Kimpton grows its empire one good building at a time and doing so by buying real estate, not relying on management contracts.
Kimpton Hotel & Restaurants announced plans Tuesday to convert a historic LaSalle Street office building into a four-star hotel in what would be its fifth adaptive reuse project in Chicago.
The San Francisco-based company said it acquired The New York Life Building, a William Le Baron Jenney designed building constructed in 1894 at 39 S. LaSalle St.
When the $106 million renovation is completed in early 2016, the 14-story office building will include 281 hotel rooms, a restaurant and bar, meeting and event space, a top floor ballroom and 9,500 square feet of retail space on the ground floor.
The building, considered an important example of Chicago School high-rise construction, was completed as 12 stories facing LaSalle Street in 1894. In 1898, a 13-story addition was built to the east of the original building that received a one-story rooftop addition. A 14th floor was added to the entire building fronting LaSalle and Monroe streets in 1903, according to city records.
It was designated a Chicago landmark in 2006, and Kimpton CEO Mike Depatie said the plan is to “maintain the look and the feel of this beautiful 1894 vintage building.”
That is a decidedly different plan from eight years ago, when half of the total area of the building was to be torn down to make way for a 51-story high-rise, encroaching on the original building’s footprint. That project never materialized.
Kimpton acquired the property from Hamilton Partners, tapping a $203 million private equity fund it closed in February, with the goal of acquiring more than $500 million worth of hotels during the next three years.
It will be the fifth hotel project in Chicago for the company, which has renovated other historic buildings in the city into Hotel Burnham, Hotel Allegro, Hotel Monaco and Hotel Palomar. Depatie said the company hopes to begin the project before year’s end.
“A lot of people that work in that area are staying elsewhere,” Depatie added. “We know there’s a lot of hotel demand. It’s just being accommodated elsewhere.”