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City Hyde Park-- Lake Park at Hyde Park Blvd., redevelopment concepts for "City Hyde Park"

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OPEN, with 4 major retail- Whole Foods, Marshalls, Michaels Crafts, and Athletico. Rehab center coming.

(Based on HP Herald Digest 9/29/15) City Hyde Park, 5105 S. Harper Ave., will allow future residents to move in beginning Dec. 21 [2015], with rent starting at $1,800 for the cheapest apartment. The price range for the 180 available units is anywhere from that to $6,000 a month to secure a space in the new establishment. The one, two and three bedroom units range anywhere from 771-square feet to 1,668-square feet.

The apartments, which are designed by Studio Gang Architects, include a washer and dryer in every unit, private balconies, stainless steel appliances and floor-to-ceiling windows.

Residents will be able to enjoy a rooftop terrace, fitness center, study room with Wi-Fi and charging stations and a resident lounge with an attached coffee bar in the 15-story building. Underground parking will also be available for the building’s residents.

The list for the 34 affordable units is now closed. They are renting in the $c 600+ range plus utilities to income-qualified.

The project will also have a Whole Foods, a Marshalls, and a Michaels (Crafts) expected to open by the 2nd quarter of 2016.

RDA was approved in January 2014.

Demolition of the former shopping center began in December 2013; the building is is now about 4 stories from being topped off. Retail leased to date are Whole Foods, Marshall's, and Michaels Crafts.
the main controvery now is decision of Antheus to demolish 3 graystones on Harper Ave. to make room for parking and turning trucks. (Torn down in March 2014.) Many think Antheus should have restored the graystones as originally planned.
It looks like the graystones in the 5100 block of Harper that Antheus had said it would restore, but now says it cannot and needs the land for parking and truck turning for Village Hyde Park will be torn down soon in spring 2014. The land adjoins that that once was the homestead of Hyde Park founder Paul Cornell, have grand facades, and pre-date the Fair (1888). Opposition was expressed by Hyde Park Historical Society committees.

Hyde Park Village- approved by city including splitting the site off into its own TIF. In July 2013, the state (Ill Dept. Commerce and Econ. Opp.) approved to include the site in Enterprise Zone 6, which provides eligibility for many tax exemptions during construction. Next steps are issuance of the building permits and securing the last pieces of financing, after which construction will start. Completion is still expected by late 2015.

City Council Comm on Transp. and Public Way in Oct. 2013 approved request for permits for 8 planters, tree grates, sheeting and 78 tie-backs. Demolition in late 2013> will be followed be excavation, incl. sewer upgrades. 18 months is estimated for construction.

Updated and additional information is in the Antheus page. Note that this is a new design from that floated as early as 2006, and again modified in 2012-13. The new design was favorably vetted by the TIF and its Planning subcommittee in 2011 and 2012.

May 13 2013 TIF meeting updates: Peter Cassel of Antheus gave an update. First work at City Hyde Park will begin in late summer- sewer relocation for or at the PB station. New retail has been leased and will be soon announced. Whole Foods has a hard opening date of September 2015.

January 30 TIF meeting, City Hyde Park was discussed and two important votes taken

City Hyde Park- After a brief presentation by Peter Cassel (earliest start is fall of 2013 with 2 , the Council voted to give a letter of recommendation and support to the Alderman to committing up to $11 million in funds over remaining years of the new 51st St. TIF to in part fill the funding gap for City Hyde Park.
Also approved was to endorse stretching the boundaries of Enterprise Zone #6 down Lake Park Ave. and include the City Hyde Park site in the zone. Such involves availability of Illinois tax exemptions.
The remainder of the Gap in City Hyde Park Financing will be filled from New Business Tax Incentives and equity.

Traffic changes under consideration with CDOT:
Add a left turn signal to northbound Lake Park at E. Hyde Park Blvd.
To prevent the latter intersection from changing from a "B" to an "F", add a signal light at the site entry-exit on Lake Park at the se corner just north of the BP station. (CDOT is proposing also a signal at 52nd St.)
These matters will be discussed at the Planning and Development Committee meeting mentioned above.
Harper Street opening (ongoing)

The next discussion will be of traffic/Lake Park Ave. at a meeting of the Planning and Development Committee.

In March of 2013, the city Committee on Finance heard the request for addition of the site to Enterprise Zone 6. Enterprise Zones grant tax incentives (mainly sales taxes for construction supplies and partial utilities and certain income tax exemptions and deductions and relax regulations for developers). Passed in 1982, it was intended for "depressed" areas.

City Hyde Park's website:




Ald. Burns told the meeting he supports the revised proposal as approved by the Chicago Community Development Council and the TIF council.

Peter Cassel, lead spokesman for the team, said that financing and other considerations require the project be done in one phase, with the tall building moved near the Lake Park-E. Hyde Park corner, but still physical option to build and another tower at the northwest. Thus 13 stories of residential above the retail base at this corner rather than 10 and rather than c23 at the now discontinued northeast tower. Preference in design and some public comment was also have the various traffic and density on the auto-centric Lake Park and leave Harper Ave. small retail and (between the site and Harper Court) residential, and Lake Park will have the best views. An importatn attactor will also be that is designed by Jeanne Gang's firm, which inter alia was featured in an exhibit at the Art Institute of Chicago.

Also as a consequence of financial and single-phase re figuration, the tower, though 3 stories higher than that tower was to have been, will have smaller (less bedroom units) but still the 182 units planned, of which 38 will be affordable (rent that can be afforded by those earning as low as 60% of metro region median income), and throughout with A and B accessibility. The development will still have 120,000 sf retail (a bit more spread out) and on two floors and 350 parking spaces. (There was some concern that the downsizing of apartments leaves this project not contributing rental spaces for large families, who mainly have to buy rather than rent in HPK- Cassel felt this project would make no difference in that). A model of the project and retail is on display in an Art Institute exhibit fall 2012. This tower is far from the highest in the vicinity. There will be buyable, deedable parking. Touted was 200 or so construction jobs, of which 50%+ must be Chicago, and they are committed to high MWB jobs and enterprises. About 100 retail jobs will result. The enticing of Whole Foods was called a game changer that will bring more options in even if it is pricey, and they are optimistic about bringing in apparel and housegoods options. They feel they are at least providing complete accessory parking (for all needs of the development), not park-and-ride, and there will be retail validated parking. It will be Silver LEED rated including gardens throughout the roofs (to go Golden or Platform added too much cost)

Cassel explained that for 182 units, 12,000 sf retail and 350 parking spaces (underground), the original financing was $145M cost, $100M being hardcost and was to be in two phases. Antheus equity would be $22M, $88M loan, c$15M federal new market credits- to which was added need for $15 from the TIF. Financiers said the $15 was not feasible at least from the old TIF and wanted a single phase, and there was a community call for community benefits.

In the re-thought project, there will be a single, still angularity designed, 16 story (13 residential) tower (187 ft high) near the northeast corner but set back some from the sidewalk-- in fact so set back all around the development. Income will be lost from fewer and smaller apartments, but the cost of additional floors of the eliminated second tower will be saved. The ground floor will be mostly Whole Foods except along Harper Ave. The second floor will have apparel and house goods stores.

The total cost is now $114 rather than $145.
Antheus supplies $8.5 M in non-cash equity plus $26.5 M in cash equity-- value $35 M. (It was not clear to this writer whether the previously stated $22 M was cash or total equity, and so whether Antheus's input is going up or down.)
$80 for loans, credits and TIF-- $6 M in construction loans, $11 M in new market tax credits, and 11.3 from the TIF.
The TIF total generated value will be c$14 M in 2012 dollars of which contribution to the Project will now be $11.3 rather than $15. $2.5 million is expected to be available for non-project community beefits. That is, the development will pay out from minimum of $1.3 M to $1.8M annual taxes (apart from the $100,000 in non-tif real estate taxes that stay c. the same); annualized value in incremental taxes is $1.4. This will leave a total for community improvements of $2.4 during the life of the TIF for school,s infrastructure, etc. This will become gradually available on a rising scale., averaging 300, 400,000 a year [which the 53rd St. TIF does not have left.] The TIF can decide whether to use this as it comes into the fund or to borrow against it for one or more improvements.

