Harper Court Proposals Narrowed Down to Four

City and University present progress on Harper Court development at Fourth Ward TIF Meeting

By Ella Christoph

At the fourth ward TIF Meeting on Monday, James Wilson of the Chicago Department of Community Development announced that the city and university have received proposals for the development of Harper Court and will present feasible proposals – likely a short list of two or three – at a TIF Meeting in late September or early October.

Five proposals were submitted (check out the firms here), but one proposal was dismissed – the city and University would not disclose who, as they had yet to tell the firm – because it did not meet the requirements of the Request for Proposal (RFP).

Firms may also choose to include the University-owned site adjacent to Harper Court where Hollywood Video used to be in their plans.

The TIF Council applauded the city and University for moving forward in the process and encouraged them to continue to move quickly and to ensure that the site did not remain vacant or unsightly in the interim.

The Council also unanimously approved the rezoning of 1363-7 East 53rd Street from a B1-3 Neighborhood Shopping District to B3-3 Community Shopping District. Owner Sue Freeling is in negotiations with Hyde Park Animal Clinic to move the veterinary clinic from its current location in Harper Court, which is to be closed, to the 53rd Street site. Compared to other neighborhood shopping areas in Chicago, Hyde Park currently has significantly less B3-3 zoning. B3-3 zoning allows various commercial establishments which are not permitted in B1-3 zones.

The opening of a position on the TIF Council was also announced. Any fourth-ward resident can be appointed to the council by Alderman Toni Preckwinkle; submissions can be submitted to mae.wilson@cityofchicago.org.