Firm shows interest in Historic Lincoln Hotel

URBANA – An out-of-town development firm is looking into purchasing the Historic Lincoln Hotel in Urbana.

The company, which Urbana officials would not name, has approached the city about possible incentives available to the company if it were to purchase the hotel and renovate it.

Indiana firm accused of OSHA violations

DANVILLE – Atlas Excavating Inc. in West Lafayette, Ind., has been cited by the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration for allegedly failing to follow federal workplace safety standards at a trenching operation in Danville.

OSHA opened an inspection in May 2009 at excavation job sites in Danville after receiving information that employees were working in excavations as deep as 8 feet without cave-in protection, according to a news release from OSHA.

Danville Art league set on ex-Red Cross building

DANVILLE – A development company's plan to build senior housing on Red Cross property in downtown Danville is now on hold.

But that's not stopping the Danville Art League from moving forward with its plans to secure the former Red Cross building.

The Sterling Group, based in Mishawaka, Ind., has maintained for several months an option to buy the property at 320 N. Franklin St., along with the vacant building there that once housed the Vermilion County Chapter of the Red Cross.

Meeting on planned Prospect renovation set Dec. 3

A public information meeting about the rebuilding of Prospect Avenue, about 400 feet north of Curtis Road to Windsor Road, will be held from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Dec. 3 at the Savoy Recreation Center, 402 Graham Drive.

The road is expected to be renovated into a two-lane concrete road with a turn lane. Curbs and gutters are also expected to be added.

Wienerschnitzel returning to area as Tastee-Freez

CHAMPAIGN – Wienerschnitzel is returning to Champaign after a 10-month absence.

The old Wienerschnitzel restaurant at West Springfield Avenue and Country Fair Drive is expected to reopen in early December as a Tastee-Freez restaurant featuring Wienerschnitzel sandwiches.

Savoy bucks national home-construction trend

SAVOY – It may be unexpected given the national recession, but records show new housing construction in Savoy was up substantially in 2009.

Savoy saw about 74 single-family housing starts through Nov. 13.

Carle putting three clinic properties up for sale

URBANA – Carle Foundation Hospital is trying to sell three of the properties it leases to Carle Clinic, to comply with an agreement it made last year with the Internal Revenue Service.

UI Research Park: Investment and returns

CHAMPAIGN – The gleaming new buildings at the University of Illinois Research Park have generated upward of $3.2 million in property tax revenue for Champaign, its schools and other taxing districts.

On the flip side: The university, state and local governments have sunk $47 million into the park and related developments since its inception in 2000, according to a News-Gazette analysis.

Conference center doing well, but I Hotel still in the red

CHAMPAIGN – The Web site promises "a commitment to 'wow.'"

The I Hotel opened in August 2008 touting itself as "a blend of luxury, privacy and comfort" – granite countertops, upscale fixtures, walnut columns, spa, the works.

Woodwork supply, tool store ready to carve new niche

CHAMPAIGN – Woodworkers, wait no more.

The new CU Woodshop Supply store, which had been expected to open earlier this fall, is slated to open to the public on Friday.

The store, at 1401 Parkland Court in northwest Champaign, will carry power tools, professional-grade hand tools, assorted hardware and domestic and imported hardwoods, said Dennis Coleman, a woodworking enthusiast who is one of the store's backers.