Saturday, October 27, 2012
Posted by chicago pop at 9:44 AM
Wednesday, October 24, 2012
-posted by chicago pop
From yesterday's New York Times:
University of Chicago Works on Its Neighborhood
By ROBERT SHAROFF
Published: October 23, 2012
CHICAGO — The University of Chicago is midway through what it characterizes as a “once in a generation” community redevelopment effort aimed at revitalizing 53rd Street, a blighted retail district several blocks north of its historic Hyde Park campus here.
William Zbaren for The New York Times
The $250 million project includes Harper Court, a new 600,000-square-foot, mixed-use project at the corner of 53rd Street and South Lake Park Avenue, along with the renovation and restoration of the adjacent Harper Theater complex, which consists of a long-closed historic movie theater as well as retail and office space. In addition, the university is renovating several other nearby retail properties and is in the early stages of planning a second mixed-use project on a site it owns further up the street.
The aim, said David Greene, an executive vice president at the university, is to create something Hyde Park has not had in many years — a thriving commercial area. If successful, the university will be following what has become a well-worn path in recent years of urban colleges and universities serving as redevelopment engines for their surrounding communities. The University of Illinois at Chicago, for example, has spent much of the last decade building University Village, a new residential and commercial district adjacent to its downtown campus.
“It’s enlightened self-interest for us,” Mr. Greene said. “We’ve always been very competitive when it comes to providing a great intellectual community. But we found there was something missing when we looked at the quality of life for students and faculty who are used to the kinds of amenities you find in places New York, Boston and Palo Alto.”
Mr. Greene added that revitalizing 53rd Street is part of a larger effort by the university to rethink its relationship with the neighborhood, which sits on the lakefront about six miles south of downtown Chicago.
“Over the years and particularly in the 1950s and ’60s, there was a lot of development aimed at creating a barrier around the campus,” he said. “We’re now trying to reverse that trend.”
Will Burns, alderman for the Fourth Ward, which includes 53rd Street, said that the area “has historically been Hyde Park’s downtown, and these projects will help restore that vision.” He added that, “Hyde Park is not really a ward. It’s more of an anarcho-syndicalist collective, meaning that there are more community meetings than you can shake a stick at.”
Indeed, reviving 53rd Street has been a much-discussed neighborhood goal for several decades, but it did not really take off until the university spent about $9 million to acquire the Harper Theater complex in 2002 and the Harper Court site in 2008. “The initial impetus came from the city asking us to help out in terms of purchasing and redeveloping those properties,” said Mr. Greene.
Joseph Caprile, a senior vice president of Jones Lang LaSalle, a large real estate services firm here, who is familiar with the project, said that the university was in a great position to facilitate development in the area. “They have a sound endowment and sound real estate resources,” he said. “They’re also the ones who drive the users down there.”
The largest project, Harper Court, consists of a 150,000-square foot office tower, 74,000 square feet of retail space and a 133-room Hyatt Place Hotel. Harper Court is being constructed by a team of developers assembled by the university and the city.
The university is acting as its own developer for the remaining projects. The developer of all but the hotel component is Harper Court Partners, a partnership consisting of Chicago-based Vermilion Development and JFJ Development.
The hotel is being developed by Smart Hotels of Beachwood, Ohio, and Olympia Development of Portland, Me. The lead equity investor is Los Angeles-based Canyon Johnson Urban Funds, a partnership consisting of Canyon Capital Realty Advisors and the former basketball star, Magic Johnson. The $130-plus million project also received about $23 million in city tax increment financing funds.
Posted by chicago pop at 10:51 AM
Wednesday, October 3, 2012
- September 20, 2012 [go here for text of inspection at Everyblock]
- 14. PREVIOUS SERIOUS VIOLATION CORRECTED, 7-42-090
Comments:CONTINUED NON COMPLIANCE, EVIDENCE OF RODENTS AND INSECTS ON SITE. NOTED MICE DROPPINGS (APPROXIMATELY 30) SCATTERED IN VARIOUS AREAS BEHIND BAR,IN DRY STORAGE ROOM, IN CORNERS IN DINING AREA,BEHIND BOOTH ALONG WALL BASE,UNDER SHELVES AND ALONG SIDE COOLERS/FREEZERS IN OFFICE/STORAGE AREA,BEHIND EQUIPMENT AND THROUGHOUT. MUST REMOVE DROPPINGS, CLEAN AND SANITIZE AFFECTED AREAS AND HAVE SERVICE FROM PEST CONTROL. ALSO NOTED LIVE INSECTS ON SITE. NOTED APPROXIMATELY 6 LIVE LARGE FLIES IN FRONT STORAGE AREA NEAR UNUSED OVEN,IN DINING AREA AND IN PREP AREA. ALSO NOTED 2 LIVE ROACHES ON THE FLOOR UNDER THE DISH MACHINE. MUST REMOVE INSECTS,SANITIZE AFFECTED AREAS AND HAVE THE PEST CONTROL COMPANY SERVICE AREAS.
32. FOOD AND NON-FOOD CONTACT SURFACES PROPERLY DESIGNED, CONSTRUCTED AND MAINTAINED
Comments:REMOVE RANCID GREASE ON INTERIOR OF FRYERS.
33. FOOD AND NON-FOOD CONTACT EQUIPMENT UTENSILS CLEAN, FREE OF ABRASIVE DETERGENTS
Comments:MUST CLEAN INTERIOR OF FREEZERS AND REMOVE FOUL ODORS. ALSO DETAIL CLEAN WINDOW SILLS AND ALL DIRTY SURFACES THROUGHOUT. CLEAN THE INTERIOR OF THE ICE MACHINE. INSTRUCTED TO CLEAN ALL FOOD AND NON-FOOD CONTACT EQUIPMENT FREE OF DUST, DEBRIS, SPIDERWEBS, DROPPINGS, TOOLS, SCREWS, ETC.
34. FLOORS: CONSTRUCTED PER CODE, CLEANED, GOOD REPAIR, COVERING INSTALLED, DUST-LESS CLEANING METHODS USED
Comments:MUST PROPERLY REPAIR BROKEN FLOOR TILES IN BAR AREA AND UNDER SMALL PREP COOLER. FLOOR MUST BE SMOOTH, EVEN, EASILY CLEANABLE SURFACE.
41. PREMISES MAINTAINED FREE OF LITTER, UNNECESSARY ARTICLES, CLEANING EQUIPMENT PROPERLY STORED
Comments:MUST PROPERLY CLEAN AND MAINTAIN UNUSED EQUIPMENT OR REMOVE.