McMobil back

Staff Writer

The 53rd Street Tax Increment Financing (TIF) District Advisory Council is expected to hear from the University of Chicago and developers about the future of the McMobil site on 53rd Street.

The McMobil site, a parcel of land consisting of a vacant lot and a Mobil gas station and car wash along 53rd Street near Kimbark Plaza and across from Nichols Park. A McDonald’s restaurant formerly sat on the site, giving it the colloquialism.
According to a source, the scope of the project will likely involve the demolition of the gas station and car wash to accommodate a 14-story tower that will occupy 30,000 total square feet. The new building will have retail on the ground floor, including space for a big-box retailer, one smaller retailer, two floors of parking for at least 200 cars and 11 floors of rental housing including 15 percent that are considered “affordable.”

The U. of C., who owns the site, agreed to the Coalition for Equitable Community Development’s request that a portion of the apartments be set aside as “affordable,” meaning that rents cost no more than one-third of the wages of a family whose income is up to 60 percent of the area median income.

The CECD requested that the university set aside 20 percent of its housing as affordable. The two organizations agreed that 15 percent in this development will be set aside and another 5 percent will be created in university-owned buildings in Hyde Park.

“We don’t want to have people saying ‘you can go to the surrounding communities and find something affordable. Not in our backyard.’ so we’re pleased it’s going to be in Hyde Park,” said CECD vice president Pat Wilcoxen.

The 53rd Street TIF Council will hear more details about the development at a Wednesday, Jan. 30 meeting. The meeting will take place at 7 p.m. at Kenwood High School, 5015 S. Blackstone Ave.