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Early Work on Vue53 Development to Start in Hyde Park

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Work is moving forward on Hyde Park's mixed-use Vue53 project as Mesa Development announced Friday that crews will start dismantling gas tanks at the Mobil station that now stands on the site Aug. 13.

The development, a sleek 267-unit rental high-rise with 29,000 square feet of retail space, secured City Council approval in June after tweaking its original proposal to suit neighborhood tastes in May. According to Mesa's press release, the Mobil station and car wash at 1330 E. 53rd St. will close Aug. 12, at which time a licensed contractor working with an environmental engineering firm and under the supervision of a city inspector will remove the tanks. The resulting holes will then be refilled and the area fenced off until construction on the 13-story tower gets underway in early 2014.
"We are securing all required permits from the city and expect safe and efficient removal of the tanks, with minimal impact to surrounding neighbors," Mesa principal James Hanson says in the release. Those neighbors have previously taken issue with the project's stature in the area that had previously been zoned for three-story buildings, according to a May DNAInfo story.

Mesa, who was hired by the University of Chicago to develop the site, is, for its part, playing nice: in addition to the neighborhood-friendly changes its made to its plans, it's also provided Hyde Park residents with a list of alternative gas stations to the one it will be tearing down.
· Hyde Parkers Gear Up for a Fight with Developer, University on Tower Proposal [DNAInfo]
· University of Chicago 53rd St. Blog [official]
· Development Watch Hyde Park Apartment Plan Brings High Design to 53rd Street [Curbed Chicago]
· Development Update Changes Come to Hyde Park High-Rise Apartment Plan [Curbed Chicago]