Confirming a story first reported by Evanston Now last month, the Dow Hotel Company has announced its acquisition, in partnership with The Carlyle Group, of the Hilton Orrington in Evanston.

Seattle-based Dow says the hotel will get about $6 million in renovations and upgrades over the next 12 months, focusing on guest rooms, corridors, upscale lounge and coffee concept, meeting and other public space.

The property completed a total transformation in 2004 and further upgraded from an independent property to the Hilton brand in 2010.

The additional enhancements are designed to provide guests and local residents with what company officials described in a press release as “an unparalleled North Shore lodging experience.”

The 269-room Hilton Orrington, at 1710 Orrington Ave., features a 12,000-square-foot conference center and an additional 20,000 square feet of ballroom and other meeting space capable of serving up to 550 guests. The property includes a 173-space parking garage, business center and retail shoppes.

“Our first step will be to reach out to establish close ties with the Evanston community, Northwestern University and our other neighbors,” said Murray Dow, president of The Dow Hotel Company. “We will build on the hotel’s reputation as the North Shore’s preferred gathering place and will implement a dramatic enhancement to the food and beverage experience.”

The cornerstone of the food and beverage upgrade is the opening of Farmhouse Evanston, which will have an entrance off the hotel’s lobby. The restaurant will be a sister eatery to the Michelin-rated Farmhouse Chicago and will feature 36 craft beers on tap and Midwestern cuisine sourced from local farms.

Dow said that the company has aggressively stepped up its acquisition program in the past year. “This is our third transaction with The Carlyle Group, and we look forward to building on our relationship, as well as with our other institutional investors,” he said.

“We finally are seeing a substantial number of attractive, quality, full-service properties coming to market and have one of the most active pipelines in our company’s 15-year history,” he added.

Related story

Hilton Orrington finds a buyer

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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