The University of Chicago Lists Harper Court Complex for Sale with CBRE Group

The University of Chicago recently announced that it has listed the 12-story Harper Court complex for sale with commercial real estate firm CBRE Group.

The University of Chicago recently announced that it has listed the 12-story Harper Court complex for sale with commercial real estate firm CBRE Group.

Over the past years, the university has undertaken a project in partnership with the City of Chicago which aims to help revitalize the 53rd Street corridor in Hyde Park. As part of this project, after a multi-year redevelopment project, Harper Court opened in 2013 with a new design which aimed to bring new amenities to Hyde Park and create economic opportunities for the surrounding area.

The concept of Harper Court grew out of community visioning workshops which took place in 2008. The University of Chicago and the City of Chicago contributed land and other resources to redevelop a former shopping center. In order to attract developers to bid on the project, the university committed to a 20-year lease of the office tower.

Up to now, the university has invested over $30 million in Harper Court and provided a $21.5 million loan guarantee for the construction of the new Hyatt Place hotel, adjacent to the office tower.

The university initially announced its plans to sell the property in November, shortly after purchasing it from the developer, CJUF III Harper Court LLC, for $98 million. UChicago, after finding a buyer, intends to lease back all of the office and retail space.

Harper Court features 224,000 square feet of office, retail and parking space. The university intends, as part of a purchase deal, to sign a 20-year master lease for the office and retail portion and plans to continue to work with its leasing agent in order to identify retail tenants for the remaining spaces in the building.

Associate Vice President for Commercial Real Estate Operations for the University of Chicago, James Hennessy, in a statement says: “This project is the result of many years of planning and input from members of the community about the kinds of retail they wanted to see in the neighborhood, and we are looking for a new owner that will be committed to Harper Court for the long-term.”

The university, as owner of the project, is currently paying property taxes which contribute to the 53rd Street TIF district and will continue to contribute to tax revenues as anchor tenant after the building is sold.

“From the beginning, Harper Court helped boost interest from prospective tenants and is now providing increased foot traffic to support the surrounding businesses,” Hennessy says. “We’re confident that it will be a good investment for the right buyer and continue to be an important center for the community.”

Photo Courtesy of: Harper Court via Facebook (www.facebook.com/HarperCourt).