Village demolition paves way for City Hyde Park

Village demolition paves way for City Hyde Park

By LINDSAY WELBERS Staff Writer Demolition started last week on the former Village Shopping Center. The dilapidated buildings are being torn down to make way for a Jeanne Gang-designed retail and residential tower, with upscale grocer Whole Foods as the anchor tenant. Demolition is expected to conclude in mid-February of 2014. The new tower, named(…)

BankFinancial ends experiment on 55th Street

BankFinancial ends experiment on 55th Street

By JEFFREY BISHKU-AYKUL Staff Writer BankFinancial will close its branch at 5500 S. Lake Park Ave. on Jan. 2. The BankFinancial location — one of two in Hyde Park, including another at 1345 E. 55th St. — was unveiled by the company as an ebranch in spring 2012. The Burr Ridge-based company’s tellerless concept was(…)

UCPD expanding to storefront on 53rd Street

By LINDSAY WELBERS Staff Writer The University of Chicago Police Department is renovating the former Dunkin’ Donuts building on 53rd Street. A building permit was issued for the $210,000 project at 1411 E. 53rd St., early last month. Renovations will include alterations to the first for to provide office space for UCPD. UCPD will open(…)

Raoul, Currie weigh in on controversial pension bill they helped to pass

Raoul, Currie weigh in on controversial pension bill they helped to pass

By JEFFERY BISHKU-AYKUL Assistant to the Editor When Gov. Pat Quinn signed Senate Bill 1 Thursday, he capped a years-long debate in the Illinois legislature over how to address the state’s pension crisis — with the help of Hyde Park’s elected officials. Beginning this year, Illinois’ unpaid debt to its public employee retirees amounted to(…)

Objections to Pritzker bed and breakfast ignore track record

Objections to Pritzker bed and breakfast ignore track record

By LINDSAY WELBERS Staff Writer Although Kenwood residents recently objected to a plan that would restore two aging Frank Lloyd Wright houses and turn them into a bed-and-breakfast, there have been B&Bs in the neighborhood for years. Many people at a 4th Ward meeting last month complained that a B&B would be a commercial enterprise on(…)

CPS is MIA for Canter meeting

CPS is MIA for Canter meeting

By DASCHELL M. PHILLIPS Staff Writer Hyde Park’s new schools chief received a grilling after disgruntled community members were stood up, Wednesday evening, by Community Action Council (CAC) representatives for an information session. The residents are taking steps to move forward in their efforts to keep Canter Middle School open. At a CPS board meeting(…)

First Unitarian holds holiday event

By JEFFREY BISHKU-AYKUL Assistant to the Editor First Unitarian Church, 5650 S. Woodlawn Ave., will host its second annual Green Holidayze Bazaar this weekend. The holiday fundraiser sale, featuring donations to the church ranging from clothes to decorations, baked goods and a tea room cafe, will take place from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on(…)

Free school gaining steam

By DASCHELL M. PHILLIPS Staff Writer Another inquiry session for the Chicago Free School will take place in Hyde Park next month. Educator Lauren Beitler is interested in launching a school that emphasizes a democratic process in the neighborhood. Beitler, who is a graduate of the University of Chicago Urban Education Initiative program, will host(…)