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Old November 1st, 2005, 03:25 PM   #1
Chi_Coruscant
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Intercontinental Chicago Hotel North | 850 ft | 71 fl | Pro

Height: 850 ft
Floor count: 71
Location: North Michigan and East Grand
Neighborhood: Steeterville
Construction end:
Architect: Lucien Lagrange Architects
Developer: Unknown




InterContinental plans skyscraper
Hotel/condo tower would reshape part of Magnificent Mile
By Thomas A. Corfman
Tribune staff reporter
Published November 1, 2005


The nondescript north tower of the InterContinental Chicago hotel on Michigan Avenue would be replaced with a 71-story hotel/condominium skyscraper, under a dramatic proposal that would reshape the south end of the Magnificent Mile.
The ambitious plan would not affect the key architectural features of the 42-story Art Deco south tower, which is topped by a Moorish-styled dome, said Laurence Geller, chief executive of Strategic Hotel Capital Inc., which acquired the hotel about seven months ago. The 26-story north tower, notable for its blank concrete exterior along the avenue, was built as a separate hotel in 1961.

The proposal must receive city zoning approval. Construction, which would depend on sales of the high-priced condo units, is not expected to start until mid-2007 at the earliest.

The proposed skyscraper, to be designed by Chicago architect Lucien Lagrange, "adds an elegance" to the historic tower, without a "dwarfing factor," Geller said. "Truthfully, it would replace a building that is not particularly pleasing," he added.

Even so, the new tower is sure to prompt scrutiny by preservationists, concerned about the continued "canyonization" of North Michigan Avenue, and by some Streeterville neighbors, who already feel cramped from the building boom east of the hotel, including plans for two 2,000-foot skyscrapers in the last four months.

But the financial aspects of the plan also are expected to spark questions on Wall Street, even for a company known as an aggressive asset manager. While most hotel owners would only consider development plans for a poorly performing property, Chicago-based Strategic is proposing a redevelopment of a well-performing asset to make it better.

"Strategic is never shy about changing a property type to maximize value," said hotel analyst John Arabia with Newport Beach, Calif.-based Green Street Advisors Inc., who hadn't been briefed on the plan. "It would be a pretty big move."

Strategic paid about $170 million for an 85 percent interest in the 807-room property at 505 N. Michigan Ave. The hotel pulled in almost $6.4 million in the second quarter, accounting for nearly 17 percent of the real estate investment trust's earnings of $37.6 million before interest and other expenses, according to a financial statement. Room rates averaged about $193 a night during the quarter, and the hotel was more than 83 percent occupied.

The new tower would include 150 hotel suites, 310 condos, parking and 11,000 square feet of prime, first-floor retail space. It would replace a building with 477 rooms, reducing the overall number of rooms to 480.

The 330-room historic south tower would receive a $15 million renovation, a key part of a repositioning of the property.

"We're moving it from being a big, bulk group hotel, which is doing very well, into a luxury hotel that will compete against the top end of the market," Geller said.

Strategic, which is represented by prominent zoning attorney Jack Guthman of Shefsky & Froelich Ltd., is filing an application for a planned development Tuesday.

The plans also include construction of a landscaped plaza over a portion of Grand Avenue east of Michigan. And the hotel's entrance would be moved to Illinois Street to reduce congestion on Michigan, Geller said.

The proposed 850-foot tower would be almost twice the height of the historic south tower, which was built in 1929 as the Medinah Athletic Club and is known for its blend of design features inspired by sources that range from ancient Egypt to the Italian Renaissance.

Moreover, some of the city's best-known skyscrapers of that era, including the Wrigley Building, Tribune Tower and the McGraw-Hill Building, which was rebuilt in 2000, are within steps of the InterContinental, further highlighting the differences in height.

But key to the new development is the continued strength of the high-end condominium market, which is seemingly overcrowded with projects.

"I believe a building like this on Michigan Avenue is a unique opportunity that stands to segregate itself out from the bulk of the stuff that's being put out there," Geller said

Strategic, which is advised by Chicago-based U.S. Equities Realty Co., has already held talks with several local developers, including LR Development Co. and Magellan Development Group Ltd., he said.

----------

[email protected]


At 850 feet, the new skyscraper would soar above the Hotel InterContinental's dome-topped south tower.


