HYDE PARK — Developers proposing a new building on 53rd Street say they will reduce the height of the building and add more affordable units after meeting with community groups.
Mesa Development is reducing the height of the building planned for 1330 E. 53rd St. to 13 stories from 14 stories. The proposed building at 135 feet is the same height as the Hyde Park Bank building at 1525 E. 53rd St.
The developer is also now committing to making 20 percent of the 267 rental units affordable to low-income families. While the city requires 10 percent of units in the rental building be reserved as affordable, the developer agreed to an additional 5 percent. A final five percent of units will be subsidized by the University of Chicago.
The University of Chicago owns the land, currently occupied by a Mobil gas station, and is contracting Mesa to develop the project, now called Vue53, which the developer will own once it is completed.
Though developers said an independent study found that its proposed parking plan was "more than sufficient" and exceeded parking ratios in comparable developments, they have agreed to increase the number of spaces to 230 from 218 in response to comments from the community.
The parking and traffic analysis by Kenig, Lindgren, O’Hara, Aboona projects the building will need 126 parking spots to meet the demand of residents it expects will be mostly graduate students.
The firm also says in its report that traffic could be reduced compared to the current gas station, but would be more concentrated around the rush hour. The study assumes residents of the building would make use of on-site car sharing services, 125 bike parking spaces and nearby Metra and bus options.
Two floors previously reserved for the parking garage will now have apartments facing neighboring Nichols Park with the parking garage in the rear.
In response to comments from planners at the city, the developers have moved the parking garage entrance to the western edge of the building.
Mesa has presented the project to more than a dozen community groups and will present again on Monday at the 53rd Street TIF Advisory Council. The developers are not seeking any tax payer subsidies.
The Chicago Plan Commission will review the zoning for the project at its May 16 meeting.