News about 53rd St. in Hyde Park, Chicago

And then there were four

The City and the University have narrowed the field of candidates to four in their search for the right development team for Harper Court, James Wilson of the Department of Community Development said at Monday's meeting with the 53rd Street TIF Advisory Council, an independent advisory panel serving the community and the Alderman.  

Five finalists had submitted proposals earlier this month, and four of those met the terms of the request for proposals (http://www.hydepark.org/harper/harpercourtsalerfp.htm#RFQRFP). Wilson said all four had creative ideas and all included plans for hotel, retail, entertainment, office, residential and parking spaces.

City and University representatives will interview the remaining teams this week and next, and examine their plans to make sure the proposals are viable.

Those proposals that make the next cut will be presented to the TIF Council this fall, possibly as early as the regularly scheduled September 14 meeting.

“We don’t want to bring anything to you that’s not doable,” Wilson told the TIF Council Monday. “We need to go through this process and make sure the ones we bring you are truly good ones.”

That could be all four, or it could be just one or two, Wilson said.

Members of the Council and the public said they are anxious for the project to move forward, and glad to see signs of progress. TIF Council Chair Howard Males underscored the urge to move forward, promising to schedule a special meeting in October if the presentation was not ready for the September meeting.