Development, Preservation and Zoning HPKCC Public Policy Task Force


Navigator for Development and development policy, in Hyde Park-Kenwood and for the HPKCC Development, Preservation and Zoning Committee

A service of Hyde Park-Kenwood Community Conference, its Development, Preservation and Zoning Committee and its website Join the Conference; your dues support our work as an independent watchdog and clearinghouse of ideas.

Return links: home. Site contents navigator. Development Hot Specific Topics. Development Hot overview. Hot Topics and Community Issues home. HPKCC program home. Committees. About HPKCC.

To about the Development, Preservation, Zoning Committee and its interests
See there July 2009 first-half committee update.
TIF annual reports available
Harper Court home. July 12 2010 HC presentation and funding ask. Harper Court homepage
SSA proposed
Report on the May 6 2013 HPKCC forum on 53rd St. Development and Zoning


Next 53rd TIF meeting tba.

Special Service District 61 Commission meets 3RD WEDNESDAYS at Polsky east conference room 1452 E. 53rd St. Meetings are open to the public. 2 meetings a quarter are at 11 am and the third at 7 pm.
December 21, 11 am.

June 14, Wednesday, 6 pm. Meeting on Harper Court Phase 2 at Kenwood Academy Little Theater, 5025 S. Blackstone.

53rd Cornell.
They control the parking lot (site A, used to have Tiki and Cornell Lounge) and the two flat office building east of Cornell (B) and the boarded up house north of East View Tower (just bought). The latter will be torn down within 2 weeks and the site left vacant for the forseable future-- they could put in up to 6 units.
The site B office building has long term lessees and will stay the same, with some "improvement to the facade." They are want to concentrate the height on site A.

Plan for A is a c.27 story, total c.850' high rise (residential tower on top of a 6 floor retail and parking platform). The tower look is nice, sort of like the rounded-corner Johnson Wax building in Racine or City Hyde Prk with rounded corners and with sections pulled and pushed in and out so it isn't so much a box. The trunions? and spandrels are white so the structure resembles a beehive but with 4-sided cells instead of 6-sided. The cells are glass. It is pushed to the south and east part of the (not very deep) site, but will of course still overshadow the town houses to the north.

The platform is wider than the tower, with glass for the retail and pinkish/orange masonry overhangs. There wil be parking spaces for each unit plus the retail plus what was in the lot for other MAC buildings. They think it will be more than enough, esp. as trends continue, in which case they may be offering to neighbors. The parking and residential entrances will be on Cornell, opposite the Akiba-Schechter school parking and drop off- sone neighobors abjected to this, but CDOT will not allow car entry and exit on 53rd by the viaduct.

The size of the units-- will be more space per than in Vue 53 and CityHydePark, but less than comparable downtown. The 3 bedrooms at the top will be especially spacious, but of course expensive. About 6-10 units per floor.
Eli Ungar would not commit to affordable units-- not required, but will "try". The alderman confirmed it is not in the SSA and the boundaries of SSA cannot, will not change to include this or any other building.

A return visit to discuss details will be held in late January 2017. However, this project looks like a "Go," starting in summer 2017 and finishing late 2018.

Vue 53 and City Hyde Park are open, Boutique hotel on 53rd and Dorchester is under way. 53rd Cornell is approved.

June 14, 2017 a public meeting was held to introduce a Phase 2 buildout of Harper Court. Polsky Center will expand and include both fabrication and office spaces for post-startup enterprises and for business/ corporations seeking proximiity to the innnovation center, as well as pop up and other additional retail. Idtwill include 16 stories built upon the north platform on Lake Park (north of the tall UC building) and a short building replacing the Park 52 building and (it was unclear) atop the north block of Harper Court stores. Parking will be expanded. Reception was mixed, with business being enthusiastic both in general and because this would increase denisty and keep growing firms from relocating out of Hyde Park. Some persons preferred these firms be dispersed through the South Side. Others worried about traffic and other congestion and density. Some wanted the change to fix problems with Harper Court and urged more opportunities for small local businesses. Also noted was that the original concept for a phase 2 was that it be for housing, particularly affordable housing. The teams will be coming back frequently with updates and for input.

Report on the April 21 2012 53rd St. Visioning exercise is in the 53rd St. News page.
Website of the 53rd St. Vision process:

Deal between university and city for pilot for speeding zoning and permits promises much, touches much.
Related Choice Neighborhoods giant grant for Woodlawn- see Woodlawn News page.
And June 2011 Conference Reporter article on saving the Harper Theater suggests preservation and development can go together.
PD 43 changes, Woodlawn Ave impacts.

