November 13, 2009

Blueprints for Harper Court designs shown at TIF meeting

All three Harper Court proposals will open Harper Avenue to through traffic, city officials announced Monday at a presentation of the finalists’ designs. The 53rd Street Tax Increment Finance (TIF) meeting was the first time blueprints for the shopping center were revealed. TIF members had said in September that a final design was to be selected this month.

Each plan included a mix of retail, residential, and office spaces which the University plans to occupy. In the September TIF meeting, all plans included a hotel, movie theater, gym, and restaurants. They also featured wider sidewalks.

The plans were not detailed and were not attributed to individual development teams. The three developers are McCaffery/Interests/Taxman Corp Partnership, Mesa/Walsh Partnership, and Vermilion Development/JFJ Development Partnership.

Tim Brangle of the Chicago Consultants Studio said the majority of TIF funds will likely be used for “infrastructure,” but did not specify what that meant.

Harper Court’s new design will be revealed at the next TIF meeting in January or a special meeting in February, TIF members said. Alderman Toni Preckwinkle said the project will break ground in 2012 at the earliest.