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South Loop

Former Bears Player Part Of Team Bringing Hotel, Stores, Apartments To Motor Row Landmark Building

Israel Idonjie and a team of investors bought the building in 2018. The proposed overhaul awaits a City Council vote.

A rendering of 2222 S. Michigan, which calls for a rooftop pool, hotel rooms, and apartments.
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SOUTH LOOP — A historic Motor Row building owned by former Bears defensive end Israel Idonije is getting a tony makeover.

The four-story, 38-unit complex in the storied Hudson Motor Building, 2222 S. Michigan Ave. received key city zoning approval in mid-November. It now awaits a full City Council vote before moving forward.

The $62.5 million development envisions 18 hotel rooms and 53,700 square feet of retail. It is being developed by Hudson Michigan Avenue LLC, of which Idonije is a partner.

Plans also include a restaurant and event venue on the first floor, with an additional event area on the mezzanine.

The second and third levels have apartments ranging from one to four bedrooms, and hotel rooms, according to the plans. Hotel guest rooms would occupy the second and third level, as well.

The fourth floor would include additional units, a rooftop pool, men’s and women’s changing rooms and an outdoor deck, according to the plans.

RTM Engineering Consultants is in charge of the engineering and design.

Credit: Provided.
A rendering of a mixed-use development coming to 2222 S. Michigan Ave.

Crain’s reported in July 2020 that Idonije and his team put the $10 million building on the market, but the former Bear told Block Club it was never officially for sale and the team had “run into complications.”

Originally plans called for the building to be renovated into a philanthropic-focused, members only co-working space, similar to Impact House — which Idonije opened in the Loop in 2020 — but he said Hudson Motor Row will simply be “hotel rooms, apartments and retail.”

The development team will created the hotel concept themselves, Idonije said.

The three-story terra cotta building was once home to the Hudson Motor Car Company, which was in operation from 1909 to 1954. It was designed by Chicago architect Alfred Alschuler in 1922, according to Preservation Chicago.

The development is the latest in ongoing efforts to revitalize Motor Row, which was designated a Chicago Landmark District in 2000. Mayor Lori Lightfoot announced $11 million in infrastructure improvements in July.

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