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The Shoreland-from glory to rehab
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The Shoreland Hotel- from glory and back?
Views and drawings More from fall 2009
Developer dies, new owner was to continue the plan
Antheus/Silliman buys, develops new restoration-based idea but needs community support to revisit planned development
(HPKCC Letter of October to Ald. Hairston endorsing the principles and objectives of the Shoreland project)
To document from Antheus/MAC Properties, HISTORIC AND MODERN HYDE PARK HIGH RISES...
(Questions about this document should be addressed to Danielle Meltzer Cassel at D_CASSEL@vedderprice.com.)
Stalled or not?
Changes to meet some of the objections of south neighbors means Alderman unblocks city review of appeal to change the PD- But negotiation continued with northern neighbors who object to an alley.
June 2010: Alderman announces her support at June 21 meeting. Goes to Commissions in July- results- moving forward.
May 2011 update
The Shoreland has obtained final approval from City Council for its Planned Development Changes (July 2010) and landmrk designation September 8. By summer 2011 interior demo work was in progress, and will was at the start of 2012. Buildout was expected to take up to two years.
February, 2013 The Shoreland received Chicago Landmarks designation. This will permit tax credits and completion of renovations and restorations as a viable rental building by Antheus Capital divisions while protecting from demolition or significant alteration. By this time the renovation was nearly two-thirds done and leasing was expected to start in late summer 2013.
The Shoreland Apartments
opened in fall 2013. In Septembver 2014 the restoration under MAC Properties/Siliman
Group was given a prestigeous award by the Commission on Chicago Landmarks.
Details were shared at a public meeting June 21, where support was general. HPKCC President Jay Ammerman reiterated HPKCC support. June 30 2010 Herald. Daschell M. Phillips reported on the June 21 meeting and stressed that while the developer detailed its plans, attendees (who filled Montgomery Place) wanted the details on the parking. Apartment numbers are 332 market rate of about 800 to 1,000 sq. ft, mostly 1 and 2 bedroom, a few studio or 3 bedroom. It's going to the Landmark and Plan commissions late June and July, with completion date of early 2012.
Herald, June 16, 2010
Poised to begin winding through the city departments that will oversee their project to rehabilitate the historic Shoreland Hotel property, agents of Antheus Capital met with the Herald last week to share the details of their progress that will be the subject of an upcoming community meeting.
Referring to their appointments with city agencies, Antheus attorney Danielle Cassel warned that "it could slip a month -- it could slip months," but laid out, with husband and Antheus Capital Director of Community Development Peter Cassel, the planned timeline for city review of their plans.
First step is the city's Landmark's Commission -- a step needed because of tax credits sought for the project, which will restore both external and internal parts of the building, built in 1926 by Harry Fawcett, one of many hotels built during that period as Hyde Park developed a reputation as a world-class resort area, one, in fact, that eventually drew amelia Earhart and Elvis Presley.
"They're really excited to landmark it," Peter Cassel said of the commission. That first presentation is scheduled for July 1. A presentation before the plan commission is then scheduled for July 15.
For years, the University of Chicago used the former resort hotel as dormitories. the property changed hands in recent years as developers struggle to restore the property to its original glory. Most recently, Antheus, as part of a portfolio of roughly 75 Hyde properties, acquired the Shoreland in August of 2006.
Landmarking is planned not only for the building's facade but also for the front lobby and the storied Crystal Ballroom, the most well-preserved and grandest of the property's interiors. Other interior spaces were considered too deteriorated by the commission to be landmarked, Peter Cassel said.
Remarkably, the company has found a way of adding parking spaces to the project -- a source of consternation for nearby neighbors. a plan that originally provided 101 self-parking spaces has now expanded to 157 spaces. The main source of the additional parking is an excavation project beneath the entranceway, which, while adding parking, is also adding to the expense of the project. While Peter Cassel described the cost of the excavation as "extraordinary," he maintained that the project continues to be an overall moneymaker for the company. Additional changes to the project include an exit ramp in the front of the building for delivery vehicles that will enter at the rear of the building, as they historically have, via the alley there. Parking will also be accessible by an additional front entrance. ...
The Shoreland, 1926, Harry Fawcett, a behemoth in the 5400 block of South Shore Drive along the lakeshore, was recommended to be closed as a dormitory and was sold for redevelopment, but is not in danger. Work on exterior restoration in the middle of the 2000 decade was done by Berglund. Neighbors said it hadn't looked as good in a long time. Then it was sold by the University to Kenard company to restore exterior and lobby (maybe ballroom, dep. on proposed restaurant's needs) and unblock the windows then to develop into condominiums after the University vacates the premises (postponed to fall, 2009). Mr. Kenard died, the site and project were sold to another company that sought more parking resources, then sold c. September 2008 to Antheus Capital, which says it will restore and renovate the building for rental and with hope to preserve more of the lower floors including the stunning lobby and two ballrooms, if parking can still be handled. Decision-making is far from finished with negotiation still in progress with the building to the north as changes to satisfy the building to the south will mean an impacting truck exit on the north.
The Shoreland was an anchor in the character of old Hyde Park, which was long a resort hotel town and enhanced in its role as such during the mid and high rise building boom (especially in East Hyde Park) of the late teens and twenties- partly in anticipation of electrification of the Illinois Central to remove the spewing of ashes and smoke from steam engines. The Shoreland, which claimed the shoreline as its beach even while Promontory Point was being built, changing beach into broad expanses of lawns, and later Lake Shore Drive became a busy expressway a ways in front of the Shoreland, the Shoreland remained the grandest of the "dames." A highlight was a grand ball following a vast neighborhood procession for local heroine aviatrix Amelia Earhart. The hotel featured a grand lobby (changed in the 30s from Spanish Imperial to Art Deco) and two fabulous ballrooms. Others who lived there later included Al Capone, Bill Veeck, and Elvis Presley. Spending and leisure tastes changed later as the structure could not be kept up to standards and the owners resisted pressure to integrate. Finally, the University bought it during a time of growth in the student body and turned it into a dormitory for nearly 1000 students.
More in Community News. Details and controversies.
In summer 2005 the developer reached satisfactory settlement with neighbors and Ald. Hairston for sensitive treatment, preservation of a few of the sensitive parts inside (but not then the lobby and ballroom), parking and other issues. In summer 2006 the developer died and was replaced by another who will follow the agreed upon plan. In spring 2007 notices went up advertising 280 units and 306 parking spaces. See below.
How the situation evolved in the mid 2-oughts.
in the next 3 years, of the U of C's Shoreland dormitory
in favor of new dormitories south of the Midway, with relocation
of 650 students out of the neighborhood and East Hyde Park will entail serious
readjustments and raised questions of preservation and reuse,
where the parking required for a redevelopment would be located
and accessed, and need for a guarantee of (better than present?)
upkeep until the property is redeveloped. (The new residents
may substantially change the character of East Hyde Park.) The landmarked property
has (steeply assessed?) land value, but the building could have turned out not
be worth reuse on the market. Costs to rehabilitate and bring up to city demands
is $44 to $50 million; conversion would cost much more. (The structure is landmarked,
so should not be demolished or have its exterior altered.) Many students pointed
to advantages of the Shoreland. A strong cord was struck with many Shoreland
students, who had concerns with closure, on student-life and community fronts.
