The symbol of the University of Chicago is, being situated in a city famous for having once burnt to the ground, a phoenix. The symbolism remains vital, as the hotel that Hyde Park almost got in the 5th Ward on Stony Island and 58th Street will now be resurrected and take shape on the site of the old Harper Court, on Harper at 52nd.
The 53rd Street renaissance continues at a dizzying pace.
From Curbed Chicago:
Harper Court Partners released some details this morning about the hotel operator for Hyde Park's Harper Court. Olympia Chicago LLC and Smart Hotels, a company that specializes in campus hotels, have been selected to build and operate Hyatt Place Chicago @ Hyde Park. The six-story, 130-room hotel will be located on Harper, just north of 52nd Place, according to Christopher Dillion from Vermilion Development. The hotel, which is set to open in 2013, will feature underground parking, a restaurant, wine bar, pool, and fitness facilities....
From Crain's Chicago Business:
“A quality hotel has been a longstanding need for the community,” Dave Cocagne, president of Chicago-based Vermilion, says in the statement. “It will play a key role in the development of the 53rd Street corridor.”And, from the developers themselves:
Financing for the hotel is being provided by Recovery Zone Facility Bonds to be issued by the Illinois Finance Authority. Smart specializes in campus hotels, though no properties are identified on the company’s website, while Olympia operates 16 hotels, according to Vermilion’s press release.
Vermilion tapped the Smart Hotels-Olympia venture after issuing a request for proposals from hoteliers last fall.
Mr. Cocagne in January said Vermilion had letters of intent for 60% of the project’s roughly 80,000 square feet of retail space. The first phase, which has a roughly $100-million budget, is to include the hotel, retail and a 150,000-square-foot office building to be used at least partially by the university.
Smart Hotels/Olympia Chicago LLC has been selected to build and operate the hotel, planned for Harper Avenue, just north of 53rd Street. Plans call for the LEED-designed hotel to have approximately 130 rooms, [and be] a destination on evenings and weekends, as well as during the work week.
Ed Small, President of Smart Hotels, said his team looks forward to presenting the preliminary hotel design to the community in March.
"This is an outstanding opportunity for us to bring a quality, environmentally-friendly hotel to Hyde Park," Small said. "The University, the City, IFA and MB Financial did extraordinary work to help us secure the project financing."
Hyatt Place Chicago @ Hyde Park is scheduled to open in 2013, to coincide with Phase I of the Harper Court redevelopment, which will also include retail, office, and outdoor spaces. Chicago-based LEgat Architects has been engaged to design the hotel.
The Olympia Companies has been in operation since 1969 and currently operates 16 hotel properties.
"We are excited to extent our portfolio of hotels to such a dynamic community and world-class university," said Kevin Mahaney, President and CEO of The Olympia Companies.