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Hyde Park Apartment Plan Brings High Design to 53rd Street

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Three blocks west of the Harper Court mixed-use development and the recently reopened Harper Theater, the University of Chicago has queued up another proposal for its gas station-occupied lot at 1330 E 53rd Street (hat tip: Spyguy at Skyscraper Page) . Mesa Development, also heavily involved in Bronzeville's Park Boulevard project, has been selected to execute the construction of a 267-unit modular apartment building, and they went before a Wednesday meeting of the 53rd Street TIF District Advisory Council to unveil the design and the details. The university has championed greater density along the 53rd Street corridor for years as a way of supporting its obvious interest in transforming the strip into a thriving college age-geared zone (and some fear, homogenous). This volume of dwellings, built to the street, will go a long way in accomplishing that.

According to DNAinfo, the tiered 13-story development will have 30,000 square feet of retail space and 218 parking spaces, split between retail customers and residents. That exceeds the city's parking requirements, but still has some neighbors fretting over stray vehicles clogging streets. It is true that the area can get pretty congested, as Hyde Park isn't known for its potpourri of mass transit. At least initially, the developer is proposing one-fifth of the units be made affordable. From the lone rendering available, the structure appears to have two- or three uneven elevations with gaps in each face, cantilevering, and a podium-top greenspace for residents. We've reached out to Mesa in order to ascertain the architect, and we've yet to hear back. Stay tuned.
·53rd Street Tower Plan Prompts Worries About Parking [DNAinfo]
·Hyde Park Development Watch [Curbed Chicago]