A California-based chain of luxury hotels said Thursday it has acquired Chicago’s landmark Carbide & Carbon Building, which has operated since 2018 as the St. Jane Hotel.
The sale marks a bet by the acquirer, Montage International, that the hotel business here will rebound whenever the coronavirus recedes. But in the meantime, investors in the properties are struggling with mortgages and taxes and taking their lumps on valuations.
Montage did not disclose a sales price for the 364-room hotel. The seller, longtime owner Becker Ventures based in Troy, Michigan, could not be reached.
The 37-story building at 230 N. Michigan Ave. will become part of Montage’s Pendry hotels brand, which consists of urban luxury properties. Montage said the Pendry Chicago will open next spring. Becker had converted the 1929 Art Deco building from office use to lodging, bringing in the Hard Rock Hotel in 2004.
The concept ran its course and in 2017 Becker took out a $74.85 million mortgage to finance a renovation for the new St. Jane concept, which was intended as a homage to social reformer Jane Addams. Because of the pandemic, the St. Jane has been closed, like many other hotels downtown.
“We are incredibly proud to bring Pendry to the great city of Chicago,” said Montage Chairman Alan J. Fuerstman. “We plan to honor the history imbued in the Carbide & Carbon Building by elevating and accenting its iconic design, injecting the exceptional service and guest experience for which Pendry Hotels & Resorts are known, and celebrating the remarkable city through food, spirits, art and creativity.”
The building opened in 1929 and is known for its dark granite, dark green terra cotta and 24-karat gold leaf accents, a design said to mimic a champagne bottle. The architects were Daniel and Hubert Burnham, sons of city planner Daniel Burnham. It was built for a company that later became Union Carbide.
The City Council designated it a Chicago landmark in 1996.