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Tunney Rejects LGBT Hotel, Citing Neighbor Concerns and Design Issues

By Serena Dai | September 12, 2013 6:46am
 Parkview Developers debuted another rendering of the Out Hotel on Aug. 14 after Belmont Harbor Neighbor's board unanimously rejected a downsized plan. 
Out Hotel Renderings
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BOYSTOWN — A proposed LGBT-focused boutique hotel on Halsted Street has hit another roadblock.

Ald. Tom Tunney (44th) rejected Parkview Developers' $30 million plan for a 79-foot, eight-story building at 3343 N. Halsted St., according to Tunney staffer Erin Duffy.

After hearing neighbor concerns, the alderman decided that The Out Hotel Chicago's design did not fit in the neighborhood, she said.

"The alderman would like them to look at other locations in the neighborhood and change the design to be more cohesive," Duffy said, adding that there were too many rooms in the plan.

Parkview Developers' Ian Reisner said in an email that he planned to go back to the drawing board to make The Out Hotel Chicago work at the location. Previously, Reisner said he needed a certain amount of rooms to make the hotel economically viable.

Reisner faced considerable opposition from the neighborhood this summer as he sought their approval.

He and architect Jackie Koo ultimately presented three versions to neighbors, including a plan that downsized the building from 10 stories to eight stories and one with the addition of curved building edges

And while the project had supporters — including businesses that hoped the hotel would revive Boystown as a gay destination — many neighbors still said the building was too big and would "destroy" the look of the street.