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Hard Rock Hotel Chicago Is Splitting From Chain, Rebranding

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Carbide & Carbon Building, Chicago
Becker Ventures repositioned the Carbide & Carbon Building into the Hard Rock Hotel Chicago in 2004.

Becker Ventures' repositioning of the Carbide & Carbon Building into the Hard Rock Hotel Chicago 13 years ago helped lay the groundwork for Michigan Avenue and the Chicago River to become one of downtown's most active hotel submarkets. Now Becker Ventures is partnering with a local hotel group to rebrand the hotel, the Chicago Tribune reports.

Becker is teaming up with Aparium Hotel Group to renovate the Hard Rock into an as-yet-unnamed boutique hotel that Aparium CEO Kevin Robinson said would pay better respect to the building's architecture and history. The hotel would be Aparium's first in Chicago. The company's portfolio includes the Iron Horse Hotel in Milwaukee and the Pontchartrain Hotel in New Orleans. Aparium was involved in the development of the Elysian Hotel, which was later rebranded as the Waldorf Astoria Chicago and bought by Laurence Geller for $113M in 2015.

The Michigan Avenue hotel landscape has changed dramatically since its debut, with the Virgin Hotel, Londonhouse opening nearby and Oxford Capital's Hotel Julian set to deliver next year. But it was also one of a few Hard Rocks in a dense urban area, and the newer hotels have chipped away at the hotel's performance the past three years.