The shuttered Wyndham O'Hare Hotel in Rosemont reportedly has been sold to an investment group, but may need extensive repairs and renovations before it can reopen, officials said.
Rosemont Mayor Bradley Stephens and Unite Here, a union that represents area hotel workers, confirmed that a group of new investors plans to reopen the building, at 6810 Mannheim Road, though the date isn't yet available.
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Stephens said he's awaiting confirmation that the investors closed the deal on Aug. 31. "It will be good to get it reopened and operating," he added.
"It certainly won't open any time soon," said Bill Biggerstaff, secretary/treasurer of Unite Here Local 450, who said pipes froze and burst after the hotel closed in January 2010. "There's a lot of damage in the lobby and a lot of the rooms also need to be renovated," he said.
Eric Chang of U.S. Asia Investment Group in Glenview reportedly headed the group of investors. John Jameson, president of Jameson & Co. in Downers Grove helped to sell the property on behalf of Douglas Wilson Cos. in San Diego, Calif., the receiver, Crain's Chicago Business reported. Terms of the deal were not disclosed and Jameson and Wyndham did not return phone messages. No one answered the phone Monday at U.S. Asia Investment Group.
The sale comes during a boost in the region's hospitality industry after a rough recession. In 2009, a number of area hotels had announced their closures, including the Sheraton Chicago Northwest in Arlington Heights, the Wyndham Drake Hotel in Oak Brook and the Wyndham O'Hare.
The Wyndham O'Hare had its farewell gala on Dec. 31, 2009, as 1,500 revelers rang in the New Year but said goodbye to the hotel and its 210 workers.
Asian investors have become major buyers of hotels around the United States, especially hotels where they can invest $500,000 or more each and promise at least 10 new jobs. This is referred to in the industry as EB-5 properties, said hotel lawyer Jim Butler, author of HotelLawBlog.com based in California. He's written extensively on Asian investors in American hotels.
Buying a hotel that had closed helps create new jobs and qualifies certain investors for employment-based immigration visas, Butler said.
• Daily Herald staff writer Madhu Krishnamurthy contributed to this report.