University to sell select residential real estate properties

Marielle Sainvilus

Update (Sept. 13, 2016): The University has notified residents that the 13 properties involved in this sale will be purchased by Pioneer Acquisitions, LLC. Pioneer has a proven track record in the city, with more than 900 units in its portfolio, including many student-oriented residences. Pioneer maintains a significant presence in Chicago and staffs an office in the Lincoln Square neighborhood. The closing of the sale is scheduled for mid-October. 

The University of Chicago plans to sell 13 residential properties in the areas surrounding its campus, including 10 buildings that house students, faculty and staff, two vacant lots and one retail property. The sale this summer will allow the University to reinvest resources to support its teaching and research activities. The selected properties will be placed on the market in May 2016, with an expected closing in the fall of 2016.

Existing lease terms and rates for all current residents of the affected buildings will be honored until the leases expire. Faculty, students, other academic appointees, postdoctoral researchers or staff who enter into new leases or renew their leases in advance of the sale closing will have their rental rates and terms honored for the duration of their lease.

According to James Hennessy, associate vice president for commercial real estate, purchase of these buildings many years ago allowed the University to ensure the availability of stable, quality housing for students, faculty and staff near campus.

“As demonstrated by the University’s sale of residential properties last summer, the real estate market in the areas surrounding campus is now strong enough to attract a number of potential investors and support a range of residential options,” Hennessy said.

The University is committed to working with residents and potential buyers to ensure a smooth transition, with as little short-term impact as possible, while providing support and guidance for those who may want to examine their options. Following the sale, the University will retain 13 buildings with residential units available to graduate students, faculty, other academic appointees, postdocs and staff.

As part of the sale of graduate student housing in 2015, the university made a commitment to increase housing services for graduate students and postdoctoral researchers. These resources are now in place and the website gradhousing.uchicago.edu launched in February.

Over the next few weeks, residents will have the opportunity to attend town hall meetings with University representatives closely involved with the current management of the properties and the sale process to ask questions about the transition and timelines specific to their buildings. These meetings also will be an opportunity for the University to get input from residents and the community on how it can put programs and supports in place to assist students, faculty, other academic appointees, postdocs and staff in locating housing options close to campus that match their needs.

The University will provide additional information to residents and the communities surrounding these properties as the sale process continues over the coming months.

The following properties will be placed for sale:

  • 1401 E. Hyde Park Blvd. (Carlson)
  • 5107 S. Blackstone Ave. (Piccadilly)
  • 5110 S. Kenwood Ave. (Shelbyrne)
  • 5345 S. Harper Ave. (Harper Crest)
  • 5330 S. Blackstone Ave.
  • 5455 S. Blackstone Ave.
  • 5706-10 S. Blackstone Ave.
  • 1321 E. 57th St.
  • 1323 E. 57th St.
  • 1327-33 E. 57th St. (retail)
  • 1413-15 E. 57th St.
  • 1027-29 E. 48th St. (vacant)
  • 5117 S. Kenwood Ave. (vacant)

Individuals or firms seeking additional information on the properties can contact Hennessy at jhennessy@uchicago.edu.