A new development is slated for the corner of 56th and Cornell Avenue. Dubbed “Solstice in the Park” by developer Antheus Captial (NIMBY warning), the building will be 26 stories tall with 145 units. The architectural renderings below show this to be a striking building – one that will certainly draw attention from the passerby. More importantly, it will breathe life into a desolate stretch of 56th Street. Residents of this building will patronize local businesses and increase foot traffic and neighborhood safety. Who knows – if this starts a trend, we might see some new businesses in Hyde Park (it will take a lot more than this one building to do that). If all goes well, ground will be broken in the summer of 08 with completion at the end of 09 or early 10.
What will this building replace? After all, there is not much vacant land in East Hyde Park. It will replace the Windemere parking lot. This ugly lot is underutilitized. The new building will feature underground parking for ALL of the Windemere users (about 200) and ADD 250-300 MORE parking spaces for resident of the building. This information and the drawings were provided by Mr. Eli Ungar of Antheus Capital.
What does this mean for “congestion” in our neighborhood? This is a ratio of parking spaces to units of more the 1.5. My guess is that this will mean that parking spaces in this building will be rented to others in the East Hyde Park community who are now parking on the street. So it is entirely possible that this building will reduce parking congestion while increasing foot traffic.
Streetview of Solstice in the Park
There will be a community meeting on this development on November 14th (place to be announced – we will feature it in this blog). Let’s not let a few self-interested people block a great addition to our neighborhood. I should also note that there are some NIMBYs who don’t like the developer Antheus Capital because it is headquartered in New Jersey and it is “big.” Let me point out that only those with deep pockets can afford to develop something like this. I really don’t care where the developers are headquartered; Taipei would be fine by me if they are willing to invest in our neighborhood!
The NIMBYs who oppose all positive change in our neighborhood have a new tact: We are under fire for opposing all change; let's say that we are "ok with" or "like" some developments and focus our opposition on others. In this way, we can give the illusion of being reasonable without having to support any actual change. So it looks like this development will go through smoothly but don't count on any help from these folks!
Provision of parking spaces is held up by some as evidence of good faith on the part of the developer. This development goes overboard on parking. For a development right next to the Express Bus Stop and Metra, we don’t need anything more than 1:1. My guess is that Antheus would like to make a bit of money by renting or selling parking. Sounds like the free market at work to me!
Empty Windemere Parking Lot (Sat 11/3/07)