Gold Coast Hotel Tower Checks in to City Hall

The latest plan to build a hotel tower at 150 East Ontario Street has gotten farther than some of its predecessors: It’s dinging the bell on the counter at the City Clerk’s office. Paperwork for the proposal has been filed at 121 North LaSalle, besting some of the previous five buildings envisioned for this space.

March, 2021 rendering of 150 East Ontario. (Via the Office of Alderman Brendan Reilly.)
March, 2021 rendering of 150 East Ontario. (Via the Office of Alderman Brendan Reilly.)

The Lucien LaGrange design calls for a 29-story building with 388 hotel rooms in a 345-foot-tall tower.  And for once, a new hotel in Chicago can say it’s “steps from the Magnificent Mile” without giving Pinocchio pine envy.

This hotel will fly the RIU flag.  If you’re not familiar with that brand, it’s a mid-sized chain with operations mostly in Europe and Latin America, plus Africa, India, and three outlets in the United States.  Those are in New York and San Francisco. 

RIU is run by the Riu family, which founded the company in the resort capital of Europe, Mallorca, in the 1950’s.  Which explains why the phone numbers in the paperwork filed with the City of Chicago start with “+34.”  Don’t forget to dial 9 first. Today, RIU (the hotel chain, not the family) is half-owned by a German airline, but don’t hold that against it.  

  • Address: 148-158 East Ontario Street
  • Developer: RIU Chicago LLC
  • For realsies: RIU Hotels and Resorts
  • Architecture firm: Lucien LaGrange Studios
  • Architect: Lucien LaGrange
  • Zoning: DX-12 → Business Planned Development
  • Net site area: 12,801 square feet
  • Floor Area Ratio: 18.4 (12 base + 6.4 bonus)
  • Floors above grade: 29 (including mezzanine level)
  • Floors below grade: 1
  • Maximum height: 345 feet
  • Roof height: 315 feet, 6 inches
  • Maximum length: 127 feet, 7 ⅜ inches
  • Maximum width: 100 feet, 2 inches
  • Maximum hotel rooms: 388
  • Automobile parking: 0
  • Loading docks: 2, accessed via east-west public alley between North Michigan Avenue and North Saint Clair Street
  • Outdoor terrace: Level 26
  • Green roof size: 3,906 square feet (50.1% of roof)
  • Green roofs: Levels 3, 26, and 28

Location: 150 East Ontario Street, Gold Coast

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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