Yesterday was the Summer Solstice! Yippee! To mark the occasion, let's take another look at Solstice on the Park.
Last Thursday, the Chicago Plan Commission gave a big thumbs up to a land swap at 56th and Cornell in Hyde Park, paving the way for Antheus Capital's Solstice on the Park development. The move was fully expected, and although it doesn't mean that Antheus will be breaking ground anytime soon, it does provide an opportunity to check in on the highly-anticipated project. The land swap will enable Antheus to build the high-rise on two lots in the 5500 block of Cornell that are currently bisected by an alley. Under the agreement, a new alley will be built to the north of the development site, and a new one-way private drive will connect the alley to 56th street, so that Bret Harte parents don't have to drop their kids off at 56th and Stony Island. And, under the guidance of Studio Gang, Antheus will build a new playground and some new parking for neighboring Bret Harte School.
As for when the 28-story tower will be built, Peter Cassel from Antheus/MAC Properties reminds us that we're still in the midst of a bit of an international housing downturn. True, but why not switch to rental apartments, as other developers have done (and as Antheus will likely do just up the street, at Village Center)? Cassel maintains that Antheus will stick with the original plan to build 142 two- to four-bedroom condos. "Solstice was designed to fit a very specific niche within the Hyde Park residential market," Cassel explains. "We're not doing it for the sake of building a building." That's refreshing. So for now, the developer will continue to operate the parking lot at 56th and Cornell ("a sold-out parking lot," in Cassel's words), while they "wait for the world to improve enough to relaunch [their] sales efforts."
· Complete Curbed coverage of Solstice on the Park [Curbed Chicago]