As many new hotel rooms are now in the finishing stages of construction with the current cycle of our hotel boom, another project is about to begin. The Steeterville Organization of Active Residents announced in a newsletter earlier this week that a construction plan has been published for the upcoming project at 224-228 East Ontario Street. The 21-story hotel, to be branded as a Marriott Autograph Hotel was designed by the architecture firm formerly known as Koo & Associates, but has since dropped the "& Associates" from the name. The firm led by Jackie Koo has a portfolio filled with hospitality projects and had also designed The Wit Hotel at State and Lake streets as well as the proposed Out Hotel on Halsted, which has since faded away in the wake of neighborhood opposition despite the planned location amid a thriving nightlife district.
The approximately 200-key hotel in Streeterville is being constructed on 60 foot wide lot where three low-rise buildings were cleared away last year. The building will fill the lot with the exception of a roughly 10 foot setback along the front sidewalk. The design is being constructed as-of-right within the existing zoning of the block, which as a DX-12 district, is just one step down from the densest base zoning classifications in the city. While the site is quiet now, we can expect initial preparations to begin soon, including the conversion of the parking lane on the south side of Ontario Street to a traffic lane for maintaining two lanes of open circulation while a protective canopy for pedestrians is placed on the north side of the street. Shifting pedestrian flow off the sidewalk will open up more room on the tight site for construction equipment to maneuver during the foundation work expected to begin later this fall. The tower crane will then be erected in January 2016 with removal anticipated in July after the structure is topped out. The building is expected to be more or less completed by November 2016, just in time for the busy holiday season.
— Shawn Ursini