The timetable is pushed back a bit- Agreements etc. is being worked out now, things physically start in the first quarter of 2013, completion of financing and city agreements in the first half, build up in the second quarter, shel done and being turned over and leased by fall 2014, and being occupied early 2015 into 2016.

July 9, 2012 the 53rd St. TIF heard presentation on City Hyde Park from Silliman Group (Antheus Capital) and report of process already begun to split the two pins (and part of Harper Ave.) of the proposed development at 51st and Lake Park into a separate, new tax increment district ("51st-Lake Park TIF") of 23 years duration to subsidize the project. The city has already begun the process with approval of Ald. Will Burns as an administrative action, and the TIF council (which will oversee the new TIF) voted its approval. Cassel stressed that the TIF change is only in process and only approved in principle- THE CITY WOULD BRING NUMBERS AND ITS RECOMMENDATION TO THE SEPTEMBER TIF MEETING (MEETING WAS CANCELLED DUE TO THE SCHOOL STRIKE). Reasoning given previously included that Antheus could not get as high a retail rent as they had hoped for. It also appears that banks and other backers want as much public backing for projects as possible before they issue construction loans.
This development will include a mix of market rate and 20% (38) affordable units (indistinguishable and dispersed in the project) as confirmed at the July 9 meeting as well as two retail buildings and enclosed underground parking. Coalition for Equitable Community Development praised Antheus for planning there the first affordable units in Hyde Park in many years. Antheus did not commit to universal accessibility.
(53rd and proposed 51st TIFs, Harper Court and Hyatt Hyde Park (Smart/Olympia Hotels) and City Hyde Park subsidy are very hot with a segment of the community and some outside groups. Occupy spin off demonstrations are planned for Harper and Hyatt and various labor and money-to-schools only groups are making the rounds with informationals about all three. Hyde Park Herald editorial asked for examination of ability of the tifs to come up with the public benefits on which the community had originally be sold on tifs, and a letter questioned developers' commitment and care for this neighborhood.)

Big picture:

The city will be coming to the TIF meeting September 10 2012 with firm numbers on impact of a spit off of the City Hyde Park development tax PINS into its own 23-year TIF, how much compensation for lost CHP 2001-present City Hyde Park increment will be needed from CHP owner Silliman/Antheus as compensation to the remaining 53rd TIF, and how the TIFs look financially (including how much might be left over in the 51st.
There has been some dismay over the TIF split (said in part to be because the CHP developer says there is a gap, bankers require a solid, government funding component, and Harper Court has dibs on whatever leftover increment there may be should it be needed, and wanting to spread City Hyde Park subsidy over a new 23 years).
At the same time, there have been objections and rallies asserting the the Hotel component should not be built because school funding is in a terrible crisis and they don't like public money going to developers--it appears this objection is based in part on their belief this goes to the Pritzker family, which both having hotel labor disputes and is heavily involved in Chicago education issues and governance, which are highly politicized and in the midst of union contract negotiations.
(They also claim Hyatt and the Pritzkers do not pay a fair share of taxes-- reality unknown to this writer. This hotel project has set forth a number of things it will do for its workers. It says it will not commit to being unionized before it hires-- and such agreement is something that is seldom done these days.)

This writer (GMO) notes that the developer of the Hotel is not Hyatt but Smart LLC and it will be operated by Olympia companies, which are separate franchises from Hyatt Hotels Corporation, which has no stake in either Smart of Olympia and will not be getting any money from the TIF expenditure, nor will members of the Pritzker family. The Hyatt Corporation of course receives an additional hotel-- as does Hyde Park and anyone using the hotel, plus Hyatt receives leasing money from the Smart and Olympia corporations: including royalties based on revenues equaling from 3% to 5%-- if the gross revenues were 5 1/2 million that would be a little shy of $300,000. Anyone who thinks all that goes to the Pritzker family or any shareholder knows nothing about profit returns in business. If you spend $200 to stay for a night (or buy something in a store) anywhere from 1 to 5% goes to profit to the corporation, and not all of that goes to dividends.

The $5 million from TIF is only a small part of the funding for the hotel construction and backs the construction loans-- it is banks and other backers that have first call on the TIF money and would be stuck if it is insufficient.

Are schools and the other taxing districts (city, parks, county.....) losing out? They continue to get the same tax receipts from the site and the whole TIF they were getting in 2001-- whether there is any development during that time or not. During the life of the TIF they do not get each year's increment over the 23 years-- that is set aside for approved TIF expenditures and expenses, or may be declared surplus and taken, as some from the overall city TIF pool has been, for various taxing bodies including schools (but to the knowledge for this writer not from the 53rd TIF because its monies were committed before the surplus declared). The money coming into the 53rd and most other TIFs has been slowing dramatically in recent years (see Hyde Park Herald articles in summer of (f2012) but there is still sizeable increment. Once the Harper Court, Harper Theater, former Borders and other expected developments are done and online, the property value in the TIF will be dramatically larger, especially for Harper Court) and assessments thereon will be dramatically, maybe Harper Court and City Hyde Park for its proposed TIF five times higher? than present and certainly 2001 assessment even with changes countywide in weighting of different kinds of property. So when the 53rd TIF expires, the schools and taxing bodies will start getting a much higher amount of taxes (and if there were no development a somewhat higher amount of taxes) plus any monies left unused/uncommitted in the TIF's fund. So, the development results in a lot more for the schools than any that goes to Hyatt or Pritzkers.

In recent years, the TIF expended on the two schools (not seven!) that are in the TIF- Kenwood and Canter. Many wish it had been more, and that more could have been spent on other improvements including in parks in the TIF, and that Cleanslate had been kept going. And, with the commitment to Harper Court no more will be. It could be pointed out that it would have been irresponsible for the TIF to not do what TIFs do best and this one was at least partially meant to do--improve the capacity and value of the commercial district and simultaneously increasing the tax base for schools etc. for from when it expires. But the new 51st TIF (new 23 years) may provide a second chance (via portability) to provide those extra benefits including to the two schools, although the schools (ie CPS including other 5 schools in HPK) and other taxing bodies will have to forego the increased increment until 23 years have passed. If the argument is that providing public money for development should not also result in private gains, that's is one of the main way the whole country has been built, even though one can argue that such piling on of debt is unsustainable if value leveraged and created does not maintain a consistent ratio or the development cannot be supported by the shoppers, renters etc.


Facts and views drawn from Herald article of July 18, 2012

Main reason for separating out a new 2-pin TIF is that it could not be funded as part of the 53rd TIF-- CHP would be in the back of the line for funds, with Harper Court possibly taking up all the funds available (at least $20 M) or not leaving enough for the CHP ask-- and therefore financiers will not back the project if it remains in the 53rd TIF. The alternative, according to Peter Cassel, presenter, was to tear down the present structures and leave the land vacant since the facility is at the end of its life. The new project, with Whole Foods, a variety of retail, and 182 apartments.

Budget. Total cost has risen to $140 M (as of this writing). Of that $75 M. would be debt (according to Silliman estimates). Developer's stake $34 M, which Silliman said will be raised to $40 M. Land cost %5.5 million. TIF subsidy $10-$15 M. Other tax incentives ("New Market" federal tax incentives) $11 to 15 M.

Cassel told the July 9 meeting they have to get fill a gap of $25 million. With a new (23 year) Silliman would be at the head of the line- and the only one in line. On the other hand, CHP would be furnishing all the money the new TIF would have, (so in effect be self-backing), taxes going from current $17,000 a year to c. $900,000. (How much would go back to Silliman as well as whether some would go to other things is uncertain.) Cassel told the June 28 executive meeting of the TIF that its need had grown from previously-mentioned $10 M to $14 M. The remainder of the gap will come from the New Market federal incentives- meant to jump-start low income communities.

Since the increment of the new TIF would not be going to the 53rd TIF, Cassel said Silliman will write a "single check" to the 53rd St. TIF now.

Cassel said they would not scale back to a "cheaper" or less expensive project, citing that the public expects underground parking and Whole Foods would not come without a high profile design such as brought by Jeanne Gang. Also, affordable housing does not pay its way, according to Cassel-- upkeep, but not construction cost. In fact, he said the majority of the subsidy is for the 38 units of affordable housing*- part of the c$20 million in TIF-eligible expenses Cassel said the project has.

The project was supported by the TIF Council July 9, introduced to the Chicago Community Development Commission July 10 which will review it in August. City Council vote could come in early fall (City Council will not meet in August). Silliman will make a formal request for specific TIF funds in September or later.

