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Work resumes on Fulton Market’s stalled Nobu Hotel

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The troubled project halted construction in November and changed developers

The troubled project is finally started to see some activity.
Jay Koziarz

For the first time in months, construction crews were spotted at beleaguered Nobu Hotel project at 854 W. Randolph Street in Chicago’s West Loop.

While it would seem that bringing a well-established, celebrity-backed global hospitality brand to Chicago’s trendiest neighborhood would be a fairly straight-forward affair, Chicago’s Nobu has faced a number of costly delays.

News of the West Loop project was first reported back in 2013. After several of design evolutions and a change of architect, the development team hosted a highly-publicized groundbreaking ceremony in of mid 2016. Actual work, however, did not get underway until the following May.

Modif Architecture

The 11-story combination hotel and restaurant project managed to build its foundation and get its concrete core a handful of floors above street level before construction abruptly halted in November of 2017. It was reported at the time that M Development was seeking a $52 million loan.

In December, news broke that M Development was selling its stake in the partially-built Fulton Market project to RCD Resorts for $20 million. With a portfolio that included Nobu Hotel projects in Miami Beach and Cabo San Lucas, it was hoped that the Mexico-based company would get Chicago’s Nobu back on track.

The recently observed activity is certainly an encouraging sign for the troubled West Loop development, which is expected to contain 119 guest rooms, an indoor pool, event space, rooftop lounge, and a 10,000-square-foot Nobu restaurant from namesake chef Nobu Matsuhisa.

Although the project has taken longer than anyone could have expected, other West Loop hotel developments have picked up the slack. Since Nobu Chicago was first announced, boutique offerings such as Soho House and the Ace Hotel have opened up.

The 182-room Hoxton Hotel at nearby 200 Green topped out ahead of its planned 2019 opening. A 28-room adaptive reuse at 310 N. Peoria Street and a 16-story extended-stay Hyatt at 113 N. May Street next to McDonald’s new global HQ look to soon join the West Loop hospitality scene.

The 58-story Equinox tower proposed for 725 W. Randolph Street and the massive mixed-use redevelopment slated for the entire 1200 block of W. Fulton Market are also expected to include hotel components.

Signs of life.
Jay Koziarz