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City officials are putting the finishing touches on a Hyde Park development deal that’s a coup for a firm known mostly for work in Midwestern college towns.

But it was the experience in improving “campus towns” that caused City Hall and the University of Chicago to select Vermilion Development Inc. to take charge of the project, which calls for demolishing the obsolete Harper Court shopping center at 5211 S. Harper. Vermilion would replace the shopping center with a 12-story, 150,000-square-foot office building, about 100,000 square feet for retailers and parking for 435.

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