[*Technically, the taxpayers providing the affordable housing, not Silliman, but 1) Silliman is providing the increment even if it is being diverted from normal government budgets including schools, and 2) many affordable housing groups support TIFs funding more affordable housing. Question- should any left-over increment in the new TIF be dedicated to schools if it's portable to the 53rd TIF, or strictly to in-pin things like streetscape and cleaning?]

Separately, Alderman Burns told the July 16 ward meeting that getting a Whole Foods option in this neighborhood plus the housing with affordable, the new retail, and redevelopment period caused him to support the development and the plan to separate the TIF.

Here are some more details, as provided by George Rumsey, as known as of the meeting:

Peter Cassel presented for Antheus Capital. He explained there was a $25 million gap in their funding for the $[140] million project called CityHydePark ( The project proposed 1[182] rental apartments, of which 38 (20%) will be affordable and on-site.

To close the gap ($10 million of the $25 mil gap has been mentioned in the past [as needing to be subsidized]), Antheus proposes to create a new TIF that would be an "in-PIN" project, as opposed to an area-wide focus on one project (such as Harper Court). This would provide it with the full 23 years to gain income, as opposed to the current 10 years still available to 53rd Street's TIF.

To accomplish this, there are three phases:

1. Amendment to the 53rd Street TIF to remove the 2 PINs that comprise CityHydePark (one block at 51st and Lake Park, and just the street itself of the adjoining north-south Harper Ave. for access). This would take an "administrative action," proposed through the city (planned for now through September), then going to City Council for approval (in October).

2. Create the new "conservation" TIF, to be called "51st-Lake Park TIF," comprising 2.25 acres and two tax PINs. This proposal has already been taken to the city agencies involved, with an expected approval in August or September. The city representatives at the meeting pointed out the district meets 6 of the state's 13 criteria for a TIF (and only 3 are needed). This proposal would go before City Council in October, with approval sought in November.

3. Signing of a "redevelopment agreement." The CDC will start preparing this in September, with expected closing by January 2013. Part of this involves Antheus reimbursing the 53rd Street TIF for lost revenues.

Alderman Burns then spoke briefly, stating his support for this proposal. He mentioned that the new TIF would be kept under the review of the 53rd Street TIF Advisory Council.

Peter also mentioned that Antheus would not be using the TIF funding to secure a loan, as is the case with Harper Court and Vermilion Development. Instead, it would be used long-term to pay off expenses and debt.

TIF members inquired about expanding the proposed area to include blocks east of the train tracks along 51st Street. The city TIF representatives explained why this was not possible--it would involve removing additional tax PINs from the 53rd Street TIF, which would wreck its viability.

Audience members raised the issues of portability of funds between the two districts. Peter and the City representatives agreed this would need to be resolved in the redevelopment agreement.

Not addressed were[...] How much income does this remove from the 53rd Street TIF, and what is the impact over the next 10 years on 53rd Street? How much income is expected to be generated by the new 51st/Lake Park TIF? How much of it does Antheus actually plan to use, and what happens to any excess?

The reasons for this change are complex, and Silliman has said that they cannot get as high a rent from prospective tenants as hoped for long-term income. (suggested by Ben Joravsky is that this may be partly (if true) because the University will be subsidizing some tenants one way or another (present writer adds: as they frequently have elsewhere).

As explained by Peter Cassel to HPKCC board in August 2012

Basically, the budget for the project does not balance, so they asked a rebate of the taxes the development would generate. They earned the existing district cannot as Harper Court has priority claim. The city department suggested de-tiffing the two pins of the development and created a new TIF. Both the de-tiffing and the new required proving both the changed 53rd TIF and the new would be valid and viable tifs- that was certified. The developer then asked the Alderman and the 53rd TIF council to start that process-- they approved in July. The same month, the request was introduce to the Community Development Commission. The developer meets with them in September. If approved it proceeds to City Council. Next would be securing the construction loan. The funds would first for that, any access beyond that would be for other community infrastructure uses such as schools--the Alderman requires that be written into to agreement.

Questions: To whom will the project, in its own TIF, be accountable-
P-The 53rd council, which will also oversee "51st and Lake Park" TIF, the Alderman, Dept. of Housing and Development, and Illinois law.

Who decides what is appropriate? - P-The Alderman

How much increment will go to the project? P-Exact amounts are being worked out with the city and the other parties- will be spelled out an agreement in the fall. The budget is $145 total cost, $25 shortfall, $15+ of which will be made up by New Market Tax incentives leaving $10-15 needed from the TIF.

What about the loss of City Hyde Park increment to the 53rd TIF ($10-15 it won't get)? P-Without new building there wouldn't be any--they are the ones building. They are only asking rebate of what the prject would grow; paying if from the present value of the increment-- don't know that yet; Dept. of Housing and Dev. will determine with negotiations including Harper Court. This would be hundreds of thousands only (not the build-out increment) that they will give the 53rd TIF.

Doesn't this all depend on how viable the development and others are-- will there be enough people to provide the shoppers and residents? Will you be taking away from viable present businesses, maybe bankrupting Hyde Park Produce and others with the Whole Foods?
P-The circles of shoppers are much larger than the neighborhood, thinks there will be enough- and competition is good. He cited a LISC Metroedge report that shows the leakage in sales outside the neighborhood is $200M. Does one prefer to not do development to protect certain businesses from competition? It is hard to fill spaces and get the retail rents needed-- lots of companies shun urban areas thinking only of urban rents being high.

Aren't you just insisting on getting the equivalent of UC's subsidy regardless of need? P-indicated disagreement.

Timetable? P- will come back to the council in the fall with numbers.
Current tenants leave this fall and demolition starts in the fourth quarter.
Construction starts in the first quarter of 2013.
Deliver 2nd quarter of 2014 to 2nd of 1015.

Why can you not include adjacent business properties? P- City and lenders say "keep it simple."
And w
hy is a stretch of Harper included? P- the way the 53rd TIF boundary was drawn.

Why not include Kenwood Academy and Canter so this development might be specifically providing a public benefit to schools- an original selling point for the 53rd TIF? Same reason of simplicity and keeping as much of the 53rd TIF intact as possible. Also, there is "TIF portability." And teh city will tell the TIF what money from what's left goes where.

Will the money in lieu of given be guaranteed to the 53rd TIF. P- will be written in and the amount disclosed.

Increment has dried up for TIFs. P-thinks there is a lot of inflationary tax increment to come (it's in governments' interest to up assessments in these times), though always a risk on the downside, especially if governments were to move more to non-property-tax revenue sources or assess business less.

And some more as from a meeting of the Hyde Park Kiwanis attended by Mr. Cassel (and also digested in the August 15 Herald)

Indeed, the remaining businesses in Village Center leave in or by the end of October 2012and demolition starts as soon as possible, as early as November. Atino's Pizza [a temporary arrangement from the start] is at 570 W. Roosevelt. Village Foods will cease to exist and sought no help from Antheus relocating, according to Cassel. Heartland Alliance [a social and human rights agency], in contrast [according to the Herald] will reopen in Antheus' Del Prado. DaVita Kidney Center consolidates to 55th near Woodlawn and 43rd and Cottage offices.

Cassel said a major desire in the original interest in 53rd TIF subsidy (where they would have been behind Harper Court in any ask) and in seeking a PIN TIF of only their own property planned for development at 51st and Lake Park was to do it in a way that didn't take any increment from any of the many other pins- just their own, generated by the project. (They will reimburse the 53rd TIF for increment already earned pre-development. There was may well be some increment from the project left over, and that could be ported over to the 53rd for public uses such as for schools-- and there would be no new increment in any case without the project.

An objection/concern was raised by a Kiwanis member to the proposed high-end grocer that would replace less expensive Village Foods-- at the same time there will 38 affordable units set aside-- and that Whole Foods would compete with Treasure Island and maybe drive it out. Cassel asserted that the affordable units are not low income and its residents could afford a range of options and would contribute positively to the neighborhood. He thought competition with Treasure Island and other stores would be beneficial to all residents of various income levels.

Cassel stressed that the TIF change is only in process and only approved in principle- THE CITY WOULD BRING NUMBERS AND ITS RECOMMENDATION TO THE SEPTEMBER TIF MEETING.



