The new owners of a shuttered hotel near the Allstate Arena in Rosemont hope to renovate and reopen it by this summer.
But when the venue does reopen, it will actually be two hotels in one, officials say: a 200-room Hyatt Place Hotel and a separate "select service" hotel of between 180 and 200 rooms.
The Rosemont zoning board of appeals on Tuesday voted to recommend approval of variances that pave the way for the reopening of the former Wyndham O'Hare Hotel, at 6810 N. Mannheim Road, which closed January 2010. The village board will take final action on the variances Wednesday.
The 466-room hotel shut down in the midst of a struggling hospitality market. It was purchased in August 2012 by Glenview-based U.S. Asia Investment Group, headed by Eric Chang. Superhost Enterprise, a Fort Wayne, Ind.-based hotel management and hospitality services company, entered the mix eight months ago, and also is involved in ownership and redevelopment of the complex.
Superhost Vice President Samir Lakhany told zoning board members Tuesday that he and the ownership group are in negotiations to secure a hotel brand for the building in the back portion of the property. That hotel and the Hyatt Place Hotel that fronts Mannheim will offer different price points and amenities, he said, with the goal being to "create synergies" between the two brands.
Lakhany expects to announce the name of the second hotel within the next three months.
"When we became involved with this project, we saw this as a wonderful market," Lakhany said. "We saw that while there was a downturn in the economy two years ago, the O'Hare-Rosemont area is always going to be a strong, prominent hotel market."
Officials say the rear hotel was constructed in the early 1960s, and the front hotel was built later as an addition.
Construction will start soon on a "full gut" and "extensive remodel," Lakhany said.
It's expected to cost $40,000 to refurbish each room at the hotel complex.
Renovation plans include resurfacing, recladding and repainting the buildings, installation of a porte-cochere for cars to pass through at the entrance of the Hyatt Place, and demolition of a section of the existing hotel that connects the two structures. A shared basement will remain in place, and provide utility service to the entire complex.
The existing courtyard between the two buildings includes an outdoor swimming pool and a small stone building, but those will be removed and the space converted to additional parking, Lakhany said.
In total, there will be 286 parking spaces for the Hyatt Place and 299 parking spaces for the other hotel.
Patrick Thompson, an attorney representing the hotel's ownership group, said public safety antennas currently in place on the buildings will remain, but may need to be relocated to different spots.
The developer plans to request a height allowance from the Federal Aviation Administration of 99 feet to account for placing the hotel's Hyatt Place logo at the top of the building. The current height of the building is 89 feet.
The project would come back before the zoning board for consideration of a village height variance after FAA approval is granted, as well as consideration of a final plat of resubdivision.
Lakhany said he hopes both hotels would open by July.