High demand at new Studio Gang-designed City Hyde Park building

“City Hyde Park is the first new Multi-family building to be constructed in Hyde Park in over 25 years.”

By Cairo Lewis

There has been high demand for the new City Hyde Park retail and residential apartments located at 5105 South Harper Avenue, much of which comes from students seeking an alternative to the university housing system.

Construction of the 15-story, 500,000 square foot complex began about a year ago when MAC Properties received its foundation permit to start building last March.  The Jeanne Gang and Studio Gang-designed development features a total of 180 units that range from $1,820 per month for a one-bedroom to $4,405 per month for a penthouse unit.

As of April 2014, MAC owned 53 apartment buildings in Hyde Park. According to a Maroon article from last year, the average price for a MAC one-bedroom apartment was $1,000–$1,200.

Unlike other similarly sized apartment complexes in Hyde Park, City Hyde Park’s parking spaces will be below ground, and the tower will feature an extensive green roof space.

In addition to regular cost units, MAC is placing 36 below-market rate units on the market. These units will be set aside for people who make close to half the city’s median income.

According to MAC Apartment’s Silliman Group Director of Community Development Peter Cassel, the apartments have attracted many different types of people who are looking for an upscale living experience.

“We believe [City Hyde Park] will appeal to many Hyde Parkers, including the young and older students, teachers, working people, professionals, and retired,” Cassel said.

Potential tenants have already applied for all 36 of these units that will be rented out for $613 per month. The number of bedrooms and views of downtown Chicago and Lake Michigan are major factors that differ among the rental rates.

These 36 affordable units are part of a deal made between MAC developers and the city of Chicago for a break on property taxes through Tax Increment Financing (TIF). MAC will be receiving an $11.3 million tax break on the $115 million project.

The Leadership in Energy and Environmental Development (LEED), a green building program that awards best in-class building strategies and practices, has also recognized the new spaces for using optimal business tactics. The LEED certification of the building site is currently in progress.

The new building complex will also feature ample retail and office space for new businesses to set up shop in the neighborhood.

A Whole Foods grocery store, a Marshall’s department store, and a Michael’s arts and crafts supply store will anchor the new developments. Office space provider Regus has also rented out 17,000 square feet of office and meeting spaces on the second floor of the building.

15,000 square feet of retail space on the first floor, mostly along the Hyde Park Boulevard and Harper Avenue sides, have not yet been rented out.

The first tenants, who will be living on the fourth through sixth floors, are expected to move into the building in December. The rest of the tenants, along with the major retailers, will start moving into the remaining spaces in early 2016.

Cassel believes that the new additions will further enhance Hyde Park’s development.

“There hasn’t been a [newly] constructed apartment building in Hyde Park for over 25 years. This means the last building was built before the Americans with Disabilities Act. City Hyde Park is an inclusive building and we look forward to welcoming people from across the neighborhood and City into the community,” Cassel said.