CHINATOWN — A Bridgeport developer is planning to build a 168-room hotel in the heart of Chinatown.
If completed, the hotel will be located near the south end of the Chinatown strip on Wentworth Avenue, at 2353 S. Wentworth Avenue.
William Moy filed a permit on behalf of ME Wentworth LLC. to build the hotel, according to city records. Moy, a Downtown attorney who focuses on business and real estate issues, confirmed he is representing clients that plan to build the hotel, but wouldn’t elaborate on their plans.
Simon Leung, Operations Manager of the Chinatown Chamber of Commerce, said T2 Construction LLC is the company planning the hotel.
Dan Groughton, who works for T2 Development and is listed on a for rent sign on a storefront in the Wentworth Avenue building, said the company has no comment other than “We are waiting for final approval from the city.”
Leung said while he doesn’t currently believe there is a need for a 168-room hotel in Chinatown, he is hopeful that the ongoing Wells-Wentworth Connector project will bring in more tourists once it’s finished.
The Wells-Wentworth Connector is a three-phase plan that began in 2016 with the goal of connecting Chinatown to the city’s core. Phase one was completed in 2017 and the second phase is currently underway.
Currently there is one hotel in Chinatown, the 101-room Jaslin Hotel at 261 W. Cermak Road.
According to Jimmy Lee, president and CEO of Good City Chicago, a nonprofit that works with social entrepreneurs, the plan for the new hotel is facing some pushback from Chinatown residents concerned about lost parking spots.
The proposed plan calls for the hotel to be built as a four-story addition on top of an existing two-story mixed-use building at 2353 S. Wentworth Ave. The hotel will also take up some of the ground floor. Currently, there are a few small businesses in the building, as well as a closed branch of the Chicago Public Library. A second floor parking lot would disappear with the creation of the hotel.
Whether or not the community ultimately embraces the idea is yet to be seen, but Leung said it can be a positive.
“Any large project in Chinatown is good for us,” Leung said.