Other Shoreland and University students remained divided. The pro-Shoreland
website is www.savetheshoreland.com.
The University set up more broad-issue website which will also provide a forum
on this question, housing.uchicago.edu,
select "The Future of Housing."
April 21, 2004 Vice President Steve Klass recommended closure to President Randel, citing rising long term costs, declining choice by students for the Shoreland, and desirability of citing new structures with lower cost but more options on or close to campus.
In July it was announced that the Kenard Company will buy and convert the Shoreland for 260 luxury condominiums, pending 60-day inspection and cost assessment by the company. The Shoreland's days as a dorm will end in 2007 or 8. Following a firsts public meeting, meetings with residents of neighboring buildings are underway. Since the Shoreland is to be redeveloped under a Planned Unit Development (PUD), later hearings will be held. Below the boxed report below is a report and latest Herald coverage. on the roll-out meeting August 12, 2004.
Hank Webber said about the sale, "We are thrilled to be working with a firm with Kenard's credentials, particularly because of the Lichterman's outstanding track record on historical preservation projects. Kenard has a well-earned reputation for collaborating closely with actively engaged communities such as Hyde Park. For those of us who love and respect the Shoreland, it will be very exciting to witness the restoration of this historically important element of our local architecture." (to Chronicle of 8/19). (Hyde Park Historical Society Preservation Committee concurs with the assessment of Kenard, but will press for as much restoration of the ballroom as possible.)
Lichterman said, "The Shoreland is a neighborhood treasure. As we have always done with our other projects throughout the city, we will bring the Shoreland Hotel building back to its former glory, and we will take pride in working very closely with the community as we do so."
Shoreland goes Condo
Hyde Park Herald, August 4, 2004. By Jeremy Adragna
The historic Shoreland Hotel was recently sold by the University of Chicago for an undisclosed amount and officials say the 80-year-0ld-building will soon be revamped into luxury condos. The sale has not yet been finalized and will not be until its prospective owner assesses what a rehab will cost.
The University of Chicago owned the building at 5450 to 5484 S. Shore Dr. since the 1970s as a student dormitory and officials now say the school will likely build new student housing on land it owns south of the Midway Plaisance.
During a 60-day waiting period in which the building's new owner, Kenard Corp. will assess the cost of rehabbing the 13-story building, a sale could be finalized as soon as October, officials say.
As for the nearly 600 students who currently reside in the Shoreland Hotel, all will be moved to different campus dorms by as early as 2007. Hank Webber, U. of C.'s vice president of community and governmental affairs, says he expects the Shoreland Hotel's 315 rooms will be completely filed with students until rehabs begin that year.
Kenard's Hal Lichterman says he does not expect the building's historic designation to be a hindrance to rehab effort but he will nonetheless include an extra 5 percent of the total rehab cost to make up for any preservation hoops the Chicago-based firm may have to jump through. But he doesn't expect the sale to go south following the waiting period. "If I thought that possibility existed then i wouldn't have mae the contract," Lichterman said. "That's why you do your [waiting] period so yu don't have to make a mistake later."
After the sale is complete officials say the building will be leased back to the university to be use as dorms until a new dorm building can be constructed.
Kenard pans to rehab the Shoreland Hotel into 260 luxury condos. The firm has revamped several historic buildings including Hyde Park's former Chicago Osteopathic Hospital at 5200 s. Ellis Ave., which was converted into condos in 1999.
High on the list of priorities for possible buyers for the university has been one which would revamp the building's historic architecture, Webber said. "We think we have found that developer."
Webber says new student housing plans will also be finalized in coming months. Lichterman will meet with residents from eight nearby buildings to announce and get approval for the rehab plans at an Aug. 11 meeting held at the South Shore Cultural Center, 7059 S. South Shore Dr. "I like to take pretty properties and restore them," Lichterman said. "It will look beautiful when it's done."
Report on the roll-out meeting August 12, 2004 with Hal Lichterman and wife, owners of Kenard Company.
A relatively small number came to the South Shore Cultural Center to learn plans for conversion. But several meetings are planned in buildings around the Shoreland. Alderman Hairston added vital information. Drawings were distributed. The Lichterman's described their background restoring and rehabilitating historic and "nice" buildings including the Fischer Bldg historic conversion downtown, Cabrini conversion to mixed use, and the Osteopathic project. Here are highlights.
- (First, the building will be re let to UC to continue as a dormitory until 2007 or 8, with the University committed to "continue to invest in the maintenance and upkeep of the Shoreland at the same level..." (Steve Klass, VP and Dean of Students). )
- The exterior, lobby and more will be meticulously restored--extent for the ballroom depends on the needs of the fine restaurant to be housed there along with other commercial space (including a hair salon). The windows will be unboarded. The passageway from the 5490 building will be kept. The west facade upper floors may have the balconies many today demand--but about which the audience was not enthusiastic.
- 1:1 parking (plus 25 spaces offered to neighbors) will be built in part of the lower 6 floors and a new structure to the south (whose exterior will replicate that of the present building's front). Hal indicated this was the maximum parking compatible with the economics of space needed to build the requisite housing units. Alderman Hairston ensured this maximum parking provision.
- Nearly 2/3 of the units are now expected to be one-bedroom, based on the site-specific marketing survey, necessary to get financing. (These would sell for c. $200,000, 2-bedrooms (c/ 1/3) for over $300,000, and 4-bedrooms (c. 5%) at over $500,000.) Strong aversion was expressed to so many (or even any) one-bedroom units. Hal said he would be delighted to sell more larger units and offered to market to larger units during the 6 month or so period during he which he had to sell 40% of the units in order to be approved for financing; if the market for larger units is strong, he will go to the bankers and include more larger units. (Residents thought one-bedroom units would encourage "investors" or parents buying for students--categories Lichterman vowed to try to weed out, bring in singles and newly weds with a "different," noisier lifestyle, drive up parking demand, and more.)
- The timeline calls for the students to be out in 2007 (or 8) and model built, there would be a sales period of 6-8 months. With financing in hand, construction will begin and take maybe 18 months. Occupancy is planned for 2009-10.
Herald August 18: Shoreland rehab calls for parking and restaurant.
By Mike Stevens
The developer buying and converting the Shoreland Hotel into condominiums presented plans last week that include prices topping out at half a million dollars. a six story parking garage, a restaurant in the building's ballroom and more one bedroom units than some neighbors would like.
Armed with a marketing study touting a hot market for the smaller condos, Kenard Company President Hal Lichterman told the two dozen Hyde Parkers gathered at the South Shore Cultural Center last Wednesday that half of the proposed luxury condominiums set to replace the University of Chicago's student housing will be one bedroom units. An additional 15 percent of the units will be a bedroom and a half.
Heather Refetoff, who lives in a neighboring building, came looking to buy but left with doubts. She said the 700-800 square foot one bedroom units will draw investors looking to rent. High turnover is not what people buying a $500,000 condominium are looking for, Refetoff reasoned.
With construction still at least two years off, the proposal allows for any adaptation that sells, Lichterman said. "We would love to do all two or three bedrooms if t hat is what the market wants," Lichterman said.
But with a $6 million price tag, the project must sell all available square footage, Lichterman said. "We can only build what we can sell," Lichterman added.
