Hospitality Design - November 2016 - 114

is they think they're designers. I'm not a
designer. Designers are artists; they have a
real, strong point of view and just being able to
hear them out opposed to saying yes or no [is
important]. They're so talented. And they're
smart, reasonable people. You have to make
sure you're very transparent, laying down the
groundwork and expectations about timing
and budget and what you want the look and
feel of the end product to be, then giving them
space to operate.

Is that the same for designers?
Yes, it goes both ways. We all want the
best thing for the project and that may not
always be exactly what they want or I want,
but in terms of timing and budget, the only
way [a project] works is if it's responsibly
underwritten and delivered on time and on
a budget. If you can't do that, you don't have
anything.

The reception at Chicago's Hotel Lincoln

Photo by DAVE BURK

That's good advice. What's one piece
of advice you've listened to?

The lounge at the Soho House Chicago

Besides Auberge and Graduate, you
opened four very successful lifestyle
hotels in Chicago-you mentioned
Lincoln Park, and there's also Soho
House, the Thompson Chicago, and
CAA-within just a little more than
three years. What do you look for in a
deal?
We wouldn't take it on unless we were really
passionate about it and have a point of view. We
love historic assets that have a history, that we
can reflect the past and communicate what's
happening in each one of these markets in the
future. It's a fine balance, and we look for those
assets that really have the strong emotional
connection to the community or the guests.

You've worked with renowned, highprofile designers with very strong

114

November 2016 hospitalitydesign.com

personalities on various projects. What
is the secret to making it to the finish
line together? Is there one you are
really proud of?
That's a really good question because you
know how difficult it is. The Chicago Athletic
Association has obviously gone above and
beyond any of our expectations in terms of
becoming a living and breathing thing.
Roman and Williams designed that hotel. It's
really about respecting them, their point of
view, and not being dismissive just because
something is so outrageous or so over the top
or incredibly expensive. I [believe in] hearing
people out and giving each idea the credence
and consideration that it deserves, having a
conversation with them about why it does or
doesn't work, and being respectful.
The big problem with a lot of developers

Sam Zell, who I think is an amazing real
estate investor, always talks about avoiding
competition and trying to do things that
are distinctive, whether it's investing or
development. To find areas that you can
exploit, where you're the only game in town-
we think about that a lot. Trying to think big
is something we're working on as a company.
And when we do come up with an idea, just
going for it in terms of taking risk-because
if something seems farfetched or impossible
doesn't mean that we shouldn't look at it and
explore it to see if we can't make it happen.

What's next for AJ?
We are looking at other asset classes-office,
retail, multifamily-how we can take the
hospitality culture design aesthetic and
deploy it into other real estate. How you
activate and program a space, it's all the same
fundamentals but with the design-driven twist.

Since this is the new icons issue, is
there anyone you think is doing great
things in the industry right now?
We did the Thompson Nashville with Parts
and Labor Design. We enjoyed working
with them on the design side. There are a
lot of really interesting restaurants and food
concepts. The guys at St. Roch Market in
New Orleans are spectacular, the best food
all-service operators in the country. There's
Michael Klong who has a coffee company
called Truebrew, which is basically a craft
coffee distributor and retail outlet. You go
into a coffee shop and it has 15 or 20 different
varieties. I love what he's doing.


http://www.hospitalitydesign.com

Hospitality Design - November 2016

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Hospitality Design - November 2016

Hospitality Design - November 2016
Contents
Online TOC
From the Editor
From the Guest Editor
Perspectives
Memoir
Places Tel Aviv
Places Jason’s Picks
5 Questions for John Mcdonald
Products
Profile Jono Pandolfi
Lighting
Seating
Wallcoverings
The New Icons
Ad Index
Back Space
Hospitality Design - November 2016 - Hospitality Design - November 2016
Hospitality Design - November 2016 - Cover2
Hospitality Design - November 2016 - 1
Hospitality Design - November 2016 - 2
Hospitality Design - November 2016 - 3
Hospitality Design - November 2016 - 4
Hospitality Design - November 2016 - 5
Hospitality Design - November 2016 - 6
Hospitality Design - November 2016 - 7
Hospitality Design - November 2016 - 8
Hospitality Design - November 2016 - 9
Hospitality Design - November 2016 - 10
Hospitality Design - November 2016 - 11
Hospitality Design - November 2016 - 12
Hospitality Design - November 2016 - Contents
Hospitality Design - November 2016 - 14
Hospitality Design - November 2016 - 15
Hospitality Design - November 2016 - 16
Hospitality Design - November 2016 - Online TOC
Hospitality Design - November 2016 - 18
Hospitality Design - November 2016 - 19
Hospitality Design - November 2016 - 20
Hospitality Design - November 2016 - 21
Hospitality Design - November 2016 - From the Editor
Hospitality Design - November 2016 - 23
Hospitality Design - November 2016 - 24
Hospitality Design - November 2016 - 25
Hospitality Design - November 2016 - From the Guest Editor
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Hospitality Design - November 2016 - 28
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Hospitality Design - November 2016 - 30
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Hospitality Design - November 2016 - 34
Hospitality Design - November 2016 - Perspectives
Hospitality Design - November 2016 - 36
Hospitality Design - November 2016 - 37
Hospitality Design - November 2016 - 38
Hospitality Design - November 2016 - Memoir
Hospitality Design - November 2016 - 40
Hospitality Design - November 2016 - 41
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Hospitality Design - November 2016 - 43
Hospitality Design - November 2016 - 44
Hospitality Design - November 2016 - Places Tel Aviv
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Hospitality Design - November 2016 - Places Jason’s Picks
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Hospitality Design - November 2016 - 67
Hospitality Design - November 2016 - 5 Questions for John Mcdonald
Hospitality Design - November 2016 - 69
Hospitality Design - November 2016 - 70
Hospitality Design - November 2016 - 71
Hospitality Design - November 2016 - 72
Hospitality Design - November 2016 - 73
Hospitality Design - November 2016 - 74
Hospitality Design - November 2016 - Products
Hospitality Design - November 2016 - 76
Hospitality Design - November 2016 - 77
Hospitality Design - November 2016 - 78
Hospitality Design - November 2016 - Profile Jono Pandolfi
Hospitality Design - November 2016 - 80
Hospitality Design - November 2016 - 81
Hospitality Design - November 2016 - 82
Hospitality Design - November 2016 - Lighting
Hospitality Design - November 2016 - 84
Hospitality Design - November 2016 - 85
Hospitality Design - November 2016 - 86
Hospitality Design - November 2016 - 87
Hospitality Design - November 2016 - 88
Hospitality Design - November 2016 - 89
Hospitality Design - November 2016 - 90
Hospitality Design - November 2016 - Seating
Hospitality Design - November 2016 - 92
Hospitality Design - November 2016 - 93
Hospitality Design - November 2016 - 94
Hospitality Design - November 2016 - 95
Hospitality Design - November 2016 - 96
Hospitality Design - November 2016 - 97
Hospitality Design - November 2016 - 98
Hospitality Design - November 2016 - Wallcoverings
Hospitality Design - November 2016 - 100
Hospitality Design - November 2016 - 101
Hospitality Design - November 2016 - 102
Hospitality Design - November 2016 - 103
Hospitality Design - November 2016 - 104
Hospitality Design - November 2016 - The New Icons
Hospitality Design - November 2016 - 106
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Hospitality Design - November 2016 - 108
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Hospitality Design - November 2016 - Ad Index
Hospitality Design - November 2016 - 143
Hospitality Design - November 2016 - Back Space
Hospitality Design - November 2016 - Cover3
Hospitality Design - November 2016 - Cover4
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