Waldorf Astoria Chicago

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11 East Walton Street, Chicago, IL

Waldorf Astoria Chicago
ElysianChicago.jpg

The Waldorf Astoria Chicago, formally the Elysian Hotel
Building Information
Developer Elysian Development Group
Architect Lucien Lagrange
Management Company Hilton Worldwide
Number of Units 51
Number of Floors 60
Year Built 2009
Construction Method Concrete
Type of Roof Mansard
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11 East Walton Street, Chicago, IL
Distance to Public Transit Over 30 nearby routes
Region Chicago
Municipality Chicago
Zoning PD 967
Title of Land Condominium


Contents

Background

The Elysian Hotel was envisioned as a luxury brand that would ultimately spread to other cities under the Elysian name, and emerge as a rival to other luxury brands such as the Four Seasons and Peninsula. When suites at these hotels in major cities can start at over $500 USD/night, the Elysian hoped to make in-roads as a new contender in this lucrative market. Unfortunately, the Elysian did not fully succeed in this plan.

While the Elysian Hotel received good reviews upon its opening in 2009, including a rave review rating from the magazine, “Conde Nast Traveler”, the building was a victim of timing, opening at a time when the city of Chicago was in the throes of a financial recession that hit the luxury sectors particularly hard. After two years in business, the Elysian had yet to turn a profit, and the building was sold and converted into a member of the Waldorf Astoria hotel brand.

The Elysian Hotel was the first in what was going to be a worldwide chain of hotels and although that plan did not come into fruition, the 51 luxury condominiums that were located in the upper floors of the building proved quite popular, and even managed to sell out in a timely manner at a time when the rest of Chicago’s luxury real estate developments struggled to find buyers. When the Elysian Hotel was converted into the Waldorf Astoria, the condominiums came under this brand name as well.


Location

A view down Magnificent Mile in Chicago

The Waldorf Astoria Chicago is located in the Near North Side of Chicago, just a mere block south of Chicago’s famed Gold Coast historic district, home to many of Chicago’s most luxurious high rise apartments. The Near North Side is home to many of Chicago’s most famous tourist attractions, including the Navy Pier, the Museum of Contemporary Art, and the famed Magnificent Mile.

Residents of the Waldorf Astoria are only a short walk away from the northern end of this boulevard that stretches from the Chicago River in the South, to Oak Street in the North. Many of the world’s most famous retail brands have locations along this road, including Cartier, Aritzia, Ralph Lauren, Armani, Jimmy Choo, Chanel, Vera Wang, Louis Vitton, Tiffany & Co., Yves Saint Laurent, Hugo Boss, Gucci, Coach, Abercrombie & Fitch, and Ann Taylor, just to name a few.

The buildings along Magnificent Mile include several of the tallest in the world, including Trump International Hotel & Tower and the John Hancock Tower. There are also several land-marked buildings along this route, such as the Drake Hotel, the Allerton Hotel, Tribune Tower, and the Woman’s Athletic Club. Lake Michigan can be found just a couple of blocks to the East. Residents of the Waldorf Astoria enjoy water views, as well as stunning views of Chicago’s skyline and the Magnificent Mile.[1]

Residents also find themselves within walking distance of dozens of food and services options, and therefore they do not require a car to complete their daily errands. Additionally, there are over 30 nearby transit routes nearby, including a Red Line subway stop a short five minute walk away, giving residents access to the rest of Chicago. [2]

Construction

David Pisor

Developer David Pisor planned on creating a new luxury brand of hotels and the Elysian Hotel in Chicago was going to be the first of this brand. Pisor partnered with Arcapita Inc. to develop the property and a $203 million loan was secured from Hypo Real Estate Group to finance the construction. An additional $60 million in equity was provided by Arcapita.

