After delays that have stretched for years, the Robert De Niro-backed luxury Nobu Hotel in Fulton Market is set to open.
Ribbon-cutting on the 115-key property comes as Chicago’s hotel occupancy rate hovers around 30 percent and as the city readies for its Phase 4 reopening on Friday. (The occupancy rate only covers hotels that are open.)
The Nobu, which was developed by luxury hotel owner RCD Resorts, will open on July 1, according to Crain’s. That concludes four years of issues at the project on 854 West Randolph Street, which included a few canceled openings and a lawsuit that RCD brought against contractor Centaur Construction for allegedly embezzling $8 million and failing to finish the work. That case is pending in federal court, Crain’s reported.
The Nobu Hotel chain, co-owned by De Niro, first announced plans for the Chicago edition in 2014, but construction didn’t start until months after a groundbreaking brought the Oscar-winning actor to the neighborhood in June 2016. Work temporarily stopped in December 2017 while the developers at the time sought financing.
While the hotel will open, its pool, restaurant and bar will all be closed because of the pandemic. Regional director at Nobu Hospitality, Michael Chin, had a unique spin on how the hotel could attract people going stir crazy in their homes because of the virus. He told Crain’s: “We want to cater to the guest coming from the suburbs that has been stuck in their house and just wanted a break in the routine.” Adding, “They can stay in a hotel and walk around the city instead of being stuck in their backyard.”
The opening comes at a time when Chicago hotels rank low in overall occupancy rate compared to other big cities. The latest report from STR showed occupancy remained about the same, at 32.6 percent for the week ending June 20, with revenue per available room up slightly, to $25.67. [Crain’s] — Alexi Friedman