Hilton Orrington/Evanston in negotiations with third party to privately lease and rent hotel rooms to displaced Northwestern undergraduates

The+exterior+of+the+Hilton%2FOrrington+Evanston.

Daily file photo by Isabelle Sarraf

The Hilton Orrington/Evanston, 1710 Orrington Ave. The hotel’s owners received a $50 million foreclosure suit on Thursday.

Isabelle Sarraf, Copy Chief

The Hilton Orrington/Evanston is currently in negotiations with a third party to privately lease and rent out hotel rooms to Northwestern undergraduates, according to Medill senior Justin Sweetwood, the third party negotiator’s student facilitator.

The third party’s announcement comes days after University President Morton Schapiro wrote in an email that first- and second-year students would not be allowed to return to campus this fall, including in residence halls, with limited exceptions. The University also plans to close fraternity and sorority houses until Winter Quarter, and discouraged first- and second-year undergraduates from moving to the Evanston area during the fall.

“There were just so many students displaced, and apartment buildings are hard to come by and in short supply right now because everyone signed leases a long time ago,” Sweetwood said. “There’s really nowhere else for these people to stay.”

The third party plans to offer four-month leases that will start Sept. 4 and run through Jan. 4, Sweetwood said. He added that there is a potential extension through the rest of the academic year should the University continue with remote learning.

Rooms will be available on a first-come, first-served basis at a rate of $1,350 a month, for a total of $5,400. All rooms, the majority of which are singles, are furnished and have private bathrooms, he said. The majority of NU dorm rooms are priced at an average rate of $3,404 a quarter; the dorms close during Winter Break.

Sweetwood said students would have the opportunity to opt-in to a grab-and-go meal plan, with breakfast, lunch and dinner delivered to the hotel ballroom each day. There will be very strict social distancing protocols in place, he said, with the hotel abiding by the state and the University’s COVID-19 policies.

“We anticipate (the hotel) to basically operate as an apartment building, no different than Evanston Place or Park Evanston,” Sweetwood said. “If anything, the rates that will be offered are going to be much cheaper than those places, because those places right now are probably getting swamped with what few rooms are available.”

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