MPEA Announces Development of 1,200 Room Headquarters Hotel Near McCormick Place

New hotel represents a major step in taking Chicago’s convention and meetings business to the next level

CHICAGO (February 19, 2013) -- Development of a 1,200-room headquarters hotel adjacent to McCormick Place was announced today by the Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority in collaboration with Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Illinois Governor Pat Quinn. The new hotel will provide the facilities and amenities required to serve as the headquarters for groups holding shows at McCormick Place and play a major role in revitalization of the neighborhood surrounding the convention center. The hotel will facilitate a vibrant, authentic and walkable urban experience.

The hotel's size, facilities and location will allow conventions and meetings to use a single property near McCormick Place as their headquarters, a major leap forward in efficiency and convenience. The property will accommodate a large number of delegates and feature onsite function space to handle large food and beverage operations as well as large meetings and general sessions. The new hotel will be located near the intersection of Michigan Avenue and Cermak Road. The front of the hotel will be located on Michigan Avenue. The other side of the hotel will be on Indiana Avenue directly across from the West Building. A sky bridge is planned to connect the hotel to the West Building. The new hotel will feature 60 suites, a 400-seat restaurant and a Grand and Junior Ballroom.

The city's major competitors, Las Vegas and Orlando, already have headquarters hotels adjacent to their convention centers.

"Building a headquarters hotel connected to McCormick Place is a major step in taking Chicago's convention and meeting business to the next level," said Jim Reilly, MPEA Chief Executive Officer.

"Hundreds of additional nearby hotel rooms will strengthen our competitive edge and attract new business to Chicago. The hotel also will be a catalyst for revitalizing the convention center's neighborhood."

Mayor Rahm Emanuel hailed the hotel's development as further proof of why Chicago is the nation's leading location for conventions, trade shows and meetings, and an additional demonstration of the power of McCormick Place to generate jobs and economic growth.

"Building a headquarters hotel on the McCormick Place campus will have a tremendous positive impact Chicago's economy and foster massive job growth in the city," said Mayor Emanuel. "It further establishes Chicago as a world-class city and the best destination for any convention or trade show. Developments like this are exactly why the reforms we passed at McCormick Place are so crucial to our success."

The hotel's development is projected to generate 2,500 construction jobs and 500 permanent full-time jobs.

"McCormick Place is already a tremendous asset for our convention industry and an economic engine for all of Illinois," said Governor Quinn. "This new hotel will help us make the case why our state should be the first choice of any show anywhere, which will fuel our continued economic recovery and put more people to work. This is yet another victory made possible by the historic reforms we put in place at McCormick Place with our great union partners."

The new headquarters hotel is projected to attract approximately 15 new mid-market events per year to McCormick Place, generating roughly 80,000 additional attendees. The number of hotel rooms within walking distance from the convention center will be doubled.

The new hotel will collaborate with the existing AAA Four Diamond Hyatt Regency Hotel at McCormick Place to jointly host large group events. The Hyatt McCormick Place is on track for a summer 2013 completion of the renovation of its existing 800-room tower and construction of an additional 460-room tower. Together these two properties represent a notable increase in number of rooms available at the convention center and in some cases may be the deciding factor in attracting new business.

"Increased visitation to Chicago delivers immediate value for the city's overall economic development efforts," said Don Welsh, President and CEO of Choose Chicago. "The permanent labor enhancements at McCormick Place continue to positively impact new and recommitted business. Chicago's year-end positive growth among key hotel performance indicators, including RevPAR, ADR and occupancy for downtown Chicago hotels are indicative of the city's growing presence as a premier destination for business travelers. As we work to further strengthen our position among our key competitors, this new property, coupled with the Hyatt McCormick Place renovation and expansion provides our sales team with the critical elements necessary to deliver a comprehensive package to customers."

McCormick Place and hotel business also will benefit from construction of a nearby Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) Green Line station, which has been announced by Mayor Emanuel and the CTA.

Construction costs for the hotel are estimated at $400 million. The MPEA will use revenue-based financing during the construction phase and at a later date will seek to add the financing of this property, along with its other facilities, into its Expansion project debt structure. This will then allow for the additional income generated by the second hotel property to be used aggressively to grow the convention and meetings business in Chicago.

The Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority owns McCormick Place, the largest exhibition and meeting facility in North America and the Hyatt Regency McCormick Place Hotel. Together, the North, South and West Buildings as well as the Lakeside Center offer 2.6 million square feet of exhibition space. Located along Chicago's lakefront, McCormick Place features 173 meeting rooms, the 4,249-seat Arie Crown Theater and one of the largest ballrooms in the world.

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