The 98-room SOPHY, to be managed by The Olympia Companies, will be located at the corner of 53rd Street and Dorchester Avenue in Chicago’s South Side and will feature a bar, restaurant with al fresco dining and fitness center. SOPHY is designed as a four-diamond luxury property and engineered to achieve LEED Silver certification and will be a preferred hotel of the University of Chicago.
“Working closely with 5th Ward Alderman Leslie Hairston and the University of Chicago, we’re pleased to have the opportunity to build and operate our second hotel in Hyde Park,” said Mike Zimmerman, Vice President, Development, for The Olympia Companies. “The hotel is firmly rooted in Hyde Park’s history dating back to the turn of the century and going forward will play a vital role in one of Chicago’s legendary neighborhoods. SOPHY aligns with SMART’s and Olympia’s expertise in developing and managing independent, award-winning boutique properties that evoke a strong sense of place and become an integral part of the community.”
The name “SOPHY” is rooted in the Greek word “sophia,” meaning wisdom and dedication to excellence through the pursuit of knowledge. The name was inspired by the rich legacy of intellectual, artistic and cultural innovation that is part of the fabric of the University of Chicago and Hyde Park. Local luminaries such as singer Mahalia Jackson, novelist Saul Bellow and University of Chicago Scientist Enrico Fermi provided inspiration for the hotel’s interior design. In addition, the hotel will feature artwork from contemporary Chicago artists and design elements inspired by the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition, including barn doors on the private dining space that use circular elements to suggest the world’s first Ferris Wheel.
Chicago-based GREC Architects is the project architect, with interior design from Stonehill and Taylor Architects of New York. The hotel is being built by William A Randolph, Inc. of Gurnee IL.
SOPHY will complement the Hyatt Place Chicago-South/University Medical Center, which was also jointly developed by Olympia and SMART Hotels and is managed by The Olympia Companies. The hotel, scheduled to open in the summer of 2018, will be proximate to the University of Chicago campus, the University of Chicago Medical Center and the site of the future Barack Obama Presidential Library.