Champaign considering tax rebate for downtown hotel

Champaign considering tax rebate for downtown hotel

CHAMPAIGN — The Champaign City Council will consider providing up to $3 million in tax reimbursements to help jump-start development of a hotel in downtown Champaign.

Hans Grotelueschen of YG Financial Group has proposed developing a nine-story 150-room hotel at the southwest corner of Church and Neil streets — the site of the Metropolitan Building that was destroyed by fire in 2008.

Grotelueschen plans to tear down the YG Financial Group building to the west of that site, in order to make way for the hotel.

If project financing is successful, Grotelueschen "anticipates beginning construction in June of 2012 and completing the structure in July of 2013," a staff memo to the council says.

"The developer is still discussing the brand name for the hotel and details about design and construction," the memo states.

Council members are scheduled to discuss the project at a study session following the regular council meeting at 7 p.m. Tuesday at the City Building, 102 N. Neil St., C.

Specifically, Grotelueschen and his investors are asking the city to rebate seven years of taxes generated by the hotel project. City staff has recommended the tax reimbursement be capped at $3 million.

Grotelueschen, who has already moved some of YG Financial Group's offices to the recently renovated Blue Line Station building on North Neil Street, plans to relocate the rest of the business there eventually, according to the memo.

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MissM wrote on February 17, 2012 at 11:02 am

So glad that the big hole will be filled. I think a hotel is a great use of that space. Our hotels are already booked solid for Marathon weekend and during football weekends, so there is demand for more rooms. This will bring jobs to the area, revenue in the form of hotel room taxes, and hopefully attract even more events to C-U.

Orbiter wrote on February 17, 2012 at 12:02 pm

I keep hearing references to this "Blue Line Station Building", supposedly on Neil St., but never an address.  Where the heck is this building?  I guess since businesses in Champaign-Urbana have neglected to post their street addresses, the News-Gazette feels justified in neglecting that information as well.  It's a wonder that the Fire/Ambulance services know where to go, with the lack of numbering so prevalent in this city.

Mike Howie wrote on February 17, 2012 at 1:02 pm
Profile Picture

Here's a previous story that should answer your question about Blue Line Station:


Hope that helps.

Mike Howie

online editor

pattsi wrote on February 17, 2012 at 2:02 pm

From an urban design perspective, is a 9 story building appropriate for this corner in relation to the other buildings in the downtown area and how choked the intersection has become with the sidewalk extensions.

Second, this is a huge tax relief related to the present financial status of the city. The biggest question is will the city every recover this amount of rebate and if so, how long will it take. One last question, will, indeed, such an incentive quarantee that this business will continue to exist after the rebate expires. This community does not have an outstanding record using such incentives, think Delta airlines.

jettexas wrote on February 17, 2012 at 7:02 pm

I second Pattsi's thoughts, particularly that another tall building on that corner makes the corner into a canyon, out of proportion with the rest of the downtown.  Also, more thought and attention should be given to the appearance of the building, rather than simply celebrating that someone/anyone willl step up to fill the hole in the ground.  How many citizens of Champaign are STILL scratching their heads about the appearance of the awful structure on the northwest corner of Church and Neil--finished even though it looks unfinished, unappealing, unimaginative, cheap windows, almost as creative as one of the 1960s-era student dorms on campus.  I often have thought that the character of downtown Champaign--any effort to transform it into an enticiing environment for people to live, shop and play--was irreperably damaged by the simultaneous burning of the building on the southwest corner and the construction of the building on the northwest corner.  The city government, developers, professional designers, and certainly citizens--everyone!--should be involved in helping shape something interesting for that corner.  The recent history of tall student apartments on Green and on Springfield, and the dreadful design of the building on the northwest corner of Church and Neil, suggest that leaving the matter solely up to developers will not produce anything of lasting interest for the city.  City government appears to believe that anything is better than no development in downtown--or that people will continue to come to downtown NO MATTER what is thrown up.

aantulov wrote on March 14, 2012 at 4:03 pm

A "TIF" district means that a select area does not have to pay into the general fund that pays for SCHOOLS, CRIME PREVENTION, STREET LIGHTS, SEWERS, PARKS- BUT ONLY FOR the improvement of THEIR area and to further give "incentive" to OTHER business men, otherwise OUR money to...."."

This is just people taking money our of collected tax funds, while people are not paying attention.


aantulov wrote on February 21, 2012 at 8:02 pm

The quickness of which this made agenda, and the fifteen minute meeting held Tuesday, tells me they are scared and are going to blast this give a way thru as soon as possible. Save the date, next Tuesday, February 28, be there. Even if its just to utter two words "hell no!"

If tax gifts are going to occur should they be for "developers" with a model designed to keep money local? The common ground coop (a profit organization) is getting tens of thousands of local loans from ordinary CU citizens. Not just one guy with millions.

A 28million dollar project- but who's getting those contracts- friends in Indiana, down state Illinois? And once its up and the grunts spending on lunch are gone, We may be left with a fancy hotel in a shaky economy. That is not bringing in sales or any other kind of tax, but is taxing our sewers.

And what kind of jobs does a hotel bring? PART TIME WITHOUT HEALTH INSURANCE. So we should give over tax money to some millionaire to hold his hand because he's taking a risk, with his inherited wealth, so we can create jobs as maids for those that have inherited ...pain. For all of us without health insurance I can assure you I don't believe he knows what the word "risk" means.

Council person Tom Bruno actually said "god bless him" meaning the developer, personal friend?

Council person Kyle stated he thought this was a "family project", uh the only reason people need a hotel next to bar is not usually to check on the kids.

The model must change, the banks have proved to have made questionable decisions. If abatement occurs they should have ten thousand local residents making loans to make sure the money generated stays in the tax base, not subsidizing someone with inherite wealth from the work of...