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Hyatt Hotel Coming In Hyde Park

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53rd Street

53rd Street in Hyde Park. (Credit: CBS)

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UPDATED 03/04/11 2:01 p.m.

CHICAGO (CBS) – A new 130-room Hyatt Place hotel will be coming to the Hyde Park neighborhood.

The hotel is set to open in 2013 on the site of Harper Court, a retail complex on Harper Avenue just north of 53rd Street that is under redevelopment, according to a news release from developer Vermilion Development Inc., which is is in charge of the project.

The hotel will be a joint venture between the companies Smart Hotels and Olympia Companies, and will be a Hyatt Hotel under a franchise agreement, according to the release. It will officially be caled Hyatt Place Chicago @ Hyde Park.

Currently, Hyde Park has few options for hotels. The Ramada Lake Shore Chicago at 4900 S. Lake Shore Dr. is the closest option, and advertises itself as the only hotel near the University of Chicago.

But developers have been planning for a hotel on the Harper Court site for some time.

“A quality hotel has been a longstanding need for the community. It will play a key role in the development of the 53rd Street corridor, making it a destination on evenings and weekends, as well as during the work week,” Vermilion president Dave Cocagne said in the news release.

The new hotel will feature dedicated underground parking, a restaurant, a wine bar, a swimming pool, a fitness facility for hotel guests, and meeting rooms, according to the release.

Also planned for the Harper Court site are about 80,000 square feet of retail space; a 12-story, 150,000 square-foot office building that will be used by the University of Chicago; and 435 parking spaces, according to past reports.

Whole Foods has been mentioned as a likely candidate for the retail space, the Chicago Sun-Times reported in October.

The University of Chicago purchased Harper Court for $6.5 million in 2008, in hopes that the purchase would help revitalize the commercial strip in Hyde Park on 53rd Street. Back in 2000, a new Tax Increment Financing District was created for the strip, and $20 million in tax-increment financing subsidies will go toward the project, according to past published reports.

When it opened in 1965, Harper Court was largely made up of arts and music-related businesses. As recently as a few years ago, it had 23 stores, including Dr. Wax Records, Maravilla’s Mexican Restaurant, the Toys Et Cetera toy store, and the Hyde Park Animal Clinic.

Most of the tenants in Harper Court have now moved out, including the Creole restaurant Dixie Kitchen & Bait Shop, which was a favorite of President Barack Obama. Its sister restaurant, Calypso Café, which shares an owner with Dixie Kitchen, remains open in the shopping center but will have to leave for demolition.

Meanwhile, across Harper Avenue from the old shopping center, the U of C announced earlier this week that a new movie theater will open in 2012.

The new theater will be operated by the New 400 Theaters independent movie chain, and will show a mix of art, children’s and wide-release films, according to the university. It will occupy the 1915 Hyde Park Theater building, which has been shuttered since 2002.

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