(Photography by Rob Kozloff)

Building momentum

The new Harper Court opens with fanfare, reshaping the 53rd Street commercial corridor.

A 12-story glass office tower at the corner of 53rd Street and Harper Avenue heralds the change. The office building, now home to more than 500 UChicago employees, anchors the new Harper Court development.

After more than a decade of planning among University, city, and community leaders, Harper Court opened with a November 8 ribbon cutting, marking “a new era for Hyde Park,” said President Robert J. Zimmer.

Amenities in the $138 million 518,000-square-foot project include Hyde Park’s first new hotel in 50 years, along with restaurants, shops, and a fitness center, spurring growth in the surrounding area. More than two dozen businesses have opened or signed leases over the past two years. Local and national retailers and restaurants have invested, said 4th ward alderman Will Burns, AB’95, AM’98, “because they believe in this project.”