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Rambler Building to be Rehabbed into Parking for Data Center, Hotel

 Renderings and plans for a data center, hotel and a renovated Rambler Building that will house parking presented Monday to the Prairie District Neighborhood Alliance.
Data Center, Hotel Planned for 111 E. Cermak St.
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SOUTH LOOP — A new three-building development proposed for 111 E. Cermak would create a "gateway to Motor Row" by rehabbing the Rambler Building to conceal parking for a new data center and hotel, architect Joseph Antunovich told a packed room of South Loop community members Monday.

The full plan impacts a 2.5-acre site in the South Loop where McHugh Construction plans to build a hotel along Cermak Street between Michigan Avenue and Indiana Avenue, and a data center along Indiana between 23rd Street and Cermak Road.

The hotel tower would feature 49,404 square feet of retail space on the building's ground floor and 500 "extended stay-style rooms" "similar to a Hilton Garden Inn," Antunovich said.

The current plan is to house the hotel in a 320-foot-tall, 28-story building. The corner "will have a two-story restaurant, with the lobby on Cermak  ... retail and support spaces will encompass entire first floor," Antunovich said.

The Rambler Building's exterior will be restored per the development team's agreement with the city. Its interior would feature a coffee shop on the corner of 23rd Street and Indiana Avenue, but the rest of the building's ground floor and second floor would be converted to hold 114 parking spaces for use by the hotel and data center.

Parking could be concealed from the remaining ground floor windows with displays of locally-produced art, Antunovich suggested.

Antunovich said the developers hoped to start building the data center in mid-November, with the hotel's groundbreaking sometime in the middle of next year. If the team met its goals, construction would overlap with the McCormick Place hotel, data center and arena projects also in the works.

Developers have already secured approval from the city's Landmarks Committee to renovate the Rambler Building "the way we're doing it," said Jack George, the attorney representing the developers.

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