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Former River West factory to reopen as huge Greco-Roman inspired spa

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Chicago will be the second North American location for Spanish-based ‘Aire Ancient Baths’

Aire Ancient Baths
A historic photograph of the factory at 800 W. Superior posted on the spa’s website.
Aire Ancient Baths

This fall, a 19th century former factory building in Chicago’s River West will reopen as a sprawling complex of hot tubs, plunge pools, and spa treatment rooms. The 20,000-square foot space will be largest facility to date from Aire Ancient Baths—a Spanish group known for repurposing historic buildings into spas modeled on the public bathhouses from Greek and Roman antiquity.

Headed the southwest corner of Halsted Street and Chicago Avenue, the upcoming Chicago location is the culmination of a two-year renovation process. The effort revealed and preserved the old structure’s original exposed brick walls and timber beams, says Aire’s official Chicago website.

Chicago-based real estate investment firm R2 Cos. owns the property. It is situated just across the street for the Tribune’s massive multi-phase development proposal known as The River District. The 37-acre site is one of 10 locations submitted to Amazon in Chicago’s bid for the tech giant’s second North American HQ.

According to Alina Dizik of Crain’s, who described the upcoming space as “straight out of Game of Thrones,” the River West location is on track to open later this month. In addition to several cities across Europe, Aire also operates a New York location in a former 1883 Tribeca textile factory. Future expansions are planned for both Paris and London.