Talbott Hotel to shut down for $20 million renovation

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Talbott Hotel to shut down for $20 million renovation

By: RYAN ORI
Crain’s Chicago Business

A year after buying the Talbott Hotel, the owners plan to shut down the Gold Coast property next month for a $20 million renovation.

The 16-story hotel at 20 E. Delaware St. will close Jan. 1 and is expected to reopen in May, the owners said.

The “former owner has created an exceptional brand and service standards,” Sterling Bay Principal Matt Menna said in an email. “The facility itself deserves an upgrade, which will result in one of the premier boutique hotels in the city.”

Renovations will include increasing the number of rooms to 179 from 149, renovating the rooms and conference center, and adding a fitness center, Menna said.

The hotel also is in talks with a local restaurant group to take over the hotel's restaurant space, said General Manager Morgan Bailey.

A venture including Chicago-based Sterling Bay and Conlon & Co. and John Pritzker's San Francisco-based Geolo Capital bought the hotel for $51 million in October 2015.

Other investors in the purchase included actor John Cusack, former hockey star Chris Chelios and businessman Bill Rancic, Conlon Chairman Sean Conlon confirmed when the deal was completed.

Seller Basil Kromelow had owned the hotel since 1965, when he bought it with his father, Jack.

The new owners plan to pay 55 to 65 of the hotel's longtime employees to stay on during the renovation, Bailey said.

“We'll do some kind of community outreach, we'll do training and we'll help with non-construction work at the hotel,” Bailey said.

More than half the hotel's employees have been at the Talbott for more than 10 years, Menna said.

“We decided to maintain the staff and pay them during our rehab. We are excited to have the existing team launch the new Talbott,” Menna said.

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