Hotel rooms with a (Wrigley) view

NORTH SIDE | Boutique facility set to open in mid-season near ballpark

March 27, 2010

BY DAVE HOEKSTRA Staff Reporter/dhoekstra@suntimes.com

The boutique Wrigleyville Hotel, which could open by the middle of the upcoming Cubs season, would be the first hotel to operate in the shadows of Wrigley Field.

The 42-room, $12 million hotel at 3469-75 N. Clark is the brainchild of Tim Collins, owner of the nearby Main Event memorabilia and ticket store.

“The hotel is going to have a Wrigley Field feel,” Collins said. “We redid the front facade in limestone. We’re not going to be outlandish with our advertising at all.”

The project combined three neighborhood buildings with a singular facade. The buildings date back to 1894, when player-manager Cap Anson hit .388 for the Chicago Colts. One building housed the popular Matsuya sushi restaurant.

The Wrigleyville Hotel will have a yet-to-be-named 350-seat baseball-themed restaurant and bar on the ground level, part of phase one of the project.

An outdoor cafe and bar space will also be on the roof of the five-story hotel.

“I’m confident the first phase will be ready to go no later than July 1,” Collins said.

More than 100 pieces of baseball art from local artists Joy Bauer, Margie Lawrence, David Levenson and even former White Sox slugger Ron Kittle will be on display through May 15 at the “Wrigleyville Hotel Art Show” at Collins’ Main Event, 3456 N. Clark. Some of the art will be used to decorate the hotel.

Wrigleyville Hotel room rates will range from $125 to $350 a night.

“The hotel looks gorgeous,” Lake View Ald. Tom Tunney (44th) said. “But it’s also empty. We need to get it open. It’s been at least two years in planning.”

Tunney, who holds a master’s degree in hotel management from Cornell University, said he thinks the neighborhood could support even more places for out-of-towners to crash.
Other places to stay

“Hotels are exciting for the neighborhood,” he said. “We need more hotels. It’s something the community has wanted.”

That’s not to say there aren’t places to stay.

Down the road from the ballpark, fans can stay at the the Best Western, 3434 N. Broadway, and the City Suites, 933 W. Belmont. The neighborhood also features a few funky hotels like the Sheffield House (formerly Hotel Carlos), 3854 N. Sheffield, where 1932 Cubs shortstop Billy Jurges was shot in the buttocks by a cabaret singer.

And there are a few bed and breakfasts, including one on Halsted near Cornelia. Others rent unsold condos to Cubs fans — something the city is in the process of regulating, Tunney said.

“But there’s nothing with a brand name,” he said. “The community feels a nice 130-room hotel would be a much-needed amenity to add to some of the other concepts.”

The home-run concept is the proposed $100 million eight-story “Addison Park on Clark” hotel, apartment and retail complex that would go up southeast of Clark and Addison. Hyatt Corp. is interested in operating the 137-room hotel. Tunney hopes the project will go to the city Plan Commission in May.

“It includes 120 rental units, 100,000 square feet of retail and 400 parking spaces,” he said.



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