Mayor Rahm Emanuel is announcing today the arrival of three hotel development projects at O’Hare International Airport, which will more than double the current hotel capacity at the airport. With the construction of two new hotels and the modernization of the existing O’Hare Hilton, this multi-million dollar investment – which will not use local taxpayer dollars – will support more than 1,250 jobs and generate millions of dollars in economic activity for the city of Chicago.
“O’Hare is the economic engine for Chicago – one of the main reasons why companies move to Chicago, bringing jobs for residents and economic growth to neighborhoods throughout the city. With more hotels, we are building a better future for not just the airport and the millions of travelers who pass through it, but for our city too,” said Mayor Emanuel. “Setting an all-time record, more than 50 million visitors from around the country visited Chicago last year, and these hotels will help Chicago continue to grow as a world-class city.”
First, the Chicago Department of Aviation (CDA) will finance and develop a new hotel adjacent to Terminal 5 that will provide direct access to O’Hare travelers to the terminals via the free, 24-hour Airport Transit System (ATS). The new, full-service hotel is envisioned to have 300-400 rooms, 25,000-65,000-square-feet of conference space, banquet rooms, ballrooms, and other amenities.
A second on-airport hotel will be created as part of a new mixed-use commercial development adjacent to the multi-modal, joint-use facility now under construction on the northeast side of O’Hare along Mannheim Road. This hotel will offer 150-200 rooms, a business center, office space, and other amenities. The hotel will be linked to the terminals via O’Hare’s ATS system.
Furthermore, the existing O’Hare Hilton will be renovated and modernized with a goal to accommodate large-scale trade shows and events, as well as adding amenities such as spas, extended room service, concierge services, and quality restaurants and boutiques. This renovation will occur when the current lease expires in two years.
A Request for Proposals will be issued in the fall of 2016 and construction will be complete by 2020. The total investment for these hotels is approximately $350 million.
“We are building hotels at O’Hare to provide a significantly higher level of customer service and increased non-airline revenue,” said CDA Commissioner Ginger S. Evans. “Today’s passengers and business travelers need and expect modern facilities for lodging, events and office space critical to their unique needs, like direct access to and from the airport and ground transportation options. We are creating construction and service jobs for Chicago residents and enhancing O’Hare’s status as one of the world’s premier airports.”
The city continues to work with its airport and government partners on additional airport projects in the near future. The development of these hotels represent the Mayor’s long-term vision for strengthening O’Hare as not only the economic engine of the city, but for the entire country, and are the latest in a series of recent announcements regarding the modernization of O’Hare Airport. In building one of the most efficient runway systems in the country, Mayor Emanuel announced in January a historic $1.3 billion investment that includes a new runway (Runway 9C/27C), deicing pads and other critical airfield projects at O’Hare that will allow for additional gates and terminal improvements. It also follows an announcement in February by Mayor Emanuel and American Airlines to add five new gates at O’Hare by 2018, creating the first major gate expansion since 1993. Additional gates will increase capacity at the airport, provide significant economic benefit to the city of Chicago, and improve airline performance.