By Andrew Gibson
Virgin Hotels has purchased its first property. It is the Old Dearborn Bank Building in Chicago, which they expect to complete by the autumn on 2013. They will be converting the office building to Virgin Hotel Chicago. It is an Art Deco building which is 27 storeys high and is a landmark building in the city. It was designed by CW and George L Rapp Architects back in 1928 and Virgin Hotels will restore its original features or recreate those that it is not possible to restore.
The plans are to build 250 guest rooms as well as restaurants and lounges, public areas and meeting spaces. They will be stylish and functional. The head of Virgin Hotels, Anthony Marino, explained that the hotel is the first step towards their goal of having a portfolio of properties which will meet the needs of the travellers. He explained that they are working on finding the best possible locations and partnering with the best people.
The building is being redeveloped by the John Buck Company who has local knowledge and string execution. Virgin Hotels are looking at properties in many other locations as well including London, Washington DC, New York, Miami, San Francisco and Los Angeles and are predicting that they will actually open another one before the Chicago building. The buildings are mainly offices or former hotels that they are looking to convert and there are even some places that they will be working on from the ground up.