Developer David Pisor's quest to retain the Elysian brand through sale has failed. Crain's delivers this morning's news that investor Sam Zell has bought the two-year old Elysian Hotel for $98M, or a stunning $502,000 per room. That is the highest price by room ever paid in Chicago. Zell intends to bring in Waldorf Astoria, re-branding the property with a far-more lofty and competitive name. Waldorf is a division of Hilton Worldwide, which ties it into that massive distribution system and safety net. The rising occupancy rate among downtown hotels helped convince Zell to make his move. The guy's also a billionaire, so what the hey. The sale does not include the 51 luxury condos that have mostly been bought from the developer. Those condo sales make the hotel disappointment more palatable to Pisor, buffering him against serious loss. Recently named the top U.S. hotel in a Conde Nast Traveler survey, on account of its over-sized rooms, there's not the same universal love for the Lucien Lagrange-design.
·Zell buys luxury Elysian Hotel in Gold Coast [Crain's]