Parking was the primary concern, project manager Mike DeRouin said, and plans call for a parking space for each unit with 25 spaces to spare. The seven floors of parking will rise from the basement to the sixth floor and will be house inside the back of the building. A parking ramp on the building's south side will be tucked away inside a masonry structure built to resemble the existing historic facade.
Hyde Park Historical Society member Devereux Bowly applauded commitments from the developers to restore the building's lobby and facade but pushed for the ballroom's restoration. "[The Shoreland's ballroom] is one of the great spaces in Hyde Park," Bowly said. "It should be restored the same as the lobby and the facade. Lichterman put off a decision until he could talk with prospective tenants, which he said will likely be a restaurant.
No balconies will be hung on the front side side of the building but are being considered on the building's west side, Lichterman said.
The University of Chicago has owned and operated the former hotel as a student dormitory since the 1970s. With an architect already chosen for a replacement dorm south of the Midway Plaisance, Lichterman said the rehab could begin a early as 2006. Until then, Kenard will lease the building back to the university, Lichterman said.
To get financing for the 18-month rehab, Kenard must pre-sell 40 percent of the units. Three bedroom units will cost roughly a half-million dollars and will boast slightly less than 2,00 square feet. Two bedroom units will likely carry a $300,000 price tag and will have 1,200 square feet. One bedroom units will go for around $175,000.
Once grand, fading hotel going condo
It was once frequented by some of Chicago's most famous -- and infamous -- residents, including Al Capone and Amelia Earhart. It was later a stop for countless other movers and shakers, including Jimmy Hoffa and Elvis Presley.
Over the last three decades, however, the once luxurious Shoreland Hotel, at 55th and Shore Drive, has been home to thousands of University of Chicago students.
But now the building, listed on the National Register of Historic Places since 1986, is going condo. Despite student protests, the 13-story building was sold for $5.25 million earlier this month to Kenard Corp., a Chicago developer that specializes in historic preservation. Kenard plans to turn it into 260 condominiums.
Students will continue to live in the building for at least three years while the university builds a new dorm closer to campus.
The sale marks the end of another era in the life of the 88-year-old building, a life that a University of Chicago student is now chronicling for a film.
The story, which Carey spent countless hours researching at the Chicago Historical Society, dates to 1926. Owner Harry Fawcett sought to build a grand hotel, Carey said, spending $2 million on furnishings alone.
In newspaper ads, the Shoreland billed itself as "Chicago's most fashionable residential hotel'' and claimed to offer "sustained enchantment.''
It maintained 1,000 guest rooms, a crystal ballroom, a large banquet hall with a top-notch restaurant and an immaculate lobby with 30-foot-high ceilings. Its terra-cotta exterior featured gargoyles and other elaborate stonework.
It hosted countless wedding receptions and parties for Chicago's elite. A massive banquet was held when Amelia Earhart returned triumphantly in 1928 to the Hyde Park neighborhood where she had attended high school. Later, Al Capone was known to conduct "business'' in certain rooms, Carey said.
In the 1950s, Jimmy Hoffa kept a room in the hotel and often held raucous union meetings there. In a scene Carey re-created for the movie, one of Hoffa's underlings strangled a hotel worker in the lobby after he dared to ask the union boss to pay his debt to the hotel. That worker's wife was the hotel manager, making the Shoreland the largest hotel in the country with a woman in charge.
But the hotel began to lose its splendor, and it was sold to the university for $750,000 in the 1970s. Its Crystal Ballroom at times doubled as a computer lab and TV room.
Carey said students initially have mixed reactions to being assigned to live there but fall in love with the building once they see its charm and lake views and learn of its past. She and friends often dressed up and hosted champagne parties on her floor.
The building today is relatively worn. The ceiling in the banquet hall caved in years ago.
The dorm's popularity had waned in recent years, with more students seeking newer housing closer to campus, said vice president and dean of students Stephen Klass. "It was a pretty sad realization for those of us trying to hold this sucker together,'' Klass said.
Still, Carey and other students protested the decision, selling "Save the Shoreland'' T-shirts and circulating petitions.
Kenard Corp. President Hal Lichterman said he hopes to put a restaurant in the old banquet hall but will otherwise gut the building. He hopes to restore some of the elaborate plasterwork that remains and fix the facade.
"We are very enthused about it,'' he said.
As of February 2006, Kenard Management was drawing up plans to convert the Shoreland, secure funding and lessees. Construction should start in 2008 and be done by 2010. It will have about 260 units, a six-floor parking garage, a restaurant in the ballroom, and a hair salon. 2/3 will be one-bedroom suites, at $200,000 and 700-800 sf, 1/3 two-bedroom at $300,000 and 1,200 sf, and 5 percent 3-bedrooms selling or $500,000 for 2,000 sf. (Neighbors had strongly urged a higher proportion of larger units.) Property cost was $5.7 m to the university (which paid $750,000 in 1974). (Sale reasons included changes in building codes, high cost to remodel vs a new dorm, and high demand by students to be on/near campus along with administration desire to have that happen.)
Some students still told the Maroon they will miss the building's special character, mainly the huge suites with classic decor, as well as ability to engage with a larger community. "The real value of the Shoreland is the connection that the dorm gives students to the Hyde Park community. The Shoreland forces students to leave their comfort zone and become not only students of the University, but also active residents of Hyde Park."
In summer, 2006 Mr. Lichterman died and the building and project were sold t another developer, who promises to follow the same plan. See below.
Fitzgerald Associates for the Kenard Co.
|September 2009: view, finials and pilasters in storage, presentation|
|The suite above were
taken by George W. Rumsey September 5, 2009.
All rights reserved.
The suite immediately above were taken by George Rumsey, HPKCC President, during a site visit September 5, 2009 and explanation of concepts and difficulties by Peter Cassel and Danielle Meltzer Cassel representing Antheus Capital and Silliman Development LLC to the HPKCC Development, Preservation and Zoning Committee. Views are east (front) exterior, various finials of terra cotta and plaster respectively from the exterior and the ballrooms or lobby and now stored in the attic after previous restorations, and pictures of the presentation, which occurred in the Crystal Ballroom in the north wing ground floor. For more about the project, see below.
New owner [was] to continue the Kenard plan for redevelopment.
Hyde Park Herald, October 25, 2006. By Daniel J. Yovich
The old Shoreland Hotel has again changed ownership. Evanston-based R.D. Horner and Associates paid $10 million in August for the 13-floor property, located at 5450 to 5484 S. Shore Dr. The building's previous owner was the late Hal Lichterman's Kenard Corp., which bought the property for about $5.25 million from the University of Chicago in 2004.
R.D. Horner President Robert Horner said his group intends to continue with Kenard's plans to convert the historic building into condominiums Those plans call for about 260 condominiums, a six floor parking garage, a hair salon and the conversion of the building's ballroom into a restaurant.
"What appeals most to me about the property is its historic significance and of course the location is clearly superb," Horner said. After it opened in 1926, the Shoreland was one of the city's most luxurious hotels, and hosted such notable guests as Al Capone, Jimmy Hoffa, and Elvis Presley. Upkeep of the building deteriorated in the 1970s and the university bought the property at foreclosure for $750,000.
The university houses nearly 600 students in the building. They will continue top live in the building until 2008, when the university's lease expires, said Hank Webber, the university's vice president of community affairs. The students currently living in the building will move into the new residence hall being built near 61st Street and Ellis Avenue, Webber said.
