Newly issued permits for Hedgeman Development's proposed $10 million, 90-room hotel on the 7600 block of South State Street in the Chatham neighborhood have community residents anxious about development plans, reports the latest news from the 6th Ward. The five-story Park Manor Inn was originally proposed by South Shore businessman Herbert Hedgeman in 2010 for the intention of promoting economic development in the neighborhood, and the full announcement of the project in 2014 included 43 parking spaces, a 100-seat restaurant, a 2,900-square-foot community area, and listed Piekarz Associates P.C. as the architect for the hotel. Though a longtime resident and business owner in Chatham, Hedgeman has received pushback from the community for his past business interests in the area, including a few motels with short-term rental options—thus informing one of Alderman Roderick Sawyer's main issues for the proposed project—that it has no national brand attached to it. But the May 15th filing of a special-use permit for the site implies Hedgeman's intentions to move forward despite complaints.
In addition to a persistently messy, empty lot at the site, residents are skeptical of hotel's bland aesthetic. Further, residents have complained that Hedgeman remains unclear on exactly how Park Manor Inn will provide economic or community benefits, especially with two nearby hotel projects in the works that would be more accessible to McCormick Place event overflow. Most significantly, there has been no centrally stated or organized community support for the project, which would otherwise be essential for a project of this scale, with the ambition of breathing fresh life into the otherwise blighted stretch of South State Street. Per requirements of the application for a special-use permit, further community meetings will soon be scheduled for the project.
·Park Manor Inn: What is Really Going On [Concerned Citizens of Chatham]
·$10 Million, 90-Room Hotel Proposal for Chatham Gets Mixed Reviews [DNAinfo]