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VERNON HILLS, IL- An affiliate of Florida Capital Land Corp. based in Lake Mary, FL, is converting the 127-room AmeriSuites, 450 N. Milwaukee Ave., into a Hotel Indigo. Lane Hospitality, based in Northbrook, IL, will manage the branded-boutique hotel for owner FCLC Vernon Hills LLC under a license agreement with a company in the InterContinental Hotels Group.

The cost of the renovation and conversion is estimated at $4.5 million. The six-story hotel will be the third Hotel Indigo in the Chicago area, with the other two locations in Palatine and Chicago’s Gold Coast neighborhood, says Jim Anhut, SVP for brand management for Hotel Indigo.

Renovations began in December and the hotel is expected to open in April. The lobby is being renovated and renovations to the rooms will include removing the bathtubs and replacing them with “spa-inspired” showers, Anhut says. The exterior will be renovated slightly to “de-identify” the roofline with the previous hotel brand, he says. Every few months, the common areas will change appearance with different artwork, music and murals. The rooms will change every few years with different area rugs for the hardwood floors, duvets, drapes and slip covers, Anhut says.

The hotel was acquired by an affiliate of Florida Capital Land Corp. in September 2002 for reportedly $13.1 million. The hotel is operating as an AmeriSuites, but needs to be converted to a different hotel since AmeriSuites was acquired by Hyatt Corp., and “AmeriSuites, as a brand, is ceasing to exist,” says John Marko, regional VP of hotel operations for Lane Hospitality. Hotel Indigo was chosen to make the hotel stand out in the Vernon Hills area, which has “a lot of the typical existing corporate hotels,” he says. “We wanted to really position the hotel a little differently from everyone else (and) to stand above the standard brands,” Marko says. Additionally, the Hotel Indigo brand was chosen because it has Priority Club Rewards, a hotel loyalty reward program for IHG hotels which has more than 37 million members, Marko says.

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