Former co-owner Hal Lichterman had already obtained all the city permits. His widow made a tidy profit--maybe the University sold too soon? Horner paid $10 million v the $6 million Kenard Co. paid the University in 2004. Horner and Assocs. had been one of the original bidders. Robert Horner told the Maroon, "What appeals most to me about the property is its historic significance and of course the location is clearly superb." Horner hoped for opening at the end of 2009. It is not known whether the University's pushing back completion of the 61st Ellis dorm and emptying of the Shoreland to fall 2009, or the housing and credit collapse played a role in sale to Antheus Properties and the latter's intent to make the Shoreland rental.
To Sept. 2009 site visit. Latest discussions and outcomes are below.
Antheus Capital has bought the Shoreland at 5454 So. Sh. Dr. and has a new plan for renovation (UC dorm has already left.), but it will be for rental with restoration of the historic parts. Antheus will need a change in the PUD to effect its plans (incl. from City Council) and has held a series of stakeholder and community meetings on the same. Nearest neighbors, particularly 5490 have serious problems with adequacy of the parking provision. Otherwise there appears to be enthusiastic support. A lively community meeting was held September 30, 2009 with Alderman Hairston present and answering questions directed to her or making clarification. Presentation and commentary were by Eli Ungar, a principal of Antheus Capital and subsidiaries, Danielle Cassel Vedder Price, Peter Cassel Community Director for Antheus and subsidiaries, and Lynn-Mason. Principal Eli Ungar committed to seeking the 220 or so maximum spaces rather than the 100 city-sized spaces that could be easily incorporated. While closest neighbors expressed doubts on sufficiency of parking or use of the alley for moving cars, most became increasingly enthusiastic or supportive as the evening moved on, saying either that the developer was doing as much for parking as it could reasonably be expected to do or that having no parking problem in an area was not necessarily sign of a healthy area, and supporting the balance of having more people (partly to support businesses and enlivenment and people on the street at night) without the larger numbers (and cars) of previous uses, preserving and restoring gorgeous places that could have public use and amenities, respecting the character of East Hyde Park and the building, or being by far the best that could be expected for a long time. Ald. Hairston reiterated that the project is dependent on her support, and that on community support and satisfaction.
Among those endorsing were South East Chicago Commission. The HPKCC Development Committee had not finished review but praised open process, preservation, careful and considerate planning, and maximizing parking. On October 1l, HPKCC board endorse the neighborhood and preservation objectives and community involvement that this project promotes. Charlotte Des Jardins strongly supported the project at the meeting and in a letter to the Herald.
A secondary outcome on September 30 was general acknowledgement of the parking issues in East Hyde Park and a new resolve to take another look, including Antheus interest in helping fund study of added facilities in the lot at/south of 55th. See below for Herald report on the Sept. 30 meeting.
next weekend, UC students and nonprofits were allowed to take remaining furniture
from the Shoreland.
HPKCC letter to Alderman Hairston, October 15, 2009
The Hyde Park-Kenwood Community Conference wishes to voice its support for the principles of development that Antheus Capital presented for the Shoreland Hotel, plans which crucially respect the architectural integrity of Hyde Park. We also support their approach to an open community process in discussing the Shoreland Hotel development with its neighbors and teh community at large.
The Shoreland Hotel deserves historic preservation as the premiere example of Hyde Park's legacy of elegant residential hotels, and it deserves restoration to its former elegance in the hands of a sensitive architect.
Jay N. Ammerman, President
June 21 Ammerman reiterated the letter at a public meeting an added that while parking is always an important question, there are other things to be considered also, things that lead to emphatic support.
Background to Here: Hyde Park Herald, September 24, 2008 by Kate Hawley.
The old Shoreland Hotel has changed hands again. New Jersey-based Antheus Capital bought the property through 5454 S. Shore Drive LLC on Aug. 20. A warranty deed on file with Cook County puts the price at $16 million.
Antheus [wasn't then] announcing its plans for the 1920s high-rise, located at  5450 to 5484 S. Shore Drive. "We're currently in a planning process to figure out what's the right next step for that building," said Peter Cassel, director of community affairs for MAC Property Management, which oversees Antheus' more than 70 Hyde Park buildings. "We're exploring all sorts of options." However, Antheus won't carry forward the same condo conversion plan backed by two other developers in recent years, Cassel said.
Kenard Corp. bought the Shoreland from the University for about $5.25 million, with a plan to rehab the interior and build 260 condos with one to three bedrooms and prices topping out at half a million dollars. The plan also called for conversion of the hotel's ballroom into a restaurant.
After the death of Kenard's president, Hal Licterman, R. D. Horner and associates purchased the property in August 2006 for $10 million, with the intention to continue Kenard's condo plan. Both developers leased the property back to the university so it could temporally [continue to] house students there. Antheus has taken over a lease with the university that expires on July 31, 2009. At that time the university will move the roughly 600 students in the building to dorms closer to campus, most of them to a new facility at 61st Street and Ellis Avenue, according to Robert Rosenberg, associate vice president for public affairs in the university's Office of Communications.
Cassel said Antheus intends to move forward with its plans for the Shoreland shortly after the students leave so that the structure doesn't sit vacant for too long. "We are actively working now so that we're ready to go with our new plans," he said. How quickly they'll be able to proceed depends on market conditions and other factors, he added.
The 13-story Shoreland was constructed in 1928 as a luxury hotel that in its heyday hosted Al Capone, Amelia Earhart and Jimmy Hoffa. Several years afte the structure began to deteriorate, the University of Chicago bought it in 1977 at foreclosure for $750,000.
Maroon gives more detail on MAC's evolving plan including need for gut rehab, commitment to historic character, likely commercial component. October 10, 2008. By Tyler Warner
This coming June, as the last students leave Shoreland Hall, a familiar face will be moving in: MAC Property Management. In late August, Antheus Capital, MAC's parent company, purchased the Shoreland, becoming the building's third owner since the University sold it in 2004. The Englewood, NJ-based company paid $16 million for the storied hotel, the Hyde Park Herald reported last month. That was far more than the $6 million the University received when it sold the building to Kenard Corporation in the original transaction. Upon the death of its owner, Kenard sold the Shoreland to R.D. Horner and Associates, the company with which it had competed to win the original contract in 2004.
According to Sherry Gutman, deputy dean for housing and dining services at the University, the University did not expect the Shoreland to be the subject of multiple transactions. The original contract made with Kenard included a provision that allowed the University to protect its interests in the building until the Shoreland was no longer needed, despite the changing ownership. Under the arrangement, the University will continue to hold its current lease on the building until the contract expires on June 30, at which point MAC will step in as th building's sole manager.
Although the University's interest in the future of the Shoreland has been primarily to ensure the continuation of the lease, Gutman said that she is familiar with MAC's work and expects the building to continue as a valuable part of the University community in coming years. She said that although Antheus was not part of the original bidding process for the Shoreland, she has no reason to expect that their work will be of a lower quality that the two original bidders, who she said have outstanding reputations as rehabilitators of historic buildings.
