The Wrong Building for the Site

Vue53 is a development currently being planned for the “McMobil” site.

Vue 53 Rendering
Vue 53 Rendering
  • 13 stories high, 321 feet wide
  • 267 rental units
  • 30,000 square feet of retail
  • 218 parking spaces for retail, tenant, and employees
  • Developer: Mesa Partners, LLC

Vue53 would be the tallest and largest development in central Hyde Park. It would dwarf the surrounding structures and dominate the streetscape resulting in a wall-like structure that divides 53rd Street. The Chicago Zoning Ordinance states the “decision-making bodies must consider ‘whether the proposed development is compatible with the character of the surrounding area in terms of uses, density and building scale” (Section 17-13-609B).
Clearly Vue53 flunks this test.

This is the wrong project for this location:

Building Height Graph
Height: Vue 53 vs. Neighbors
Building Height Graph
Height: Vue 53 vs. Neighbors. Note that the developer’s rendering of Vue53 attempts to de-emphasize its true height.
  • Scale: At 13 stories high and 321 feet wide, Vue53 would dominate its neighbors and overwhelm 53rd street.
  • Retail: The retail spaces could be used for “big box” stores that bring car traffic and discourage foot traffic.
  • Parking: The 218 planned parking spaces would vastly underserve the demand created.
  • Traffic: This project would exacerbate traffic problems on and around 53rd Street.
  • Location: This oversized building, and its dangerous traffic flows, would be across the street from Murray elementary school and the Nichols Park field house.
  • Shadows: Significant shadows would be cast over adjacent properties.
  • Precedent: If this building is built, any future developer of nearby property would be able to claim the right to build to at least the same height.