Downtown Champaign hotel would be Hyatt Place

Downtown Champaign hotel would be Hyatt Place

CHAMPAIGN — The developer of a proposed downtown Champaign hotel said he has applied to have it branded as a Hyatt Place.

Hans Grotelueschen called Hyatt Place "an upscale, select-service brand" well-suited for the project proposed for the southwest corner of Neil and Church streets.

Hyatt Place hotels are generally mid-sized properties, with 125 to 200 rooms, often located in suburban areas or near airports. They offer limited services, compared with the larger Hyatt Regency and Grand Hyatt brands.

As proposed, the Champaign hotel would have 145 rooms, with rooms located on the top five floors of the nine-story building.

Parking would be on the second through fourth floors, with the lobby and a small bar-cafe on the main floor.

According to the Hyatt website, Hyatt Place properties generally have a Bakery Cafe that offers pastries, coffee and wine and a Guest Kitchen that serves complimentary breakfasts. Guest can also order soups, salads and sandwiches there.

Hyatt Place, a brand launched in 2006, now has more than 160 hotels in the U.S., catering to both business travelers and families.

The hotels have meeting rooms for small corporate events. Guest rooms are equipped with 42-inch high-definition flat-panel TVs, complimentary wi-fi and a supplemental sleeper-sofa.

Tuesday night, the Champaign City Council will consider approving $3 million in rebates on tax dollars generated by the hotel during its first seven years of operation. Here is a link to the 70-page pdf of the document the council will consider.

Grotelueschen said he has not yet completed a franchise agreement, hired a builder, hired an operator or secured financing for the project, pending the council vote.

The local project would be the first Hyatt Place in downstate Illinois. There are several in the Chicago area — Hoffman Estates, Itasca, Lombard, Schaumburg and Warrenville — as well as several in surrounding states, including two in Indianapolis and Milwaukee, and one each in Fort Wayne, Ind.; South Bend, Ind.; Des Moines, Iowa, and Madison, Wis.

Grotelueschen — who announced the project in September 2011 and disclosed details of it in February — said he would like to break ground for the Champaign hotel in the next 30 to 60 days, with hopes of completing the project by Aug. 15, 2013. Previous timetables had mentioned a slightly earlier target for completion.

The developer has said he plans to tear down the YG Financial Group building at 115 W. Church St. to make room for the hotel, which would be built on the site formerly occupied by the Metropolitan Building.

That building was destroyed by fire in 2008, and an adjacent law-office building to the south had to be torn down due to structural damage.

Some of YG Financial Group's offices have already relocated to the renovated Blue Line Station building at 804 N. Neil St., C.

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ROB McCOLLEY wrote on May 01, 2012 at 9:05 am
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Hyatt Place is awesome.* I've enjoyed staying at the Buckhead, Tulsa and Madison versions.







*except for the government mandated fire doors which bang and echo and reverberate all night.

tonyacc wrote on May 01, 2012 at 9:05 am

I think that a downtown hotel has been a long time coming, and will do very well. It seems like the final part needed to turn it into a thriving area.

gamera wrote on May 01, 2012 at 10:05 am

Looking at the plans, as someone who travels to conferences and has helped organize conferences here in town, three meeting rooms is not enough. Generally, we have at least four session rooms going at once and then a room for book sales and an area for coffee and snacks and people congregating and discussing the talks they've just attended.


I am super excited to see a hotel go in downtown but I'm worried that the developers aren't planning for conferences which is what I see this hotel heavily used for...when I have traveled to Bloomington, IN, Iowa City, IA, Milwaukee, WI, South Bend, IN, and even Bloomington, IL, the conference center portion is critical. Have a hotel near amenities so I can show up, park, and never drive again and conferences will flock there. I don't see that in these plans but maybe I'm not sensing the proper scale of it.

parkmymeterelsewhere wrote on May 01, 2012 at 4:05 pm

brew ha ha about an empty spot in the so-called "heart of downtown/uptown/midtown"

main st.:   5  empty buildings

walnut st:  6 empty buildings

university avenue:  5 empty buildings

church st.:   2 empty buildings

neil street:   4 empty buildings

hyuk yuk yuk no one is allowed into these spaces.