Pisor hired architect Lucien Lagrange to create the design for the building and several plans were created before the 60 story structure was eventually decided upon. Plans for this project were approved by the city council on Monday, June 13th, 2005. Construction on the project began shortly afterwards in August of 2006. While Lagrange provided the exterior design, the interiors of this building were provided by Simeone Deary Design Group.[3]

Construction continued through to 2009, with Pisor bringing in Halvorson and Partners to oversee the structural engineering. Later, MANNTECH Building Maintenance Systems was brought in for the building’s exterior facade maintenance. The Elysian Hotel was opened in 2009 to strong reviews and a rating of Best US Hotel by the “Conde Nast Traveler” magazine, but by 2011, the hotel had failed to make a profit, and Arcapita decided to cash out of the project.

Pisor tried to find another partner and retain ownership of the building, but he failed to do so. In late 2011, financier Sam Zell purchased the building for $95 million. Shortly thereafter, the hotel was re-branded as the Waldorf Astoria and given over to Hilton Worldwide Inc. for operation starting on February 1st, 2012.[4]

Layout and Features

Standing 60 stories and nearly 210 meters tall, the Waldorf Astoria Chicago is a mixed use building that holds 188 hotel rooms and 51 luxury condominiums. Built from a concrete frame and sitting on a caisson foundation, the building’s design was inspired by Paris in the 1920s, and tried to emulate the prewar detailing that was so fashionable on buildings of that day. While critics remain divided on whether or not this building succeeds in this goal, many do not like the mansard roof that adorns the top of the building, with some describing it as a “major blot on [Chicago’s] skyline.”[5]

Inside, the luxury condominiums range in size from 600 square foot studios to 7,400 square foot penthouses, and feature some duplex and triplex units. There are only two apartments per floor, allowing for 180 degree views of the Chicago skyline, with many apartments set up to feature sunrise and sunset outdoor spaces. The apartments are known for their spacious layouts, and feature gourmet chef’s kitchens, large closets, hardwood floors, up to 12 foot ceilings, and fireplaces.[6]

Floor Plans

A selection of floor plans can be found at Dreamtown, referenced below.[7]

Amenities

  • 24 hour room service
  • 24 hour Doorman
  • Concierge service
  • Valet parking
  • On site manager
  • Fitness center
  • Indoor pool
  • Pilates and gyrotonic programs
  • Spa
  • Whirlpool
  • Steam room
  • Sauna
  • Pet care program
  • Two restaurants
  • Bar
  • Bike Room
  • Storage facilities


Bylaws

Waldorf Astoria Chicago Bylaws
Pets Yes
Age No


  • This building is pet friendly.
  • There are no age restrictions for this building.


Sustainability

While this building is not officially designated as a green building, the Waldorf Astoria brand has partnered with Hilton Worldwide on several green initiatives, including one named LightStay. This program analyzed the consumption of energy and resources across all departments within their company and implemented initiatives to reduce consumption. Between 2008 and 2010, their properties decreased energy use by 6.6%, water use by 3.8%, carbon output by 7.8%, and waste output by 19%.[8]

Trivia

Bryan Glazer
  • Options trader Igor Chernomzav has bought and sold several units within this building. The unit that Chernomzav bought on the 52nd floor for $8.18 million was the most expensive residential real estate deal in Chicago between July 1st, 2009 and June 30th, 2010. During that same period of time, this building, then called the Elysian, had three out of the top five deals in the city.[9]
  • The most expensive residential real estate deal in 2010 in Chicago was when Bryan Glazer purchased a 53rd floor condo in this building for $8.6 million. Glazer is the co-chairman of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Manchester United.[10]
  • When residents are out of town they can add their condos to the list of hotel suites available.[11]


References

  1. Magnificent Mile
  2. Walk Score
  3. Emporis
  4. Chicago Business
  5. Chicago Tribune
  6. Dreamtown
  7. Dreamtown
  8. Hilton Worldwide
  9. Chicago Magazine
  10. Curbed Chicago
  11. Emporis


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