Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Felix Fine in River North

The new Hotel Felix opened at 111 West Huron Street in River North last month.  The 12-story-tall former Hotel Wacker was built in 1926.  March was a soft opening.  The official opening was in April.

The developer of the property wants it to be a neighborhood hotel, not a convention hotel or a business hotel, and not necessarily a tourist hotel.  That's one of the reasons it was not retrofitted with a ballroom and meeting space, but was given a chic bar.  He's hoping that people who live in River North will find it a nice place for their friends and family to stay when visiting Chicago, or a place to just get away for a night or two.  That also explains why there's so much advertising for it on the CTA.

The hotel presented more than a few physical challenges to the renovation team, but it still managed to get it LEED Silver accreditation.  It's the first hotel in downtown Chicago to be that "green."

When this picture was taken, the hotel's cool purple neon awning welcomed visitors, while the big green sign that used to read "Hotel Wacker" remained blank.  It remains to be seen what exactly will happen to that.  It's not a landmark, so let's hope something unusual.

More information about the building here: Hotel Felix/Hotel Wacker information

Reservations and more here: Hotel Felix Chicago

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