A previously rumored plan from Chicago's DAC Developments to build a 26-story Sonder hotel at 424 S. Wabash Avenue broke cover Thursday at a virtual courtesy presentation meeting hosted by Ald. Sophia King (4th).
The South Loop project replaces a surface parking lot and a single-story commercial building with a glassy 285-foot-tall tower. Thanks to the property's existing DX-16 Downtown Mixed-Use zoning, the development is free to move forward "as of right" without any official review from the city of Chicago.
The proposal includes a small lobby, back-of-house hotel services, and approximately 1,800 square feet of retail space on the ground floor, plus 40 parking spaces on floors two and three. The fourth and fifth levels will be home to amenity space, several outdoor terraces, and roughly 11,000 square feet of office space that may be occupied by Sonder employees.
Floors 6 through 24 will contain a total of 270 apartment-style hotel rooms comprising 190 studios, 16 one-bedrooms, and 64 two-bedrooms. The guest rooms generally get larger in size as the building rises. At the structure's crown, there will be two more floors of amenities, a mechanical penthouse, and a green roof.
"Our design is very simple and neat," said architect Georgi Todorov of Chicago-based firm Pappageorge Haymes Partners. "Our intention is not to compete with the adjacent buildings, but rather to contribute to the neighborhood by reflecting them."
The north facade of the mostly glass hotel will have a repetitive diagonal pattern with "similar language" to the Roosevelt University Tower across the street. Todorov said that views to the north are less of a priority for the team because a future high-rise development is still planned for the parking lot at the nearby corner of Wabash and Van Buren.
The Sonder hospitality brand is known for offering fully-furnished accommodations that are more akin to luxury apartments than traditional hotel rooms. The company already has a strong presence in Chicago's Loop and South Loop with 92 units at Essex on the Park, 62 units at 1419 S. Wabash, and 39 units at 19 S. Wabash.
DAC Developments intends to break ground on 424 S. Wabash in March 2022 and anticipates a construction timeline of roughly 18 months. Sticking with that schedule, the South Loop hotel will open in the later part of 2023.
"We look forward to bringing a beautiful building to this area of the Loop that will bring in guests from around the country and the world to experience this incredible part of the city that we all know and love," said Adam Rezko of DAC Developments. Rezko's company is also currently seeking city approval for a 19-story high-rise at 1217 W. Washington Boulevard in the West Loop.