ROSEMONT, IL-Construction is under way on the first Aloft Hotel in the Midwest. Continental Properties Co. Inc., headquartered in Menomonee Falls, WI, is developing the 251-room hotel at 9700 Balmoral, here, within the Rosemont Walk. McShane Construction Corp., headquartered here, is constructing the hotel. Merriman Associates/Architects, based in Dallas, is providing the architectural services for the project. Representatives from Continental Properties did not return phone calls for comment.

The hotel, which will be near the Chicago O’Hare International Airport, will be six stories tall with a total of 129,250 sf. The value of the project is reportedly $35 million. The building will have loft-like guest rooms with nine-foot ceilings and oversized windows, says Keith Dafcik, senior vice president with McShane. The building will have load-bearing precast interior walls, precast hollow-core floor and “a precast exterior skin of the building in addition to some masonry features in the front,” Dafcik says. The hotel’s precast walls and special windows to help block out noise from the airport, he says.

Construction of the hotel is expected to be completed in July 2008, Dafcik says. A sky bridge is also being constructed connecting the hotel with an existing parking garage which will augment the hotel’s parking.

The Aloft Hotel will have wireless internet access throughout the hotel, a McShane spokesperson says. Another feature aimed at the technology-savvy is the “plug & play” for various items such as laptops and mp3 players. The hotel will also have a fitness center and indoor pool. The Aloft Hotel brand is geared toward younger travelers with the “wired” features and will also have more gathering areas as opposed to a formal restaurant, a McShane spokesperson says. Aloft is a new hotel brand created by the W Hotel chain and owned by Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc. Starwood plans to have 500 Aloft hotels open by 2012, according to a released statement by the company.

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