53rd St. TIF split for City Hyde Park project (51st-Lake Park TIF)- see in City Hyde Park.
Ben Joravsky's op-ed Chicago Reader article on the larger subject-
It has references to Harper Court and City Hyde Park.

Meetings, general (see also 53rd SSA)

Next SSA 61 Jan 20

Next TIF related meetings tba

Follow up meetings Oct. 29, Dec. 15. The project seems ready to file with the city and be approved by the alderman after several tweaks. A meeting will be held in February.
July 28 2015 Smart Hotels and partners (including the management of Hyatt Hyde Park) announced at the 5th Ward monthly meeting, concepts for a boutique ACE Hotel at the southeast corner of 53rd and Dorchester, replacing a UC housing parking lot and UC Police station. It would take advantage of Transit Oriented Development Ordinance height exception to build a 6 or 7 story structure c 75 feet as a planned development. There was both enthusiastic support and concerns about effects including of a restaurant traffic and parinign ned. Althugh parking is not needed in a TOD development, there will be direct and vallet parking in the Harper Court parking garage. There were no rendering yet available. More meetings, and hearings will be held. There was also some exasperation about piecemeal development on 53rd without an overall and capacity plan.

To Development detail and Development-Preservation-Zoning Committee homepage. To 53rd Street page. See results Harper Court Priorities Web Survey. Text summary of Dec. 2007 Vision Workshop.

Visit the homepage of the Development Committee with list of What's in Play. History and Preservation homepage has the navigator to the preservation-related pages (including landmarking impacts) in this website. See also University Projects Updates for campus.
Read a snapshot of the state of development in Sept. 2008 in sample from Conference Reporter.

To Announcement of and link to Harper Court Area RFQ/RFP, released by City of Chicago and University of Chicago December 12, 2008

Anyone who wants to see or have the 2010 annual report of the 53rd St. TIF or any others of the TIFs in Chicago can visit (look for Department of Housing and Economic Development). You can also go to City Hall, 121 N. LaSale, Room 1006. Direct: body


" NOTICE is hereby given, pursuant to Section 5/11-74,4-5(d)(9) of the Illinois Tax Increment Allocation Redevelopment Act, as amended (65 ILCS 5/11-74.4-1 et seq.) (the "Act"), that discs of the 2009 TIF Annual Reports of the City of Chicago will be available Monday through Friday between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. beginning Wednesday, July 7, 2010 at City Hall, 121 North LaSalle Street, Chicago, Illinois in the Department of Community Development ("DCD"), Room 1006. Pdfs for individual districts will also be available. Annual reports are online at beginning Thursday July 1, 2001. "

[TIFs in the list in our area: 43rd Street/Cottage Grove Redevelopment Project Area
53rd Street Redevelopment Project Area]

Christine Raguso, Acting Commissioner, Department of Community Development, City of Chicago

Links and Meetings etc.

The lawsuit against Vue 53 was dismissed by the court of appeals. the project will now go forward.

Background on the UC homebase and development is in University Master Plans Archive and Planned Development 43 page and pages linked from there.

The process is underway and approved by the 53rd TIF Council to split off City Hyde Park (51st/Lake Park) into its own new 23 year TIF. Compensations will be made, much is still under consideration and negotiation. The purpose of the new TIF is to subsidize CHP costs (not to underwrite its financing). It will still be superised by the current TIF council.

TIFS TO BE MODIFIED FOR AFFORDABLE HOUSING? July 7, 10 am City Hall 2nd fl Council chambers, there was a hearing on requiring 20% of TIF funds to be spent on affordable housing annually. Main sponsor is Chicago Coalition for the Homeless. Here are some details and one set of suggested alterations. Local groups such as Coalition for Equitable Community Development are examining the proposal. It was sent back to committee. See more in Affordable Housing Information. Read draft in pdf. A modest change was made to current program.

The July 6 Sun-Times carries an editorial on the use of 20% of TIF funds for affordable housing. The editorial strongly endorses and gives reasons to recommend, but suggests a number of changes.

Note that the proposed ordinance is for 20% of total TIF money, NOT 20% in every TIF. Not said here is whether this is retroactive to all money in TIFs when it goes into effect but it appears the transfers and requirement would be annual. Not said here is whether such units would have to be inside a TIF district. It would not be just for building new housing, but could also be for preserving or rehabbing existing housing for affordable or converting foreclosed properties into affordable housing.

Recommended changes by Sun-Times:

Reporting requirements said to be weak, esp. that the developers alone would verify family eligibility.

