The 357-room Inn of Chicago, the landmark Ohio Street property a half-block from Michigan Avenue’s famed Magnificent Mile, has been purchased by IOC Hotel.IOC Hotel is a joint venture between Oxford Lodging Advisory & Investment Group of San Francisco, and Longwing Real Estate Ventures, a member of the Dubai Investment Group - from Inn of Chicago Associates. Together, these two companies have completed nearly $700 million in acquisitions over the past year.
The new owners plan a multi-million-dollar renovation of the hotel’s lobby, guest rooms and meeting spaces in keeping with the property’s 1928 “classic Chicago” architecture and theme. Negotiations are currently underway with several prominent restaurant groups for a new facility in the 4,000-square-foot ground-floor restaurant space. Once completed in the first quarter of 2007, the renovated property will maintain its Best Western affiliation and be managed by Kokua Hospitality, the new property management entity of Oxford Lodging announced separately.
As a special feature of the renovation and commitment to maintaining the property’s historical link to Chicago, the new owners plan to repair and relight the ornate rooftop “Inn of Chicago” neon sign that welcomed the hotel’s first visitors in 1928.
The announcement was made by Robert D. Kline, president of Oxford Lodging Advisory & Investment Group. The acquisition of the Best Western Inn of Chicago adds to Oxford Lodging’s Midwest investments, which include the 450-room Hilton Omaha. The company maintains an office in Chicago.
The new owners plan to leverage the hotel’s history, name awareness and popularity with convention and business travelers, and explore the addition of newly configured, upper-floor meeting rooms to compliment the 4,000 square feet of ground-floor meeting and banquet space, and the Rooftop Terrace, offering spectacular views of downtown Chicago and Lake Michigan.
“Oxford Lodging is interested in adding only the best, most optimally located properties to its portfolio - and the Best Western Inn of Chicago is no exception,” said Kline. “In addition to its unparalleled address, historical prominence and strong ties to the city, the hotel is a favorite with leisure and business travelers - a relationship we intend to leverage further upon completion of the McCormick Place expansion in 2008 and accelerated convention schedule.”