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Council panel OKs subsidy for Hyatt Hotel project near U of C

Updated: July 7, 2012 8:32AM

A City Council Committee on Monday approved a $5.2 million tax-increment financing subsidy to pave the way for construction of a 131-room Hyatt Hotel near the University of Chicago.

The hotel — the first to be built in the South Side’s 4th Ward in more than 50 years — will be located on the northeast corner of Harper and East 52nd Place.

It’s part of Harper Court, a larger development by city and the U of C, the area’s biggest landlord, that includes a 12-story office tower and new retail stores.

On Monday, the City Council’s Finance Committee amended an earlier redevelopment agreement to include the hotel and authorized a $5.2 million subsidy from the surrounding TIF.

The hotel project is expected to create 150 temporary construction jobs and 21 permanent jobs to staff the hotel. Those permanent employees must be paid the “living wage” along with benefits, according to the redevelopment agreement.

“This project is absolutely essential to the continued revitalization of the 53rd Street corridor and the Lake Park Ave. shopping corridor,” said local Ald. Will Burns (4th), whose ward includes the project.

“For over a decade, there were community planning processes to redevelop this area. The 4th Ward has not had a new hotel constructed there in over 50 years. And the hotel is central to the rest of the development, which includes an office tower and several thousand feet of additional retail space. I’m in support of this project because it will create — not just the temporary jobs, but full-time jobs.”

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