News for the Hospitality Executive
|By Jerry W. Jackson, The Orlando Sentinel, Fla.
Knight Ridder/Tribune Business News
Nov. 13--The historic 40-story Carbide and Carbon Building in Chicago will be the home of the latest Hard Rock Hotel, executives of the Orlando-based restaurant and entertainment company said Monday.
The exterior of the main art deco-style tower at 230 N. Michigan Ave. will be preserved and restored, and the interior will be redone to include 385 rooms, a ground-floor lobby, coffee shop and lounge, company officials said.
An adjacent four-story structure will be torn down and replaced with a restaurant and bar, ballrooms and meeting rooms, said Jim Biggar, senior director of Hard Rock Hotels and Resorts, a division of Hard Rock Cafe International Inc.
Work on the $86 million project begins later this month with an opening expected in the second quarter of 2003.
"It will have a good energy level as you walk in," said Biggar, who will oversee a management team that will be hired to run the hotel.
Other Hard Rock Hotels are in Orlando, Thailand, Las Vegas and Bali, Indonesia, but the Chicago hotel will be the first "urban" hotel for the company and the first Hard Rock-brand hotel to be managed by the company.
The hotel will be jointly owned by a private real estate investment group from Detroit, Hard Rock and the developer, Mark IV Realty in Chicago.
Biggar said Hard Rock will hold a "minority equity" stake in the property, its second such part-ownership arrangement in a hotel. The company has a 25 percent stake in the Orlando Hard Rock Hotel, which is at Universal Orlando and operated by Loews Hotels.
The Carbide and Carbon office building, which has been vacant for some time, was built in 1929. Jeffrey Beers will do the design work and Luciene LaGrange Architects, which recently completed work on the Park Hyatt Hotel in Chicago, will be the architect.
-----To see more of The Orlando Sentinel, or to subscribe to the newspaper, go to http://www.orlandosentinel.com
(c) 2001. Distributed by Knight Ridder/Tribune Business News. RANKY,