to halt construction on the Obama Presidential Center in Jackson Park after a Chicago park advocacy group filed a new federal lawsuit.
On Thursday, a federal judge said Protect Our Parks did not meet the requirements for an injunction and denied their motion.
That helps clear the way for a potential groundbreaking, which is expected in the fall, but preliminary work for the presidential center is getting underway in Jackson Park, city and state leaders said earlier this year.
The project promises to create thousands of jobs.
“When the center is built, our estimates suggest that we are going to bring about 700,000 people to the South Side every year and generate about $3.1 billion of economic impact,” said Marty Nesbitt, Obama Foundation board chairman.
The Obama Presidential Center pre-construction work got underway Wednesday in Chicago’s Jackson Park, Governor JB Pritzker and Mayor Lori Lightfoot announced.
Protect Our Parks’ lawsuit had asked the court to review the conclusions of federal reviews performed in conjunction with the proposal to place the Obama Presidential Center in historic Jackson Park and halt any construction or adverse actions that could impact the historical and environmental resources while the court reviews the matter.
The Obama Foundation issued a statement in response to the lawsuit filing, saying “The Foundation is prepared to vigorously defend against this lawsuit, and we continue to look ahead to a groundbreaking in the fall of this year. Several months ago, we celebrated the conclusion of the federal reviews, a robust and transparent process that extended more than three years and involved extensive consulting party and community input. Thousands of Chicagoans participated in this journey with us, and the input we received helped strengthen the project and what we will do together in the years ahead – together we will bring this world-class institution to the South Side of Chicago.”