First Hospitality Group to develop new Curio for Chicago's Navy Pier

A rendering of the future Navy Pier Curio. (The 222-room hotel, first announced in April 2016, will be located adjacent to Festival Hall at the eastern end of Navy Pier.)

First Hospitality Group, a hotel management, acquisition and development company, and Navy Pier, Chicago’s mission-driven cultural district, revealed that the Navy Pier hotel will operate upon opening in 2019 under the Curio Collection by Hilton, which has more than 40 independent hotels open around the world.

“Navy Pier has international recognition as one of the places that makes the city of Chicago a top-rated destination to live, work and play. We are thrilled to play a part in the vision to reimagine the entertainment and cultural options offered on the Pier with the development of the Navy Pier hotel,” Bob Habeeb, president and CEO, FHG, said in a statement. “This development will be an exciting option for Chicago visitors and locals alike to have a convenient and unique place to stay, surrounded by the many local attractions of Chicago and Navy Pier. Curio Collection by Hilton is the perfect fit for our guests, coupled with our team’s exceptional service, leading to memorable guest experiences every time.”

The development, first announced in April 2016, will be located adjacent to Festival Hall at the eastern end of Navy Pier. With 222 rooms, guests will have access to views of the city, Lake Michigan and the Pier. Other plans for the hotel include a 30,000-square-foot rooftop restaurant and bar with skyline views, a first floor restaurant and a fitness room.

“We are excited to be working with First Hospitality Group on this highly anticipated development project, which will start construction in January 2018,” Bill Fortier, SVP of development, Americas at Hilton, said in a statement. “The Navy Pier Hotel will be located in a unique and even iconic part of the city and we look forward to its opening. It’s truly going to be a special hotel for the Curio Collection by Hilton brand.”

Navy Pier welcomes 9.3 million annual guests and has more than 50 acres of public spaces, restaurants, retails shops, exposition facilities and more. The year-round destination also offers free arts and cultural programming.

“The development of this hotel on the lake—the first of its kind in Chicago—serves as a monumental milestone in realizing Navy Pier’s Centennial Vision, the framework that has guided us into the Pier’s second century,” Marilynn Gardner, president and CEO of Navy Pier, said in a statement. “Now, not only will our guests be able to spend the day taking advantage of the beautiful, relaxing spaces, free programming and endless events, activities and attractions, they can extend their visit and experience the People’s Pier in a new light.”

“Chicago is a global cultural capital, setting tourism records every year since 2012,” Rahm Emanuel, mayor of Chicago, said in a statement. “As Navy Pier celebrates the start of its second century, this hotel will strengthen its status as a top cultural and tourist attraction and welcome even more visitors who travel to our city.”

The Navy Pier hotel will join other existing and coming attractions, including the Centennial Wheel’ Festival Hall, the Pier’s 170,000 square-foot exhibition space; a new wine bar and restaurant; the Pier’s Food Experience, comprised of a more flavorful and elevated Chicago dining experience; and more.

Construction is slated to begin January 2018 and is expected for completion in the summer of 2019.

Acron, a Switzerland-based real estate company, partnered with FHG on the project. Jackie Koo of KOO, a Chicago-based full-service architecture, interior design and planning firm, is designing the project, while James McHugh Construction Company signed on as the builder. The project has created 600 construction jobs and is expected to create 300 permanent jobs.