By ALEXIS MILLER
Real estate development in Hyde Park is seeing growth that is dramatically reshaping the neighborhood. City Hyde Park, 1501 E. Hyde Park Blvd., is one of these new additions to the community. According to director of community development for Mac Properties Peter Cassel, City Hyde Park is currently scheduled for the first residents to move in by the fourth quarter of 2015, which is quickly approaching.
Some local residents are enthusiastic about this 15-story structure and its impact on Hyde Park. Jamal Rogers, who currently lives with his girlfriend in a rental two-bedroom apartment on Dorchester Avenue in Hyde Park, said, “I’m really interested in seeing what the units look like when they are completed. It seems like it would be a good place for my girlfriend and I to consider.” Rogers is referring to the 180 rental units, of which 36 units will be reserved for affordable housing. The apartments range in size from studios to three-bedrooms. The building, designed by Jeanne Gang of Studio Gang Architects, will also feature two underground levels for parking, and at the top of the structure will be a 7,700-square-foot green roof.
Rogers, who is a recent graduate of the University of Chicago Law School, and his girlfriend, Shantae Williams, a nurse practitioner at the University of Chicago Medical Center, represent the changing face of Hyde Park’s demographics. In recent years, Hyde Park has become a mecca for attracting young professionals looking for affordable real estate prices, but without sacrificing amenities or neighborhood charm. City Hyde Park appears to be catering to this type of clientele; financially stable professionals, looking for the amenities and modern style found in the Loop, but at a lower price tag.
Rawnda Jameson, who raised her family in their home on Drexel Boulevard and 51st Street, said that, now that her children are older and it’s just her and her elderly mother living in the house, she may consider selling the house and moving into a development like City Hyde Park or Vue 53.
“I don’t need all this space now and the maintenance is becoming a pain since my husband passed away. Sizing down into an apartment in a full service building is really appealing to me right now,” Jameson said.
The latest updates on the City Hyde Park development include removal the scaffolding revealing the south balconies, removal of the construction crane and the installation of the second floor façade mosaic expressing the four seasons of Chicago. Peter Casell said in the upcoming months windows and the retail store fronts will get installed, and interior build out will begin.
Both Jameson and Rogers said they plan on taking a tour of the development once it is finished.
“I’m excited about having the Whole Foods attached and I think it will make parking so much easier,” said Rogers, who currently struggles to find street parking near his current apartment. Jameson, who is a longtime resident of the neighborhood, acknowledged how this new wave of retail and real estate will definitely impact the dynamics of the community in coming years.