Judge blocks auction of InterContinental Chicago O’Hare Hotel

ROSEMONT, ILLINOIS A bankruptcy judge has blocked the planned auction of the 556-key InterContinental Chicago O’Hare Hotel, agreeing with lenders who argued they should have an opportunity to propose a restructuring of the hotel’s debt.

The ruling is a setback for the hotel’s owner, an affiliate of Harp Group Inc., which selected Och-Ziff Real Estate as the stalking horse for the troubled luxury hotel near Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport. The US$180 million hotel opened just as the global financial markets were melting down.

Och-Ziff is leading a venture, which includes Harp as a minority investor, to acquire the hotel for US$42 million. The ruling on Monday will allow lenders to file their own competing reorganization plan, which is expected sometime in September.