Hyde Park Progress has a nice update on Jeanne Gang’s new luxury condo in Hyde Park, the Solstice. The mockup looks good, though it’s expensive as hell. And that’s ok with me, save for the fact that unless housing prices reach apocalyptic levels I’ll never be able to like, live there. Hyde Park already has plenty of luxury housing in condo form, but it’s aging and in my minimal experience is boring and/or inconvenient to the rest of the neighborhood. Also, Elizabeth Fama makes an important point–something like this really, truly wouldn’t be possible if the Hyde Park Co-Op was still the only grocery store around. Seriously, you don’t understand how bad it was.

With this, the Co-Op’s demise, the planned demolition of Harper Court, the arrival of Park 52, and such, there will be some natural skepticism towards a real, honest-to-goodness gentrification of Hyde Park. I’m not sure–Hyde Park (particularly the commercial areas) has been in a state of half-assed gentrification that never really took after the neighborhood was urban renewed into its present state. Which was destructive and a stain on the university’s history that won’t go away, but what’s done is, unfortunately, done. What was left is a nice place to live if you like reasonably priced stuff that’s convenient but not nice enough to be a destination for people who don’t live in the neighborhood. Which is not a bad balance most of the time.