Monday, January 19, 2009
For Sale: The Conrad Chicago
Well, here's your chance -- Crain's Chicago Business reports that The Conrad Chicago is for sale. Not only do you get a modern hotel, you get an historic building, and what may be the world's largest jigsaw puzzle.
The Crain's article comes with a picture showing the modern back end, but I'd rather show you the historic front end. This is the facade of the old McGraw-Hill Building. When the billion-dollar mall was built at this location, the McGraw-Hill building was cut into pieces, labeled, and stored in a warehouse. Then they were reassembled into the facade that we see today.
The other interesting part of this story isn't in the architecture, but in the financing. Crain's says that in spite of the economy, the company that currently owns the hotel doesn't actually need to sell it. The company has plenty of money. But it's trying to do a stock buy-back, and needs some extra cash to accomplish it.
Unless there's an immediate threat to the company, it sounds like bad timing to me.