Contact: Mary Kay Marquisos
November 25, 2014

CHICAGO - The Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority (MPEA) has selected Prairie District³ Partners as the design/build team for the 1,200 room Headquarters Hotel and the McCormick Place Event Center. Both facilities are key elements in maintaining Chicago's leadership in the convention and trade show industry and revitalizing the neighborhood surrounding the McCormick Place campus.

The selection of Prairie District³ Partners, the qualified proposer providing the lowest bid was approved unanimously today by the MPEA Board of Directors. Construction on both buildings is expected to start in the second quarter of 2015.

The Prairie District ³ Partners design-build team includes: Clark Construction Group-Chicago, LLC, Bulley & Andrews, LLC, Old Veteran Construction, Inc., McKissack & McKissack Midwest, Inc., Goettsch Partners, Inc., and Moody Nolan, Inc.

The MPEA Board today approved the award of $390.9 million for the Headquarters Hotel construction costs. The Marriott Marquis, located adjacent to the Event Center and across the street from McCormick Place West Building, further enhances Chicago's competitive position by adding a substantial number of hotel rooms on the McCormick Place campus and offering larger shows an on-site hotel space for their core attendees and major convention functions.

The new 40-story hotel will be the only Marriott Marquis in the Metropolitan Chicago area. It will include specialty suites, 90,000 square feet of meeting room space which includes two 25,000 square-foot ballrooms, a great room-style restaurant and bar as well as the Marketplace food court which will feature local food and retail entrepreneurs. The Hotel project will include the renovation of the historic American Book Company (ABC) at 330 E. Cermak Road and two pedestrian bridges spanning over Prairie Avenue and Cermak Road which will connect the Hotel and Event Center to each other and to the convention center.

The MPEA Board today approved the award of $150 million for the Event Center construction costs. In addition, there will be $14 million in ‘soft costs' for a total project cost of $164 million. The 10,000-seat Event Center will be a public-private partnership, hosting general sessions for large conventions and trade shows and serving as home court for DePaul University basketball. The Event Center also will be a venue for concerts and large special events.

The McCormick Place Entertainment District is expected to include venues for dining and entertainment. This activity will serve as a further catalyst for the revitalization of the historic Motor Row along South Michigan Avenue and other Near South Side areas.

"DePaul is making a substantial investment in this facility along with the MPEA. We would not have been able to build the event center without DePaul's participation," said Jim Reilly CEO of the MPEA. "In addition, the University will pay at- or above-market rent for using the facility. When you add it all up, DePaul is getting its long-sought home court in Chicago while also supporting the city's tourism and convention industry."

To stay within the budgetary parameters established for the project, the two organizations asked the design architect for the Event Center, Pelli Clarke Pelli to bring the below-grade arena floor up to street level. The change will add approximately 12 feet to the height of the building. Despite the modification, Reilly said the design by the internationally-renowned Pelli Clarke Pelli will produce yet another architecturally significant building to Chicago that preserves the spirit of the original design.

"This flexible yet elegant design fits perfectly into the fabric not only of Chicago's noted architectural tradition, but also that of the surrounding community," Reilly said. "The quality and distinction of this building will support our goal of attracting new convention and trade show business, while also serving as a catalyst to further enhance the economic vitality of the Near South Side."

During the construction period for these projects it is expected that more than 7,400 temporary jobs will be created. Upon completion, MPEA projects that an additional $250 million per year will be spent in the area, which should support more than 2,500 jobs.

MPEA expects to break ground on the event center and hotel in the second quarter of 2015, with completion anticipated in 2017.

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About MPEA
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 and 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.