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Crain's Video Features Hyde Park's Harper Court

Friday, August 23, 2013

Crain's Business Article

By Alby Gallun

Dave Cocagne hopes his newest real estate project is more than just a place where people work, shop, eat and sleep. He wants it to transform Hyde Park.

Mr. Cocagne's company, Chicago-based Vermilion Development, is putting the finishing touches on Harper Court, a mixed-use project that he, city officials and the University of Chicago say will boost South Side neighborhood's retail and restaurant scene—and spur further investment.

The $140 million development at 53rd Street and Hyde Park Boulevard includes a 12-story office tower for the University of Chicago, about 75,000 square feet retail space and a 131-room Hyatt Place Hotel. A later phase will include 425 residential units.

“It's catalytic,” Mr. Cocagne said. “It's a game-changer, it's going to reinvigorate this corridor. It's something that the community has been seeking for years and years.”

In a recent tour of Harper Court, Mr. Cocagne explained how he thinks it will reactivate the neighborhood and why $20 million in city subsidies to finance it was money well spent.