While MAC has yet to announce plans for the building, MAC spokesperson Peter Cassel said the guiding principal for its development would be the preservation of the building's historic heritage. Opened in 1927, the Shoreland was at one time the most expensive hotel in Chicago, complete with riding stables and a three-story restaurant, and played host to a number of Chicago's most famous and infamous residents, including Chicago gangster Al Capone in the 1920s and 1930s. The University purchased the building in the late 1970s and has operated it as a residence hall since that time.
Upon completion of the renovation, the building will likely include a sizable commercial component in addition to its residential capacity, but Cassel said that MAC will not go through with plans to partition the building into luxury condos, as was proposed by the building's previous owners.
Whatever the final form of the building, Cassel said it would likely be several years before residents could move into the Shoreland. "The building needs very significant renovation, he said. "For a new use it will need a full rehabilitation of the entire structure."
The Shoreland is the most recent in a series of purchases by Antheus of historic buildings within the East Hyde Park community, a number of which, like the Shoreland, are listed in the National Register of Historic Places. "We think that East Hyde Park can continue to grow as one of the great apartment communities in the entire city of Chicago, Cassel said.
According to Shoreland resident master Lary Rothfield, the University decided to sell the building as a result of the rising costs of maintenance and th University Master Plan, which calls for as greater centralization of student housing around the campus.
Although Cassel would not reveal whether MAC intends to redevelop the building with the intention of creating student housing, he said that the building would be appealing and accessible to students.
Report by Antheus/Silliman to the HPKCC Board September 3, 2009 and from the site visit of the HPKCC Development, Preservation and Zoning Committee September 5, 2009.
Report By Gary Ossewaarde, HPKCC Development Committee chair, who is responsible for content.
The following is a composite of the two explanations. Presentations were by Peter Cassel, the firm's community affairs director, accompanied at the site visit by Danielle Meltzer Cassel, the firm's attorney. The owner (since August 2008) has found that the former planned use development plan for redevelopment as a condo building no longer fits the current market nor does it, in its view, respect the building. The developer had explored several potential uses for the building, including all or part as a boutique hotel, but found the University prefers a hotel in Harper Court and the market will not support more rooms. It's exploration found that rental (probably higher end) best fits the building, the area, and its own mission and expertise.
The planned use development plan had been heavily vetted in the community, so despite (or maybe because of experience with) loudly expressed complaints and concerns by at least a good part of the neighbors at the time, any request for amendment is felt by Ald. Hairston to need strong community backing, according to Cassel. Alderman Hairston has asked the developer to present and discuss with a large number of localized and broader organizations before she would consider making such a request. This process was underway by September 2009, with HPKCC among the first to consider.
Essentially, the developer finds that the best chance for the building is an historic restoration of the common areas and buildout as a higher-end rental building. This would have mostly smaller units (for rental large units would encourage groups of students to move in, unstable for this area according to the developer). The density would be much smaller than the nearly 1,000 original hotel rooms and maximum of 700 students the University housed there, but there has to be a range of number of units between about 325 and 350, according to financing banks, to be viable. This is different from the number of units specified in the current Planned Use Development. Affordable set aside units are not envisioned. During vetting of the old, many neighbors wanted larger units for families partly to prevent parents buying or students and causing turnover. But, Antheus says, the dynamics are the opposite for rental. Still, some neighbors may still want ample size to consider moving in.
If there is to be restoration of the historic lobby, ballrooms etc., and not changing parts of the exterior, the parking will have to be in the lower level and that at most can handle about 200 no matter what devices are used (partly because of limits from the building's column spacing). They intend to handle all tenant and as much as possible restaurant etc. parking inside the building. Parking entry would be from the alley from 55th St. They believe 200 spaces would work given what the requirements have been for similar buildings reused in Hyde Park, plus proximity of transit, and tendency of many occupants not to buy spaces (the only way to avoid some tenants parking outside and impacting neighborhood parking is to leave the building vacant.) Of course, some neighbors may not see it that way. The benchmark test of "empty building" in summer was not a good test because it was a cool summer so there was not the usual outside demand for parking. There are times that parking in that sector is at capacity and other times that there are plenty of spaces, persons on the site visit who live close to Shoreland said. The owner does not believe he is responsible for providing extra parking for the neighborhood, and it would not be practical given building logistics anyway. There was no parking previously. There are problems with using the city's formal parking ratios, which the city staff doesn't like anyway where there is transit nearby.
The developer has begun working with city departments, on delineating exactly what changes have to be made to the building, which in some ways is in deplorable state. Here is as clarified by Peter Cassel: "In terms of the status of the City, State and federal historic preservation discussions...we are just at the beginning of a long process regarding preservation. Among the first steps is identifying the number of units we can build in the structure and this discussion is with the City Department of Zoning and Land Use Planning. Landmarks Illinois is a private organization and we have not discussed
this development with them."
The developer's core goals are: an economic revival impact, viability, bring back the grandeur through a restoration project, and creating as much parking as possible. No zoning change would be needed, but the PUD would have to be amended, according to Cassel. In Kansas City, they are on their 6th such conversion in Kansas City, so have much experience. As the vetting process continues, Antheus will be asking groups to state support for the project.
Hyde Park Herald, September 9, 2009. This article emphasizes that the building would be rental and a restoration project, not the change in parking space numbers and location.
[Peter Cassel of Antheus tells HPKCC board of rental conversion plan for Shoreland]
The storied [Shoreland- not Sutherland!] Hotel will house 325 to 350 rental units if owner Antheus Capital gets its way. That is according to Peter Cassel, director of community affairs for MAC Property management [actually Silliman], which oversees Antheus' more than 70 Hyde Park buildings.
"Rental housing is, frankly, what we do," Cassel told the board of the Hyde Park-Kenwood Community Conference, or HP-KCC, at its Thursday night meeting last week. Cassel said Antheus had explored several options, including a condominium conversion, before settling on rental units. The units will mostly offer one-and two-bedrooms, but cassel said earlier complaints about smaller units drawing unruly tenants did not apply in rental housing. Larger, three- and four-bedroom units, while attractive to families looking to buy housing, draw students when they are rental units, Cassel said, pointing to the company's extensive experience with rental units at it many other properties.
Cassel said Antheus would be taking advantage of preservation tax credits available through the state in order to help finance the redevelopment. He added that the company would not alter the exterior facade. "It's really a magnificent building, he said."
As reported earlier to the Herald, Antheus bought the property in August of last year for $16 million. From the beginning, while not saying what the company would do with the property, Cassel has emphatically stated what they would not not do: pursue the planned condo conversion the previous owners, Kenard Corp., had announced which had alarmed nearby residents. Concerns with the sorts of tenants their small condo units might draw, as well as parking and aesthetic worries, strained relations between the company and the Shoreland's neighbors.
After the death of Kenard's president, Hal Lichterman, R.D. Horner and Associates purchased the property in August 2006 for $10 million, with the announced intentions of proceeding with Kenard's plan. Both developers leased the property to the university to house students there.
The 13-story Shoreland was constructed as a luxury hotel that in its heyday hosted Al Capone, amelia Earhart and Jimmy Hoffa. Several years after the structure began to deteriorate, the University of Chicago bought it in 1977 at foreclosure for $750,000.
