Like so many bygone transient dwellings in Chicago, the Cedar Hotel was once a prime destination for the down-and-out. But the Gold Coast address will soon serve a considerably more upmarket clientele.
Following months of deliberations, the city recently approved the Viceroy Hotel Group’s proposal to build a 180-key boutique hotel on the site of the former Cedar Hotel at 1118 N. State St. Adding to its extensive list of properties in places like Abu Dhabi, New York and Miami, Viceroy’s plans for the glass and aluminum development reflects the firm’s belief that the Near North Side will continue “gaining momentum as one of the most sought-after modern luxury destinations in the city,” according to a press release.
Built in 1924, the Cedar is listed as orange-rated in the city’s Historic Resources Survey, which notes the building’s “historic significance in the context of the community.” The team plans to demolish the inside of the building but maintain most of the Cedar’s brick and terra cotta facade facing the street. The proposal does not include plans for additional parking in or around the site.
Viceroy signed on with local developer Convexity Properties, architect Goettsch Partners and designer TAL Studio to round out the vision for the rehab of the 18-story property. The team is expected to incorporate the Cedar’s facade into the redevelopment.
A spokesperson for Viceroy declined to comment or present renderings of the project at this time, but renderings obtained from the city’s planning department offer etchings of a modern, if somewhat conservative tower set atop the exterior of the vintage hotel.
The project, set for completion in 2017, will put Viceroy among a growing set of hospitality brands that have recently laid roots in the city’s downtown. Virgin Hotels and Hyatt Centric put the finishing touches on Loop-area boutique hotels earlier this year, and LondonHouse has announced plans to set up shop in the London Guarantee & Accident building next year.
Currently housing a patio bar set across the street from so-called “Viagra Triangle” park, the underused Cedar site has been the target of redevelopment plans since 2007, but a poor construction climate and resident pushback has helped stall the project until now. Couched among pricey restaurants, designer clothing outlets and the offices of numerous plastic surgeons, the 4-story Cedar, which in its heyday served as a single room occupancy hotel, appeared out of place long before it closed in the mid-2000s.
The new hotel won’t be the first in Chicago to bear the Viceroy name: that honor belongs to the original Viceroy Hotel, an SRO located near Union Park. Jetsetters need not worry about mixing up their reservations, though—the transient hotel was converted into affordable, green apartments and renamed Harvest Commons in 2013.