ROGERS PARK — A Hampton Inn broke ground in Rogers Park last week, kicking off construction on the Loyola University project that will transform an empty lot into a 145-room hotel.
In an email to residents, Ald. Joe Moore (49th) said the Loyola-backed amenity "will offer Rogers Park a much-needed amenity, as our neighborhood currently lacks a quality mid-priced hotel."
Moore also said the hotel plans to give hiring priority to local residents first when looking to staff the building, a process he said will begin next spring as the hotel prepares to open. He said the project is expected to be complete by the end of 2016.
He also said the university is in talks with several retailers who have shown interest in occupying a 10,000-square-foot commercial space on the hotel's ground floor.
Few changes have been made to the initial plans for the hotel presented to the community — though Moore said a brick facade took the place of metal panels originally proposed for the northeast corner of the building, which were moved to the Albion Avenue side of the building.
The project has been in the works for years, ever since the empty lot at and Sheridan Road drew the attention of developers.
The hotel, with its lobby off Albion, would be managed by Atira, which also manages eight other hotels in the Chicago area.
The hotel would be categorized as "limited service," said Sanjeev Misra, Atira's president, and would not include a restaurant or bar. There would, however, be a fitness center and a kiosk for customers to buy pre-packaged food.
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