Antheus aims to resurrect Shoreland's grandeur
Hyde Park Herald, September 23 2009. By Kate Hawley
It's tough to imagine former guests Amelia Earhart and Elvis Presley checking into the old Shoreland Hotel these days. After a period of disuse at mid-century, followed by more than three decades as a University of Chicago dorm, the building is definitely the worse for wear. But despite its scuffed linoleum and dripping pipes, the rambling, vacant building at 5454 S. South Shore Drive, built in 1926, retains hints of its original grandeur. A recent tour revealed remnants of ornate terracotta in the vast ground-floor ballroom and wood-paneled walls in a study rumored to have been a meeting place for Al Capone and his cronies, for example.
The historic features are key to a redevelopment plan now being proposed by 5454 s. Shore Drive LLC, a venture of Antheus Capital LLC, which owns more than 70 Hyde Park apartment buildings.
The developer is seeking a 20 percent tax credit under the federal historic preservation tax incentive program, according to Danielle Meltzer Cassel, and attorney with Vedder Price PC, which is representing the project. To get the tax credit, which Meltzer Cassel said is "essential" to financing the ambitious rehab, the developer must convert the building to rental apartments. between 325 and 350 units are on the drawing board.
Antheus must also perform extensive demolition and remediation while keeping the integrity of the building's most significant historic features. "We're sort of horse trading our way through that," said Peter Cassel, who is director of community development for the Silliman Group LLC, Antheus' development arm, and Meltzer Cassel's husband. He declined to specify a cost for the project, saying only that it will be "tens and tens of millions of dollars."
Because a zoning change is required, Antheus also needs community and aldermanic support from Leslie Hairston (5th). "As far as the historic restoration, I'm excited about that," she said, adding that she will wait to throw her full support behind the project until it has broad community approval.
Antheus' plans differ substantially from the current Planned Development zoning -- designed for a condo conversion that was approved by the city but never came to fruition. In 2004, Kenard Corp. bought the 13-story building from the University of Chicago for $5.25 million, with a plan for 260 condos and a 281-car parking garage rising from the basement to the sixth floor. Though the parking was to be tucked inside the rear of the building, part of it would have been housed in a new masonry structure meant to match the building exterior. After Kenard principal Hal Lichterman died, developer R.D. Horner and associates bought the property in 2006 for l$10 million and decided to proceed with the same condo conversion plan.
Antheus, which bought the Shoreland in August 2008 for $16 million, held off on making any announcements about its plans for the building until this month. the collapse of teh housing market, which made condo financing especially difficult, made that idea unlikely. The company considered hotel use, according to Meltzer Cassel, but decided against it after the university and the city announced earlier this year that a hotel would be part of the Harper Court redevelopment at 53rd Street adn harper Avenue. "There's no logical reason to try to compete with that," she said.
The apartment rehab would be designed by Antheus' frequent collaborator, Jeanne Gang of Studio Gang Architects. The high-profile firm's portfolio includes ultra-modern projects like the Aqua high-rise in Streeterville, instantly recognizable for its rippling facade. Gang also designed Solstice on the Park for Antheus, a high-rise planned for the northwest corner of 56th Street and Cornell Avenue.
Her redesign of the Shoreland lobby would echo the Art Deco makeover the hotel undertook in the 1930s, when the original red-and-black Spanish Revival detailing was deemed out of vogue. The apartments-- many of which would have lake views--would be open, modern spaces targeted at the high end of the market. Creating 325 to 350 units is "essential for the financial realities of undertaking this ambitious historic preservation project," according to a statement from the developer. Most apartments would have one or two bedrooms, likely bringing the building occupancy to between 400 and 450 people. That's more than in teh Kenard/Horner plan but less than the dorm, which house almost 700 students, and the hotel, which had 1,000 guest rooms.
Several new parking configurations are under review. At minimum, 100 "legal" spaces meeting city dimension and access requirements would occupy the basement, a mezzanine level to be constructed between teh basement and the first floor, and a small outdoor area just south of the building. If tandem spaces, valet parking and automobile lifts were added, the number of spaces could jump to between 150 and 250 (though fewer than 100 of those would meet the legal standard).
Cassel said that Antheus' experience with high-end rental apartments in Hyde Park and elsewhere shows that having roughly one parking space for every three residential units is a workable arrangement. Valet, tandem and lift options could accommodate the extra parking needed should a restaurant or other business occupy one of the ballroom spaces, he added. The garage planned as part of the condo conversion is unworkable for this project because it would damage too much of the historic structure -- including the relatively well-preserved Crystal Ballroom on the rear mezzanine level -- to get the historic tax credits. Meltzer Cassel said.
In recent weeks the Cassels have scheduled tours of the building with at least a dozen groups from neighborhood buildings and local community organizations, with an eye toward garnering their support. Additional tours will be held in advance of a public meeting on Sept. 30. The tour, best taken in sensible shoes, reveals both dank corners and architectural gems, from the leather-stamped wallpaper in a small nautical-themed room to gargoyles from the building facade now stored in teh attic.
The use of the common spaces has yet to be determined, but Meltzer Cassel was already speculating about the Crystal Ballroom. Looking up at the wedding-cake scrollwork around the moldings, she said, "This might be the world's most beautiful gym ever."
Herald says "Support Antheus' Shoreland efforts." Sept. 30, 2009
The Herald visited the Shoreland Hotel, 5454 S. Shore Drive, with Peter Cassel an Danielle Meltzer Cassel, speaking on behalf of Antheus Capita. Antheus is opening the building to neighborhood groups in anticipation of a Sept. 30 community meting where they will present their plans to rehabilitate the classical revival-styled building using historic preservation tax credits. The rehabilitated Shoreland will house 325 to 350 rental apartments, largely one- and two-bedroom units. Parking for the apartments will mostly be in the basement, where a mezzanine level will be constructed to afford additional parking spaces. Antheus envisions developing one of teh building's historic ballrooms into a restaurant, another perhaps into a community-accessible space. The last developer, Kenard Corp., planned to gut one beautiful ballroom for parking.
In both planning and execution, this project is a perfect fit for the community. Because the development will involve historic tax credits, Antheus is working closely with a well-regarded advisor in historic preservation in restoring this important building to its former glory. Because the community is being taken very seriously via several meticulously planned meetings, including the community-wide meeting at the end of the month, there should be no surprises regarding the project's intentions and plan of action.
Through creative use of the building's somewhat awkward basement space, Antheus expect to fit somewhere between 100 and 250 parking spaces. The proposal that yields 250 spaces is a logistical nightmare involving professional valets shoehorning in cars in every possible configuration.
Antheus is willing, should community pressure be intense enough, to implement this plan, but we have visions of frustrated residents and restaurant goers waiting fro long period of time as multiple cars have to be shuffled to access remote parking spaces.
We urge the community and Antheus to settle for the 100 to 150 spaces that can reasonably be developed without hydraulics and professional drivers involved in complicated configurations. This is an excellent project and should not have to assume the mantle of solving East Hyde Park's parking problems. We know that parking is a very, very contentious issue in the neighborhood, however; w urge the community to come out in force for the Sept. 30 meting. Just as we are able to show up to express our dissatisfaction for projects, we must similarly support good development in the neighborhood.
Antheus Capital, with its considerable building portfolio in the neigh, is assuming risk by developing these apartment with limited parking. Cassel tells us their experience suggests this risk is warranted. We should bear in mind that they are the ones who will suffer if their parking scheme is insufficient and give them the benefit of the doubt here.
