A Loyola Hotel? University Eyes Empty Lot on Albion Avenue

By Benjamin Woodard on February 1, 2013 11:00am | Updated on February 1, 2013 1:03pm

ROGERS PARK — Loyola University has been busy.

In the last two years, it's erected dormitories and apartments, purchased historic neighborhood buildings and paid $2 million toward the $9.5 million Loyola L station renovation.

Now the school is evaluating whether to lease land to a developer to build a hotel on the southwest corner of North Sheridan Road and Albion Avenue, said Wayne Magdziarz, the university's vice president of capital planning.

The university is shopping for a developer who would lease the land and build the hotel, but still is determining whether the project would be "financially feasible," Magdziarz said.

He said more information would be available within a couple of months.

A rendering obtained by DNAinfo.com Chicago of what the hotel could look like shows six floors with street-level retail. Magdziarz said the rooftop could be outfitted with a lounge.

He said the university wants to provide more quality lodging for people visiting Loyola's lakeside campus.

The empty plot of land has been owned by the university since 1989, according to Cook County records.

A series of buildings there, including the former location of Sheridan Florist at 6590 N. Sheridan Road, was torn down several years ago.

On the lot's western border, Loyola is erecting a row of two-bedroom apartments, totaling 29 units to be completed in April.

Farther south, near the Loyola L station, the university plans to build a four-story apartment building with ground-level retail and 41 one-bedroom apartments.

The building will overlook the renovated station and a plaza expected to be completed by this summer, according to the Chicago Transit Authority.

Loyola also has purchased several buildings in Edgewater, on Winthrop and Kenmore avenues, for student housing.

The university also was working to close Kenmore Avenue between West Rosemont Avenue and West Sheridan Road.

Renderings show the residential street replaced with grass, footpaths and flower beds outside a soon-to-be-completed student dorm set to open this summer.

 The vacant property at the southwest corner of Albion Avenue and North Sheridan Road housed a florist before Loyola University demolished the building.
The vacant property at the southwest corner of Albion Avenue and North Sheridan Road housed a florist before Loyola University demolished the building.
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DNAinfo/Benjamin Woodard

Nearby, Hamilton's Bar closed in October after Loyola purchased the building on North Broadway. The university has since leased the property to Bistronomic owner Matt Fisher, who plans to open an upscale sports bar there called "63" this summer.

On the strip of Sheridan Road in Rogers Park, there seems to be only one holdout to Loyola's efforts to re-brand the area.

Bruno Roti, owner of Bruno's Lounge, between Loyola station and what could be Rogers Park's newest hotel, "doesn't want to sell," Magdziarz said.

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