Skokie aims for downtown makeover with hotel project
Developer plans Homewood Suites by Hilton, city to add parking structure
Plans to bring a hotel to downtown Skokie are moving forward.
Chicago-based E&M Strategic Development has cleared the site at 4930 Oakton Street to make way for a Homewood Suites by Hilton Hotel and Conference Center, the Skokie Review reported. Sanford Brown College formerly stood at the site.
Mark Meyer, managing partner and founder of E&M, lives in Evanston and said he has long been a believer in downtown Skokie.
“As there’s been urban flight (in the wake of the pandemic), it seems like Skokie has become a desirable place where people relocate to,” Meyer told the outlet. “The village has been great to work with. They value finding a partnership that works, not just to see the development but to see it done right.”
The hotel will have 143 rooms as well as 10,000 square feet of indoor meeting space, 5,000 square feet of outdoor meeting space, a rooftop bar and 13,000 square feet of ground-floor retail.
The village board also agreed to build a $9.5 million parking garage at 8031 Niles Avenue on Illinois Science + Technology Park as part of the hotel deal. The first phase of the parking garage project will include 100 public parking spaces and 200 spaces exclusively for hotel guests and employees.
The estimated cost of the project was initially $55 million. However, due to inflation, the project will likely cost more than $60 million. The village has agreed to contribute up to $13.5 million in tax increment financing to the project.
Meyer said E&M hired an environmentally friendly contractor for demolition of the project, which led to less than 5 percent of debris ending up in landfills. Most of what was torn down will be recycled and/or reused in the new hotel. Concrete that was crushed in the process was used to become road mix and unusable metals were melted down for reuse.
Estimates suggest the hotel will attract 47,000 guests who will spend $12.5 million annually in Skokie and generate 65 to 80 jobs.
— Victoria Pruitt