It would be a shame to pass up a viable plan for a historic, endangered building just because of a projected parking issue. Lets show Antheus and the rest of the development community that Hyde Park can be a supportive environment for development when it is done right.
A rebuttal sent to the Herald by Michael Hoke:
To the Editor:
I beg to differ with anyone who states that the Shoreland can provide adequate parking with only 100 to 150 available parking spots.
This so-called study that two out of three individuals who own luxury condominiums will not own an automobile is ludicrous! It is my experience that almost everyone who owns a condominium owns an automobile and many own two or more.
The owners of the Shoreland want us to believe that the restaurant planned for this location will be able to use what little parking they are providing. For the restaurant to be viable they will need numerous parking spots, which will require valet parking in the community and signage prohibiting others from parking on the street.
East Hyde Park has no available street parking on most nights of the week and if this plan is allowed to go forward we shall have even less available parking for individuals to visit us in the evenings and on the weekends.
Another large building that is going to take up large amounts of street parking in East Hyde Park is the Del Prado when the renovation is completed. They plan on having a restaurant and hall available for large events. This will again lead to valet parking and requests from the operators of the facility to the Alderman to block large amounts of street parking for their sole use.
I would hope the Alderman and others involved in these projects to have concerns for the permanent residents of the area.
Herald report on the September 30, 2009 Shoreland meeting
Antheus' Ungar pitches Shoreland project. Herald, October 7, 2009. By Kate Hawley. Name and roman numeral errors corrected.
Though a contingent of neighbors complained about its shortage of parking, others voiced enthusiastic support Wednesday for developer Antheus Capital LLC's plan to convert the old Shoreland Hotel into high-end rental apartments. Antheus held a public meeting at the building, 5454 S. Shore Drive, in an effort to rack up support from Ald. Leslie Hairston (5th) -- a necessary step in securing an amendment to the existing Planed Development zoning designation.
Antheus principal Eli Ungar said financing is in place for the renovation, which calls for 325 to 350 apartments and somewhere between 1200 and 250 parking spaces. The massive Louis XVI ballroom on the ground floor may also get new life as a restaurant or event space, he said. He strongly prefers creating 220 or more parking spaces, he said. To squeeze that many cars into the existing basement -- and a new mezzanine level to be built between the basement and the first floor -- Antheus would have to create a system of tandem parking spaces and automobile lifts, to be operated by a professional valet service.
Diane Lukoff was among several neighbors who said that wasn't enough. She worried that the Shoreland residents and visitors wil use up street parking, already scarce in East Hyde Park. "The current proposal with inadequate parking is unacceptable," she said.
A plan to access the parking garage from the rear alley drew criticism from a woman who said she feared too many cars would rush through the narrow space. Ungar said traffic studies showed that alley access would be "least impactful" to the surrounding area.
Hyde Park resident Richard Gill argued that the Shoreland renovation would add to the neighborhood's tax base and create a vibrant hub of community activity. "Please approve this project," he said. "It's good for this area, and it's good for the neighborhood." James Withrow, a local resident, said neighbors are misguided to want ample street parking - often a sign of an undesirable city neighborhood. "If you're in a neighborhood with lots of street parking, that's surely someplace you don't want to be," he said.
Others argued that he roughly 700 students who occupied the Shoreland in its previous incarnation as a University of Chicago dorm likely had more cars than teh residents of the new apartments would bring. Freshmen who lived in the Shoreland were no allowed to have cars, but sophomores, juniors and seniors were, Hairston added.
Jack Spicer, speaking on behalf of the Hyde Park Historical Society, urged support for the Shoreland plan because of its emphasis on historic preservation. Members of the development team have pointed out that Antheus' financing rests in part on federal historic preservation tax credits, which wil prevent any significant alteration to the historic elements of the building. The six-story parking structure that was party of a previous condo conversion plan for teh building would mean removing the Shoreland's historic Crystal Ballroom and additional portions of the interior, Ungar said.
Hairston said she would consider all of the comments before making her decision, and would work with neighbors to find additional solutions to parking shortages in East Hyde Park.
Hyde Park Chamber of Commerce letter of support
We are writing to express our organization's strong support for the redevelopment of the Shoreland Hotel property as planned by 5454 South Shore Drive LLC. as proposed, the development plan wil create up to 350 residential apartments, provide no fewer than 200 parking spaces (potentially 225 spaces), preserve the historic building envelope and restore grand ballrooms. This is an improvement to its last use as a dormitory with no parking spaces and the 2006 development plan that called for the destruction of historic features.
Residents of East Hyde Park have expressed frustration for decades with what is perceived as a neighborhood-wide shortage of on-street and garage parking. We do not believe that a treasured historic property in our community should remain vacant and undeveloped (or underdeveloped) because it will create more demand for parking. The additional revenue provided by new residents to our neighborhood businesses wil help fuel Hyde Park's future growth.
We hope you will generously and creatively assist with the zoning, land use and historic preservation approvals necessary to bring this project to fruition.
Note: Greg Gutman is board member of the Chamber and an employee of MAC Property Management. He recused himself from this decision.
Greg Teague, President, Hyde Park Chamber of Commerce
Stalled or not at the end of 2009?
Alderman Hairston, the developer, and the 5490 board say the latter two are still negotiating on parking, the Alderman that she cannot recommend the project until the residents of the nearby building are satisfied there is enough parking. How much meeting and serious negotiation has really occurred we do not know. The developer says the sparce parking solution is tied to having a plan that will win historic reconstruction credits. All say they are encouraged and confident.
Rushim Bains sent a strong letter to the Herald December 29 calling on Ald. Hairston to not let negotiations with "self-interested" neighbors derail the project but to support it.
Project moves forward as developer makes changes, Alderman Hairston sends letter of support and developer files papers with city. How is it different? Further changes expected as city reviews plans and request for amended PUD.
As reported in the February 3, 2010 Hyde Park Herald. (In its editorial, the Herald called the green light "tardy" but it can also be said that negotiating with neighbors can take time-- and in this case seems to have led to creative improvements that look like call for less changes to PUD in parking styles and thus maybe less at which the city could balk-- scoring a bi-directional win-win. HPKCC and Hyde Park Historical Society have like the Herald thought that plans have been made and openly explained with great care and are "a model of how and when historic tax credits should be used as well as a major improvement to the community. And all appreciated the alderman's insistence that all the parties be respected and allowed to fully negotiate.
The key changes so far are 40 more parking spaces under the lawn turnaround, a structure for more cars on the planned surface lot between Shoreland and structures to the south. While most parking traffic and trucks coming in will go via the west alley to 55th St., there will be two new curb cuts on South Shore, one to accommodate the south parking building and the other the north alley. Negotiations continue with the East View Park residents to the north, since to alleviate pressure on the alley to the west (some as of present, some from the original new plan, and some due perhaps to accommodation to neighbors to the south) there will be a private truck exit on the north of the building. Their letter to those within 250 feet and their application mention all possible uses in the development, but it is unlikely all will be there. They are still asking the Zoning and Plan commissions for right, but not obligation to use valet and stacker underground parking.
The current PUD is No. 1062 as amended; they are seeking an additional amendment. The applicant is located at Antheus Capital, 32 North Dean St. 2nd floor, Englewood, NJ 07631, Attorney is Danielle Meltzer Cassel, Vedder Price P.C., 222 N. LaSalle St., Ste. 2600, Chicago, Illinois 60601, 312 609-7962, firstname.lastname@example.org. See applicant's description below.