For rental half of apartments in each development would be for families earning 50 percent or less of area median (+$38,000 for family of 54) with 40% for families earning under 23% Sun-Times fears this would derail development or lead to projects that don't enhance property values (which is a main source of increment in the first place). ST would change the percentages to 30% and a bit under 40%.

Homeownership rules: Proposed is that 50 percent of for-sale units be for families making under $60,000. But this is the group that most heavily took the now mortgages in the bubble and then lost them. It might also raise costs to the point that financing could not be obtained. S-T does not suggest an alternative.

The proposal lacks a means to prevent the city form concentrating affordable developments in certain (challenged?) neighborhoods. At least some affordable development should go into TIFs in neighborhoods that are not "challenged" (read Hyde Park 53rd and Cottage Grove TIFs?)

Herald July 21 2010- a complicated change being tweaked. Local Alds. back housing bill. By Sam Cholke

Local aldermen have joined over half o their colleagues in supporting an ordinance that would mandate more tax increment financing (TIF) money get funneled into affordable housing development. "Once every decade there's another idea about affordable housing and how we can bring more resources to the table" said Ald. Toni Preckwinkle (4th), who co-sponsored the City Council's 1993 and 1999 ordinances that increased city spending on low-and moderate-income housing.

The current idea, the Sweet Home Chicago ordinance drafted by Ald. walter Burnett Jr. (27th) and the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless, would pump more TIF funding into affordable housing developments. "This ordinance is quite simple in how it would work," Julie Dworkin, director of policy for the Coalition for the Homeless, told a joint meeting of the Housing and Finance committees on July 7. Dworkin said the coalition is pursuing TIF funding to fill the gap left by dwindling state and federal funding for affordable housing.

For example, TIFs brought in about $495 million in revenue in 2009. Under the proposed ordinance, the city should then commit close to $100 million to affordable housing projects in 2010. "It doesn't take that many projects to get to $100 million," said Adam Gross, a lawyer from the Business and Professional People for the Public Interest, a group that is advising aldermen on the ordinance.

The ordinance sets teh benchmark for how much should be spent; t does not specify where it should be spent. [describes TIFs, ...TIFs can bed set up to spur commercial, industrial or residential development, or as a mixture of uses. Most TIFs are mixed use. There are 16 residential TIFs in the city, 11 of which are in Bronzeville.

"We have to be careful - we have a lot of affordable housing already," said Ald. Pat Dowell (3rd), whose ward contains many TIFs that were set up to fund the redevelopment of public housing redevelopments. "In the 3rd Ward, I would rather used the TIFs for retail development."

Preckwinkle said there is already a tremendous amount of TIF money being committed to affordable housing in her ward. Aldermen control how TIF money is spent, and if South Side aldermen cannot find affordable housing projects to help satisfy the ordinance, the city will have to look elsewhere. Many of the TIFs on the North Side are mixed-use districts, but are set along narrow commercial strips and have built-in plans for how funds are intended to be used, rendering affordable housing projects in those district difficult, though not impossible.

The city could look on the West side, where many TIFs cover large residential areas and are intended to spur mixed-use projects that include residential. The Midwest TIF, which covers much of North Lawndale and East Garfield Park, is one of th e largest West side TIFs. It would not likely be able to accommodated new housing projects as it is projected to end the year overextended by $6.8 million. The neighboring Pulaski Ogden TIF, which also covers portions of North Lawndale, could not likely accommodate affordable housing developments either because it has not generated any revenue since it was created last year.

the Englewood Neighborhood TIF, set to spur residential and commercial development ad currently invested heavily in retail development, could accommodated some affordable housing projects. But even if the Englewood TIF were to commit all of its yearly $4.2 million in revenue, the Sweet Home Chicago ordinance's benchmarks would still stand far from being satisfied.

The Sweet Home Chicago ordinance is still a work in progress adn aldermen are expected to hold a second round of public hearings before any action is taken. "I doubt it will be exactly what was introduced," Preckwinkle said.



Page with Link to Harper Court RFP.
View Harper Court Guidelines: ALL COMMENTS:
View text in this site with proposed revisions by TIF Plg.-Dev. Comm. Chair Chuck Thurow.
HPKCC comments on original. HPKCC Dev. Comm. June 18 report, June 30 letter to Pres. Zimmer.

