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Construction of McCormick Place's New $390M Hotel Is Underway


Yesterday marked the official groundbreaking of the Marriott Marquis Chicago hotel, one of the features of the McCormick Place Entertainment District intended to strengthen Chicago's tourism and trade show industries.


Snapped: Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority chairman Jack Greenberg (white hard hat), MPEA CEO Lori Healey, Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Ald. Pat Dowell (3rd), and Marriott International president and CEO Arne Sorenson toss the ceremonial first shovels of dirt in the $390M project. When completed in late 2017, the site will be home to Chicago's only Marriott Marquis hotel with 1,206 rooms and 50 stories.


The Marriott Marquis Chicago will be one new feature of MPEA's "McCormick Collection" that'll expand McCormick Place's portfolio of convention and trade show offerings to attract new business and build on the city's growth in convention business in recent years. Tourism-related employment grew 6% from 2011 to now, while tax revenue increased $159M to $885M. The city expects total tax revenue from tourism to exceed $1B within the next three years. The Marriott Marquis will join the existing 1,258-room Hyatt McCormick Place in providing visitors with easy access to McCormick Place and downtown, and will lay the foundation for an entertainment district the city plans to develop in the area. Chicago's  hotel occupancy reached a record 72.4% in the first six months of 2015.


In order to make way for the construction, MPEA had to move the Harriet F. Rees House, a designated city and national landmark, from the site last November from its home at 2110 S Prairie to its new location one block north at 2017 S Prairie. MPEA paid $6M for the move and $1.9M for the new lot. As you can see in these photos, the digging has just begun while cranes move boring tips and other excavation equipment into place for what will likely be a fast build-out. We'll check back in on the site and the other facets of McCormick Place's expansion in a few months.