Sonder opening 3 boutique hotels Downtown; scouts more locations

The San Francisco-based chain opened its first hotel at 419 S. Dearborn St.

TRD CHICAGO /
Nov.November 26, 2018 11:00 AM

Sonder CEO Francis Davidson with Sonder hotels (Credit: Sonder)

Boutique hotel chain Sonder opened a 30-key inn Downtown and has plans for two more by summer.

The San Francisco-based chain is opening the hotels in historic Downtown structures, including the 12-story Plymouth Building at 419 South Dearborn Street, which launched in September, according to the Chicago Tribune.

Sonder will develop a 39-key hotel in the Jewelers Building, 19 South Wabash Avenue; and a 41-key hotel in the Waterman Building, at 127 South State Street, said Ellen Schulz, Chicago general manager for the chain. And it has plans for more locations in and around the Loop, she said.

The firm, founded in 2012, leases apartments and turns them into furnished short-term rentals that compete with hotels. In August, the company raised $85 million in a Series C funding round led by Greenoaks Capital that brought its total funding to $135 million. It claims to manage around 3,000 units in four countries.

Sonder is leasing all of the Plymouth Building from LG Development Group, which originally planned to redevelop the Chicago landmark as student housing.

Sonder next year will open in the five floors of the seven-story Waterman Building owned by Shai Town Realty Group and GW Properties, where restaurant Beef and Brandy and the Bar Below are closing.

It’s also opening next year on the top four floors of the six-story Jewelers Building, which earlier this year sold for $7.2 million to a venture of Peerless Development and Honore Properties.

Sonder recently opened its first New York location, inking a master lease for 169 units in an office-to-apartments conversion 20 Broad Street. [Chicago Tribune] — John O’Brien


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