A Herald letter August 1 cited the Regents Park episode to say Antheus doesn't care about our neighborhood and TIF money should go only to those who do and not just their bottom lines.

The Herald editorial in the same August 1 issue said there is now no doubt that the purpose of the 53rd/51st TIFs is now to bring only development. None is left even for CARA streetcleaning and workforce development, nothing for schools, and no infrastructure and parking not directly related to developments. Thus, promises are not fulfilled. The editorial called for the alderman and council to take a pause to evaluate what exactly the TIF is for.

Response of Ald. Will Burns to criticisms of the 53rd TIF in a August 1, 2012 editorial

(Notes: Coalition for Equitable Community Development representatives say to this writer (GMO) that their statement of appreciation at the July TIF meeting to Antheus/Silliman for proposing the first affordable housing in Hyde Park in many years was not necessarily a total endorsement of all aspects of the local tifs or the proposal described herein.

This writer also notes that while parking at Harper Court will be open to all, it is not known at what price relative to to former lot, nearby pay lots, or street parking.)

Response To The Hyde Park Herald's TIF Article 8.1.12

To the Editor: (of the Herald? pre-sent as public statement and passed along by others)

Members of the Hyde Park community and its representatives on the 53rd Street TIF Advisory Council have an exemplary record of community-based planning, open review of development proposals and, most of all, competent oversight of the TIF.

The August 1, 2012 editorial “It’s Time to revisit the 53rd Street TIF” denies that history.

The editorial incorrectly asserts, “No other community improvement of note has taken place.” A quick search of the Herald archives shows the 53rd Street TIF has accomplished much more than real estate development. Small businesses were provided funding for store improvements (Hyde Park Herald 8/6/08), funds were appropriated to Cantor Middle School for capital improvement projects (Hyde Park Herald 11/18/09), and to Kenwood Academy for new bleachers (Hyde Park Herald 5/12/10). The TIF funded CleanSlate for several years (Hyde Park Herald 5/12/10, 3/4/08, and 8/6/08).

The editorial references 2011 revenue estimates of the 53rd Street TIF and implies that this is new information. The issue was publicly discussed at the November 2011 TIF Advisory Council meeting and reported in the Hyde Park Herald in the story, “TIF District out of cash?”(11/16/11). To summarize last summer’s TIF Advisory Council meeting; the original financial projections for the 53rd Street TIF were adjusted downward due to policy changes made in the assessment of property by the Cook County Assessor. More recently, the City of Chicago has become increasingly conservative regarding TIF projections due to stagnant property values. “Special Tax Revenue Declines, Denting City Funds”, Chicago Tribune 7/18/12.

There are numerous community improvements within the current real estate developments. Harper Court Parking Garage will be available to the general public. Hyatt Place Hotel full-time employees will be paid at least the City of Chicago’s Living Wage (currently $11.18 an hour), benefits including retirement and savings plans, vacation, and sick days, and worker’s rights provisions, all of which are included in the project’s redevelopment agreement (RDA) with the city.

The City Hyde Park project will create 182 residential units along with 110,000 square feet of new retail space, including a Whole Foods supermarket. Thirty-eight residential units will be reserved as affordable housing, representing the first new affordable units in Hyde Park in decades, which is why the Committee for Equitable Community Development (CECD) endorsed the project and the new TIF district.

The editorial also incorrectly characterizes the Council’s recent recommendation for approval of the creation of a new TIF district specifically for City Hyde Park. The Council will hold a meeting in September to recommend a specific allocation from the new TIF to the City Hyde Park project. It is likely that the TIF allocation requested by the developers will be less than the amount of the money projected for the lifetime of the TIF. I look forward to engaging the community and the TIF Council to determine the allocation of the remaining increment.

Finally, there are other tools to fund community improvements; Special Service Areas (SSAs) provide a sustainable revenue stream to fund street cleaning, snow removal, and beautification services. An SSA for 47th Street currently exists. I look forward to engaging in a dialogue with business owners and residents on the merits of creating an SSA for the 53rd Street and Lake Park Avenue retail corridors.

There is no question that TIF projects have been controversial throughout the city and the nation. However, the Fourth Ward has consistently managed its TIFs well, promoting a public and transparent process that exemplifies oversight and inclusive community-based planning.


William D. Burns
Alderman, 4th Ward
City of Chicago


December 2011- Original House of Pancakes opts to leave Village Center and move to a Lake Pointe Shopping Center building, 1358 E. 47th St. (Lake Park corner building), freeing the Center more for redevelopment.

December 22 2011 Chicago Real Estate Daily (a part of Crains') (article by Bob Craig) announced more on plans for filing for the new "City Hyde Park" and gave PR to Eli Ungar's enthusiasm for the residential-living future of Hyde Park and that it HP will become even more of a draw.

The Englewood, N.J.-based firm aims to follow [the Regents Park] deal with its first development in the South Side neighborhood. Mr. Ungar is seeking financing for City Hyde Park, a proposed $140-million, mixed-use project at Hyde Park Boulevard and Harper Avenue that would include 179 apartments and 120,000 square feet of retail anchored by a Whole Foods store...

May 2011: The redevelopment of the Village shopping center at the southwest corner of South Lake Park Avenue and East Hyde Park Boulevard remain in early planning stages. Peter Cassel, director of community development for Antheus, said they are not ready to apply for building permits and several tenants have leases they intend to honor. He said the earliest any work could begin on the site is fall 2012. The plan calls for a residential high-rise and several stories of retail on the property.

January 9, 2011 TIF meeting: Antheus Capital's development arm Silliman Group , owner of Village Center, announced it would seek transfer of up to $10 million of any future increment on its Village Center (north of Harper Court) property, once redevelopment of Village Center is complete. Antheus says the cost of redevelopment rose from $100 M when it bought the property in 2005 to to $145 M estimated today. This would be $10 M or 40% of a $25 M shortfall it says it has in assembling financing. Silliman rep. Peter Cassel said they are seeking other tax subsidies as well. Cassel thought such help will not conflict with TIF priorities or overtop commitments, and that this business has to be of note now because any such increment would have to pass through the TIF's books. (Perhaps they expect the value of VC to be enhanced at a faster pace because of Harper Court redevelopment?) Cassel also announced that the housing, to be all rental, will be more dense than planned because they could not receive as much value as planned from their retail. (If any TIF funding is used, 20% of units will have to be affordable-- whether also especially accessible needs to be researched.
The Advisory Council asked its Planning and Development Subcommittee to entertain a presentation by the architect Studio Gang on the project February 1, 6:45 pm at Hyde Park Art Center, 5020 S. Cornell.

Lease signed by Antheus to bring Whole Foods to Village Center development (tent. starting construction late 2012, opening in 2014. ) The store will have 30,000 sq. ft., provide 125 jobs and be their 18th store in the Metro area.

Read/print in pdf.

Press Release - 5.4.11

Antheus Capital is delighted to announce that Whole Foods has signed a lease to serve
as the anchor tenant in our redevelopment of the shopping center in the south west
corner of 51st and Lake Park in the Hyde Park community. This lease represents a
powerful endorsement of Hyde Park by the world’s leading natural and organic foods

Much work remains to bring this project to fruition but we are gratified by this
milestone and appreciative of the significant time and effort invested by former
Alderman Preckwinkle and her successors, Alderman Newsome and Alderman Burns, in
making this possible. We also acknowledge and appreciate Alderman Leslie
Hairston's leadership in improving Hyde Park.

The mixed-use project is designed by Jeanne Gang and Studio Gang Architects
and includes 179 residential units, 110,000 square feet of retail and office space and
two levels of underground parking. Chicago City Council approved the Planned
Development in the fall of 2010. The stores and residences are expected to open in

Antheus Capital is a New Jersey-based real estate investment and development firm
with investments primarily in Chicago and Kansas City.

Peter Cassel


Herald, May 11, 2011. By Sam Cholke

Hyde Parkers who have long said they deserve a Whole Foods will get their wish. The Texas-based grocer announced May 4 that it signed a lease with Antheus Capital to open its seventh Chicago store on teh southwest corner of Lake Park Avenue and East Hyde Park Boulevard.

