Becker Ventures, LLC, a Michigan-based venture capital firm, wanted to renovate, rebrand and reposition one of its prominent properties, Chicago’s Hard Rock Hotel, located in the Carbide & Carbon Building, a 40-story Art Deco landmark. The neighborhood is resurgent with several competing upscale hotels already operating or planned. After renovation, the client’s property will reopen as the St. Jane Chicago Hotel, named after Jane Addams, the Chicago social worker and civil rights leader who operated the Hull House settlement house. Becker Ventures sought Arnall Golden Gregory’s assistance in securing a $74.85 million refinancing to fund the work and to assist with certain aspects of the rebranding.
Arnall Golden Gregory assisted the client in negotiating its loan documents for the new construction and take-out financing of the existing permanent loan, and assisted in many of the agreements related to rebranding.. The work involved coordination among attorneys with a wide range of expertise, including lending, real estate, corporate and intellectual property. The loan transaction was time sensitive and had some unusual challenges with respect to the timing of the payoff of the existing loan, the termination of the existing franchise, the rebranding of the hotel and construction.
When Becker Ventures acquired the property several years earlier, the neighborhood south of the Chicago River where the hotel is located was considered challenging. Since then, there has been a renaissance triggered by the opening of Millennium Park. The refinancing allowed the client to reposition the hotel property as a new kind of landmark in keeping with the transformation of the neighborhood.