By Veronica Grecu, Associate Editor
The city of Chicago is about to welcome a new player to the hospitality market. New York-based Virgin Hotels acquired the Old Dearborn Bank Building, located in the Loop at 203 N. Wabash Ave., at the corner of Wabash and Lake, and plans to reopen the facility in fall 2013 as its first Virgin Hotel Chicago. Back in 2003 the 83-year-old tower was designated an official landmark of Chicago.
As reported by ChicagoRealEstateDaily.com, the project is a joint venture between Virgin Hotels and local developer John Buck Co. The partnership purchased the 27-story building from Urban Street Group LLC, who had previously planned to transform the property into apartments. Under the newly announced redevelopment plans, the hotel will have 250 guest rooms, as well as meeting areas, lounges, restaurants and various spaces designed to keep up with the Virgin Hotels’ style and functionality. Launched in September 2010, Virgin Hotel plans to develop and operate 25 hotels over 10 years in major gateway cities such as Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, Miami, Washington, D.C. and London.
Moving on to residential news: Golub & Co. and Sandz Development Co. are the new owners of a South Loop property that was hit with foreclosure two years ago. The property at 1712 S. Prairie Avenue should have featured 479 condos, according to the plans previously unveiled by former developers Keith Giles and Jerry Karlik. The two failed to go on with their housing project—then called X/O Condominiums—because neighbors and Alderman Robert Fioretti argued that it was too large to fit the area and the site required rezoning, says ChicagoRealEstateDaily.com. The Giles-Karlik venture then sued Alderman Fioretti, but in 2009 failed to get financing for the project. Golub & Co. and Sandz Development Co. have yet to decide on future plans for the property.
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