The latest hotel plan for the Hyde Park neighborhood is moving forward. The Chicago Plan Commission as approved plans from suburban Cleveland developer Smart/Olympia Illinois to turn a surface parking lot at East 53rd Street and South Dorchester Avenue into a seven-story hotel with up to 100 rooms.
Last fall, neighbors of 1401 East 53rd express concern about what the GREC-designed hotel will do to traffic on the street, which is already a busy commercial district. Many thought the planned 17 parking spaces were simply too few for the area. A revised plan, submitted in January of this year may have reduced the number of parking spaces to 16, though there are parts of the document which still show 17.
The land is owned by the University of Chicago, which sent the city a letter letting it know it fully supports the hotel.
Smart Hotels specializes in building boutique hotels near college campuses. It offers customized amenities for those environments like alumni discounts and loaner bicycles for getting between the campus and the hotel.