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O'Hare Hotel Market Sees Signs of Life Amid Pockets of Distress

Operating performance is up and there’s hope for the future, but some hotels in Chicago’s O’Hare Airport market still struggle with lingering financial problems. Several properties closed and several more have new owners or will soon:

• The three-year-old InterContinental Chicago O’Hare is the poster child for distressed hotels in the market. The 556-room, $180-million property opened in 2008, just days after the collapse of Lehman Brothers and the start of the nation’s financial meltdown.

The developers, led by Chicago-based Harp Group, were forced to file bankruptcy just a year after opening. Until recently, the developers battled with lenders and the bankruptcy court over a reorganization plan. In July, the court ordered the property turned over to the lenders.

• One of the hotels that closed during the downturn may see new life in an alternative use. The Sheraton Chicago Northwest closed in late 2009 and was recently purchased for $7.7 million by Argent Realty, which plans to convert the 426-room hotel into a multi-phase mixed-use project anchored by 200 to 250 luxury apartment units.

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TAGS: News Hotel
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