The 12-story Study Hotel will break ground before the end of spring quarter on 60th Street and Kimbark Avenue, steps away from the forthcoming Rubenstein Forum and proposed Obama Presidential Center.
The hotel will be the first entirely for-profit building on the University’s campus, and it was announced in May 2018. The University has decided to partner with Study Hotels, a hospitality firm which specializes in hotels located near college campuses.
Since its announcement, the hotel design has seen several changes, most notably a reduction in size from 15 stories and 180 guest rooms to 12 floors and 167 rooms.
The hotel will also contain 3,500 square feet of conference space, as well as a restaurant and bar, that, according to a rendering released this week, is tentatively set to be called “Nobel + Rhodes.”
In an interview with the popular real-estate blogCurbed, founder Paul McGowan said Study Hotels chose their architect for the hotel with the goal of not detracting from the existing architecture along the Midway.
“We selected Holabird & Root as our architect for their long history in Chicago and their ability to design with functionality and context of the environment in mind. The building looks like it belongs on the Midway but also forward-thinking in its style,” McGowan said.
The Study is the second of two boutique hotels, along with the Sophy Hotel, built in Hyde Park and Woodlawn recently to accommodate the University’s expanded footprint. Both take inspiration from the University’s history; books by famous graduates and faculty members of the University will be available in the Study’s guest rooms.
Community groups fear that the hotel will accelerate gentrification of the Woodlawn neighborhood. Located just two blocks west of the Obama Presidential Center, which has come under legal fire in recent weeks, many see the hotel as a symbol of the University’s persistent expansion south of the Midway.
However, hotel representatives maintain that the Study serves to increase economic opportunity and not to harm the neighborhood. “We chose to work with Study Hotels because of their track record in developing destinations that connect with the distinctive culture at each University,” said University Executive Vice President David Fithian in a press release. “The hotel is intended to work in tandem with the Rubenstein Forum and a range of campus programs. Its construction and operation will provide economic benefits for our neighboring communities as well as a vital amenity for Chicago’s South Side.”