For the past three years Epstein has been leading the design and engineering of an incredibly challenging project that involves converting the upper 13 floors of the former Draft FCB commercial office building at 101 East Erie in Chicago into a five-star luxury hotel under the Conrad By Hilton flag. For this project, Epstein is the architect of record as well as civil, MEP/FP, and structural engineer working with a team of designers which includes Pierre-Yves Rochon and the Puccini Group on Gellar Investment Company's office-to-hotel redevelopment.
The Draft FCB building was built in the mid 1980's as a Class A office building and is comprised of two separately-owned sections. The lower seven floors are owned and occupied by the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Chicago and floors 8-20 were owned by Lexington Realty Trust and were until recently occupied by Draft FCB, a prominent advertising, branding, and strategic planning firm. The MWRD section of the building has its own separate lobby and elevator bank.
In our role as AOR, Epstein is coordinating the lobby design, guest rooms and public spaces created by Pierre-Yves Rochon while Epstein is designing all Hilton Operational Spaces under the Conrad flag and brand standards. The current program and concept anticipates a 285 key hotel with public spaces on the ground floor and levels 8-20. Hotel operational functions will occupy the 2nd basement level. Multiple food and beverage venues are being developed by the Puccini Group. Typical guest rooms are provided on levels 8-19 with a fitness center on level 8. Meeting rooms will occupy level 19. Level 20 is conceived as an amenity level with Hotel check-in, Bar/Lounge, and kitchen supporting a 3-meal signature restaurant.
This hotel will also feature a spiral stair case that to connect levels 18 & 19, and a rooftop terrace/restaurant will provide panoramic views down Michigan Avenue.
Epstein also provided technical assistance in determining the viability of this endeavor based on a history with this building and several options for re-development.
Lastly, this Conrad by Hilton hotel is scheduled to open this summer.