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January 8, 2016

Obama Foundation Moves into Hyde Park

The Obama Foundation announced in November that it plans to move into a new office in Hyde Park this winter. The original announcement said that the office would be open in January. The office is not yet open, and when contacted this week, a Foundation representative said it would be open later this winter.

The new office will be located in Harper Court, a University of Chicago-owned development on 53rd Street. The Foundation previously occupied an office in the Loop.

According to a press release from the Obama Foundation, the move will be completed in two phases. During the first phase, staff will move into space on the second floor of Harper Court. During the second phase, which will occur later in 2016, the foundation will open a multipurpose space on the ground floor of the building.

The Obama Foundation also announced the hiring of its first vice president for Community Relations, Michael Strautmanis. At the new Hyde Park office, one of Strautmanis’ duties will be to oversee engagement with the South Side.

According to a written statement from the Foundation, “Strautmanis, a native of Chicago, will be tasked with developing and leading the execution of outreach efforts and civic engagement relating to the work of The Foundation.”

The Obama Foundation’s current primary focus, as stated on its website, is the design and construction of the Obama Presidential Center, which will be located either in Jackson Park or Washington Park and could open as soon as 2020. The University of Chicago is partnering with the Obama Foundation on this larger project.

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