Location, Restaurant Partners Will Set Up Wrigleyville's Boutique Hotel For Sustained Success
The fortunes around Clark & Addison sure have changed. The Cubs are World Series champions with a wide open window to win more titles, and construction is well underway on a boutique hotel that ties into the history of the no longer lovable losers.
Hickory Street Capital VP Eric Nordness tells Bisnow that construction of the Hotel Zachary, across from the Friendly Confines, is progressing nicely since Hickory Street tore down the McDonald’s that used to call the site home in March.
The foundation and caissons have been poured, crews have excavated around those to build the parking garage and work on the elevator shafts will soon begin.
Hickory Street had already announced plans for the hotel when Eric (who's speaking at Bisnow's hospitality event Dec. 6) joined the company in April 2015. But he hit the ground running thanks to his extensive background in restaurants and hotels. Prior to joining Hickory Street, Eric spent 10 years at Salita Development, where he and his partners developed from the ground up—and Eric still has a stake in—the Sheraton Chicago North Shore (near Medline’s HQ). Salita also JV’d with RDM Development on The Bedford, the popular Wicker Park restaurant and event space that was formerly a historic bank.
With the Hotel Zachary, Eric added details to the hotel’s macro strategy. He worked with the design team to determine the hotel’s room count, and the types and sizes of the rooms. He put together the marketing team that determined the name for the hotel and its branding, and worked to foster a relationship with Starwood-Marriott to leverage its reservation platform.
But the most exciting aspect of the Hotel Zachary may be the restaurant component. Eric’s experience put him in contact with a network of chef-driven hospitality groups that other hoteliers would envy, and the chefs he landed to open restaurants in the Hotel Zachary are a who’s who of Chicago power chefs.
One Off Hospitality (the restaurant group owned by James Beard Award-winning chef Paul Kahan and Donnie Madia) is opening a Big Star tacos in the Hotel Zachary. Eric has agreements with Matthias Merges’ (Yusho, Billy Sunday) Folk Art Restaurant Group and Four Star Restaurant Group (Dunlay’s, Smoke Daddy). Meanwhile, Four Corners Tavern Group and Goose Island Beer Co will operate a brand-new tavern in the Cubs' new office tower to the north of Wrigley Field. And McDonald’s will reopen in the hotel.
Eric is confident the Hotel Zachary will succeed when it opens in 2018, even though recent transactions like the Hotel Allegro’s $87M sale are a sign of a softening in the boutique hotel market. There’s very little hotel product north of North Avenue, for starters. And Wrigleyville, with its dense population base, is ideally situated for Hickory Street’s restaurant partners to cater to that density before, during and after baseball season. Eric likes what he sees of the changes in the market, with the pendulum swinging back to smaller hotels providing distinctly local experiences, and he believes the Hotel Zachary will deliver.
To learn more from Eric and our other expert panelists, attend Bisnow's Hospitality Boom event, 7am Tuesday, Dec. 6, at Londonhouse. Register here.