Next time you take a stroll around Taylor Street in Little Italy, you likely will see construction well underway for the Neighborhood Hotel at 1431 W. Taylor St. Jonathan Gordon purchased the property in October 2021 with visions of an apartment-style hotel, bringing new life to the former site of the National Italian American Sports Hall of Fame. The hotel’s developers are preparing to open the doors officially this July.
When Gazette Chicago first covered this story two years ago, the Neighborhood Hotel chain had two other locations: one in Lincoln Park and the other in Grand Beach, MI. In the past two years, the chain also has bought property for hotels in the West Loop and in New Buffalo, MI, making the Taylor Street/Little Italy site one of five Neighborhood Hotel locations.
Matthew Shanley, Gordon’s partner, said the design team approaches each building separately. For the Little Italy location, he said, “they drew their inspiration from when Taylor Street was booming, which was in the 1970s, and then looking back at the design in Italy itself in the 1970s, so that determines the tone and the types of furniture they pull their inspiration from. It should be a really cool ‘70s Italian vibe that we are really excited to see come to life.”
The 35 apartment-style suites will include in-unit washers and dryers and full kitchens, encouraging more comfortable, longer term stays with a homey feel. According to 28th Ward Alderman Jason Ervin, longer term guests are a positive for the community, noting such visitors “are not as transient,” he said.
Shanley said many types of travelers choose to stay in apartment-style hotels. The Illinois Medical District presents a big opportunity, he noted, with the potential to attract doctors, nurses, and patients’ families. The IMD comprises the Jesse Brown Veterans Administration Medical Center, Rush University Medical Center, John H. Stroger Jr. Hospital, and University of Illinois Hospital and Health Sciences System, and collectively they bring in additional prospective guests such as professors and students’ families.
The Neighborhood Hotel will have only a few parking spots behind the building. Alderman Ervin anticipates some impact to Taylor Street’s parking situation but remains strong in his belief the hotel will have a positive effect on the area.
Ervin is glad the Neighborhood Hotel will bring life back to a building that has been vacant since 2019. “Restaurants and others could use the foot traffic,” he said. He expects a positive effect on Taylor Street economically.
Retail space is available on the Neighborhood Hotel’s ground floor. Once leased, Shanley said he and Gordon will gladly get the word out about the new occupants.
The partners have not scheduled an official ribbon-cutting ceremony yet, but the Neighborhood Hotel will celebrate nurses working in the Illinois Medical District with an event that includes a free night’s stay at the hotel for them and food from local restaurants and vendors. “Based on the location, it just makes sense to pay it back to the medical facilities around us,” Shanley said.
Shanley also noted he and Gordon look forward to participating in Chicago’s Little Italy Festa-Taylor Street, scheduled for Thursday through Sunday, Aug. 17 through 20.
For more information on the Neighborhood Hotel, go to www.theneighborhoodhotel.com/ or call the Lincoln Park location at (773) 231-7300. Alderman Ervin can be reached at (773) 533-0900.
—Mira Livia Berkson