Chipotle Mexican Grill will join LA Fitness, Hyatt Place Hotel and the University of Chicago in the new Harper Court development, set to open in 2013.
The Hyde Park location will be Chipotle’s second location on Chicago’s South Side. As a lead tenant in the new Harper Court, a major, mixed-use project anchoring the redevelopment of Hyde Park’s 53rd Street, Chipotle adds a new flavor to a growing roster of dining options in the neighborhood. In a recent survey, University of Chicago students singled out Chipotle as a restaurant they wanted in the neighborhood.
“We’re thrilled that Chipotle shares our vision for Harper Court and that it has chosen this project as it expands into the South Side,” said Chris Dillion, a Manager of Harper Court Partners, LLC. “It’s a strong fit for the University and community.”
Construction is well underway on Harper Court, led by developer Harper Court Partners, LLC, a joint venture between Vermilion Development and JFJ Development Company. Guided by the community, former Ald. Toni Preckwinkle and current Ald. Will Burns, Harper Court’s redevelopment was initiated by the City of Chicago and the University of Chicago.
In addition to Hyatt Place Hotel and a 12-story office tower that will be occupied by the University of Chicago, Harper Court’s first phase will include nearly 75,000 square feet of retail space. Chipotle will occupy 2,492 square feet on the first floor of the retail building, to be complemented by a mix of fast casual and full service restaurants and retail.
“Chipotle’s arrival marks an exciting moment for Harper Court and for the revitalization of 53rd Street,” said Jim Hennessy, Director of Commercial Real Estate Operations for the University of Chicago. “It is a nice amenity for the neighborhood, and a popular choice here on campus. It is also a sign of the enthusiasm major retailers have for the revitalization of 53rd Street, and another step toward long-term economic vibrancy here.”
Chipotle joins a growing list of tenants expanding into Hyde Park, including the flagship store of the Akira fashion boutique; the New 400 Theaters; Clarke’s and Five Guys restaurants; and Kilwins Ice Cream shop.
Harper Court will also provide an expanded venue for public gatherings, farmers’ markets and other community events.
Steve Ells, founder, chairman and co-CEO, started Chipotle with the idea that food served fast did not have to be a typical fast food experience. Today, Chipotle continues to offer a focused menu of burritos, tacos, burrito bowls (a burrito without the tortilla) and salads made from fresh, high-quality raw ingredients, prepared using classic cooking methods and served in a distinctive atmosphere. Through its vision of Food With Integrity, Chipotle is seeking better food from using ingredients that are not only fresh, but that – where possible – are sustainably grown and naturally raised with respect for the animals, the land, and the farmers who produce the food. A similarly focused people culture, with an emphasis on identifying and empowering top performing employees, enables Chipotle to develop future leaders from within. Chipotle opened with a single restaurant in 1993 and currently operates more than 1,225 restaurants.