Since the South of France is not going to happen for you this Spring, maybe it’s time to consider a little post-COVID staycation action. To that end, a new hotel, called Sable at Navy Pier has opened — you guessed it — at Navy Pier. And unlike those gasthauses that proudly proclaim “Mag Mile” in their titles even though they’re actually half way to Sheridan, this hotel is actually on Navy Pier.
While there have been a number of hotels on piers in America from Galveston to Seattle, this is believed to be a first for Lake Michigan. The $100,000,000 hotel includes 223 rooms in three seven-story structures, with a total length of over 800 feet. For you tape measure types, the total size is 201,124 square feet.
If you want to see the hotel without laying your head on a pillow, there is also a rooftop bar called Offshore. Every new hotel in Chicago has a rooftop bar these days. But this is the only one that is actually offshore, so we’re OK with the name.
Construction was handled by James McHugh Construction and Powers & Sons Construction. It included putting in 51 new micropiles driven two feet into bedrock in order to support the weight of the new hotel. Each micropile has a load bearing capacity of 530,000 pounds. Insert your own “yo mamma” joke here.
Construction also had to be scheduled to avoid disturbing the mudpuppies that live under Navy Pier in the winter months. If you skipped your fifth grade field trip to the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum, a mudpuppy is a kind of salamander. It’s not pretty, but it is a “species of special concern,” and also a canary in a coal mine when it comes to the health of an ecosystem.