Crain's: Race for Obama library gets serious
The bidding war for President Barack Obama's presidential library is expected to formally get underway next week.
Chicago, where the president spent his early career, is vying to put it somewhere on the South Side. New York, where he went to college, and his birthplace of Hawaii are also contenders. Like other presidential libraries, it's expected to be a big draw for tourists and create other economic spinoffs.
House Speaker Michael Madigan underscored Chicago's thirst for the project with a bill introduced yesterday that would steer $100 million in capital development funds to help build the library and museum.
The first step, a request for qualifications, was supposed to be issued in February and is said to “imminent,” now targeted for release by the end of next week. The RFQ will explain the basic elements and criteria for the site selection process, according to the library's organizers.
“This process takes longer than you might think,” said a spokeswoman for the Barack H. Obama Foundation, a Washington-based nonprofit headed by three longtime friends and advisers the president appointed in January to raise money for the library.
After qualifications are submitted, the foundation plans to select recipients of a request for proposal coming out in May, with announcement of the winning bidder in early 2015.