The foundation overseeing the creation of President Obama’s presidential library announced early Tuesday that it has selected a site on the South Side of Chicago.


“All the strands of my life came together, and I really became a man, when I moved to Chicago,” Obama said in an online video alongside first lady Michelle ObamaMichelle LeVaughn Robinson Obama2020 is not a family affair, for a change Former speechwriter says Michelle Obama came up with 'when they go low we go high' line CBC marks 400th anniversary of slaves' arrival in US MORE.

“That's where I was able to apply that early idealism, to try to work in communities in public service,” the president added. “That's where I met my wife; that's where my children were born.”

He framed the decision as a way to spur growth on the South Side, a diverse part of the city with some neighborhoods battling significant crime and poverty.

“With a library and a foundation both on the South Side of Chicago, not only will we be able to encourage and affect change locally, but what we can also do is attract the world to Chicago,” President Obama said.

The site near the University of Chicago beat out three other sites at the University of Hawaii, Columbia University in New York City, and the University of Illinois at Chicago. While those universities didn't win the big prize, the Barack ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaLet's not play Charlie Brown to Iran's Lucy Mattis dodges toughest question At debate, Warren and Buttigieg tap idealism of Obama, FDR MORE Foundation said in a statement it will collaborate with all three in the future.

The Obamas have deep ties to Chicago, a reason many considered the city a favorite in the library contest. President Obama worked as a community organizer in the city before he taught constitutional law at the University of Chicago Law School. He later represented part of the South Side in the Illinois state Senate.

Obama's former chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel, left the White House to become the city's mayor. He will join Martin Nesbitt, the chairman of the Barack Obama Foundation, to officially announce the decision later Tuesday.

Michelle Obama was born in Chicago and said in the video that she's “thrilled to be able to put this resource in the heart of the neighborhood that means the world to me.”

“I consider my self a South Sider,” she said.

David Axelrod, Obama's former adviser, told CNN's “New Day” that the city is “ecstatic” after the announcement.

“What a great story: Barack Obama came here about 30 years ago to work for a consortium of churches to try to lift neighborhoods that were down on their luck in the South Side of Chicago. Michelle Obama grew up on the South Side of Chicago; her roots are firmly planted there,” he said Tuesday morning.

“And now, they are bringing this wonderful asset back to the South Side of Chicago that will mean, not just thousands of jobs and hundreds of millions of dollars in economic activity, but it will lift the community.”

— This report was updated at 8:10 a.m.