Former President Barack Obama has defended the location of his $500 million Presidential Center in Chicago, saying he’s “absolutely confident” it will benefit the community – amid complaints from locals that it will destroy a historic park and lead to gentrification.
Following five years of legal battles, a federal review and gentrification concerns, Barack and Michelle Obama are expected to attend a celebratory groundbreaking Tuesday at the construction site of the Obama Presidential Center in Jackson Park on Chicago’s South Side.
In an interview with ABC’s Good Morning America on the eve of the groundbreaking, Obama dismissed the criticism of his legacy project, including multiple legal attempts to block construction.
“The overwhelming majority of the community has been not just okay with it, but are hugely enthusiastic about it,” Obama said.
“The truth is, any time you do a big project, unless you’re in the middle of a field somewhere, you know, and it’s on private property,