By DASCHELL M. PHILLIPS
Chicago Public Schools (CPS) and Chicago City Council re-approved a land transfer agreement with Antheus Capital, which includes upgrades to Bret Harte Elementary School, at their April meetings.
The agreement, which was originally approved in 2008, gives Antheus a small strip of land once owned by CPS in exchange for structural improvements at Bret Harte, 1556 E. 56th St. Neither representatives from Antheus, CPS or Bret Harte would comment on why the agreement came up for a re-vote but plans are in place to begin construction on the Bret Harte improvements in summer 2014 and are expected to be completed by fall 2014.
As part of the agreement, Antheus will repurpose the alley just north of the school to provide a safe pick-up and drop-off spot for parents, build a new playground, offer ADA compliant meeting spaces once a building is constructed on the land acquired by Antheus and increase the number of parking spaces for Bret Harte staff and faculty.
Peter Cassel, director of Antheus, would not comment on when or whether construction would begin on the Solstice building, which was expected to be built on the land in 2008. However, in an interview last year he said there were no plans to build the Solstice in the current economy and that, “Something will be built there, just not at this time.”