Dear folks,

Two quotes in the “Land Sharks” article in your Neighborhood News section [September 4] caught my eye. The first was from John Seo: “I want to run it as an affordable hotel. Maybe charge $90 a night. I figure it will be a success because there’s a big need for affordable rooms downtown.”

The second was from city planning department spokeswoman, Becky Carroll: “This is a gateway for the museum campus. Whatever we put there should be very special. There was a motel there once before, and guess what? It didn’t work. It became a vacant eyesore. How does Mr. Seo know it will work this time? Has he done a market survey to show that there’s a market for such a hotel? Listen, a hotel didn’t work before, and every indication is that it won’t work now.”

Well, being an inquisitive sort, as well as the type of person who (even as a city dweller) would enjoy spending a weekend at a downtown hotel while I visit the new museum campus, I did my own market survey of the room costs of five downtown hotels (standard rate).

Hyatt Regency McCormick Place: $119/night.

Hyatt on Printer’s Row:


Hyatt Regency Chicago:


Palmer House Hilton:


Chicago Hilton and Towers:


I would give my business to a $90-a-night hotel at the “gateway to the museum campus.” I have a hunch other customers would also.

R.J. Johnson