University Sells 13 Residential Buildings

The sale continues the University’s retreat from the Hyde Park real estate market.

By Feng Ye

Last week, the sale of 13 properties in Hyde Park from the University to Pioneer Acquisitions, a New York investment firm, was closed. 

“[Current residents] won’t be affected in any way,” Jessica Simmons, Marketing Manager of Pioneer Acquisitions said. A UChicago News article from April announced that all leases made or renewed before the sale would contain the same rental rates and terms. 

“While no specific budget plans have been disclosed, as noted in the announcement when the properties were put on the market in April, the University intends to reinvest proceeds from the sale into teaching and research,” Calmetta Coleman, director of communications for Civic Engagement said. 

The sale included mostly residential buildings, two retail properties, and one parcel of vacant land. James Hennessy, associate vice president for Commercial Real Estate, told UChicago News last April that these buildings were purchased initially to ensure that students, faculty, and staff near campus could find stable, quality housing. The buildings were put on the market in late spring this year, around May, according to Nick Hollenkamp, an associate of Pioneer Acquisitions. 

Last October, the University sold a 19-building, 676-unit portfolio to the same company, Crain's Chicago Business reported. According to Hollenkamp, Pioneer Acquisitions has been aware that the University has been selling off some of the graduate student housing buildings. “We knew from the time of the purchase last year that this newest portfolio would become available in spring…from spring of 2015, we’ve been aware and interested,” Hollenkamp said. 

“The University still owns 13 residential buildings and maintains a significant presidence in Hyde Park,” Coleman said.

Hollenkamp thinks it is unlikely that the University will put more of its buildings in Hyde Park on sale. “It’s [what has been sold] the majority of the residential property that they have already put on the market…they have just been focusing on other properties that they have, [including] more retail properties,” he said. 

Addresses of the buildings: 

  • 1401 East Hyde Park Boulevard (Carlson) 

  • 5107 South Blackstone Avenue (Piccadilly) 

  • 5110 South Kenwood Avenue (Shelbyrne) 

  • 5345 South Harper Avenue (Harper Crest) 

  • 5330 South Blackstone Avenue 

  • 5455 South Blackstone Avenue 

  • 5706-10 South Blackstone Avenue 

  • 1321 East 57th Street 

  • 1323 East 57th Street 

  • 1327-33 East 57th Street (retail) 

  • 1413-15 East 57th Street 

  • 1027-29 East 48th Street (vacant) 

  • 5117 South Kenwood Avenue (vacant)