$350M Marriott Marquis Chicago Opens

Acting on behalf of the Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority, a joint venture led by Clark Construction Group recently completed the headquarters hotel, delivering a 1,205-key lodging destination connected to McCormick Place, the largest convention center in North America.

By Barbra Murray

Marriott Marquis Chicago

Marriott Marquis, Chicago

North America’s largest convention center, McCormick Place in Chicago, now has a brand-new hotel attached to it, courtesy of Prairie District3 Partners, a design-build joint venture spearheaded by Clark Construction Group. Acting on behalf of the Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority, Clark and partners recently delivered the $350 million Marriott Marquis Chicago, a 1,205-key lodging destination linked via a pedestrian bridge to the 2.6 million-square-foot meeting destination.

Prairie District3—consisting of Clark, Bulley & Andrews LLC, Old Veteran Construction, McKissack & McKissak Midwest, and Powers & Sons Construction Co., as well as design partners Goettsch Partners and Moody Nolan—broke ground on the hotel in 2015 amid blossoming tourism in Chicago. “Over the past six years, Chicago’s tourism industry has strengthened our city’s economy, allowing us to show off our world class city to leisure travelers and convention attendees alike,” Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, said in a prepared statement in late June of this year.

Standing 40 stories tall at 2121 S. Prairie Ave. in the city’s South Loop, Marriott Marquis sits across from, and is also connected to, the 10,000-seat Wintust Arena, formerly The McCormick Place Event Center, which Clark is scheduled to complete later this fall under a separate contract with MPEA. In addition to premier guestrooms, the headquarters hotel features 93,000 square feet of high-tech meeting and event space.

Windy City hotel market warming up

Marriott Marquis holds the distinction of being Chicago’s sixth largest hotel. The guestrooms will likely find a warm reception in the market. “The record setting hotel performance so far in 2017 is just the latest indication of a strong tourism sector, and we look forward to continuing to break our own records as more visitors choose to work, play and vacation in Chicago,” Mayor Emanuel added in June’s prepared remarks. Hotel demand increased an estimated 4 percent in the first half of 2017, and despite room supply growth of 3.2 percent, occupancy rates continued to rise, reaching an average of approximately 70.7 percent.

There are more new hotels due to sprout up in Chicago in the near future, including projects at MPEA’s McCormick Square campus, in particular, which the company is planning to transform into a year-round destination. Michigan Cermak Indiana LLC and First Hospitality Group are currently developing the first triple-flagged Hilton hotel, which will add 466 guestrooms just across from the McCormick Place convention center. In the Hyde Park area, the Olympia Cos. and Smart Hotels will add SOPHY, a four-diamond luxury boutique hotel with 98 keys, to the market in the summer of 2018.

Image courtesy of Marriott International

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