University and Planning- Master Plan Archive and Planned Development 43, University Projects Updates, South Campus Plan, University and Community, University Conflicts, University-city process streamlining deal,

Links on the larger planning partnership in formation:

SSA proposed
Watch also in (SECC website) and includes December 8 and May 3 Workshop Reports,
Harper Court RFP Guidelines for comment through June 12 at Text in this site with prop. committee rev.
Direct to December 8 report and vote tallies, in this site. Direct to May 3 Workshop reports and links incl. to photos by evaluators of 53rd St.
Contact Jay Mulberry or sign up in googlegroups for
(was the site of the 53rd Street Future Partners- offshoot of HPKCC Development committee and others.

University of Chicago news and blog page on 53rd and Harper Court redevelopment with link to their vision:

To Principles of the 2004 Zoning Ordinance:

This site strongly suggests you visit the full reports, extrapolated principles and data from the 2006 HPKCC Harper Court Forums (May 2006 Conference Reporter.) PDF version.

Local Option Liquor License spot zoning as a tool to promote or stop development. (Drs Hospital, 55th bridge to Cornell)
Other zoning changes proposed incl. 1301-05 50th.

December 2008 HPKCC letters on development issues to Ald. Preckwinkle and to UC VP Ann Marie Lipinski

March 4 2008 a panel (incl. HPKCC's George Rumsey) of Hyde Parkers debated and informed before a huge heavily student audience at Ida Noyes. Sponsor South Side Solidarity Network. Report in Harper Court homepage- see also there report on Feb. 26 meeting on Harper Court RFP process.

December 8 2007. 53rd Street Vision Workshop.This very largely attended conclave will receive reports and considerations to where to go from here, including at next meetings of the HPKCC Development Committee and board, possible forums. See in 53rd Visioning and News. Official reports:

Cases for various and overall development are presented or explored in Hyde Park Progress and Majority blogs, http:/
and in Hyde Park Urbanist blog,

Related pages: To Business Climate and developments in the business district.
Small Business Improvement Fund
Obama Effect Profiles of Hyde Park
Also: Community News with Navigator and Backgrounder page
Neighborhood: the complete website topic and subject navigator.
Tracking Community Trends
, and Trends II.
A Vision for the Hyde Park Retail District 2000.
Several of our Transit pages touch upon development and transit-oriented development, including Walkable Community.
Opposition to some UC policies

Harper Court Home
Harper Theater Home.
June 2011 Reporter on saving Harper Theater, synergies between preservation and development

New Proposed High Rises and Condos-Reactions. A document table from Antheus/MAC comparing Hyde Park high rises.
To Cottage Grove Corridor (in dev. homepage). To Developing Neighborhood Goals. To TIF News home, news from TIF Council meetings. To TIFormation update brochures.
Reporter '06 December:
Theater RFP page, Development (for a broader article on Development), 56th Cornell.

More shortcuts and related pages: Obama Effect
Doctors Hospital
Harper court homepage. Much more from there
To Announcement of and link to Harper Court Area RFQ/RFP, released by City of Chicago and University of Chicago December 12, 2008
Theater. To Business Climate, including updates.
Parking /Planning. Parking District Rec. To University and Community. University Project Updates.
Preservation Beat
. Preservation Hot. Landmark Districts?
To HP Co-op decisions page.
To Affordable Housing, Coal. Equit Comm Dev. Ending Homelessness. Affordable in Hyde Park?
Report on the April 2004 Community Renewal and Development Conference.

See Hyde Park neighborhood profiles.
An article arguing for density as "solution" rather than "problem."
See what neighbors said about development and related issue at HPKCC forum on neighborhood development Oct. '05 and at HPKCC Harper Court forums, spring '06.

Visit these related pages:

The Co-op. Treasure Island, Hyde Park Produce, Village Foods, other grocery options
Harper Court Story. Harper Court Sale homepage. Harper Court Arts Council grants to arts, development orgs.
Urban Renewal Story and Hyde Park Timelines
To code changes incl. sprinklers/life-safety evaluation since 3 disasters.
HPKCC Transit Task Force on transit-oriented development and supporting good parking, walkability, and disabilities alternatives
Example of creatively adaptive reuse: Harvard School -see Preservation Hot)--but caught in the mortgage meltdown

Antheus/MAC Properties
53rd Mobil McDonald's site incl. 53rd Cornell
56th Cornell development (more in Antheus)
Checkerboard Lounge- Kleiner restaurant
Doctors Hospital
Harper Theater
Indian Village Center, Lake Park and Hyde Park Blvd.
Shoreland Hotel. Quadrangle Club
University South Campus Plan
UC long-range plans.
UC project updates
Hyde Park Art Center enlivens east Hyde Park, Little Black Pearl and Muntu dance enliven 47th/Greenwood; new UC arts ctr. planned- in Arts News


For local, regional, and national organizations whose powerful web and other resources we draw upon, see Government Services and Resources, Neighborhood Links and Community Nonprofit Organizations and Resources, Community Resources.

