Draft guidelines for Harper Court RFQ/RFP May> 2008

Heart of Hyde Park TIF Advisory Council Harper Court Area Redevelopment Briefing
City of Chicago - University of Chicago prepared by the Chicago Consultants Studio

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First the original of May 12, 2001. Second draft proposed revised by the TIF Planning and Development Committee, chair Chuck Thurow.

Text only: Original is in http://www.vision53.org/12htlm.

Text of the Guidelines to be commented on by June 12 2008

Original by Chicago Consultants Studio, Inc.

Heart of Hyde Park
TIF Advisory Council

Harper Court Area Redevelopment Briefing

City of Chicago - University of Chicago May 12, 2008

I. Overview

II. Project Orientation

III. Project Framework

Please visit the SECC website where a copy of this presentation will be posted for the 30-day Public Review Period. www.hydeparkchicago.org. [http://www.vision53.org]

Forward your comments and input to: ccs@ccstudioinc.com.


Revised Guideline proposed by TIF Planning and Development Chair Chuck Thurow pursuant to May 27 open meeting of c35 people.

Here are my conclusions and recommendations from our May 27th meeting:

TIF Advisory Council
Planning and Development Subcommittee

May 27, 2008 at the Hyde Park Art Center

Approximately thirty-five people attended the meeting to discuss the outline of the RFQ and RFP fr the Harper Court Area Redevelopment. The TIF Advisory Council was represented by Chuck Thurow , chair of the committee, and Toni McAllistor. The meeting concentrated on the Development Objectives and the Program Criteria within presentation “Harper Court Area Redevelopment Briefing.” Everyone understood why this document was very general, but there was general consensus that it lack any distinct feel or challenge to the developers that would encourage them to be imaginative and be responsive to the specific neighborhood rather than giving generic responses.

The following suggestions are an attempt to embody our discussion in the criteria. In addition, I have added some commentary to explain the changes.

Development Criteria

· Create a vibrant mixed-use neighborhood core that would be recognized as a model of diversity and inclusion as it served the neighborhood, University and city-wide visitors.

There was considerable discussion of wanting to keep Hyde Park ’s unique history of being multi-racial and an economically-mixed neighborhood. This change also reflects the interest in proactively encouraging the developers to do their best and most innovative with key social issues.

· Improve the image and identity of 53rd Street /Harper area as an active, attractive, and street-oriented commercial district.

This change came from interest in having the development oriented to the street and to avoid the style of development, such as Water Tower Place , that is focused on an internal mall concept.

· Attract a high quality mix of commercial uses, local and national, that reflected the tastes, incomes, and needs of not only immediate neighbors but surrounding communities, while assuring effective relocation strategies for existing tenants and opening possibilities for new, locally-generated businesses.

This change directly relates to the first item above: the businesses selection should encourage a diverse clientele to use the development so that it was providing goods of interest to a broad income mix. There was strong appreciation for some of the current businesses in Harper Court so we wanted to strengthen the relocation statement. Also there was interest in the idea of opening up some possibilities for residents who want to become entrepreneurs.

· Feature high quality urban design and architecture that not only is respectful of the architectural context, but also continues Hyde Park ’s traditions of uniqueness and innovation.

Much to the surprise of the Chair, the desire for uniqueness did not come from him but from members of the group and was supported generally by group. The commentaries were mainly on how many developer will find a successful design for Naples , FL and then just reuse it everywhere he or she does a development. The desire is to encourage them to think about Hyde Park ’s architecture heritage and be challenged to live up to it.

· Establish an accessible, pedestrian-friendly environment that, in particular, can be a model of effective handicap accessibility through quality streetscape, open space and design.

Here again the idea is to go beyond simply the expected or the required and ask the developer to really think about handicapped accessibility and use innovations that might become tomorrow’s standards.

· Provide adequate parking to serve the development and the 53rd Street area and work with local and city officials to strengthen the transportation options especially from the surrounding neighborhoods.

The Chair was startled to find himself the only voice for less parking. He was vastly overruled by the rest of the group. However, there was agreement that the public transportation options should be highlighted and be a consideration of how public transportation links to surrounding neighborhoods could enhance the development as a destination for a larger south side.

Program Criteria

Most of the commentary above relates to the recommended changes in the development criteria above.

· Retail and Entertainment

A creative mix of retail and entertainment tenants to achieve an active, diverse, dynamic urban neighborhood with increased daytime and nighttime activity and a destination appeal that builds and complements that strong cultural destinations already present in the neighborhood.

Besides the diversity and inclusion discussed earlier, a very good point was made that there are high destinations, such as the Museum of Science and Industry, the Robie House, and the Hyde Park Art Center , and the development should try to capture people who are already aware of the area. The Chair has to admit that he added the Hyde. It was not one of the examples given by the group.

· Residential

Apartment and condominium product, including a 20% affordable housing component, to increase the vitality and vibrancy of the area. If possible, that range should expand on the typical income levels considered affordable and nontraditional housing types such as work/live.

Most of the discussion emphasized income distribution and housing, but there was also mention of the original intent of Harper Court to replace the artist housing that was lost by urban renewal. The idea of work/live or artist space came from that latter notion.

· Open Space and High Quality Urban Design

An important urban amenity and “address” for retailers, residents and visitors because of the distinctiveness, quality, and innovation of its design and materials with areas specifically design for cultural and civic uses/programming as well as maintain activated building facades to the streets avoiding the parking pedestal facing the street that is so common in many similar buildings.

The group wanted to strengthen the wording of this program criteria so that it is known that the community wants spaces appropriate for chess and other types of communal gathering. Also there was concern that some developer might think the Borders building with its cheap materials was “high quality design.”

· Access and Circulation

Convenient circulation to and through the area with proximate parking to promote retail activity, adequate service access to assure open streets, and a minimum number of curb cuts to enhance pedestrian movement.

These additions are probably self-explanatory.

· Development Range

Overall density range of 2.5-3.5 FAR with building heights appropriate to the context of east Hyde Park.

There seemed to be general agreement at the meeting that this was an appropriate site for high-rise development similar to the buildings east of the tracks; although there was also concern that wind generation and the canyon effect be avoided. The height of the bank should not be a limiting factor.

Chuck Thurow
Executive Director
Hyde Park Art Center
5020 S. Cornell
Chicago, IL 60615
phone: 773/324-5520 x. 1001
fax: 773/324-6641
e-mail: cthurow@hydeparkart.org