HYDE PARK — A faded 88-year-old hotel on the south lakeshore is being retfitted with modern amenities, including the city's fastest broadband Internet service.
The developers converting the Shoreland hotel into luxury apartments announced Tuesday the building will include Internet access with speeds about 100 times faster than regular broadband.
“It’s essentially a bigger pipe,” said Peter Cassel, director of community development for the Silliman Group, the development arm of building owner Antheus Capital.
Cassel said the service is similar to Google’s experiments in Kansas City, Mo., where Antheus has had success with the service.
He said Google is trying offering the super-fast Internet connections there to see how people will use it. He said residents of the Antheus developments in Kansas City are using it to download video, and the connection speeds have been a boon to graphic designers and video editors who work from home.
The Shoreland, 5454 S. Shore Drive, is the first residential property in Chicago to get the speedier connection, and Antheus has contracted with American Wireless Broadband to replicate the Google Kansas City experiment in Chicago.
“It’s essentially like we have McDonald’s there and Burger King here,” Cassel said, adding that the services will be comparable.
Cassel said the service does not provide the ability to stream network television like Comcast’s network does, but it can be used to connect to Netflix, Hulu, HBO and other streaming television offerings for Shoreland residents.
Antheus Capital bought the Shoreland in 2008 from the University of Chicago, which was using the landmark hotel as a dormitory. Excavation for a 140-space parking garage under the 13-story building is near completion.
The Shoreland is expected to open later this year with 330 apartments.
“We are delivering the lobby, parking, common areas — a gorgeous lobby — and the first four residential floors for occupancy Sept. 1,” Cassel said. “We are currently writing leases for new residents.”