Doug Artusio loves Staybridge Suites, InterContinental Hotels Group's extended-stay brand that's about to top the 100-property mark. Artusio's firm, Dellisart Lodging, is the second-largest operator of the brand behind IHG and recently broke ground on its most ambitious project, a $52-million, 206-unit Staybridge in the River North area of downtown Chicago.

Dellisart is developing the urban property in partnership with Chicago-based Miglin Properties.

“Downtown Chicago has a lot of demand generators and will be a great market for this property,” says Artusio. “For one, it attracts a lot of weekend visitors, as well as many week-long convention attendees who are looking for more space but who don't want to spend what full-service properties charge for suites.”

The developers are constructing the hotel using a staggered truss structural system. The concept involves a series of story-high trusses spanning the width between two rows of exterior columns and arranged in a staggered pattern on adjacent column lines. According to Artusio, the technique is cheaper and faster than other construction methods and provides more open interior space and more design flexibility.

As the largest Staybridge in the system and the first truly urban property, the hotel has some amenities not seen in typical suburban units. The 18-story building will have an 82-car parking garage and 8,000 square feet of commercial space.

Artusio and Dellisart have plenty of experience with the brand, owning and/or managing four of them with another one scheduled to open this month in Florida (as well as a Wingate Inn and three full-service hotels in China). Two of the Staybridges are in suburban Chicago. The two properties broke ground on the same day and opened more than three years ago on the same day.

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