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Navy Pier’s new hotel is officially a go

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Pre-construction demolition is starting on the 222-room waterfront project

The new seven-story hotel structure will be comprised of five floors of guest rooms above the two levels of revamped dining and entertainment space.

Just weeks after opening a new, reconfigurable performance space for the Chicago Shakespeare Theater, Navy Pier is ready to begin the next—and perhaps most dramatic—phase of renovations: construction of a 222-room waterside hotel. Thanks to a newly issued demolition permit, crews can begin making room for the glassy, seven-story addition to the popular tourist destination.

Expected to be operated under the Hilton’s Curio Collection brand, the yet-to-be-named hotel will be spread over three bracket-shaped bays immediately south of the Pier’s Festival Hall. An adjoining indoor/outdoor rooftop bar and restaurant will be constructed on top of the Pier’s Shelter Building which connects to the existing Grand Ballroom.

First Hospitality Group

The design of the hotel comes from KOO LLC. The Chicago-based architecture firm’s recent hospitality projects include the Wit in the Loop, Streeterville’s Hotel EMC2, and the upcoming Lincoln Park Hampton Inn. The Navy Pier project is being developed by Chicago’s First Hospitality Group with financing coming from Swiss-based real estate investment firm ACRON AG.

The mixed-use structure isn’t the only big change headed to the far end of Navy Pier. Plans are on the table for a semi-circular walkway that would gently rise over a shallow reflecting pool. A new landscaped plaza would step down at the water’s edge, allowing visitors to get even closer to the lake. The addition comes from James Corner Field Operations, the architect behind New York’s High Line linear park. Work on this phase of improvements has yet to begin.

The so-called “Lake Overview” pathway and reflecting pool.
James Corner Field Operations