"We are overjoyed to finally bring these high quality foods to the Hyde Park neighborhood," sid Michael Bashaw, Whole Foods Midwest regional president, in a prepared statement. The store, which specializes in natural and organic foods, will open a 30,000-square-foot location in the redeveloped Village shopping center in the fall of 2014. It is the first major retailer to officially sign on to the $125 million project.

the store will be smaller than other Whole Foods locations but is expected to offer a bulk-goods section, a sit-down bar and cooking classrooms, all in a decor that reflects the neighborhood, according to the company. Teh new store will also participate in a broader company initiative that ensures animals were treated humanely before slaughter.

Whole Foods will be the third new grocer to pent in Hyde Park in the last three years. The neighborhood now has abundant options for produce and dry goods, including Treasure Island and Michael's Fresh Market, also on Lake Park Avenue, neighborhood grocer Hyde Park Produce, boutique grocers Zaleski and Horvath and Open Produce and discount grocers Village Foods and One Stop [a bit further off, and SaveALot, also further off]. Whole Foods will replace Village Foods when it opens.

Treasure Island, Whole Food immediate competitor in the neighborhood, did not return calls by Herald press time. Ron Thomas of Hyde Park Produce said there is nothing wrong with a little competition in the neighborhood. "Competition is what America is all about," he said.

Hyde Parkers must buy food somewhere, but Whole Foods said it did not expect to butt heads with existing grocers in the pursuit of customers. "We have learned that we already have a lot of Hyde Park residents shopping at our South Loop location. Thus, they now have less distance to travel. Plus, experience has taught us that we are not necessarily taking from existing competitors, but attracting more people to shop within the area," said Kate Klotz, a spokeswoman in the company's regional office.

The store will move into a development that will likely attract a lot of new residents to Hyde Park. The project, announced in July 2008, wil include a 150-unit residential high-rise at South Harper Avenue and a 29-unit mid-rise along South Sake Park Avenue, connected by a two-story retail space. The first floor will include retail outlets along Lake Park Avenue, Hyde Park Boulevard and Harper Avenue, according to the most recent plans.

The planning for the new development continues to progress slowly, said Peter Cassel, director of community development for Antheus, in a phone interview last week. He said work would not begin during the summer construction season and the architect, Studio Gang Architects, continue to finalize plans before applying for building permits.

The project was originally proposed as condominiums, but the developers are now considering rental apartments. Financing continues to be harder than it was five years ago, but rental is easier than condos, and there is some flexibility with the long planning schedule, said Eli Ungar, head of Antheus Capital.

Ungar said they courted Whole Foods for more than a year, but talks progressed slowly until 90 days ago because the larger retail market was hesitant to expand in a slow economy. "There has been a palpable change in the tone of the conversation we've had with retailers, including Whole Foods," Ungar said, adding that new development projects have reduced the perception of Hyde Park as a risk for retailers. "There isn't the sense of pioneering there may have been five years ago."

Many expected Whole Foods would locate within the redeveloped harper Court shopping center on 53rd Street, and the Sun-Times reported last November that the developers were courting the grocer. The speculation re ignited a desire to see the upscale grocer open its first store on the South Side. "We've been looking to open a store in Hyde Park for quite a while," said Klotz from Whole Foods. "Any and al new store decisions take quite a while to finalize as we have a long list of criteria that we consider when we're looking for new sites. Until we find the right mix of criteria for a new store, we continue searching; it has to be the right fit fo us."

The store is expected to employ 125 full- and part-time employees when it opens in 2014.


More details:

Anchors a 150 foot residential tower. Opens summer 2014. 125 full and part time employees. Only 1/2 the regular Whole Foods footprint. 188 free parking spaces. Decor befitting Hyde Park. Large fresh and bulk foots sections. Sit-down beer and wine garden. Will be first for humane treatment of animals- 131 criteria. Midwest President is Michael Bashaw.

Update at March 8, 2010 TIF meeting on 51st and Lake Park development, Village Center: Peter Cassel, Silliman Group, presented a slide show of proposed development for update. The project is ready to be submitted to th Planning department for review. To summarize the project, it is on a 2.5 acre parcel of land, 100k sq ft of commercial development, 384 sq ft of residential development, up to 179 units of one- to four-bedrooms, and over 380 to 400 parking spaces.

August 19 2010 the Chicago Plan Commission approved the project (next: Zoning Committee then City Council in Sept. ) according to Chicago Talks and an update from an Antheus representative, who also said that the affordable component is made difficult by shifting city rules-- the purpose shouldn't be to give a developer a wink and someone a bargain at the developer's expense so than sell high later.

Highlights: 179 condos in 2 buildings- 22 stories and 9 stories, 1-3 bedroom. Affordable component 15% set by market and income (according to quote of principals). There will also be 2-level retail, to be as much as possible a mixture of sizes and types, if possible filling in what is missing in Hyde Park, and said to have accessible, user-friendly features incl. for seniors. 400 parking spaces. A drive through delivery passage for Village Foods during the expected phased construction. Cost is $100m. Antheus and Silliman stressed the number of jobs. Drawings are expected to take 2 months and construction to start in 18-24 months.

A short Q/A followed (Council Members questions are initialed and bolded):

(Q). How does now development mix with current property styles already there? (RS)
(A). The architecture should blend in. There are no preservation issues, and density is at the corner of the block.

(Q). Please review retail on Lake Park (AM)
(A). A prior slide showing retail was reviewed

(Q). Is the site plan available? (MC)
(A). A prior slide showing the site plan was reviewed.

(Q). The center of development - is is all retail?
(A). 70k sq ft of it is.

(Q). Progress with Village Foods [lawsuit resolution]? Describe phase of building, Will there be an elevated walkway to Metra?
(A). The Village Foods lawsuit has been settled, and the plan can go forward. Construction wil be in a single phase instead of a double one. There will be no walkway to Metra (James Wilson, Chicago).

(Q). When will you return to zoning?
(A). Late Spring, early summer to the Planning Commission.

(Q). The questioner asked multiple questions regarding timeframes for the next steps in the process.
(A). Cassel answers: A couple of months to close with new retailers, three months for construction documents, ne year for the permitting process, 18-24 months to demolition.

(Q). Please comment on style, perhaps Art Deco?
(A). From Chair HM - The north end plays homage to Kenwood [Academy], the south end to the Hyde Park Bank building.

(Q). Will retail be functional during construction
(A). Building One along Harper and the parking lot will be built first. The timeline is five years out.

(Q). Village Foods?
(A). We don't know what their future business plans are.

There is serious possibility of redevelopment of Lake Village Shopping Center (Antheus owned) at 51st and Lake Park All these are owned by Antheus Capital and managed by MAC Properties (development arm Silliman LLC). Village Foods and Hyde Park Realty said (for now) they have long-term leases and won't leave (resolved with the first, poss. other after Antheus won a suit). A first plan by Antheus was s pulled from the March 2007 TIF agenda. Some months later, a new plan emerged, design by Jeanne Gang. Praise was high at the TIF meeting and in the ensuing review by the open planning and development subcommittee.

At the start of 2010, Antheus/Silliman was talking to potential tenants and preparing, hoping to file papers with the city as early as spring. From this and some other things, one surmises that an understanding has been reached or is on the horizon with Village Foods.

March 8, 2010, Antheus/Silliman Group presented an update at the TIF meeting. The most significant change was that parking will now be entirely under ground, with entry/egress to the retail parking on Lake Park and for residential from Harper. Trucks will enter on Harper and exit on Lake Park. It appears there will be a mix of rental and condo (the later being in the tower on the nw corner. These will include a proportion of affordable-- it's in a PUD and TIF and Ald. Preckwinkle has been requiring 15% in projects to get her approval. A question was raised about possibility of a passerole over Lake Park to the Metra station-- reply was that the city would not approve.

Herald report, March 10, 2010. By Sam Cholke.

The Silliman Group presented a slightly modified version of the development for the Village shopping center at the March 8 [TIF meeting]. The two-and-a-half acre development that encompasses much of the block south of East Hyde park Boulevard and South Lake Park Avenue will move all onsite parking below the building. About 400 parking spaces will be housed in a two-level underground garage after potential tenants requested improved accessibility, according to Peter Cassel, director of community development for the Silliman Group.

The project still includes a 10-story residential and retail building on Lake Park Avenue, and a lower strip of retail that stretches down East Hyde Park Boulevard, culminating in a residential tower on the corner of Hyde Park Boulevard and South Harper Avenue. Smaller retailers will be housed along the Harper Avenue side of the development, according to Cassel.

