City Hyde Park gets TIF dollars as demo underway

City Hyde Park gets TIF dollars as demo underway

By LINDSAY WELBERS Staff Writer The City Council approved spending $11.3 million tax increment financing dollars to construct City Hyde Park, a mixed-use complex that would bring Whole Foods to the neighborhood. The $115 million development will include 120,000 square feet of retail, 180 apartments and two levels of parking underground with space for 350(…)

Free school finds fall digs

Free school finds fall digs

By DASCHELL M. PHILLIPS Staff Writer The founder of the Chicago Free School announced its new Hyde Park location Wednesday. The staff is also hosting a school-planning meeting in February. “After touring many local churches, we have found exactly what we are looking for at Augustana Lutheran Church of Hyde Park, 5500 S. Woodlawn Ave.,”(…)

SSA established for 53rd St.

SSA established for 53rd St.

By LINDSAY WELBERS Staff Writer The City of Chicago has appointed about half of the committee members for the 53rd Street Special Service Area (SSA). James Hanson, principal at Mesa Development; Michael McGarry, president at Hyde Park Bank; Mary J. Rogel, owner of East Point Associates; Tony Fox, owner of the Harper Theater; Gregory Guttman,(…)

New head of U. of C. schools effort

By DASCHELL M. PHILLIPS Staff Writer John W. Gasko has been named the new chief executive officer (CEO) of UChicago Impact, the University of Chicago Urban Education Institute’s (UEI) not-for-profit arm. He will officially begin his role at the Urban Education Institute on Feb. 17. The UEI, which was founded in 2011, has created several(…)

Folkies history this Sunday

By JEFFREY BISHKU-AYKUL Staff Writer The Hyde Park Historical Society (HPHS) will host a presentation on the history of the University of Chicago Folk Festival this weekend. The event will take place at 2 p.m. on Sunday at 5529 S. Lake Park Ave., and will feature a panel discussion with former U. of C. Folklore(…)

Millions for bird scheme

Millions for bird scheme

By JEFFREY BISHKU-AYKUL Staff Writer The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) is seeking to rehabilitate Jackson Park over the next five years. USACE is exploring a plan to restore around 160 acres of Jackson Park, beginning this year and lasting through 2019. The project, aimed at removing invasive species and introducing native vegetation, is(…)

CAC drive on

CAC drive on

By DASCHELL M. PHILLIPS Staff Writer The Hyde Park-Kenwood Community Conference (HP-K CC) Schools Committee is searching for parents, principals, elected officials, faith-based leaders and more community members to help it form a Hyde Park Community Action Council (CAC). A majority of those in attendance at the conference’s Schools Committee meeting last Wednesday at Kenwood(…)

Low turnout blamed for participatory budgeting ending

Low turnout blamed for participatory budgeting ending

By JEFFREY BISHKU-AYKUL Staff Writer Hyde Parkers met Ald. Leslie Hairston’s decision not to continue the 5th Ward’s participatory budgeting (PB) program this year with a mixed reaction. The 5th Ward’s experiment with PB — a political process born in Brazil in the late ’80s, in which constituents decide how their district’s money is spent(…)

$90M cancer research grant

By LINDSAY WELBERS Staff Writer The University of Chicago shared in a grant that will exponentially grow the amount in its endowment for cancer research. Ludwig Cancer Research recently donated $540 million to be split equally among six cancer research facilities in the United States, including the U. of C. The $90 million the university(…)

Jazz society holding fundraiser

By JEFFREY BISHKU-AYKUL Staff Writer The Hyde Park Jazz Society is sponsoring a fundraiser for the Hyde Park Jazz Festival. The Hyde Park Jazz Festival Fundraising Jazz Jam, a concert by veteran festival performers, will take place from 6:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m., on Tuesday, Jan. 21, at Room 43, 1043 E. 43 St. “This(…)

Deli may arrive on 55th next week

By JEFFREY BISHKU-AYKUL Staff Writer Bergstein’s NY Deli owner Bill Davis says the second location of his Chicago Heights restaurant could open as early as Monday. The store located at at 1160 E. 55th St. will “work the kinks out,” according to Davis, before a grand opening later this month. “My guess would be around(…)

Yusho opening soon, Merges says

Yusho opening soon, Merges says

By JEFFREY BISHKU-AYKUL Staff Writer   Chef Matthias Merges said he expects the Hyde Park location of his Avondale Japanese restaurant Yusho to open this summer. On Dec. 17, a lawsuit originally filed in August challenging a University of Chicago-backed petition calling for the sale of alcohol in the area was dismissed. The lawsuit, filed(…)

Hairston closes budget books

Hairston closes budget books

By JEFFREY BISHKU-AYKUL Staff Writer Ald. Hairston (5th) has ended her ward’s participatory budgeting (PB) program. According to Hairston — the first South Side alderman to give her constituents a choice to vote on how to spend more than $1 million in annual discretionary funds — the decision to put a halt to the district’s experiment(…)

Conference convenes to consider forming CAC

By DASCHELL M. PHILLIPS Staff Writer The Hyde Park – Kenwood Community Council (HP-K CC) Schools Committee is hosting another Community Action Council (CAC) informational meeting on Jan. 8. At the meeting, the community will decide if a CAC should be established in the neighborhood. The CAC meeting will take place from 6 p.m. to(…)

Local friends to history

The Hyde Park Historical Society (HPHS) has announced the 2014 winners of its Paul Cornell, Marian and Leon Despres Preservation and Jean Block Book awards, which will be presented at its annual dinner on Feb. 22 at the Quadrangle Club, 1155 E. 57th St. This year’s Paul Cornell Award winners are: Seth and Kristin Flanders,(…)

Gun laws at the Station

By DASCHELL M. PHILLIPS Staff Writer The Experimental Station will present an exhibit addressing the impact of the new Firearm Concealed Carry legislation in Illinois that went into effect on Jan. 1. On July 2, Illinois became the last state in the nation to allow gun owners to carry concealed weapons. The law officially went(…)

Liquor license suit dismissed; Yusho slated for summer opening on 53rd

By JEFFREY BISHKU-AYKUL Staff Writer   Chef Matthias Merges said he expects the Hyde Park location of his Avondale Japanese restaurant Yusho to open this summer, following legal wrangling over the sale of alcohol in the area. On Dec. 17, a lawsuit originally filed in August challenging a University of Chicago-backed petition calling for the(…)

How Wright came to Kenwood

How Wright came to Kenwood

By LINDSAY WELBERS Staff Writer Frank Lloyd Wright came to Chicago when he was just a teenager. By the time he was 24-years-old he was designing his first houses, with the budget and support to explore his aesthetic choices. Dozens of Kenwood residents came to an informational meeting on the Blossom and McArthur houses, hosted(…)

Locals hear details on cost to restore two homes at risk

Locals hear details on cost to restore two homes at risk

By LINDSAY WELBERS Staff Writer To restore the decaying Frank Lloyd Wright houses at the center of a controversy in South Kenwood will take between $4 and $5 million, in addition to their purchase prices. The Blossom and McArthur houses have languished on the real estate market since fall of 2012. The McArthur house, 4852(…)

Mitchell ready for March opponent

Mitchell ready for March opponent

By JEFRREY BISHKU-AYKUL Staff Writer Illinois’ youngest state legislator, state Rep. Christian Mitchell (D-26), will face off in next March’s state primary with former Kenwood Oakland Community Organization Executive Director Jay Travis. But the 27-year-old incumbent — who is seeking a second term to represent the district including parts of Hyde Park, Kenwood, downtown and(…)