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Looks like Hyatt Hotels may be the next big brand going postal.
Hyatt Place is hoping to open a 149-room hotel inside the former Eugene McCarthy Post Office in downtown St. Paul. I
The new Hyatt Place will occupy the lower floors of the 17-story “art deco gem” (we hear that a lot,) also known as Custom House, as it once housed customs offices on the upper floors. These floors will be reborn as luxe apartments.
While the apartments may have the better views of the Mississippi River or Kellogg Boulevard, the hotel gets the uber-tall ceilings, at 13 feet. That's also convenient because the Hyatt Place brand prides itself of having "roomy rooms."
Chicago’s newest Hyatt Place Hotel may have some cranky neighbors. And, lots of them. Let us explain: According to Chicago Real Estate Daily, OTO Development plunked down $3.7 million on a piece of land at 28 North Franklin Street, and has big plans for the space. How big? Eighteen stories and 206 rooms. But, there are some red flags surrounding these plans (cue the dramatic music.)
The projected Hyatt Place property would be the first Chicago venture from OTO Development. But it’s not the first project planned for the West-Loop spot. In 2007, an investor group had plans to build a 24-story hotel there, and gave up the ghost after the recession. And though the bleakest days are over (knock wood), there may be an entirely separate issue now: an over-flooded hotel market, and too many plans to build.
A Hyatt Place opened in River North just last year, as you may recall. Furthermore: another Hyatt is scheduled to open just three blocks away from the Franklin-Street spot soon. And Hyatt’s not the only brand that has designs on Chicago: The Kinzie and The Godfrey are both slated to open next month and Le Méridien, the Virgin Hotel, SoHo House, and Hotel Indigo area all coming soon. We love Chicago and we love new hotels so surely, we can find a way to make this work, yes?
[Photo: Hyatt Place/HotelChatter]
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Aloft Chicago's lobby is easily the funkiest and most fun of the Triplex social spaces
We recently told you about some new hotels opening in Chicago (an ongoing trend in a city on FIRE with new hotels), including three hotels dubbed the "triplex.” That triplex—which consists of Starwood’s Aloft Chicago City Center, Marriott’s Fairfield Inn & Suites Chicago Downtown River North, and Hyatt Place Chicago/River North—opened last week in Chicago’s River North neighborhood. We were there and now have a photo tour to share.
But first, let’s talk about one very cool detail: all three differently branded hotels are situated right next door to each other on the same block. Though we’ve seen this happen a time or two, such as with the Tri-Pack in NYC, it’s definitely unusual for obvious reasons; most hotels prefer a little space between themselves and the competition. But an insider tells us that the partners behind the Triplex (Friedman Properties, White Lodging and Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises [which opened the restaurant Beatrix in the Aloft lobby]) saw this instead as an opportunity to collaborate and deliver a unique experience, a sort of hotel destination that appeals to different travelers.
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While we countdown the days until we can sip on cocktails on the roof of the Virgin Chicago, there's three more hotels opening up in the city, all in the next few weeks. Here's what on deck for the Chicago hotel scene:
· Hyatt Place River North Hotel: Opening on June 20, this new Hyatt just north of the Looop will feature a bi-level lobby, rooms with views of the river and all the amenities that come with a Hyatt Place including free WiFi, free breakfast, cozy sofa sleepers in each room and a 24/7 Grab n' Go case and Bakery cafe in the lobby. Rates start at $218 a night for an advanced purchase rate.
· Aloft City Center: Also opening the exact same day is the first Aloft for Chicago proper (there's already one by O'Hare Airport.) And again, all the Aloft amenities will be here as well including the W XYZ River North Bar, the re: mix lounge, the re:fuel pantry and even Arf, Aloft's pet-friendly travel program. Rates start at $239 a night for a prepaid rate.
UPDATE, 6.25.13: Turned out three hotels actually opened on the same block--Aloft, Hyatt Place and Fairfield Inn and Suites. Read ChicagoMag's report (by our own Nina K. Hahn) for more info.
· Langham Chicago: At long last, the Langham Chicago will open on July 10 and we're nearly giddy over the room amenities which include a 55 in. television, a deep soaking tub and La Bottega Dell Albergo toiletries.There's also a swimming pool in the hotel's Chuan Spa and Mediterranean-inspired cuisine served downstairs at the new Travelle restaurant. Rates start at $356 a night on opening night.
[Photos: Hyatt Place; Aloft and Langham Hotels]
Hat tip to Tony for the reminder!