Park 52

Demolition begins on Park 52, a former eatery at 5201 S. Harper Ave. on Wednesday, Jan. 18, 2023.

Developers plan to start building 300,000-square-foot Harper Court Phase II this month, with construction expected to finish by the middle of next year.

Two firms, Dallas-based Trammell Crow Company and Boston-based Beacon Capital Partners, announced reconfigured plans for the project last year. It is now to consist of a 13-story tower north of the Hyatt Place Chicago-South, 5225 S. Harper Ave., on top of the row of restaurants and shops around Ja' Grill, 1510 E. Harper Court. It will also take the place of the former Park 52 building, 5201 S. Harper Ave. — the restaurant it housed closed in 2012 — which is expected to be demolished shortly.

Surrounding streets are to remain open during construction. 

The developers has pledged that construction will meet the university's diversity goals. UJAMAA Construction, 7744 S. Stony Island Ave., and Power Construction, 8750 W. Bryn Mawr Ave., are the joint general contractors. Two thousand construction jobs are tied to the project.

The project is set to be a life sciences and advanced technology hub; the U. of C. plans to lease at least one-sixth of its space for its quantum, life and data science initiatives, including science and technology company incubation. Nine floors will contain laboratories and heavy technological infrastructure. 

Unlike the current Harper Court, wherein the U. of C. is the master tenant and serves as landlord to retail tenants, Trammell Crow and Beacon will own and be the landlord of Harper Court Phase II.

Phase II will also have new parking levels, ground-floor retail space and community spaces, for which a full-time staffer will lead programming.

A university spokeswoman said the project will also have a new name soon, replacing “Harper Court Phase II.”

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