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Historic Motor Row building designed by Albert Kahn tapped for hotel conversion

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The project would bring a new extended stay option to Chicago’s McCormick Place convention center

Rendering courtesy of NORR Architects

In Chicago’s historic Motor Row District, a vacant industrial building is preparing to get a second life as a 200-room boutique hotel serving McCormick Place convention-goers.

If approved, the six-story structure at 2300 S. Indiana Avenue would become a 79-room Motel 6 with 121 extended-stay rooms operated under the company’s Studio 6 brand, Crain’s reported on Tuesday.

Notable Detroit architect Albert Kahn designed the 100-year-old building as a service facility for the Cadillac Motor Car Company, representatives of NORR Architects—the firm tapped to lead the conversion—told Curbed.

Because the old structure is a contributing building in the Motor Row landmark district, the adaptive reuse plan needs to comply with city preservation rules. The project will go before the Commission on Chicago Landmarks for approval on Thursday, according to the group’s monthly agenda.

The development will repair the deteriorated masonry facade with matching brickwork and new windows designed to mirror the originals. The plan also adds ground-floor retail space and punches a new light well through the center of the building to bring sunlight to interior guest rooms.

Rendering courtesy of NORR Architect

The proposed Motel 6/Studio 6 project would be the third hotel development to come to the McCormick Square entertainment district in as many years—joining the 1,200-room Marriott Marquis hotel and a trio of Hilton brands sharing a 22-story tower at 123 E. Cermak.

The immediate area is also experiencing an influx of residential development. A 24-story rental building recently broke ground at the northeast corner of Wabash and Cermak, and work on the multiphase mixed-income Southbridge redevelopment of the former Harold Ickes Homes is on track to begin in June.