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CMC Back in Business

CMC Back in Business
Historic buildings, boutique hotels, and historic preservation tax credits are nothing new in Chicago, but Aries Capital's plan to combine them in the former Chicago Motor Club building, which it bought at auction late last month, is getting lots of attention.
Andrew Wilson
Aries was the mezz lender on the building and paid just  $9.7M  for the Holabird & Root treasure, which has a giant mural  of the US and its highways painted in the 1920s in its four-story foyer, Aries'Andrew Wilson tells us. (We're not sure, but he may have heard it from that nice lady.) The lender-turned-developer will use historic tax credits to cover up to 15% of the cost of rehabbing the building. Andrew, a former developer for GGP, says the plan is to create a 127-room  boutique hotel with a major operator, just like Aries did with the Waldorf-Astoria in New Orleans. Much of the original building will stay intact, but offices built in the space in the 1980s will be transformed into rooms that will rival Chicago's unique newcomers like  The Wit a few blocks away.
Office Moving MCHI
View from the Chicago Motor Club
Andrew took this picture from the building's roof to show off the great views from the 17-story Art Deco building, also famous for being in the original Batman movie (Bruce Wayne's parents meet their doom in an alley just outside the buiding). Aries is in the process of formulating a  structure of cooperation to maximize value for their fund investors in the hotel, which will be in competition with the new Langham Hotel (being built at 330 N Wabash) as well as Michigan Avenue hotels. But Andrew says the building's unique character,sightlines down the river from the planned rooftop lounge, and the gravity of the historic lobby of the building will set it apart.