Construction Update
McHugh’s Hiltons Break Ground in the South Loop

It’s been almost three years since we first told you about McHugh Construction’s plans to turn an under-utilized lot near its South Loop headquarters into a new hotel, and now that dream is officially a reality.

An official groundbreaking ceremony was held this past Friday for the building at 123 East Cermak Road, which will contain — count ’em — three Hilton-flagged hotels:

  • The Hilton Garden Inn Chicago McCormick Center
  • The Hampton Inn by Hilton Chicago McCormick Center
  • The Home2 Suites by Hilton Chicago McCormick Center

While Chicago has had hotel sammitches before, this is the first dagwood.  The project by Hilton and Rosemont’s First Hospitality Group is also the first time that Hilton has had three of its hotels in a single building.

Drawing of 123 East Cermak Road (Courtesy of Hilton)

Drawing of 123 East Cermak Road (Courtesy of Hilton)

“We are pleased to partner with FHG on this one-of-a-kind project, a venture which is a true testament to the value proposition delivered to the owners of Hilton’s growing number of multi-brand hotels,” said Jim Holthouser, Executive Vice President, Global Brands, Hilton. “Serving as a premier hub of international commerce attracting nearly three million visitors a year, McCormick Place is the ideal location to build Hilton’s first triple-brand hotel and bring even greater exposure to three of our category-leading brands.”

Construction has actually been underway for a couple of weeks, but it’s pretty common in Chicago for the ceremonial groundbreaking to happen weeks or even months after the actual breaking of ground.  Perhaps this is less embarrassing than what sometimes happens on the east coast where a developer will have a groundbreaking ceremony and then something bad happens and the project never gets built.

The completed building will total 466 guest rooms, and be connected to McCormick Place by a skybridge. It will also have an indoor pool, 7,000 square feet of meeting space, four restaurants, and a ground-level Starbucks.

In a continuing trend in Chicago, one of the restaurants will be on the roof of the 22-story building.  Though technically part of the Hilton Garden Inn, it will offer all-day dining for guests of all three hotels, and the general public.

Credit for “building design” is being given to Antunovich Associates, but the “hotel design” credit goes to Todd Halamka+Partners, which was the same firm that designed the triple-stack hotel for Rush & Ontario a few years back that died because of parking and traffic concerns.  Looney Associates is the interior designer and doesn’t have to share credit with anyone.

Location: 123 East Cermak Road, South Loop

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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