Last edited by i_am_hydrogen; September 6th, 2011 at 08:03 PM. Reason: Added project info.
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Old November 1st, 2005, 03:30 PM   #2
Chad
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OMG, I stayed in that tower just 3 months ago!
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Old November 1st, 2005, 03:58 PM   #3
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More retail space too, although that is expected, being on Michigan.
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Old November 1st, 2005, 04:40 PM   #4
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Damn there goes my chance to post breaking news! Saw it on the Trib this morning, wow these things just don't stop coming. 850, who cares? lol, we are so spoiled.
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Old November 1st, 2005, 05:37 PM   #5
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and i didnt have to leave the forum for a few days for this one to happen! lol
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Old November 1st, 2005, 05:55 PM   #6
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So is it blue glass or green glass, or are the contradictory renderings implicitly saying "don't trust us"?!?
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Old November 1st, 2005, 06:51 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chad
OMG, I stayed in that tower just 3 months ago!
100 years ago a writer (can't remember who) commented on how every time he left Chicago and came back, he felt like he was in a different city.

To some degree, the same phenomenon seems to be happening today, eh?
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Old November 1st, 2005, 08:02 PM   #8
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come back in 5 years and youll barly recognize the place
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Old November 1st, 2005, 08:06 PM   #9
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In years 2009-2010, we including the tourists and naysayers will experience shock and awe.
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Old November 1st, 2005, 08:31 PM   #10
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You have got to start wonder how many more 70-120 story buildings that are in the pipeline, but not made public at this point.
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Old November 1st, 2005, 08:51 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Urban Politician
100 years ago a writer (can't remember who) commented on how every time he left Chicago and came back, he felt like he was in a different city.

To some degree, the same phenomenon seems to be happening today, eh?
It is hopeless for the occasional visitor to try to keep up with Chicago-she outgrows his prophecies faster than he can make them. She is always a novelty; for she is never the Chicago you saw when you passed through the last time.
- - - Mark Twain "Life On The Mississippi," 1883
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Old November 1st, 2005, 09:23 PM   #12
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How much in terms of money do you figure the Intercontinental has put into a project like this up to this point? Enough that we can be assured that they are really serious? Or so little that they may just be playing games with the market? Like trying to flush out expansion plans of their competitors?
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Old November 1st, 2005, 11:28 PM   #13
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Beautiful.
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Old November 1st, 2005, 11:42 PM   #14
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I'm suprised that this design came out of LaGrange's office. I know that the firm has designed several wonderful modern buildings, but I remember reading an article several years ago that he would never designa modern building for Michigan Avenue, and because of his stance I couldn't see him allowing any of the associates do that either.

I don't believe that this project will have a problem selling its high end units. I mean it's right on the Mag Mile in the thick of everything. The units will all have superior service. And seeing as it's mainly hotel they don't have to market all of the units, just a small portion.

As someone mentioned in the SSP Forum, this tower is exterenly similar to the old Cityfront Plaza project.
[img]

Intercontinental Tower
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Old November 1st, 2005, 11:49 PM   #15
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It's such a shame this building wasn't built at front of NBC Tower. Hey at least, we got Jahn as a consolation prize.

Hurry, Jahn! We are waiting for your rendering to come out.
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Old November 1st, 2005, 11:54 PM   #16
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Better come up with something new now
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Old November 2nd, 2005, 12:22 AM   #17
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From Hotel Online

http://www.hotel-online.com/News/200...130867881.html

From Hotel Online
Here's an excerpt:

The new tower is being designed by the award-winning Lucien Lagrange Architects and will provide approximately 150 new luxury hotel suites and 310 luxury condominium units. Strategic intends to work with a leading residential developer to develop and market the condominiums. The redevelopment effort will include a unique pedestrian park connected to Michigan Avenue, which will extend over Grand Avenue.

As well as for the Fairmont:
The 692-room Fairmont Chicago was recently acquired by the company and has a premier location at the gateways to Millennium Park, recognized as one of the top urban parks in the country, and Lakeshore East, the city's most significant urban and upscale high-rise housing development. The Rockwell Group, an international award-winning design firm, is working with the company on the interior and exterior design, in addition to the development of high-end fractional ownership units and hotel condominium units.
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Old November 2nd, 2005, 12:37 AM   #18
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Just some perspective...





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Old November 2nd, 2005, 01:16 AM   #19
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That building is such a beauty. The outside is very unique, but the detail is carried into the interior as well.
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Old November 2nd, 2005, 01:31 AM   #20
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thats a nice building! chicago is my favorite skyline
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