Developers share vision for 'straight-friendly' hotel in Boystown
Fri. April 12, 2013 7:12 AM by Anthony Morgano
renderings of the out chicago hotel resort on north halsted
The Out Chicago hopes to revitalize Chicago's famous gay neighborhood
Ian Reisner, managing partner of Parkview Developers and founder of The Out NYC, shared preliminary details for The Out Chicago with residents and business owners during a packed meeting in the Community Room of the 19th District Police Station.
"One of the reasons why I like Chicago so much is you have a dedicated area that has historically been LGBT-focused," said Reisner. "But I see a migration trend away from Boystown and my focus and dream and desire is to revitalize and re-energize the Halsted strip to cement it as the epicenter for the LGBT community."
The proposed hotel would stack six stories high and contain roughly 112 rooms in addition to a fully enclosed glass courtyard for events, an upscale diner named "KTCHN", a "bOUTique" retail space and a gym/spa. The Out Chicago would be constructed in the 3300 block of North Halsted, adjacent to Sidetrack, with lobby-access to the bar, and incorporate Minibar on the ground floor. The project, which is expected to cost $30 million and create more than 100 jobs, would be completed by 2015.
According to Lakeview Patch, a number of Boystown's business leaders spoke in support of the endeavour saying it would revitalize Chicago's famous gay neighborhood.
"I'm a huge supporter of this and I just want to go on record and thank you for considering our neighborhood," said Paul Cannella, owner of Taverna 750 and Scarlet.
"It's an amazing opportunity," Cannella told ChicagoPride.com after the meeting. "That someone wants to invest $30 million in your neighborhood, create 100 to 150 jobs, bring vibrancy to the daytime businesses with a boutique built into the hotel and to just bring a lot of other spillover economic factors to the rest of the businesses."
Roscoe's Tavern owner Jim Ludwig agreed, "The economic development in our neighborhood is very much appreciated." Ludwig told ChicagoPride.com that the proposal "carefully managed to take into consideration all of the residential concerns as well as those of the community."
Lakeview Patch reported that several neighborhood residents were concerned over what they called a "hulking" and "monstrous" project that could lead to traffic congestion.
A new hotel is just what 44th Ward Alderman Tom Tunney has in mind for the area.
"Their vision aligns with the 44th Ward Master Plan to have more hotel and lodging opportunities available as out-of-town visitors currently have limited options," Erin Duffy, Director of Community Outreach for Ald. Tunney, told ChicagoPride.com.
Thursday's meeting was the first of many community meetings necessary to change zoning for the hotel development.
Check back with ChicagoPride.com for updates. To see more of The Out NYC, visit theoutnyc.com.
Also on ChicagoPride.com:
Bucks closing as Replay arcade bar opens in Boystown