Chicago’s Elysian Hotel Sold, to Become Waldorf-Astoria

The Elysian Hotel Chicago, a luxury lodging destination, has been purchased by a joint-venture investment group and will soon reopen under the Waldorf-Astoria brand.

November 22, 2011
By Barbra Murray, Contributing Editor

The Elysian Hotel Chicago, a luxury lodging destination featuring 188 guestrooms and 51 residences, gets a new owner and prepares for a new incarnation. A joint venture consisting of an affiliate of Equity Group Investments, principals of Elysian Worldwide Chicago L.L.C. and Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts’ parent company, Hilton Worldwide, purchased the Elysian and initiated a program to transform the top-rated hotel property into the Waldorf Astoria Chicago.

The Elysian opened its doors at 11 East Walton St. in the tony Gold Coast neighborhood just two years ago, offering restaurants, a 14,000-square-foot spa and 4,500 square feet of event and meeting rooms.

The sales price of the 60-story skyscraper has not been disclosed. However, when Elysian announced site preparation plans for the property in 2005, a price tag of $245 million was attached.

EGI, established by billionaire investor Sam Zell, made its contribution to the partnership’s purchase through Zell Credit Opportunities Fund. The seller relied on Jones Lang LaSalle Hotels for representation in the sales transaction.

The new owners of the soon-to-be Waldorf Astoria Chicago should not have too many problems filling up the guestrooms. As per a forecast by hotel revenue solutions provider TravelClick Inc., demand will continue to go on the upswing in the Windy City next year. According to the report, which is based on actual hotel bookings for the period October 1, 2011 through September 30, 2012, Chicago will be among the top three metropolitan markets to experience the strongest occupancy growth with an anticipated increase of 25.6 percent.

Competition to buy in the market has been strong, too, as Chicago is high on the list of the world’s most coveted hotel markets for investment. As per a recent survey conducted by JLL Hotels, in the short-term, Chicago ranks third on the list of the top five target cities in the world for hotel acquisition.