People who talk big are sometimes told to “put it in writing.” Well, two hotel chains have done that, and they’re both targeting 2017 to plant their flags in Chicago. Unfortunately, the “writing” isn’t in the form of building permits… yet. In fact, so far it mostly amounts to boosterism. But even boasting in print costs money, so someone has to be clued in before spending thousands of dollars making a public promise.
Loop Spy Ryan was in New York recently and picked up a copy of the Viceroy Hotel Group’s brand book. Inside there is a full page touting its new Chicago property. A property that does not yet exist.
We’ve known since 2007 that Los Angeles-based Viceroy is interested in turning the Cedar Hotel (1118 North State Street) in the Gold Coast into a boutique hostelry. But adding a tower to the current four-story building has been a non-starter with the neighbors. They have some very legitimate concerns about traffic considering that on most warm nights things pretty much come to a standstill already at Viagra Triangle, where the hotel is located.
It appears that the Viceroy management doesn’t think popping an 18-story tower on the property is an insurmountable challenge, since it’s willing to not only put the 2017 date in its brand book, but also in this press release from a few months ago:
Working in tandem with Convexity Properties, the powerhouse luxury hospitality brand will unveil the Goettsch Partners and TAL Studio-designed property, located conveniently for guests on State Street in the Gold Coast. The area occupies the central part of a flourishing neighborhood, quickly gaining momentum as one of the most sought-after modern luxury destinations in the city.
Known for creating authentic and inspired experiences, Viceroy Hotel Group will be using design, art, style and culture to infuse the new property with all the amenities and services of a top-luxury hotel, while simultaneously working to maintain a distinct sense of place for guests eager to explore and experience the Chicago landscape.
“Viceroy recognizes Chicago is a vibrant market and a great destination for our expansion,” said Bill Walshe, CEO of Viceroy Hotel Group. “We are extremely privileged to collaborate with Convexity Properties team to create exceptional and inspiring experiences for our guests in such a highly sought-after location.”
Convexity Properties is collaborating closely with the City, neighbors and community groups to finalize approvals for what will be an extraordinary project for the city.
That last line is important. The one where Convexity pledged to work with neighbors and community groups to iron out the details. That statement was made in March. It appears those problems have been worked out because just three weeks ago Convexity awarded the construction contract to Power Construction.
Viceroy isn’t the only brand looking for a sweet home in Chicago. SLS, also based in Los Angeles, is getting wind of Chicago’s hotel boom. We told you last year that when the company was busy converting the Sahara Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas into the SLS Las Vegas it put up a 100-foot-long sign telling people that it was “coming soon” to Chicago. Now a little birdie tells us that word from the mothership in Beverly Hills is that the opening for the Chicago property is planned for 2017, just like the Viceroy.
The question now is where will the SLS Chicago end up? New building or existing property? Gold Coast, Loop, West Loop, South Loop? The mind boggles at the possibilities.