Revised plans for an eight-story limited service hotel on the eastern edge of Wicker Park were presented to neighbors last week at a public meeting held by 2nd Ward Alderman Brian Hopkins. First announced in July of 2015, the 97-key proposal comes from George Nediyakalayil — the current owner of the Shell station that occupies the site on southeast corner of North and Ashland. Expected to operate under the Hilton or Hyatt banner if approved, the project was met with varying levels of enthusiasm from the community.
While the presentation drew typical concerns from locals over issues such as traffic congestion, a number of neighbors expressed their displeasure with the project’s appearance. According to a report by DNAinfo, the concrete and glass design from Ron Vari was even dealt Chicago’s sharpest architectural criticism of all: direct comparison to something found in suburban Schaumburg.
Seeking a zoning change, the hotel will require aldermanic approval to move forward. At this time, Hopkins has yet to decide on Nediyakalayil’s plan, which could see further revision. If green-lit, the North and Ashland development would join of number of new hotels setting up shop outside of Chicago’s immediate downtown in outlying neighborhoods such as Old Town, Hyde Park, Lakeview, and Fulton Market.