One more hotel may be on the slate for downtown Chicago as a group of developers have announced a plan to transform a busy Loop corner into a new hotel project. Crain's has dissected the contentious partnership between Bighorn Capital, a Las Vegas-based firm, and Chicago real estate exec Steven Gouletas, who are trying to turn an old-school food court at 201 North Clark Street into a luxury hotel. In August, they singed an agreement with Hampshire Hotels Management, who run properties including The Plaza in New York, to manage whatever is built on the 25,000 square foot space overlooking the L tracks at Lake Street. It'll be within walking distance of plenty of competition, including the forthcoming Virgin hotel.
There aren't many details about the hotel plan, however any development that may come is already off to a rough start due to conflicts and legal proceedings between the partners. Bighorn is currently suing Gouletas for $200,000 in rent payments from the current tenants they say he didn't turn over. In addition, one of the restaurants in the food court, K-Town, is suing Gouletas, alleging that he committed fraud by failing to tell tenants about plans to file bankruptcy earlier this year (Gouletas filed earlier this year and ceded control of the property to Bighorn). While it's not a lot of cash in the grand scheme of such a potentially large development, it's hampering the development of what could be a prime space, before neighbors may flood the market with competing hotel rooms.
·Developers plan Loop hotel, then squabble over $200,000 [Crain's]
·Previous hotel boom town coverage [Curbed Chicago]