|Image from Curbed Chicago|
The agency that owns McCormick Place announced Tuesday morning that it will build a second hotel near the convention center complex, but now it appears the plan faces a significant hurdle before it could come to fruition.
The Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority, also known as McPier, said it is acquiring land for a 1,200-room convention hotel, which would cost $400 million to build. The hotel would be located immediately west of the convention center's newest facility, the West Building. A skywalk would connect the two.
But JRM Technology, the property owner, already has invested thousands of man hours and millions of dollars to develop a $400 million data center" at the site, James R. McHugh, president of the company, said in a statement issued Tuesday afternoon.
"That plan has already received City Council approval and we would start construction as soon as a building permit is issued," he said.
Though McPier "approached us about an alternative location for this project, we considered those conversations to be very preliminary and no agreement has been reached," McHugh said. "It is our hope that the issue can be resolved in a way that improves the ongoing redevelopment of the South Loop."
So a hotel was announced with prominent people there (the Mayor and Governor), but the land wasn't secured!?!?!?! While something seems fishy, it's pretty clear that a hotel would be much better for the neighborhood than a data center.
Back in 2010, we actually had a link about this proposed data center at Indiana and Cermak and that "data centers" were a new trend for this area.
Anyway, it sounds like the city is going to make this a hotel happen one way or the other:
Chicago Deputy Mayor Steve Koch said the project is moving forward.
"We are in active negotiations with McHugh and there are a number of options that will allow both the data center and world-class hotel to be built," he said in a written statement. "However, the city will pursue every available option to ensure that the hotel is built, and brings with it essential redevelopment around McCormick Place."Given the city's vision for an entertainment district, it makes sense that this prime piece of land would be something besides a data center. Should be interesting to see how it plays out.
Seems like more and more talk about Motor Row/McCormick Place...one of these days something will actually happen.
(Hat tip: GM & Bat312!)