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Neighborhood Spotlight: Hyde Park
August 8, 2013

Neighborhood Spotlight: Hyde Park

It's anchored by UChicago and the Museum of Science and Industry, but Hyde Park is most commonly known as the second home of President Obama. (It's where he comes when the White House is being fumigated.) Now it has something more: development buzz.

Mixed-use project Harper Court, located at the corner of 53rd and Lake Park, is being developed by a public/private partnership among UChicago, the City, Vermilion Development, and JFJ Development (Vermilion managing director Chris Dillion is snapped there, above). Tenants will include LA Fitness, ULTA Beauty, Chipotle, and others in 75k SF of retail. (Work out, get a facial, eat a burrito... Look out apple pie and baseball: This is America.) UChicago and Hyatt will complete the development, adding 150k SF of office space and 131 hotel rooms, respectively. The Harper Court project is also affiliated with several UChicago projects running down 53rd Street and the nearby Harper Theater.
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Vermilion and JFJ were added to the partnership in '10, Chris says. With real estate reeling in '09, they saw Harper Court as a chance to work in an underserved market. It represents the culmination of years of university and community efforts to bring more amenities to the neighborhood through development on 53rd Street, Vermilion CEO Dave Cocagne tells us. The $139M project is financed by both debt (Citi Community Capital) and equity (Canyon Johnson Urban Fund, a partnership including Magic Johnson).

A few blocks up Lake Park are the grounds for City Hyde Park, a 182-unit apartment development to be anchored by Whole Foods. It's on pace to break ground this fall, Antheus Capital/Silliman Group's Peter Cassel tells us, and serve groceries in the fall of 2015. (Hmm, all of our coupons will be expired by then.) Though UChicago has spurred most of the recent growth in Hyde Park, growing market demands like retail and grocery are going unmet, he says. The $115M development—which'll include 110k SF of retail—is financed by equity and conventional debt.

The list goes on, from Mesa Development's 267-unit (plus retail) Vue53 project for the university to all sorts of new foodie hot spots (Longman & Eagle owners' Promontory and two Matthias Merges concepts, to name a few). These put Hyde Park on pace to be that next big college town. And it's not just real estate developers taking the drive down Lake Shore: Last week, we caught the cast and crew of NBC's Chicago Fire filming in Hyde Park.

Oldies But Goodies

We asked and you answered: What are your favorite historical buildings? For Fitzgerald Earles Architects and Associates principal Dan Earles, it's the Inland Steel Building (30 W Monroe). He calls the 1958 building years ahead of its time with its clear-span construction and sustainable design features like an under-floor duct system. Designed by SOM's Walter Netsch and Bruce Graham, the iconic 19-story, steel-and-glass building is owned by New York-based Capital Properties and has tenants like the Jacobson Group and Kerns Frost & Pearlman.

MRSA architect Michael Semenzin tells us you have to appreciate the history and simple beauty of the Monadnock (53 W Jackson Blvd). Built between 1891 and 1893, it was once the tallest office building in the world and was one of the last office buildings to be built with a masonry bearing wall. It's noted for its simple, bold, and undecorated appearance, relying solely on infrastructure to provide style, he says. The building is part of a National Historic Landmark District and is still occupied by commercial and retail tenants, including Chicago Rehab Network and Vargas Group.

Modern Day Rocketeer

photo 4
Kyle Sals, an analyst in JLL's corporate finance and net lease investment sales group, sent us this surreal pic of his birthday jet-pack experience. Starting at North Avenue Beach, a jet pack was strapped onto Kyle, and within five minutes he was soaring through the air and taking in the Chicago skyline, he tells us—only to be submarining underneath the water moments later. People took so many pictures and videos that he wondered if Kimye's new baby was nearby. "I felt like a real life superhero," he laughs.

Charles Winship contributed to this issue.

Who is your fave superhero? Our Chicago reporter's is her mom, Sharon Oberlander, who explained to her as a child that she needed to put her to bed in order to go fight crime. Email marissa.oberlander@bisnow.com.

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