Geared toward the gay community yet still "straight-friendly" is the concept behind a new boutique hotel proposed for Boystown, Chicago's largest LGBT hub.
According to WGN, New York-based Parkview Developers LLC are eyeing a spot near Aldine in the 3300 block of North Halsted Street as the site of "Out Chicago," a 112-room hotel modeled after Gotham's year-old "Out NYC" outpost.
Ian Reisner, managing partner of Parkview, told Chicago Real Estate Daily Chicago's iteration of "Out" would include an enclosed atrium that could serve double-duty as an event space, a full spa and gym, a rooftop bar, a restaurant and a "bOUTique" retail space.
“There is no dedicated property that services the (LGBT) community,” Reisner told Chicago Real Estate. “The other properties in the neighborhood...really just offer a hotel bed.”
Reisner noted, however, Out Chicago would not be “a gay hotel,” saying the brand markets itself as a “straight-friendly urban resort.” At Out NYC, guests identifying as straight account for nearly one-third of business.
Ald. Tom Tunney (44th) — whose ward encompasses the popular, congested North Side neighborhood — iscurrently doing battle with the Ricketts family over a Wrigley Field renovation proposal that also includes a hotel. Still, Tunney's office told Patch Out Chicago could be a welcome addition.
“I actually followed up and saw the product, and it’s great,” Bennett Lawson, Tunney's chief of staff, told Patch. “It’s very boutique. Our master plan identifies we need more hotels in the area, so if the space could work with the right kind of anchor tenants, height and zoning, we’re on board.”
Meanwhile, RedEye Chicago notes the neighborhood association, for the moment, has not been quite so effusive.
"We haven't taken a stance [on the proposal] other than to say the developer has not come before Triangle Neighbors," said John Becvar, first vice president of Triangle Neighbors. "This meeting isn't a formal [opportunity] for the neighborhood to vote on a position one way or another.
The Triangle Neighbors meeting is planned for 7 p.m. Thursday in the Community Room of the 19th District Police Station.