John Pritzker, son of Hyatt Hotels Corp founder Jay Pritzker has acquired one of Chicago’s historic Michigan Avenue buildings in partnership with an investment firm AJ Capital Partners. The transaction was confirmed by a spokesman of the investment firm. The historic Chicago Athletic Association building will be turned into a 240 room boutique hotel. It is scheduled to be ready for business by 2014 and will be an exciting addition to the rapidly growing hotel scene of Chicago. The building has an over a century old history as it served as a popular hangout for wealthy Chicago bachelors in the early 1900s. The building housed the Chicago Athletic Association that operated the city’s premiere gentlemen’s club of the same name since the 1890s.
It is a $60 Million Project
The building has been bought against a payment of $13 million and the new owners are expected to invest another $47 million to transform the building into a boutique luxury hotel. Jeff Broaden, Manager Investor Relations of AJ Capital revealed the plans through an emailed statement. Despite John Pritzker a major co-owner of the building and the new hotel project, the renovated property will not be operated under the Hyatt brand, founded by his father. The property will instead be given to Commune Hotels and they will be depending on Thompson to make it a successful boutique luxury property. Thompson and Commune has done a similar magic with Manhattan’s historic 5 Beekman which they took over and transformed successfully.
The Renovated Building will Reinterpret its Appeal
This seems to be a new trend and strategy for Thompson; to take over old landmark buildings and transform them into chic, trendy boutique hotels and reinterpret their appeal of the bygone era. It is a trend that should be encouraged Jonathan Fine, executive director of Preservation Chicago is happy with the development as he sees it as the old building being repurposed close to its original intent and feels that a boutique hotel is most suited for the building. It was designed by architect Henry Ives Cobb and is known for its rare Venetian Gothic façade. The building faces Grant Park, where President Barack Obama’s presidential election victory rally was held in 2008.