CITY HALL — A proposal to develop a new 18-story "boutique" hotel at the Cedar Hotel site on the Gold Coast while retaining its distinctive facade and State Street plaza was endorsed unanimously Thursday by the city's Plan Commission.
The Viceroy Hotel will have 180 rooms on the site of what was once a single-room-occupancy hotel in the hard-partying Rush Street area where it ends at State and Cedar Street.
The bulk of the hotel will be offset behind the four-story east facade of the old Cedar Hotel, which will be dismantled and rebuilt.
The Cedar Hotel, which was once a single room occupancy hotel, had more recently been used as a tavern with what amounted to a beer garden at 1118 N. State St. Ald. Brian Hopkins (2nd) called that tavern "frankly, not always a good neighbor."
Hopkins, who endorsed the project, was the third alderman to work on the development, started under Ald. Brendan Reilly (42nd) and continued under former Ald. Bob Fioretti (2nd), who took over the territory in the most recent remap before choosing to run for mayor in an ill-fated campaign early this year.
The project had been stalled for months after the property had generally been vacant for years.
"This going in is better than what currently exists there," said Smita Shah, vice chairwoman of the commission.
Hopkins said the project "maintains the integrity of the neighborhood."
It passed, however, over the objections of members of Preserve Our Dearborn Neighborhood, who complained about the 18-story building blocking sunlight, as well as the hotel adding to parking and traffic congestion.
"We feel it's an acceptable proposal," countered Transportation Commissioner Rebekah Scheinfeld, also a member of the Plan Commission.
Hopkins added that the project had been scaled down from an earlier 220-room proposal. He pointed to valet parking as the hotel's answer to congestion concerns.
The Los Angeles-based Viceroy Hotel Group is known for its luxury hotels in California, New York, Miami and Colorado.
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