The redevelopment of Harper Court passed two major milestones recently, as the structure of the project begins to take shape.
Last week, the redevelopment agreement for Harper Court was unanimously approved by the City Council, providing $23.4 million TIF funds along with $85 million in Recovery Zone Facility Bonds.
So, how do Recovery Zone Facility Bonds work? The Federal Government authorized the City to issue $200 million in bonds to qualifying projects. Since Harper Court qualifies, the city will issue $85 million in bonds to Harper Court Partners, who will in turn sell the bonds and become fully responsible for repayment.
This is not a grant, but simply first-mortgage financing with lower tax-exempt interest rates.
A few weeks earlier, by unanimous vote, the City’s Chicago Plan Commission approved an amendment in zoning for Harper Court to allow an increase in density to accommodate a mix of uses including:
- 150,000 square feet of office space
- 100,000 square feet of retail commercial space
- 435 parking spaces
- 150 hotel rooms and
- 395 residential dwelling units, which is a part of the project’s second phase
Alderman Toni Preckwinkle, who addressed the Commission prior to the vote, said, “We have been in a community process for more than a decade. We are hoping to have this wonderful development on 53rd Street. I would ask for support of this body.”
Business Owner & Operator Yolanda Travis of McDonald’s, 5220 S. Lake Park Ave., who attended the meeting, said Harper Court would help to revitalize the community.
“Basically, we’re very supportive,” said attorney Donna J. Pugh, partner of Foley & Lardner LLP, who attended the meeting with Travis and represents the Hyde Park McDonald’s. “We’re very happy with the results.”
The planned development application by developers Vermilion has to go to the Zoning Committee on Nov. 23 and then to the City Council in December for final approval.