By Kate Hawley
The renovation of the old Shoreland Hotel is moving forward after months of negotiations between the developer and the neighbors, who have complained about potential parking shortages and traffic congestion stemming from the project. Ald. Leslie Hairston (5th) has now agreed to support a plan by developer Antheus Capital LLC to convert the Shoreland, 5454 S. Shore Drive, into 325 to 350 upscale rental apartments.
Her letter of approval was required as part of a zoning change application submitted to the city by the developer Jan. 28, according to Peter Cassel, director of community development for the Silliman Group LLC, Antheus's development arm.
Hairston said in December that she would withhold her approval until the neighbors next door, in a condo building at 5490 S. Shore Drive, were satisfied with the project. Tom Hecht, chair of the condo board at the building, did not immediately return a call seeking comment by the Herald's press time. Hairston also could not be reached. But in a newsletter sent out by her office last week, she said that the Shoreland project is "progressing," adding "I recently informed the city that Antheus has done due diligence in communicating with the building's neighbors and satisfying their concerns. I will of course step in, if these positive situations change."
The application Antheus submitted to the city -- which seeks a revision to the current Planned Development zoning designation -- differs in several ways from the proposal presented to the Hyde Park community in September, according to Cassel.
More standard-sized or "legal" parking spaces are now included: 140 instead of 100. Antheus will put the additional spots underground, beneath the semicircular driveway in front of the building, and in a separate parking structure south of the building, in an area was originally designated as surface parking. Antheus may seek to add even more parking spaces -- as many as 266 total -- by using automobile lifts and valet service, according to Cassel.
Also, the developer has agreed to alleviate traffic in the alley west of the building, where all vehicle access was formerly located, by putting a garage entrance on the south side of the building and an access point for trucks and service vehicles on its north side. A pedestrian pathway that allows Shoreland and others local residents access to the lakefront park will also be preserved.
And the developer agreed to restore signage on the building's east side -- which Cassel said is in keeping with plans for a historically sensitive renovation. Federal historic preservation tax credits are a major part of the financing for the project, Antheus representatives have said.
The project will likely continue to evolve as it moves through the process of seeking city approvals, according to a letter sent Jan. 27 to neighbors who live within 250 feet of the building. "...The project will continue to evolve with input form city departments, city officials and teh community," wrote the attorney for the project, dAnielle Meltzer Cassel of Vedder Price PC. "On-site parking designs and traffic circulation are two interrelated aspects of the project we particularly expect to evolve through this process."
July 2010 sees the project sail through Landmarks and Plan commissions
Hyde Park Herald, July 21, 2010. Shoreland rehab getting closer to reality. By Sam Cholke
The Chicago Plan Commission unanimously approve the Antheus Capital's plans to redevelop the Shoreland Hotel July 13.
The Commission on Chicago Landmarks gave initial approval July 1 to landmarking the former hole at 5454 S. South Shore Drive.
The project will next go before the City Council's Zoning Committee on July 20. [Presumably recommended.]...
"This is a beautiful example of cooperation between a developer and the community to encourage development and increased density while saving a historic building," said Jack Spicer, a member of the Hyde Park Historical Society who testified in favor of the landmark status for the Shoreland.
The City Council must still give its approval before the Shoreland officially becomes a landmark. There are o direct financial benefits from landmark status, said Peter Cassel, director of community development for the Silliman Group. "We're doing this because we believe the Shoreland is a Chicago landmark," he said.
The Commission on Chicago Landmarks agreed and voted unanimously to approve the landmark recommendation. "The Shoreland Hotel was a major center of Hyde Park social life during the first half o the 20th Century. During the 50 years that it served as a luxury apartment hotel, the Shoreland hosted such famous (and infamous) individuals as Amelia Earhart, Eleanor Roosevelt, Al CApone, Jimmy Hoffa and Elvis Presley," the Commission on Chicago Lan marks says in its analysis of the building. "The originally lavish public spaces on the first and second floors-- including a double-height lobby with mezzanine, opulent public and private dining rooms and a large ballroom -- also served as meeting and event spaces for Hyde Park social circles."
Once landmarked,t eh developer will be obligated to maintain the building's facade, lobby and the Crystal Ballroom, including the room's chandeliers, wood floors and ornate ceilings. "We'll work within the historic context as we find a use for that space," Cassel said. The ballroom will not be used as a banquet hall under an agreement with residents in the neighboring buildings, according to Cassel. Developers are exploring several uses for the space including offices or a gym. The landmark status will not affect the building's other ballroom, which developers want to convert to a restaurant.
"The Shoreland is an excellent example of good planning," said Ruth Eckdish Knack of the American Planning Association.
May 2011 update. At the former hotel and University of Chicago dormitory, the Shoreland, rehab will begin this spring. The city has signed off on much of the project and is currently reviewing building permits. The process may be slow because plans call for excavating for an underground parking garage for teh 5484 S. South Shore Dr. building. Interior demolition will begin in the coming weeks.
...a proposed adaptive reuse, restoration and rehabilitation of the Shoreland that would utilize Federal Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credits. The proposed project contemplates (i) up to 350 residential apartments; (ii) a minimum of 140 on-site parking spaces (as compared to a 100-space minimum under our prior design); (iii) a historically-sensitive rehabilitation of the Shoreland's first and second floors, particularly the lobby areas and grand ballrooms. a primary goal of redevelopment is to reconnect the Shoreland with the neighborhood by reactivating those areas with non-residential uses that would be a benefit to the quality of life for the Shoreland's future residents and the Hyde Park community. We certainly do not expect to have all or even most of the following non-residential uses, but in order to create the opportunity for a range of potentially beneficial uses, the applicants seek permission for banquet and meeting hall use, various entertainment uses, lodges or private clubs, cultural exhibit and library uses, artist work or sales space, college and university uses, office space, restaurants (with or without alcohol service, entertainment, outdoor patios, an accessory catering(, tavern uses, non-accessory parking, and various on-site amenities and services that could benefit residents and neighbors, such as an ATM or small bank facility, a dry cleaner's drop-off and pick-up, general retail sales and food and beverage retail sales (including sale of packaged been and wine), a health club or gym, personal serice uses such as a beauty salon, spa or barbershop, or other uses included in the final Planned Development Amendment.
Please understand that the overall redevelopment project has many features we cannot fully describe in this letter and that the project will continue to evolve with input from City Department, City officials and the community. On-site parking designs and traffic circulation plans are two inter-related aspects of the project we particularly expect to evolve through this process. In terms of current site circulation designs, the applications contemplate retaining the existing semi-circular drive for drop-off and valet operations. In response to community feedback, the current designs no longer contemplate directing all other vehicular traffic to the first north-south alley to the west of South Shore drive. Instead, loading vehicles would enter at the alley and exit from a new driveway to the north of the existing building. Vehicles utilizing the new on-site parking facilities would enter and exit from a new driveway to the south of the existing building as well as from multiple points along the alley. And while we are confident our design wil achieve at least 140 on-site parking spaces, our applications and supporting documentation also seek city approval for valet and automotive lift operations that might accommodate as many as 266 vehicles.