Windy City Media Group Frontpage News
Celebrating 30 Years of Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Trans News
home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2018-01-17
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

"Gay" Hotel draws mixed reaction at community meeting
by Kate Sosin, Windy City Times
2013-04-12

facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


A proposal to build a "straight-friendly" hotel in the heart of Boystown drew both sharp criticism and high praise at a community meeting April 11.

More than 70 Lakeview residents, business owners and LGBT community leaders convened at the Lakeview Triangle Neighbors Association meeting at the Dist. 19 police station to hear details on The Out Chicago, a proposed LGBT hotel.

Ian Reisner of Parkview Developers in New York laid out his plans for a gleaming white 10-story boutique hotel, sandwiched between Minibar and Sidetrack on Halsted Street. The hotel is modeled after Reisner's successful hotel, The Out NYC.

He argued that the Chicago hotel would restore vitality to the Halsted strip without adding to the neighborhood's traffic.

"Boystown needs to be cemented and re-cemented as the epicenter of gay life in Chicago and for that matter, as I like to say 'straight-friendly,'" Reisner said.

The 4-star facility will include a spa, gym, conference/meeting spaces, a restaurant, a rooftop bar and lounge, and an enclosed courtyard. Reisner said the hotel will house between 100-112 rooms. The building plan is for a nine-story hotel, with a 10th capping off the top but set back from the street.

Reisner said he originally intended to build a 12-story hotel but brought the height down in response to resident concerns.

The hotel lobby would link to Sidetrack while Minibar would be subsumed by the hotel as a hotel bar and cabaret space.

Reisner said he is in talks with Chef Art Smith, known for his years cooking for Oprah Winfrey, about the hotel's restaurant, KTCHN. Most of the restaurant's customers will be from outside the hotel, Reisner said.

Area residents will have access to the gym and other facilities at a discount.

Reisner said the $30 million project will bring more than 100 jobs to the neighborhood, including management positions. He also intends to feature local art, host fashion shows and performances and hold community events.

Reisner pitched the project as an opportunity to liven up the neighborhood.

"I've spent a lot of time in Boystown, and more than two-thirds of the week, it's really quiet," he said. "By having an active resort hotel on the street, you bring vibrancy. You bring people there 24/7, coming and going. You bring people who can eat and drink and shop throughout the community."

But that influx of people did not sit well with a handful of residents, who said they worried that the building would draw too much traffic and block sunlight.

"We have nice bright windows. They're going to be gone with a building that size right behind us," said one resident.

Reisner said he would complete an air and sunlight study for concerned residents. And he argued that a 100-room hotel would not contribute to neighborhood congestion. Most guests will travel via CTA and taxi, he said, adding that 100 rooms would mean about one additional person coming and leaving the building every 15 minutes.

Among the hotel's most vocal supporters were local bar owners, who said that they have been struggling to draw crowds they did before the recession hit.

Stu Zirin, owner of Minibar, said he strongly supports the proposed hotel, even though it will mean giving up his business. He noted recent closures like Circuit, Cocktail and Buck's Saloon in recent months.

"This is an amazing project that's coming to the street," he said. "We do it as nobody else does. Now, could [Reisner] shrink the building? He could shrink the building…That's not what we do. That's not the style that we have….We're bringing change. We're bringing opportunity."

Alderman Tom Tunney's chief of staff, Bennett Lawson, said that a 44th Ward plan identified a need for hotels in the area.

Reisner said he was open to revisions. He said the community meeting would not be the last on the project.


facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email




Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

HUD awards $109 million to Illinois homeless programs 2018-01-11 - WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development ( HUD ) today awarded $109.1 million to support 418 homeless housing and ...


Gay News

Town Hall Apartments to open waiting list 2018-01-10 - Heartland Housing and Center on Halsted have announced that on Saturday, Jan. 13, 9 a.m.-3 p.m., the waiting list will open for Town ...


Gay News

Town Hall Apartments to open waiting list 2018-01-03 - Heartland Housing and Center on Halsted have announced that on Saturday, Jan. 13, 9 a.m.-3 p.m., the waiting list will open for Town ...


Gay News

U.S. Commission on Civil Rights releases report on LGBT workplace discrimination 2017-11-29 - U.S. Commission on Civil Rights Releases Report: Working for Inclusion: Time for Congress to Enact Federal Legislation to Address Workplace Discrimination against Lesbian, ...


Gay News

HRC releases 2018 corporate index 2017-11-29 - A record number of the nation's major companies and law firms are advancing vital policies and practices to protect LGBTQ workers around the ...


Gay News

The Night Ministry addresses needs of youth at risk for homelessness 2017-11-17 - Chicago, IL — Through its Youth Housing and Outreach Programs, The Night Ministry offers a lifeline to teens and young adults identified in ...


Gay News

Covenant House Illinois helps with independent living 2017-11-14 - Derek Chairs is 21 years old and is finally living in his own apartment. Having faced challenges such as homelessness and abuse through ...


Gay News

'4-Star City' campaign on homelessness in Chicago 2017-11-10 - Launching Nov. 10, a new integrated ad campaign seeks to create awareness and empathy for Chicagoans who cope with homelessness while living on ...


Gay News

HRC scores Illinois companies' LGBTQ-inclusive workplace policies 2017-11-09 - WASHINGTON - Today, the Human Rights Campaign ( HRC ) Foundation announced a record number of the nation's major companies and law firms ...


Gay News

Federal lawsuit blasts Chicago's destruction of homeless tent cities 2017-11-08 - CHICAGO — A new filing in an ongoing federal lawsuit paints a detailed picture of a dramatic increase in attacks on homeless people ...


 



Copyright © 2018 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 

 

 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS

Sponsor
Sponsor


 

Sponsor


Sponsor

About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Post an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs      Spotlight  Video     
Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

Windy City Media Group produces Windy City Queercast, & publishes Windy City Times,
The Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community,
Nightspots, Out! Resource Guide, and Identity.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.