Funding to be discussed for possible new hotel in downtown Champaign

Developers are interested in building a new hotel in a vacant lot in downtown Champaign. On Tuesday night, the city council will give their input as to how much incentive they could bestow on the project.

The lot in question is southeast of Church and Neil streets. The lot has been entirely empty since a 2008 fire destroyed the historic Metropolitan Building.

Hans Grotelueschen, owner of the lot and the properties west of it, intends to demolish the buildings as soon as his business relocates to another location. According to the report, his plan is to use the eventually larger vacant space for a hotel project. If project financing is successful, he said construction would begin in June for a completion date of July 2013.

The proposed project consists of a nine-story hotel complex with 150 rooms and three floors of enclosed parking.

The goal Tuesday will be to negotiate some form of cap agreement as to how much the city will invest in the project. City staff is calling for the council to agree on a cap of no more than $3 million over a seven year stretch for reimbursement of city taxes generated by this project.