Work on a new Downtown Champaign hotel starting in September | Entrepreneurs


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Champaign – The developers of the new seven-story hotel slated for downtown Champaign have said they hope to begin construction in September.

According to developer Doug Altenberger, the plan for the new Marriott Aloft hotel on 401 N. Neil Street requires around 130 rooms with an outdoor restaurant and bar on the ground floor.

He said he was in Champaign on Tuesday, meeting with city officials and others and providing updated information on the project.

The hotel was previously scheduled to open at the end of 2020, but construction has been delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic and lack of materials, Altenberger said. He currently predicts construction will take 18 months, but said he hopes the hotel will open by Christmas next year.

Due to the high cost of steel and timber, construction costs will be around 20 to 25 percent higher than initially expected, according to Altenberger.

“I’m not going to stop the project. We are working on it, ”he said.

The hospitality industry was first hit by what he called the “COVID recession,” Altenberger said.

Despite the high cost of the project, he said, “I feel good in the long run. “

Rob Kowalski, the city’s deputy director of planning and development, said a building permit for a hotel that needed to be renewed was under consideration before COVID-19 struck, but city officials have said a lot about the project, I don’t expect any changes to be made. Restart.

Marriott Aloft is located one block north of the Hyatt Place hotel, and Kowalski said he remains very interested in adding a second hotel downtown as demand for rooms increases.

Altenburger is developing a hotel with Dave Mastio and Tony Block, and the property at the corner of Neil and Hill streets was purchased for $ 275,000. A landmark event for the ceremony took place in October 2019.

According to Marriott, Aloft hotels have an urban design that caters to “today’s modern travelers who seek jet-set style and a vibrant social scene at an affordable price.”

Jayne DeLuce, President and CEO of Champaign County, said the hotel would complement the increased activity and promotion of downtown Champaign as a destination.

The Aloft Hotel isn’t known for its many additional facilities, but “there is a place to stay here, get out and explore your community,” she said.

She said the local hospitality industry is recovering this summer thanks to sports recreation and business travel. The demand for rooms has increased by almost 40% over the past year during a pandemic.

He said DeLuce, although the University of Illinois is not fully operational, and she is seeking a new recovery request in the fall.

“I think people are very eager to travel,” she said.

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