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State

Obama makes another pitch for his presidential center plans

CHICAGO – Former President Barack Obama has made another pitch for his presidential center on Chicago's South Side, saying it will create jobs and attract businesses to the area.

Obama on Tuesday downplayed concerns about increased housing costs and other issues that have been raised by residents who live near the planned center.

Activists rallied before the meeting, saying they wanted to draw attention to residents who could lose their homes and apartments once the center is constructed.

Obama noted it's understandable to be concerned about gentrification. However, he said he hasn't noticed too much development or too much economic activity being a problem on the South Side.

Tuesday's Obama Foundation public meeting on the center was its last. The plans for the center in Jackson Park now go before Chicago's Plan Commission.

Crews are expected to break ground later this year and open doors in 2021.

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