Uptown & Andersonville

Business & Economy

Wilson Men's Hotel Tenants Moving Out Soon; City Stops Rehab Work

October 31, 2017 11:28am | Updated November 1, 2017 9:52am
The city ordered work stopped at the Wilson Men's Hotel, 1124 W. Wilson. Tenants complained that the work was too extensive to take place while they were still housed there.
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DNAinfo/Josh McGhee

UPTOWN — Tenants of the Wilson Men's Hotel, who had complained of noisy and dusty construction during the building's rehab, will begin moving out in the next seven to 10 days, the hotel's owner said Tuesday.

The relocation of about 100 tenants will begin in the next week, said Andrew Ahitow, the founder of City Pads, which bought the hotel in July. The process won't end until "everyone has found new housing," he said.

The decision to relocate the tenants comes after the city on Friday ordered the project stopped because of an improper permit, according to the City Data Portal.

"We are in the process of pulling a permit to continue our investigative work on the structural elements of the building," Ahitow said Tuesday morning. 

He said City Pads is "hoping to add a floor to the building in the future, which would allow us to increase the number of SRO units in the building for the future development. In order to make this determination you need to inspect the current sizes of the steel columns and beams."

The building will still be an SRO, or single-room-occupancy facility, he said. The company is not ready to give more details about the plan, he said.

Ald. James Cappleman (46th) said Monday night he had not heard about the city's stop work order. Tenants said a notice was on the building last weekend, but when DNAinfo checked Monday the sign was not present.

Last week, tenants, who were told they would have to move after the building was sold and rehab was completed, complained construction was too much for a building that's still in use.

"They started the demolition process while we're still in there ... knocking holes in the ceiling over our heads. Right above people’s head. You can hear people hollering ‘Stop throwing that dust in here,'" tenant Eric Holmes Sr. said at the time.

"We have massive holes. You can walk in, look up and see all three floors," he said. "There’s people that live above there, too. There’s batting on their floor, and there’s people living [and] sleeping there."

Rooms in the building have an open ceiling with a cage stretching across the top and walls that don't reach the floor. That setup means dust creeps into every room on the floor.

Last week, Ahitow said the work was "light remodeling" and plumbing repairs.

The "light remodeling [is] to get the transition office open, which is nearing completion," he said.

The building's architect will submit drawings Tuesday and should have a permit next week, Ahitow said.

Video of the work is shown below.



City Pads also bought another SRO, the former Hazelton Hotel at 851 W. Montrose Ave.