Billionaire Spanish fashion mogul Amancio Ortega buys River North hotel

Zara founder Amancio Ortega spent $72.5 million for the Dana Hotel and Spa

Amancio Ortega and the Dana Hotel and Spa in River North (Credit: Eurostars Hotels)
Amancio Ortega and the Dana Hotel and Spa in River North (Credit: Eurostars Hotels)

Spanish fashion mogul Amancio Ortega added another Chicago property to his portfolio, picking up the Dana Hotel and Spa in River North.

Ortega’s real estate investment firm, Ponte Gadea, bought the 216-key hotel at 660 North State Street for $72.5 million late last month, Cook County property records show.

The 26-story building that houses the Dana was built in 2008 and developed by Chicago-based Neighborhood Development Corporation for $60 million.

Neighborhood Development Corporation later was rebranded as Rebel Hospitality. Its founders, Anthony Klok and Gene Kornota, manage the LLC that sold the Dana, property records show.

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Spanish firm Eurostars Hotel Company will manage the hotel, which is undergoing a branding change to Eurostars Magnificent Mile, according to a press release from the firm. The hotel has a spa, fitness center, and rooftop terrace.

Ortega, the Spanish billionaire and founder of fashion retailer Zara, is a major real estate investor in Chicago and elsewhere. In 2015, his firm paid $176 million for the Esquire Theater building in the Gold Coast, and in 2007 Ortega paid $350 million in an all-cash deal for the retail property at 730 North Michigan Avenue, according to Crain’s.

Ortega also has invested heavily in Miami and New York real estate. In 2015, he paid $370 million for an entire block of retail buildings in Miami Beach, one of Miami-Dade’s largest real estate deals ever at the time. That same year, he dropped $145 million on a landmark office building in Manhattan, and later bought a Manhattan hotel for $67 million.

Ortega is investing in a strong hotel market in Chicago. Record tourism helped the hotel industry increase revenue in 2018 by 10 percent, to about $2.7 billion. Despite 3,000 new hotel rooms delivered last year, the average daily room rate hit $210.54, a 5 percent bump year over year.

Ortega, worth over $62 billion, is listed as the sixth richest person in the world this year, according to Forbes.