Harper Court Street

CHICAGO—Not many developers were launching $106 million office projects in 2009, but the University of Chicago’s commitment to take up a hefty portion of the space in Harper Court, a university-owned, 223,775-square-foot building at 53rd St. and Lake Park Ave., helped kick it off. Now, the university has just hired CBRE to represent it in the structured sale-leaseback or financing of the recently-completed project’s first phase.

“Harper Court was 82% pre-leased when construction began, and as of October 2013 it was 96% leased, including 100% of the office space leased to the University of Chicago,” says a recent report by the Urban Land Institute. “The university lease was put together very early in the development process and was essential to the project’s feasibility.”

Harper Court Holdings, LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of the university, will provide a 20-year master lease for the property.

The mixed-use project is a class A asset on 3.2 acres with 150,000-square-feet of office space occupied by the university, 42,275-square-feet of retail space, and a 31,500-square-foot LA Fitness Center as well as approximately 417 parking spaces. Harper Court sits in the heart of the Hyde Park business district adjacent to a newly-constructed Hyatt Place Hotel and also near a Metra station which provides easy access to downtown Chicago.

CBRE’s executive vice presidents Mike Vesper and Jeff Shell will represent the university in the sale.

A second phase is planned to include up to 400,000-square-feet of residential, hotel, and  office space.