The University and the City of Chicago have narrowed down plans for Harper Court from four to three potential developers, they announced at the Tax-Increment Financing (TIF) meeting at Kenwood High School on Tuesday, September 15.
The three remaining developers are McCaffery/Interests/Taxman Corp Partnership, Mesa/Walsh Partnership, and Vermilion Development/JFJ Development Partnership. The University and the City of Chicago will announce the chosen proposal in November and solicit community input for the design.
Each of the plans was presented by potential partners for the renovation and all featured a movie theater, gym, and restaurants in hopes of revitalizing retail in Hyde Park. Some also included offices for the University, a boutique hotel, and condos. The redone Harper Court would also include parking.
The proposals will also include anywhere from 90,000 to 150,000 square feet of space in buildings across the street up to 25 stories high.
Fourth-year Jackie Todd took issue with the plans, which she thought featured too much University encroachment in the neighborhood. “I can’t believe the University thought this was a good idea.”
Chris Milroy (A.B. ’09) felt that the Harper Court renovations were long overdue. “Any steps the University can take to encourage students to think of Hyde Park, rather than only the University campus, as their neighborhood are positive for the community.”