Unlike when first presented in Fall 2008, the project will now proceed as a single phase instead of two. "If part were not to be built... the narrower tower would not be built," Cassel said.

The Chicago Plan Commission will likely reviews the plans in late spring from final approval before Silliman begins seeking zoning changes and the city permits, according to Cassel. It will likely be longer than two years before any of the existing buildings at Village Center are demolished and roughly five years before the new development opens, he said.



As of July 2007, according to the Herald, Antheus was thinking of a mixed development that in phase one uses all the vacant space, leaving for later development present buildings with long term leases including the Village Foods grocery store, Hyde Park Mortgage Co., Original House of Pancakes.

According to the Herald, Antheus Capital has hired Baum Realty Group to consult and market with prospective uses of a futuristic 22,800 sf retail section of a c. 12 or more story building that would also have c156 condos, a 23,800 sf garage, and a green roof space.

Three major leaseholders would be worked around for the l-shaped building- Village Foods, Original House of Pancakes, and Hyde Park Mortgage (which is moving to its lower level and design the upper section). HP Mortgage told the Herald its refusal is based on low offer and its plans to manage its space in its interest through a long-term lease.

Antheus' Eli Ungar is reported in the July 4 Herald as saying he is waiting for Ald. Preckwinkle to green light the project. Preckwinkle is reported in th article as saying the the project has to be presented to TIF committees and the public as well as completing "other duties." "[It] can't start because they have other work that needs to be done." She said these have nothing to do with the Village Center project.



Herald, October 18, 2006. By Erin Meyer, continued:

Since reporting last week that Village Center may be headed for redevelopment, the Herald has received statements from two tenants regarding their future in the 41-year-old shopping center. Officials from Hyde Park Mortgage Company, 1509 E. Hyde Park Blvd., and Village Foods, 1521 E. Hyde Park Blvd., both indicated that their leases are long-term. Neither have any intention of moving.

"There has been a supermarket at Village Center continuously since the center was built in 1965. We have had the privilege of serving the Hyde Park community at this location for the past 23 years," said Don Notaro, vice president of Village Foods. "Our current lease affords us the opportunity to continue to provide our customers with the highest quality, lowest priced supermarket products in Hyde Park for many years to come and at the same time provide employment for 60 people. We do not know what the future holds for the center, but Village Foods intends to be a part of that future."

William Harris, president of Hyde Park Mortgage Company, said, "I have a long-term lease. I love my space and I plan on being here for a very long time to come. I have been here for the last seven years and I plan on being here for the next decade until I retire."

The news that Village Center may be in play came early last week when two unrelated sources said that the center's management company, MAC Property Management, LLC, did not want to fill vacant retail or commercial space. A real estate broker working to find new tenants for Village Center and a company that recently backed out of a lease for the old Burger King space said MAC plans to redevelop Village Center.

The New-Jersey-based company took over Village Center earlier in the year when it was purchased by another company, 1525 HP, LLC. That company was created by Antheus Capital, LLC for the sole purpose of owning the property. Officials from MAC Property Management and Antheus Capital declined comment.

Situated at the corner of Lake Park Avenue and Hyde Park Boulevard, Village Center offers prime retail and commercial space. Notaro and Harris recognize the location as critical. "My space is is the best space in Hyde Park in terms of visibility," Harris said. The mortgage company leases 3,500 square feet but does not utilize all of the space. "I am looking forward to adding another business within my space soon," Harris said....

[Other businesses in the Center include Original House of Pancakes, U of C Dialysis Center, and Looking Glass Hair Salon.' Top

Village Foods owner sues Antheus over alleged impact

ChicagoBusiness (Crain's). By Eddie Baeb, January 5, 2008

Lawsuit seeks to halt planned Hyde Park project
By: Eddie Baeb Jan. 05, 2009

(Crain’s) — The owner of the Village Foods grocery store in Hyde Park has sued to stop a developer’s plans to demolish the Village Center shopping/office complex and build a 24-story residential tower and shopping center there.

The plans, which were detailed in October as part of a zoning amendment request made by New Jersey-based Antheus Capital LLC, would “almost certainly result in the total destruction of plaintiff’s business,” Village Foods’ owner Liberty Foods Corp. alleges in a lawsuit filed Dec. 23 in Cook County Circuit Court.

Liberty Foods contends that the plans for the site at Hyde Park Boulevard and Harper Avenue would violate Village Foods’ lease, which the suit says runs through 2013, because the development would reduce the size of the parking lot to fewer than 70 spaces and restrict motorist access.

The plans for the first phase call for demolishing an adjacent office building at 1523 E. Hyde Park, where Village Foods leases about 3,200 square feet that’s connected to the store and contains the grocery store’s produce and beverage departments, according to the lawsuit. The grocery store’s building, at 1521 E. Hyde Park, would be torn down later.

Antheus principal Eli Ungar declined to comment. The development, which has yet to receive city approval, will be a big challenge for Antheus to deliver given the recession and sharp downturn in the condo and retail markets.

Englewood, N.J.-based Antheus has snapped up dozens of apartment buildings and some retail sites in Hyde Park in recent years, becoming the South Side neighborhood’s second-biggest landlord after the University of Chicago.

Related story: New from Jersey

The firm bought Village Center in fall 2005 and took out a $5-million mortgage on the site, according to property records. In addition to Village Foods, the center also includes the well-known Original House of Pancakes restaurant.

Antheus first unveiled its ambitious plan for Village Center in July to a community group.

Chicago architect Jeanne Gang designed a two-building complex for the site that would have about 150 condominiums along with 116,000 square feet of retail space.

Ms. Gang’s firm, Studio Gang Architects, also designed another proposed condo tower for Antheus that would be built at 56th Street and Cornell Avenue. That 28-story building has received city approval, and Antheus is marketing the building’s 147 units.

The lawsuit against Antheus seeks an injunction to halt the Village Center development.

Don Notaro, a vice-president and assistant secretary for Liberty, which is based in St. Joseph, Mich., declined to comment. The 17,024-square-foot store has been based in the shopping center since 1965, according to the lawsuit.

The company’s attorney in the matter, Michael Weininger of Chicago-based Lupel Weininger LLP, also declined to comment.

Herald January 7, 2008. By Sam Cholke

Village Foods is suing property owner Antheus Capital for violating the terms of its leases and is asking a judge to halt redevelopment at the shopping center. In documents filed with the Circuit Court of cook County on Dec. 23 and obtained by the Herald, Village Foods' parent company, Liberty Foods Corp., claims current redevelopment plans for the shipping center would in effect put the grocery store out of business. Though the main store in 1521 E. Hyde Park Blvd. would not be altered during the terms of the leases, which runs through 2013, the beverage and produce department in the adjoining 1523 E. Hyde Park Blvd., three-story office building would be demolished during the first phases of redevelopment.

Parking at Village Foods would be reduced to 22 spaces during the first phase of redevelopment. The lease guarantees the store a minimum of 70 parking spaces. Village Foods claims that Antheus Capital's redevelopment plan "could, and most likely would, completely destroy the plaintiff's business and interfere with plaintiff's use of the leased premises which it has occupied for more than 25 years," according to document filed with the Circuit Court.

The current redevelopment plan was first presented at a July 14 53rd Street Tax Increment Financing District Advisory Council meeting by Antheus President Eli Ungar. The plan called for a two-phase development that would begin with a mid-rise building along lake Park Avenue and a paring garage where the current parking lot now sits.

Village Foods contends that construction of the first phases buildings would be financially damaging by reducing visibility of the grocery store and its signage from major streets and also limiting access from those streets.

The documents request the courts to grant an injunction halting all redevelopment at the site that violates Village Foods' lease. Peter cassel, director of community development for MAC Properties, the company that manages the property, declined to comment. Representatives from Village Foods parent company, Liberty Foods Corp., did not respond to requests for comment as of Herald press time. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for 10:30 a.m. June 3 with Judge Martin Agran.



Herald, May 30, 2007. By Nykeya Woods

A mixed-use building may be in the works for Village Center at 51st Street and Lake Park Avenue. Chuck Thurow, member of 53rd Street Tax Increment Financing Advisory Council, said that Antheus Capital wants to create a contemporary multi-story building that stretches to the street, on what is now the center's parking lot.

