The DNAinfo archives brought to you by WNYC.
Read the press release here.

Developer of Hotel for Gays Debuts New Renderings, Hopes for Neighbors' OK

By Serena Dai | August 15, 2013 8:13am
 Parkview Developers debuted another rendering of the Out Hotel on Wednesday, Aug. 14, 2013 after Belmont Harbor Neighbor's board unanimously rejected a downsized plan. 
Out Hotel August Renderings
View Full Caption

BOYSTOWN — Developers of a planned LGBT-focused boutique hotel on Halsted released yet another design and a new light study this week, hoping to persuade more neighbors to accept the plan.

The latest design of The Out Hotel Chicago from Parkview Developer's Ian Reisner and architect Koo and Associates shows a building at 3343 N. Halsted St. with the same controversial height of 79 feet but with curved corners, more windows and different materials. 

Reisner has been seeking approval from neighbors for the $30 million luxury boutique hotel project that he and area business leaders hope will revive Boystown as a gay destination. 

Some neighbors refused to approve zoning requests even after Reisner downsized from 10 stories to eight stories, saying that the hotel didn't fit the neighborhood and blocked the light for eastern neighbors. 

Though both the Northalsted Business Alliance and Triangle Neighbors sent letters of conditional support to Ald. Tom Tunney (44th) after the downsize, Belmont Harbor Neighbor's board unanimously rejected the proposal last month after a heated meeting.

Reisner is hoping for "unanimous approval" now that the design has been tweaked again, he said.

Adding curves to the corners of the building is intended to make it match the other area buildings better, Kevin Parzych of Koo and Associates said via email. Large windows were added to the street to enhance "the pedestrian experience." And the hotel will be constructed with "brick with stone sills and brick patterning" in hopes of matching the neighborhood better, he wrote. 

A document sent to neighbors also showed a light study comparing shadows for a building of 79 feet versus the current zoning of 55 feet — a "very little difference in the amount of shadow cast throughout the day," Parzych wrote.

"The vast majority of the shadows visible in the various snapshots are cast by existing buildings, often by houses on Buckingham [Place] themselves," Parzych wrote.

The 44th Ward Master Plan calls for more boutique hotels in Lakeview, and the alderman's office has said it can support three or four.

Though Tunney has final say on the project's zoning, he has said he'll only approve a project that fits into the character of the neighborhood and has resident support.