McHugh’s McCormick-Area McHotel Clears a McHurdle

McHugh hotel drawing, courtesy of the Prairie District Neighborhood Alliance

McHugh hotel drawing, courtesy of the Prairie District Neighborhood Alliance

The Chicago Landmarks Commission has approved McHugh Development’s plan to build a 27-story hotel with attached retail space at the corner of South Michigan Avenue and East Cermak Road in the South Loop.  It’s the first of several approvals needed before construction can start on the hotel at 121 East Cermak Road. It’s proposed to have 650 rooms, a height of 320 feet, and 31,000 square feet of attached retail space.  The project also includes an eight-story data center.  You first heard about the project here, back in May.

Diagram of proposed McHugh hotel and data center

Diagram of proposed McHugh hotel and data center

It’s that retail that caught the attention of Landmarks, because Chicago Architecture Blog reporter Mary Chmielewicz tells us that some of the stores will be inside the former Rambler Auto Company showroom at 2246 South Indiana, and the Bird-Sykes Company Building #2 at 2215 South Michigan Avenue.  The two buildings would be rehabilitated by McHugh, and got the commission’s stamp of approval.

The new hotel would rise across the street from McPier wants to build a new arena, and two blocks away from where the quango wants to put up a massive 1,200-room Marriott Marquis hotel.  Work is already underway preparing to move a landmarked house that is in the way of the project.

The Prairie District Neighborhood Alliance had planned to have a public meeting about the McHugh hotel on Monday, September 15th at Second Presbyterian Church (1936 South Michigan Avenue).  But it remains to be seen if that venue will change since earlier today 34-year-old Sara Bean was killed when part of a gargoyle broke away from the church and hit her on the head as she was walking on the sidewalk below.

Location: 121 East Cermak Road, South Loop

 Chicago Architecture Blog reporter Mary Chmielewicz contributed to this report.

Author: Editor

Editor founded the Chicago Architecture Blog in 2003, after a long career in journalism. He can be reached at

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1 Comment

  1. The restored 2215 S. Michigan building looks great, and the new retail at the corner should match well with the rest of the district. However, I REALLY hope that McHugh doesn’t skimp on the bricks/materials, and picks an aged or antique brick, and not the new modern “cloned” brick like the cleaners is made of across Michigan. It hugs both Michigan and Cermak very well. I can’t wait for at least this project to get built. It’s about time this corner gets developed.

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