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U. of C. Sells Home of Medici, Z&H, Nine Other Buildings For $54.9M

By Sam Cholke | January 5, 2017 7:41am
 The University of Chicago has sold the home of Zaleski and Horvath and Cemitas Pueblas in the latest round of sales of residential properties.
The University of Chicago has sold the home of Zaleski and Horvath and Cemitas Pueblas in the latest round of sales of residential properties.
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DNAinfo/Sam Cholke

HYDE PARK — The University of Chicago has sold an additional 12 properties to Pioneer Acquisitions for an estimated $54.9 million, according to property records.

The sale which was finalized in October, according to newly released property records, included 11 buildings with 387 apartment units and also includes the home of Noodles Etc., Zaleski and Horvath cafe, the Medici, and Cemitas Pueblas.

The properties were sold as a package for an estimated $54.9 million to the same New York firm that purchased 19 buildings from the university last year for $70.1 million.

Representatives from Pioneer Acquisitions did not return calls for comment on why the firm is betting so big on Hyde Park, investing an estimated $125 million in property in the neighborhood in a little over a year.

With the new purchases, the firm now owns 1,077 apartment units in 20 buildings in Hyde Park and several parking lots and other lots that can be used for future development.

Marielle Sainvillus, a spokeswoman for the university, said the university would not release the final sale price.

Sale prices were estimated from the property transfer taxes paid to the state, county and other municipal bodies and from annual financial statements from the university.

She said the university currently has no future plans to sell off any additional residential buildings.

The university announced in May it would be selling the properties as part of a longer term effort to to reinvest in teaching and research, a spokesman said at the time.

“As demonstrated by the university’s sale of residential properties last summer, the real estate market in the areas surrounding campus is now strong enough to attract a number of potential investors and support a range of residential options,” said Jim Hennessy, the university’s associate vice president for commercial real estate, in May.

The university said at the time that it expected the new owner to honor all leases.

The second round of sales put up on the market some of the university’s more prized real estate holdings in the neighborhood, including prime storefronts on the 1300 block of East 57th St. that include long-term tenants like Medici's cafe and offer proximity to campus and students.

The sale also included many of the larger residential properties owned by the university, such as the Picadilly, 5107 S. Blackstone Ave., 12-story tower with 76 units close to the new Whole Foods.

The university appears to have now sold off more than two-thirds of its residential properties in a little over a year. Including the sale of three dorms in 2015 , the university has sold 34 of its residential buildings in the neighborhood.

The university’s residential properties web site lists 13 buildings still owned by the university, six in Hyde Park and seven just south of the Midway Plaisance in Woodlawn.

The university remains the largest property owner in the neighborhood, owning the Hyde Park Shopping Center, large stretches of retail property along 53rd Street and its 217-acre campus.

The most recent sale by the university includes:

• 5104-10 S. Kenwood Ave. and an adjoining parking lot, Shelbyrne, 92 units

• 1401 E. Hyde Park Blvd. and an adjoining parking lot, Carlson, 46 units

• 5107 S. Blackstone Ave., Piccadilly, 76 units

• 5345 S. Harper Ave., Harper Crest, 50 units

• 5330 S. Blackstone Ave., 43 units

• 5455 S. Blackstone Ave., 61 units

• 5706-10 S. Blackstone Ave., nine units

• 1321 E. 57th St., two units above Zaleski and Horvath

• 1323 E. 57th St., two units above Cemitas Pueblas

• 1413-15 E. 57th St., six units

• 1327-33 E. 57th St., no residential units, Noodles Etc. and Medici*

• 5117 S. Kenwood Ave., vacant land

* The university does not own Medici's main restaurant at 1327 E. 57th St., which continues to be owned by the family of Medici founder Hans Morsbach, but does own portions of the Medici's bakery and coffee shop in the neighboring building.

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