How do you build a hotel in downtown Chicago without anyone noticing? Don’t ask nobody for nothin’.
That’s the case at 530 North LaSalle Street, a former gas station that’s been sitting vacant for years. The city recently issued a permit for the construction of new hotel, but there’s almost no paperwork to go with it. How is that possible?
Because the property is zoned DX-7, and the planned hotel is only eight stories tall. That means the building won’t burst its zoning bubble, so there’s a metric assload less paperwork to deal with, fewer city approvals necessary, and no pesky alderman forcing you into public review.
So what do we know? Well, we know it’s a hotel, so that narrows down the number of developers that might be working on it.
Right now there are four hotel flags that have promised openings in Chicago within the next 24 months but haven’t actually started construction: SLS, Moxy, Live Aqua, and Dream Hotels.
Since 530 North LaSalle is only going to be eight stories tall, we’re talking “boutique” territory, so that disqualifies Live Aqua and Dream Hotels.
The owner is listed as “Choxy LLC.” out of Merrillville, Indiana. Hmmm… Chicago Moxy, perhaps? Moxy is a Marriott brand with six boutiques open. Marriott says there are 62 more on the way, including one in Chicago.
“Choxy Hotel LLC” is registered in Indiana with the same address as White Lodging, the nationwide hotel developer. It has experience planting flags for Marriott in the past. It is also experienced in Chicago, as it was the driving force behind the Aloft/Hyatt Place/Fairfield Inn club sandwich in River North.
The only other molehill to make a mountain out of here is the name of the architect: Kevin Curran. If you know Kevin, you know he jumped to DLR just this past spring after almost a dozen years at VOA. It means nothing, but people do like to see their name in pixels.