HYDE PARK — MAC Properties is planning a new 27-story tower of rental apartments for 1600 E. 53rd St.
The plans would replace an existing parking lot that serves the Del Prado Apartments and other MAC-owned buildings with a 286-foot tower, just taller than the nearby Cornell Village Tower, 5201 S. Cornell Ave.
The project will be the fourth major high-rise apartment building in Hyde Park after a drought in new residential construction that lasted nearly 20 years until City Hyde Park was built in 2014.
Peter Cassel, director of community development for MAC, said that means there’s an unmet need in Hyde Park for buildings built to contemporary standards that are easy for seniors to navigate and ADA accessible.
“It’s appealing to people who want to age in place and whatever changes then come mean they can stay at home,” Cassel said.
The developer is marketing the building to seniors and people who want to move back to Hyde Park.
He said rents for the 250 units will be set similar to City Hyde Park, which shocked some in the neighborhood last year who hadn’t yet seen South Loop rents hit Hyde Park.
“Part of what we have seen at City Hyde Park is a lot of people moving back to Hyde Park, which didn’t have the amenities they wanted,” Cassel said.
The new project will pile on the amenities, including an outdoor swimming pool, gardens and a dog run on the fifth floor terrace.
The project will start the long process of getting city sign-off next month in the hope of starting construction a year from now. The building is expected to open in the summer of 2019.
Architecture firm Solomon Cordwell Buenz has designed the building so the 10,000 square feet of retail and a four-story, 160-space parking garage will fit in anesthetically with an update to the façade of the neighboring 1644 E. 53rd St.
Cassel said the building is also owned by MAC and has needed a facelift, so the façade will be renovated and the businesses will all remain.
He said a third building at 5232 S. Hyde Park Blvd. will also be demolished during the project, but will not be replaced immediately. He said it will remain a lot until plans for a single-family home or two-flat can be developed.
Cassel declined to say how much the project is expected to cost.
He said the developer will not pursue any tax subsidies for the project.
The 27-story tower will replace a parking lot.
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