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June 12, 2023 |

Once seized by the feds, Rosemont hotel undergoes $35 million transformation

Posted 6/12/2023

Christopher Placek, Daily Herald

When developer Rich Curto’s deal to buy an old car dealership in Barrington’s downtown fell through, his real estate agent directed him to what would be an even larger and riskier investment in Rosemont.

“I drove up and I looked at it, and it was very ugly,” the Barrington resident said of the shuttered Edward Hotel at 6600 Mannheim Road. “I went, ‘I don’t know if I want to tackle this thing.’

The nine-story, 274-room hotel at the edge of O’Hare International Airport had been seized by the U.S. Marshals Service after the arrest of owner Xiao Hua “Edward” Gong on fraud and money laundering charges in Canada.

“It was a bit eerie when we walked through the hotel,” Curto remembers. “In one of the back offices, we saw safes that the U.S. marshals had blown open. We saw lunches that were left. We saw coats that were there. The ballroom was already fitted out for a wedding with name tags. The U.S. marshals had shut down the hotel in 20 minutes and locked it up.”

But Curto soon realized the building — originally a Ramada in the 1970s — had great potential.

“I’m starting to walk through and I go, ‘Whoa, this has great bones, even though it’s interior-wise run-down.'”

Curto’s Chicago-based Gateway Investment Partners acquired the property at auction in 2021 and has since poured millions into renovations — all told, a $35 million investment — to transform it into a dual hotel brand supported by the Land & Lake restaurant and top-floor Sky on Nine ballroom and event space…

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