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Cicero Construction Group Completes Renovation of Staypineapple Boston Hotel

Project managers successfully overcame challenges facing hotels undergoing renovation during COVID-19

PLAINFIELD, IL, MARCH 16, 2021 -- Cicero Construction Group announced today that it has completed the renovation of the Staypineapple Boston, a 56-room boutique hotel located in Boston's historic South End. The COVID-19 pandemic made the project a challenge for management of the hotel and Cicero Construction, leading both to find new solutions and procedures to satisfy health requirements and the high expectations of guests. Formally known as the Chandler Inn, the Staypineapple Boston was renamed in the first public step in its re-branding as part of the Seattle-based Staypineapple chain, which purchased the property in February 2018. A significant makeover was planned at that time to make it the embodiment of Staypineapple's vision for what a refined, urban, yet modern hotel should be. The first phase of the "Pineapplization" by Cicero Construction was the renovating of all 56 guest rooms. Each was given upgraded bathrooms with step-in showers, and were furnished with custom platform bed frames, headboards and dressers, plus two separate duvets to pamper guests in European-style bedding. Unfortunately, just as the first phase of renovation wound down, COVID-19 began to ramp up its danger. The construction industry was especially hard hit. A December 2020 study by the UCLA School of Public Health found that construction workers had the highest positivity rates of any occupation, including healthcare staff, first responders, elderly care workers, grocery store workers and food service employees. Out of an abundance of caution for the safety of guests, employees and Cicero Construction staff, Staypineapple put the Boston renovation on hold until further notice. Across the country thousands of other construction projects were shuttered due to the pandemic, as well. At Cicero Construction Group, management took an aggressive posture to preventing the transmission of COVID-19. It put into place CDC protocols that went beyond social distancing or wearing masks. These protective steps included:

  • Routine cleaning of frequently touched surfaces including workstations, countertops, service/fleet vehicles, handles, doorknobs, gang boxes, tools and equipment

  • Avoiding pressurized air or water sprays that may result in the generation of bio-aerosols

  • Flexible worksites and staggered work hours to increase physical distancing among employees

  • Establishing breaks in shifts to reduce the size of groups

  • Prohibiting the sharing of tools, phones or personal protection equipment (PPE)

  • No communal food permitted on job sites

  • Utilizing disposable gloves where appropriate

  • Instructing workers to wash hands after removing gloves

  • If any Cicero Construction worker is worried about contracting the virus and bringing it home, he or she is immediately excused—no questions asked.

After a nine month delay, Staypineapple management asked Cicero Construction to restart the second and final stage of the renovation consisting of the hotel's public spaces and the Trophy Room Bar & Bistro, one of the South End's favorite watering holes. "Staypineapple entrusted us to complete their next phase which was the public space. This phase was originally to begin in late 2019 with an anticipated late spring 2020 completion, then came Covid," explained Sam Cicero, President of Cicero Construction Group. "Because of the positive reputation we had built with Staypineapple, their minds were put at ease as we all tried to anticipate and resolve any hurdles involved as a result of the shut down." Cicero Construction Group renovated the hotel lobby, reception, hallways and check-in area by adding new flooring, paint, wall coverings, wall sconces, chandeliers and other interior improvements that gave the hotel the signature Staypineapple look. It also spruced up the Trophy Room Bar & Bistro by replacing the long counter and wait station top with black quartz stone, along with installing mosaic tile on the floors. The waiting station also received a makeover with stylish new cabinets and lighting. No changes were made to the hotel's first story facade in a nod to maintaining the historical character of the South End neighborhood. "After COVID-19, our team and the management at Staypineapple were forced to reassess the project at each stage of the pipeline, and the new hurdles we faced," said Sam Cicero. "Working together we ramped up on-site safety. Staypineapple gave us the flexibility to work in staggered schedules to minimize the number of workers at the hotel, for example. None of our employees contracted COVID-19 and I think that was because Staypineapple recognized the seriousness of the situation." Based in the Pacific Northwest, Staypineapple represents a brand of ten privately owned and managed hotels in New York, Chicago, San Francisco, Boston, Seattle, Portland, and San Diego.

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