The building will not have "the classic parking in front of the mall look," Thurow said. Thurow, who heads up the TIF's Planning and Development Committee, said he has met with Wicker Park-based Studio Gang Architects to talk about design options. Preliminary drafts have retail stores on the bottom floor with residential condominiums above and internal parking, Thurow said.

"I would love to see 51st street become much more of a commercial, interesting, walkable area. It would be a huge advantage to the Hyde Park Art Center because all of our visitors quite often want to walk out and walk to a restaurant and find something interesting to do," said Thurow, who is also the Hyde Park art Center's executive director.

Eli Ungar, investor for New Jersey-based Antheus Capital, said that he has talked to Ald. Toni Preckwinkle (4th) and others in the community and is taking into account recommendations about the design. "We are working diligently to arrive at a design that reflects the interests of the community," Ungar said.

The building that houses the University of Chicago Dialysis Center and former Burger King as well as the current parking lot are in the footprint of the new building. The fate of the western half of the shopping center, which is hoe to the Original House of Pancakes, Lookingglass Salon, Hyde Park Mortgage and Village Foods, all of which have long-term leases, is uncertain. .. Top

Herald, July 4, 2007. By Yvette Presberry

[Ald. Preckwinkle commented at the July 9 TIF meeting that plans are way to preliminary for the tenor of this article, it hasn't come to the TIF yet, and the owner has lots of duties to take care of before she will bring the project before the community.]

Village Center, 1525 E. Hyde Park Blvd., may change into a large-scale mixed-use development. This could become a reality within 10 years. New Jersey-based Antheus Capita hired chicago-based Baum Realty Group to talk to prospective retailers for its proposed multi-level building at Village center. The property, which Antheus says could stand at least 12 stories high, will be built in two phases.

According to documents obtained by the Herald, the property will include 156 condominiums, a 23,800-square-foot parking garage, a green space on the third level above the garage an 22,800 square feet of retail space in an "L" shop on Lake Park Avenue and East Hyde Park Boulevard.

Antheus real estate investor Eli Ungar said that the brochure shown to potential retailers is just for use in preliminary discussions with potential retailers. Renderings for the development show that the mix-use property will be built round the Village Foods, 1521 E. Hyde Park Blvd., the Original Pancake House, 1517 E. Hyde Park Blvd., and Hyde Park Mortgage Co., 1509 E. Hyde Park Blvd. These three retailers reportedly refused to break their leases earl to allow Antheus to conduct their development in one phase.

"We tried, unsuccessfully, to buy our way out of those leases but were unable to reach an agreement with the remaining retailers," Ungar said.

William Harris, president of Hyde Park Mortgage Company, said that nothing has been offered to him. He said his company bas been at its address since 1999, and his lease ends in 2015. He plans to switch the location of his mortgage company to the lower level of the building, and place a different company on the second level where his mortgage company currently sits. He declined to say what type of company will move in, but said it would be placed within 120 days. "That's why I signed a long-term lease," Harris said. "I'm not against progress. If you want to do that [and develop the property], pay me."

...Ungar said that Antheus is waiting for Ald. Toni Preckwinkle (th) to green light the project before beginning development. He did not have a set date for when construction or groundbreaking will begin, but mentioned the second phase would occur after the leases of the pancake restaurant, mortgage company and Village Foods ended.

Ald. Toni Preckwinkle (4th) said that before Antheus can build anything, the company has to present its idea to the 53d Street TIF ..Advisory Council for approval, a TIF working group and then the public. According to Preckwinkle, Antheus has other duties to complete."[The development] can't start because they have other work that needs to be done," Preckwinkle said. She declined to say what the duties were, but said it did not have anything to do with the Village Center redevelopment.

Sun-Times coverage, October 28, 2008. Zoning Papers filed with city for Village Center

Business-Real Estate. Hyde Park Condos May Replace Plaza. 150-unit project has resident support, needs city OK. By David Roeder and Fran Spielman

A developer has asked city officials for authority to tear down a 1960s shopping plaza in Hyde Park and replace it with high-rise housing built over new stores and offices. The project involves a 2.5-acre parcel at 5101 S. Harper, currently the home of the Village Center shopping mall. the property owner, Antheus Capital LLC, wants to build 150 condominiums atop a parking structure and a commercial base.

Antheus is believed to be the largest property owner in Hyde Park besides the University of Chicago. The site is about a block from the U. of C.-owned Harper Court shopping center, for which the university is soliciting developers' proposals.'

Eli Ungar, Antheus chairman, said the company is well-capitalized and isn't afraid of starting its project in a slow market for home sales. "Hyde Park is different," he said. "It hasn't seen a lot of new construction in the last 20 years."

The proposal groups the condos in a 22-story building and a separate mid-rise, Peter Cassel, Antheus' director of community development, said they will be connected by parking for 519 cars and 116,000 square feet for retailers of offices. The plan is contained in a request for zoning change filed at City Hall. The request starts a hearing process that could lead to a City Council vote.

Antheus turned to the city after its proposal drew generally favorable review from community groups. ald. Toni Preckwinkle (4th) said she supports the zoning change. George rumsey, president of t he Hyde Park-Kenwood Community Conference, praised the design and said he's confident Ungar can finance it. "He and his architects know how to listen to people and respond," Rumsey said.

The developer hired well-known Chicago architect Jeanne Gang to design the complex. Gang employees sunscreens that the residents can open or close, changing the building's appearance depending on the time of day.

One potential hitch is that a grocery store in the plaza, Village Foods, has refused to be bought out of its lease. Cassel refused to discuss the negotiations with the grocer, but said the project can be built in phases if Village Foods remains.

Antheus is based in New Jersey and concentrates its investments in Hyde Park and Kansas City. It is marketing another new Hyde Park site, a 23-story condo building set for 56th and Cornell. Also, property records show Antheus paid $16 million for the landmark Shoreland Hotel at 5554 S. South Shore Dr. The U. of C. leases it for student housing but could leave the location before the next academic year starts. Cassel said Antheus is examining options for the property.



Views and analyses

Carl Pickerill comments on the design mockup with the previous article, "Glass and steel not appropriate."

July 18, 2007

It is good to hear that such an expansive development is planned for the corner of Hyde Park and Lake Park boulevards to replace the concrete wasteland of a parking lot that sits there now. I wanted to know if the Herald has done any research as to what sat on the spot before.

To the best of my knowledge, the old Hyde Park Hotel, an elegant 10-story building sat on that very corner, but I am not quite sure. If so, might we as Hyde Park residents demand more from a developer than the simple glass and steel retail-residential center we saw on the front page of your paper last week. Perhaps something like a modified version of the old hotel that combines the parking-residential-retail-green space features that the developer wants. I hope to see more discussion on this in the future. Thanks.

Jack Spicer on the plan, from an email on development process and principles after the December 8 Workshop

There is a new development proposed for the SW corner of Lake Park and Hyde Park Blvd. (the Pancake House site [Ed.- the developer does not intend in this phase to affect the Pancake House of Hyde Park Mortgage, which have long-term leases.]). It is designed by Studio Gang who are the architects for the recently approved Solstice development at 56th and Cornell in the 5th ward. This is a chance for a density-building project with new living space near our Metra train, a mixed-use building that comes out to the pedestrian sidewalk eliminating the streetscape-killing exposed parking lot, and great contemporary design. The alderman, acting as our local Prince Charles, has vetoed the proposed building because it is "ugly."


February 1, 2012 presentation to 53rd TIF Planning and Dev. subcommittee and reviews

Many at the TIF planning and development committee review were concerned about apparent lack of "public purpose" for the spending (vs. Harper Court infrastructure) and of "but for it couldn't happen." (Antheus said it could not get a loan higher than $88 million.) Coalition for Equitable Community Development was pleased that the project would include the first significant new affordable housing- or large housing and retail development period-- in Hyde Park in 40 years and sought a commitment that that would be on site and that Harper Avenue properties would be considered for more affordable and local retail- these would make it easier for CECD to strongly support. HPKCC declined to take a take a position on the subsidy, and the same concerns were expressed as elsewhere, balanced by the affordable housing component and that it's hard to say no when when subsidy was given to Harper whether the parking was really an extra public benefit or not. Note that the subsidy is really a tax abatement.

