ML - Michigan Avenue

Michigan Avenue - 2016 - Issue 6 - Winter - Dwyane Wade

Michigan Avenue - Niche Media - Michigan Avenue magazine is a luxury lifestyle magazine centered around Chicago’s finest people, events, fashion, health & beauty, fine dining & more!

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Page 149 of 179

Light and airy, The Kimpton Gray Hotel features 293 guest rooms with accents of blue that hint of the city's flag, plus an inviting lobby "living room" area with coffee and tea service in the morning and a wine hour each evening. Repurposing landmarks has "allowed me to buy existing high-quality buildings at attractive prices, execute comprehensive redevelop- ment programs and still end up at a cost basis below what it would have cost me to build from the ground up." While buying old has allowed development teams to deliver projects that would be virtually impossible to execute if they had to start from scratch, updating these aged gems takes vision, commitment, and ingenuity. Consider the specific challenges and rewards of each of these now-glorious hotels. Turning William LeBaron Jenney's 15-story New York Life Insurance Building, built in 1894 in what was then the heart of Chicago's financial district, into The Kimpton Gray Hotel (122 W. Monroe St., 312-750-9012; kimpton was "much harder than building from the ground up as we did at the Hotel Palomar," admits General Manager Nabil Moubayed. "You're handcuffed by all the landmark rules." Time- consuming hot spots for the historic renovation team, headed by Gensler, included meticulously restoring the decrepit stone and terra cotta façade and yellowed Georgia Gray marble floors and walls and all the windows, which had to be removed, rebuilt to today's standards and rein- stalled—a feat that "took over a year," marvels Moubayed. Refurbishing the 1924 23-floor London Guarantee Building's Indiana limestone façade and 1100 windows to meet contemporary standards, was also an arduous undertak- ing for the LondonHouse Chicago (85 E. Wacker Dr., 148  MICHIGANAVEMAG.COM SPACE HAUTE PROPERT Y

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