Involved especially include Metropolitan Planning Council,
he Chicago Department of Planning and Development,
South East Chicago Commission,
Center for Neighborhood Technology,

Neighborhood Capital Budget Group
(which includes a neighborhood mapping engine and TIF and city budget almanacs).

Agencies & Public taxing bodies:
               City of                Park District      Chicago Public Schools    
               Chicago's Departments of       Planning             
TIF registry            Environment   Police     Water
               Cook County                         list of Bureaus & Agencies,            search by services wanted
               State of Illinois                        excellent access to all Illinois government + links to some cities 

See also Elected Officials and their Services


Our governmental agency liaisons

Police: Commander Howard Lodding, 21st District; Theresa Odum--see CAPS page.
Commander John (?) Franklin, 3rd District

Fourth Ward Development Projects- D. Plg. Dev.: James Wilson

Housing: Clare Leary (Affordable, Multi-family, Loans)

Planning and Development: Com. Lori Healy- (specific liaisons for Olympics, TIF, Harper Court, SBIF, Cleanslate, TED. Constance Buscemi). James Wilson-4th Ward Liaison.

Transportation: Deidre Holmes, under her Janet Attarian and Scott Waldinger for Lake Park Project and interfaces with Planning and Development

CHA: Jessica Caffrey. HUD Chicago Director Ed Hinsberger

Chicago Park District: (includes Regions: Liz Millan (South) , Bill Richardson (Central) , Alonzo Williams (Lakefront); Planning-Chris Gent rep. to Gia Biaggi; External/Community- Arnold Randall.

Non governmental; Chicago Consultants Studio, Tim Brangle

Development key and home pages up in this website, including many that reflect or report on the work of the HPKCC Development-Preservation-Zoning Task Force


About the HPKCC Development, Preservation and Zoning Committee

By Gary Ossewaarde

Currently with nine board members*, DPZ is the largest board committee of Hyde Park-Kenwood Community Conference. President George Rumsey chairs the committee. The committee's purpose is to monitor and evaluate development, preservation/landmarking and structural (such as zoning) proposals, policies, trends, and their impacts. On Preservation and Landmark topics we generally defer to or react to the Hyde Park Historical Society and its committees or advocacy groups such as Save the Point. We have also worked with other community organizations that take the lead on questions that have a major relationship to development, such as strengthening affordable housing and an affordable community with an affordable break for retail variety.

On development and collateral issues, the committee recommends policy positions, "wait-and-see," engagement with proposers, or ways to both inform and provide vehicles for public conversation. We have convened and conducted public forums on a wide variety of general and specific issues. And we maintain what has to be among the largest, most in-depth set of localized community webpages on the subject.

More often, we serve as a clearinghouse that helps focus issues and allow residents and stakeholders to "tell what you think". Sometimes we develop detailed position papers, based on our findings and what the community tells us, and submit these as a detailed white paper report and letters to the formal review bodies--for example response to draft Request for Proposals on redevelopment of Harper Theater, to the University of Chicago and 53rd TIF Advisory Council's Planning and Development Committee and the same on future development and RFP for Harper Court and the tied-in City Parking Lot.

In 2006, Harper Court was our main order of business. Our work ranged from direct inquiry and conversation with boards, elected officials, and public agencies such as the Illinois Attorney General's Office, position papers, and forums that won recognition of their standing and findings. We now want to look at broader issues, in context, such as retail mix, incubator space, density, condo conversion, and more.

While, in distinction from some of our other working and program committees (Condo/Co-ops governance, Disabilities, Parks, Schools, Transit), DPZ is a board committee, it readily collaborates with other organizations, ad hoc groups, and active, knowledgeable individuals. So, if you have an interest or skills, insights, volunteer time to contribute, contact George Rumsey or

HPKCC Development, Preservation, Zoning Committee- HPKCC board members 2008

Gary Ossewaarde Chair, Nancy Baum, Jane Ciacci, Jane Comiskey, George Davis, Irene Freelain, Mark Granfors, Julie Monberg, Trish Morse, George Rumsey, Vicki Suchovsky

Others: Jay Ammerman, Julie Hochberg, Jay Mulberry, Jack Spicer, Pat Wilcoxen, James Withrow