UChicago Medicine is making progress in its efforts to construct a new free-standing cancer center in Hyde Park. The proposed facility, which was announced in February 2022, has undergone significant changes since then, including an increase in size and cost. The revised proposal now includes a total area of 575,000 square feet and an estimated cost of $815 million, up from the original estimates of $633 million and 500,000 square feet.
The cancer center aims to address the growing need for cancer care on the South Side, which is predicted to increase by 19 percent over the next five years, compared to 9.1 percent in the five counties surrounding Chicago. The facility will consolidate existing cancer care that is spread out across five UChicago Medicine buildings and will provide high-quality cancer services to the community.
Envisioned by CannonDesign, the proposed cancer center will include 80 inpatient beds, 90 consultation and outpatient exam rooms, infusion therapy rooms, cancer imaging suites, and clinical trial spaces. It is expected to employ around 800 staff members and create approximately 500 construction jobs. The ground floor of the center will feature a “community hub” focused on cancer services and education that will be open to the public.
The community hub is a unique feature of the revised proposal, and it was included based on feedback collected from the community. UChicago Medicine conducted surveys, telephone polls, town halls, and other avenues to gather community feedback. The hub is designed to be accessible to all members of the community, regardless of whether they have been diagnosed with cancer.
The UChicago Medicine cancer center project has received support from Illinois Representative and mayoral candidate Kam Buckner, who wrote a letter of support to state regulators in January. UChicago Medicine’s master design permit was approved in March 2022 by the Illinois Health Facilities & Services Review Board, and the health system is currently seeking approval for the new proposal. If approved, construction would begin later this year, with a full completion slated for 2027.