- November 09, 2006 - The 443-room Allerton Crowne Plaza Chicago, the historical
landmark-designated 1922-24 Chicago property that helped spur the redevelopment
of North Michigan Avenue into the city’s Magnificent Mile, was purchased
today by ALT Hotel Partners, LLC – a joint venture between Oxford Lodging
Advisory & Investment Group, LLC, of San Francisco, and Perry Capital
of New York – from FelCor Lodging, L.P, a subsidiary of FelCor Lodging
Trust. CB Richard Ellis Hotels arranged the sale.
The new owners plan a $10-million renovation intended to update the
hotel’s public areas and guest rooms with contemporary features while maintaining
its landmark, architecturally significant presence at the heart of Chicago’s
famed shopping, dining and cultural district. The project will include
relocation of the hotel lobby back to its original 2nd-floor setting, where
it will be combined with the existing bar and restaurant, and conversion
of the third floor into an elaborate ballroom and meeting space for weddings,
banquets and formal events.
The announcement was made jointly today by Robert D. Kline, president of Oxford Lodging Advisory & Investment Group, LLC, and Robert Stern, managing director of Perry Capital and head of Perry Real Estate Partners, the real estate investment arm of Perry Capital, a $13 billion private investment firm. The acquisition represents the two companies’ first investment together.
Chicago’s first high-rise building to be built with pronounced setbacks, towers and upper-story design elements encouraged by the new municipal zoning laws of the 1920s, the Allerton Hotel represents a rare Chicago example of North Italian Renaissance architecture, featuring decorative brickwork, carved stone details and a picturesque roofline evocative of Milan and Verona in the 14th and 15th centuries. Built over a span of three years by the Allerton House Company, a national chain of “club hotels” combining the services of a hotel with the sociability of a private club, the 25-story hotel is credited with helping to turn Chicago’s North Michigan Avenue into a chic boulevard of exclusive stores, restaurants and clubs that was later christened the Magnificent Mile.
The Allerton is probably best known locally for its Tip-Top-Tap, the legendary 23rd-floor cocktail lounge and club that served as the home of Don McNeil’s “Breakfast Club” radio show in the 1950s. The Tip-Top-Tap closed in the 1960s, however the neon Allerton and Tip-Top-Tap signs remain as iconic symbols of the Chicago skyline.
The acquisition of the Allerton Hotel comes on the heels of the February 2006 purchase by an Oxford Lodging-led investment group of another Chicago landmark in the Magnificent Mile district, the 1928 Best Western Inn of Chicago. Oxford Lodging is currently embarking on a multimillion-dollar renovation of the 357-room Ohio Street hotel slated for completion in early 2007. To kick-off the project and signal its commitment to the City of Chicago, Oxford Lodging repaired and relit the rooftop neon Inn of Chicago sign during a nighttime ceremony earlier this year.
“Oxford Lodging has its long-term investment sights set on Chicago primarily because the city has done such a tremendous job maintaining its allure with the three primary hotel audiences: business, group and leisure travelers,” said Kline. “The Allerton is a perfect fit for us given our success acquiring, managing and renovating historic urban properties with an established sense of place. Much like we’re doing now with the Inn of Chicago around the corner, we’re excited to be breathing new life into a local landmark while maintaining its rich architectural, cultural and civic heritage.”
The new owners plan to leverage the Allerton’s history, name awareness
and popularity with convention, business and leisure travelers.
The hotel’s prime Michigan Avenue location between Huron and Superior streets puts it steps from the world-class shops, restaurants, museums, galleries and other attractions of the Magnificent Mile, including Bloomingdale’s, Lord & Taylor, Marshall Field, Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue, Nordstrom, Nike Town, Apple Store, Hard Rock Café, Mike Ditka’s and ESPN Zone. Also within walking distance are the Chicago campus of Northwestern University, Water Tower Place, Chicago Children’s Museum, Art Institute of Chicago, Museum of Contemporary Art, Navy Pier, the John Hancock Building and Shedd Aquarium.
The Allerton Hotel becomes the second hotel to be managed by Kokua Hospitality. Maki Bara, co-chairman of Kokua, explains that, “Kokua evokes the Hawaiian spirit of service and helping one another. These values are fundamental to our hotel operating philosophy.”
About Oxford Lodging Advisory & Investment Group, LLC
Oxford Lodging Advisory & Investment Group, LLC is an advisory and investment firm focused on the investment, asset management, property management and renovation of high-quality lodging assets. Oxford Lodging’s principals have been responsible for over $6 billion of lodging investments and have asset managed over 100 upscale and luxury hotels, resorts and conference centers. The firm is currently responsible for a $4-billion, 13,000-room portfolio of luxury and upscale hotels, conference centers and resorts located throughout the United States and Japan. Oxford Lodging’s principals and employees are direct investors in 65% of this portfolio. Oxford Lodging is headquartered in San Francisco, with offices in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and Tokyo. For more information on Oxford Lodging, please visit www.oxfordlodging.com.
About Perry Capital
Perry Capital is a private investment firm formed in 1988. It currently manages $13 billion, allocated across a variety of asset classes including publicly traded equity and debt securities, private equity and real estate. The firm manages dedicated industry-focused portfolios and seeks to develop strong relationships with the management of companies in which it invests. It employs over 135 professionals and support staff in offices in New York, London and Hong Kong.
About Kokua Hospitality, LLC
San Francisco-based Kokua Hospitality is the property management arm of Oxford Lodging Advisory & Investment Group, LLC. Kokua (pronounced “koh-kooh-ah”) is a Hawaiian expression meaning “to serve, assist and cooperate.” Kokua Hospitality embodies the Hawaiian spirit and culture of nurturing and caring for one another. Oxford Lodging has been active in the property management of several other properties including the 755-room Doubletree Metropolitan, the 1,300-room Milford Plaza, the 705-room Radisson Lexington and the 365-room Mayflower Hotel, all located in New York City.
Oxford Lodging Advisory & Investment Group, LLC
|Also See:||Oxford Lodging and Longwing Acquire the The 357-room Inn of Chicago / February 2006|
|Chicago's Allerton Hotel Closes - Will Undergo $40 Million+ Renovation / Aug 1998|