Hyatt Place Chicago South Chicago, IL

The Challenge

Build a select service franchise hotel in an urban neighborhood on Chicago's South side that has been deprived of quality hospitality solutions for decades.  As part of the award winning Harper Court Development, Olympia had to obtain entitlements and permits, design and build the hotel concurrently with the Harper Court Master Developer (Harper Court Partners and Canyon Johnson Urban Fund), while maintaining the best value for investors and other stakeholders.


Olympia worked with SMART Hotels, Harper Court Partners, the University of Chicago, local TIF council, the Alderman, the community and numerous departments with the City of Chicago to obtain the necessary entitlements to build the hotel and secure the necessary TIF funding to ensure financial viability.


With strict targets imposed by the City of Chicago on the use of Minority Business Enterprise and Women's Business Enterprise construction subcontractors, Olympia held job fairs in the community to ensure as many worker as possible came from the local community.


The hotel was built with 100% union labor.  Olympia received the 2013 award for best project under $20 million from CISCO, a federation of Chicago based union contractors.



Olympia collaborated with the University of Chicago, Hyatt Hotels, Harper Court Partners and the community to design a hotel exterior that felt contextual in its orientation and design palette yet striking in the choice of finish material and detailed architectural elements.  Olympia understood the importance of the hotel as a beacon to the Harper Court and designed a custom facade interspersing Italian porcelain tile and zinc shingles from Germany.  A curtain wall internally illuminated with LED architectural lighting extended from the second floor to create an iconic architectural element - the Hyatt Place "blade."


This same collaborative approach is apparent in the hotel's interior design. The guestroom artwork uses architectural images from the University campus that are colorized to meet Hyatt standards and the public space art makes creative use of images from local artists to make the hotel uniquely "Hyde Park."


Construction & Purchasing

As well as overseeing the competitive bid process, Olympia managed construction throughout the project. Construction was complicated by the fact that the hotel site was inside the Master Developer's site. Through careful negotiation and daily collaboration, both projects (the hotel and Harper Court) were completed on schedule.


Olympia managed managed the specification, procurement and installation of process for all FF&E and Owner Direct purchases. Despite the delayed production of casegoods from China, Olympia worked with vendors to redirect some production to the United States and to expedite shipments from the Far East to ensure an on-time hotel opening.

Project Team


Development Partner
SMART Hotels

Legat Architects

Interior Designer
Natalie Sheedy Designs
DeLaRosa Design Studio

General Contractor
WM A Randolph, Inc

Structural Engineer
CS Associates
Virgilio & Associates

MEP Engineer
Metro Design Associates

LEED Consultant
Legat Architects

Owner's Representative

Commissioning Agent

Year Opened

Project Awards
★ 2013 Pride in Construction Award from CISCO
★ 2014 Team Building Award from Building Design & Construction Magazine
★ 2014 Finalist for the Gold Key Award for Best Eco or Socially Conscious hotel
★ Harper Court was awarded Development of the Year at the 26th Annual Chicago Commercial Real Estate Awards

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A New Contemporary Look

Located in Hyde Park’s new Harper Court development, Hyatt Place Chicago-South/University Medical Center is an inviting, contemporary-styled hotel designed to support the University of Chicago campus and University of Chicago Medical Center.


The hotel was built to exceed LEED Gold standards and is a certified member of the Illinois Hotel & Lodging Association’s Stay Green program.



Olympia collaborated with the Aldermanic Office, University of Chicago and local organizations to coordinate a local hiring campaign for residents of Hyde Park and neighboring communities.  The opening team worked with Chicago Service Works to develop an On-the-Job training program that qualified for payroll reimbursement to the project

At a Glance


5225 S. Harper Avenue
Chicago, Illinois, USA, 60615

(773) 752-5300




Meeting Space (SF)

Awards & Accolades
★ GOLD LEED® Certified


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