If the trendy restaurants, co-working lofts, and miniature Googleplex weren’t big enough hints that Chicago’s Fulton River District is becoming a hipster nexus, this will convince you: The Chicago Plan Commission has approved the construction of an Ace Hotel at 311 North Morgan Street, reports The Chicago Architecture Blog’s Daniel Schell.
The Portland-based chain is going to expand its dream of the 90s to Chicago’s west side with a 159-room hotel across the street from the former cold storage warehouse now known as 1K Fulton (1000 Fulton Market), where omniscient internet behemoth Google has its Chicago outpost.
GREC Architects designed the transformation of an old warehouse between West Fulton Market and the Metra railroad tracks into a boutique hotel worthy of welcoming midwestern 20-somethings with pork pie hats and fat expense accounts as they woo Big G across the way.
Sterling Bay’s hotel project is just the latest incursion of hyper-gentrification in the District. Local manufacturing groups are worried about the mom-and-pop companies being muscled out of their buildings by deep-pocketed developers and weak-willed aldermen all mooney-eyed over easy new economy money.
The approval of a hotel in a designated manufacturing district is almost unheard of, and involved some serious zoning gymnastics to achieve.