Developer announces proposal for second phase of Harper Court

Innovation complex to expand Polsky Center, support for business creation

Photo by
Jean Lachat
Jeremy Manier
Assistant Vice President of CommunicationsUniversity Communications

Wexford Science & Technology, LLC has announced an agreement with the University of Chicago to jointly pursue the second phase of the Harper Court development in Hyde Park. The proposed development will serve as a mixed-use complex, combining laboratory and office space to support collaborative research, innovation, start-ups and opportunities for local entrepreneurs.

This new development will expand the University of Chicago’s Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, which supports the creation of new businesses connected to the University of Chicago community and on Chicago’s South Side. The Polsky Center provides extensive support for entrepreneurs, operates a 34,000 square-foot co-working space and incubator on 53rd Street called the Polsky Exchange, and runs one of the nation’s leading accelerators.

The new innovation complex will be located across from the Polsky Exchange on the north side of 53rd Street between South Harper and South Lake Park avenues, and close to the main UChicago campus. By tapping into existing momentum, the new facility will place a primary focus on multi-disciplinary and corporate collaboration, serving as a catalyst for further civic engagement and economic development on the South Side.

This innovation project is the second phase of the Harper Court redevelopment, which has helped revitalize Hyde Park’s commercial district through efforts of local officials, the University of Chicago and the city of Chicago. The first phase, which opened in 2013, includes 19 new businesses including retailers, restaurants, a Hyatt Place hotel and an office tower that houses more than 550 University of Chicago employees. The redevelopment of the Harper Court complex and nearby storefronts so far has accounted for an estimated 1,320 new jobs.

The development is envisioned to include dedicated laboratories for biosciences, chemistry, physical sciences and computational work, and will be anchored by four "core” facilities—bio-sciences support, microelectronics fabrication, advanced visualization and maker-space. These core facilities will serve as multi-user shared laboratory areas. The complex will feature small laboratory, office, maker and event space designed to promote integration and collaboration among researchers, entrepreneurs, innovators and companies across all segments and communities.

For more information on the proposed development, please visit the Wexford website.