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Long-Shuttered Hotel Lincoln To Reopen In March

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Hotel Lincoln

(Credit: Hotel Lincoln)

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CHICAGO (CBS) — After being shuttered for six years, the Hotel Lincoln at the corner of Clark Street and Lincoln Avenue will reopen in the coming months.

The owners of the 184-room Hotel Lincoln, at 1816 N. Clark St., promise a mix of old-school comfort and a California vibe when the hotel reopens in March. The hotel will be operated by Joie de Vivre Hospitality, a San Francisco-based chain establishing its first outpost east of the Mississippi River.

The owners are the Chicago firms AJ Capital Partners and Centrum Properties. Joie de Vivre is an investment of Hyatt hotels heir John Pritzker.

Michael Crandall, principal of AJ Capital, said the hotel will appeal to tourists drawn to the city’s North Side and to those who are visiting nearby residents.

“We see it as a second or third bedroom for the residents,” Crandall said. He said the rooms are meant to give guests the sense of staying in a private home.

The renovation also will try to make it a gathering place. The 12-story building is getting a rooftop bar and event space. Other additions will include a lobby lounge and coffee bar.

Whatever the final effect, the hotel will be different from its most recent incarnation as a Days Inn.

Records show the owners took over the property in late 2010 in an $11.4 million deal.

The place has been closed for about six years as the property was caught up with a prior investor was sentenced for running a Ponzi scheme.

The firm Wextrust bought the hotel for $15.5 million in 2005. Later, its chief executive officer Steven Byers pleaded guilty to federal fraud charges and was sentenced to 13 years and 4 months in prison, while its chief operating officer, Joseph Shereshevsky, was convicted and sentenced to 21 years.

But that wasn’t the beginning of problems for the hotel. It had been on a downward slide for years, and some neighbors regarded it as little more than a transient hotel.

But the hotel has always enjoyed views of the park of Lincoln Park, as well as the historic and fashionable Old Town neighborhood.

General Manager Bob Shelley said the hotel hopes to get rates of from $129 to $179 a night.

He said the hotel will be connected to the existing Perennial Virant restaurant, which will provide room service.

The Hotel Lincoln is the property’s original name. Marketing materials for the former hotel indicate the building dates from the 1920s.

Among its former guests is Chicago author David Mamet, who described life there in a collection of essays he wrote called “The Cabin.” Mamet worked at a real estate firm while living there, an experience that inspired his play “Glengarry Glen Ross.”

The Sun-Times Media Wire contributed to this report.

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