The Fordham Company Recreates a Legend as It Announces the Purchase and Redevelopment of Chicago’s Famed Ambassador East Hotel on the City’s Gold Goast

Planned Transformation Includes Renovated Condominium-Hotel Units and a Revitalized Pump Room

Partnership Includes Mid-America Development Partners, The Harp Group and Portfolio Hotels and Resorts

CHICAGO, Feb. 2 /PRNewswire/ — The Fordham Company today announced the acquisition and redevelopment of Chicago’s famed Ambassador East Hotel, located at 1301 N. State Parkway in Chicago’s Gold Coast neighborhood. The complete transformation of the classic 1926 hotel will include exquisite condominium-hotel units designed by Laurie Miller and a revitalized Pump Room. Financing was provided by Fremont Investment and Loan.

“With an incredible team in place that has their fingers on the pulse of design, culinary treasures, exciting entertainment and high-end hotel management, we will re-establish the Ambassador East as one of Chicago’s finest destinations,” said Christopher Carley, chairman of The Fordham Company. The property will include one of Chicago’s finest spa and fitness centers and a new indoor pool, subject to city approval. “By beautifully appointing every room and leisure area in the Ambassador East, its elegance, charm and legacy will be restored and rebranded immediately as a new classic.”

The Fordham Company, a leading developer of the most exclusive and prestigious residential buildings in Chicago, including the planned Fordham Spire by Santiago Calatrava, the beautiful eight-story 65 E. Goethe, the award-winning Fordham at 25 E. Superior and the Pinnacle at 21 E. Huron, has begun taking reservations for the distinguished condominium-hotel units at the Ambassador East. They range in size from approximately 300 to 1,500 square feet, and prices range from $275,000 to $1,400,000.

Carley has established an outstanding partnership with a seasoned management team for the redevelopment project, including:

— Chicago, Ill.-based Portfolio Hotels and Resorts, led by Helmut Horn,
president, who also served as general manager of the Ambassador East
during its height of popularity, and Graham Hershman, COO. Portfolio
manages destination resorts and urban hotels, and provides asset
management and consultation services for owners and investors.

– Oak Brook, Ill.-based Mid-America Development Partners, LLC, led by
David P. Bossy, president, and Michael D. Firsel, principal and CEO.
Mid-America is a full-service real estate development firm committed to
creating functional, attractive developments that enhance their
surrounding communities.

– Lombard, Ill.-based The Harp Group, led by Peter G. Dumon, president,
and Timothy G. Franzen, senior vice president. The Harp Group
specializes in hospitality and retail development and brands itself as
a “value creation enterprise” that strives for uniqueness in every

The Ambassador East Hotel has become a part of the Preferred Hotel Group, which features worldwide premier hotels, including The Peninsula Chicago and Hard Rock Hotel Chicago. The Ambassador East is rich in Chicago tradition. For nearly 80 years, movie stars have called it their home away from Hollywood and dined at the hotel’s famed Pump Room. The Ambassador East has been the setting for many movies, including Alfred Hitchcock’s North by Northwest and My Body Guard.

The Fordham Company is currently accepting inquiries from prospective purchasers at its Sales Center, located at 15 E. Huron in Chicago, Ill. Office hours are 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday through Friday; 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Saturday; and noon-5 p.m. Sunday. For more information on purchasing a unit or to schedule appointments, please call 312-587-0660, log onto the Ambassador East condo sales Web site at or visit .


Founded in Chicago in 1988 by Christopher T. Carley, The Fordham Company is one of the Midwest’s premier developers of high-end residences. Renowned for their five-star amenities, these exceptional properties attain a new level of luxury while fitting seamlessly into their environment. The Fordham style is unmistakable: unsurpassed architectural detail; unstinting quality; magnificent locations; and unsparing attention to ambiance, character, service and comfort. In all, Fordham Company’s management has developed more than 16,000 residences. It is considered the city’s foremost high-end developer, with more than $500 million in residences currently under development.

In addition to its luxury residential developments, The Fordham Company’s wide-ranging experience includes land development, property management, financial consulting, market research and feasibility analysis, and packaging of debt and equity offerings. The company’s extensive scope of services and skill in their execution has made Fordham an acknowledged leader in the real estate community. With this strong reputation for high-quality product and unparalleled customer care, the Fordham Company has created a model of residential development, by which all others are compared.


Preferred Hotels(R) & Resorts is part of the Preferred Hotel Group, a multi-branded organization that delivers cutting-edge sales, marketing and technology solutions to independent luxury hotels around the world. The Preferred Hotel Group services more than 300 luxury independent hotels and resorts in over 50 countries through its brands: Preferred Hotels & Resorts ( ), Summit Hotels & Resorts ( ), Boutique ( ) and Sterling Hotels ( ). The Preferred Hotel Group’s Web site is .

Every Preferred Hotel & Resort shares the same dedication to personal service, and must qualify for membership by adhering to Preferred’s Standards of Excellence(TM), an exhaustive quality assurance programme that includes an annual, third-party unannounced audit of 1,600 standards and practices and was honored with the “Best Practices Champion Award” by Cornell University.

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