Antheus has a strong relation with highly respected green innovator Jeanne Gang (Studio Gang). Her design is for two quite different towers (including in height) on a 3-story retail base (parking mostly underneath) that engages three streets in a pedestrian friendly manner and can be seen as a gateway from roadways and Metra tracks. Surfaces are undulating in an off-set grid, friendly to balconies, long seeps without column breaks, and corner views. Antheus things there is a large pent-up demand. Some people don't want increase density or are concerned about local, more marginal but distinctive businesses being driven out by such large developments- an loss of parking during construction. But reaction to plans has been favorable, although now countered by concern over the subsidy.

As required in TIF districts, 20 percent of housing will be set aside at prices/rents affordable to persons earning up to 60% of the median 6-county household income (c. 42,000 for a family of four.)

From Herald article February 8, 2012. By Sam Cholke

"Hyde Park is a hotbed of modern architecture," Gang said during a community meeting at the Douglas Garofalo-designed Hyde Park Art Center... "It's sort of an honor to work in Hyde Park." Studio Gang re-imagines the (City Hyde Park] site as a two-story retail strip along Hyde Park Boulevard, Lake Park Avenue and Harper Avenue. On Lake Park Avenue, a nine-story mid-rise would extend above teh retail. The corner of Hyde Park Boulevard and Harper avenue will be dominated by a 20-story residential tower, putting top-floor residents 280 feet above Hyde Park, nearly as tall as Cornell village Tower, 5201 S. Cornell Ave.

Gang has devised an ingenious column structure that will put many of the balconies on the corners of the tower. "It's going to be a pretty sweet apartment to be in," Gang said. The tower is slated to come last in teh development. The mid-rise, with its scalloped facade and inset balconies, will be built first. The project is expected to open in late 2014.

The audience applauded the designs, calling the building extraordinary. The developers are hoping the advisory council for the 53rd Street Tax Increment Financing District is also impressed.

The projected cost for the building has risen to $145 million form $120 million since 2007. Peter Cassel, a local representative for the New Jersey-based developer, said rising construction costs and a constricted borrowing environment have pushed up the costs of the building. The developer is asking for a $10 million subsidy from the TIF district. .... According to Cassel, Antheus is asking it be refunded andy property tax revenue, up to $10 million, above the roughly $120,000 in taxes the property currently pays. The TIF advisory council has planned public meeting on the developer's request in March. The council's design committee convened [this] meeting to review the new look.

Many current tenants of he Village Shopping Center are relocation within the area. The Original House of Pancakes.... The dialysis center plans to build new locations in Grand Boulevard adn Oakland. The grocery store is closing, according to Cassel. Whole Foods has signed a lease to open a store in the new development. Developers continue to look for local and national stores for the project.

Review of plan by Curbed Chicago (which seems to be anti automobile?)

Let's take a closer look at City Hyde Park

We expected to have something to sink our teeth into following last night's City Hyde Park presentation by Jeanne Gang and representatives of the Silliman Group. Happily, we do. While we were unable to attend, today's press release has relayed the fine-grained project details and accompanying renderings. Last week, working off of a single rendering, we wondered whether parking would remain below ground in the altered design. It will. We also mistakenly opined that the balconies had disappeared. Now, with benefit of a close-up and the assertions of Gang, those balconies are definitely alive and well. In fact there's two types: "Juliette" on the eastern face and "cantilevered" on the west. The mid-rise building will contain two floors of retail space, anchored by Whole Foods (look out Treasure Island), topped by an amenity level with a gym and pool. Along with the 20-story tower, total number of units will remain at 179.

We're certainly enjoying the course textures of the buildings, their transparency, and the way the balconies are chiseled into the corners of the tower. We'll leave you with this, from Jeanne Gang: "City Hyde Park's most important feature is its urbanism. It positions many more residences within walking distance of public transportation and its architecture is oriented to the public spaces around it, reinforcing sidewalk use and encouraging walking over driving." Perhaps, but there's still the matter of those 365 parking spaces.
·New Look and Density for Jeanne Gang's City Hyde Park [Curbed Chicago]

New Look and Density for Jeanne Gang's City Hyde Park

UPDATE: Curbed spoke with Peter Cassel of Antheus Capital/Silliman Group, who helped lay aside some speculation. There are two pleasing clarifications: First, there will still be two buildings and the total unit number will be preserved at 179. The tower at the northwest corner of the site will be rendered at a later date. And second, parking will remain underground. Retail is to occupy the space in question. Thanks Peter! (outdated material follows)

Tribune Feb. 12 2012 article on Antheus, re City Hyde Park

Ungar... says his company has been investing in Hyde Park because of its architecture, modern amenities and prime location. The allure of the neighborhood is obvious, he says, and includes parks, the lakefront and a world-class university. In some respects, Ungar's company is operating in lock step with the city of Chicago and the University of Chicago, which are re-building the East 53rd Street shopping strip.

Subsequently, Antheus also has embarked on an ambitious project: a mixed residential and retail development anchored by upscale grocer Whole Foods market at 51st Street and Lake Park Avenue, a project called City Hyde Park, which Ungar sees as a gateway to Hyde Park. He hired MacArthur Fellowship winner Jeanne Gang to design the complex, which includes 125,000 square feet of commercial space and 179 apartments. This month, a small group of residents gathered at the Hyde Park Art Center to see Gangs' designs. While several praised the scale and beauty of Gang's wok, some residents said they were worried that the project might alter Hyde Park's quirky, small-town feel. And others were concerned about Antheus' plans to ask the city for$10 million in financial assistance -- money the company initially said it wouldn't seek. Funding would come from [via] the 53rd Street tax increment financing (TIF) district.

"You are using TIF money for huge projects that are forcing independent business owners who have been in Hyde Park for generations in some cases to close," said resident S. Beth Thomas. "You want to make Hyde Park look like a world-class neighborhood, but my concern is the people who are being displaced," she said.

Development costs have climbed $25 million since the project was first proposed, to around $145 million. "We'd expected to be able to borrow a greater expense of the total costs, but the reality of construction lending these days is that we will not be able to do that," Peter Cassel, director of of Antheus' development arm, told attendees. Antheus plans to seek about $15 billion in new tax credits and borrow $80 million; it will put up $40 million. Ungar, who did not attend the meeting, said the company had no choice but to seek financial assistance from the city. "It's no cheaper to build in Hyde Park than downtown Chicago," he said. "An the rents aren't nearly as high," he said, suggesting that the company won't be able to charge as much as if the project were in a better location. Without the TIF money, Ungar said, the project won't happen.

He blames the project's higher price tag, in part on construction and design costs. An underground parking lot, which he says is "aesthetically more desirable," is more expensive. He also notes that roughly 20 percent of the rental units wil be set aside for families whose income is less than 60 percent of teh median area income.

Antheus has been backed in some projects by heavy hitters, including Jeffrey Keswin, a co-founder of Greenlight Capital, the New York hedge fund known for the money it made of the Lehman Bros. demise. Keswin... now manages Lyrical Partners, a New York-based investment fund that invests in other hedge funds.

Comments in the March 1 Chicago Weekly, including by leaders of HPKCC

Jane Ciacci, President, HPKCC: "Many of us were startled by Antheus' recent request for TIF funds when they had said earlier that they would not.... Yes, construction costs have risen, but Antheus appears to be a very profitable company." Ciacci agrees that 20% set aside, to be rent at prices affordable to families earning under 60% of the area medium income, if there is a subsidy is enticement to support the subsidy: "In Hyde Park-Kenwood the gap between demand for and supply of affordable housing for working people, the people who keep our neighborhoods going, is larger than in other parts of the city, and this is something that desperately needs to be addressed." However, Ciacci and HPKCC Development Committee chair Jay Ammerman, are skeptical that City Hyde Park is the kind of project deserving of TIF (taxpayer!) subsidy. Ammerman, on reactions at the Feb. 1 TIF committee review, said feelings about the project had been positive until the request. Part of the concern is that TIF funds are tight now and if it all goes to developers, there is nothing or little left for other public purposes: "A number of attendees expressed concerns that TIF funds should be reserved for projects that would benefit other community priorities, like schools or small businesses, that were being displaced by large development projects. Ammerman said that in any case, Antheus will continue to monitor City Hyde Park progress to ensure that appropriate public interest concerns are addressed." And, as Ciacci said, "It is a coup to have a Jeanne Gang design."


Renderings- as of February 1, 2012 by Studio Gang