Construction comes to downtown Champaign

Construction comes to downtown Champaign

CHAMPAIGN — Two massive construction projects in downtown Champaign are getting under way this week.

Preparations are being made for demolition of the YG Financial building, 115 W. Church St., to help make room for the new Hyatt Place Hotel at the southwest corner of Church and Neil streets.

Two-and-a-half blocks to the west, work on the new Eden Supportive Living facility is about to gear up, with a ground-breaking ceremony scheduled for 1:30 p.m. Tuesday.

Hyatt Place has been billed as a $26 million project, while construction costs for the supportive-living center are expected to be about $15 million. The latter figure does not include land acquisition costs or professional fees.

The nine-story hotel — to be built on the site of the Metropolitan Building, which was destroyed by fire in 2008 — is expected to have 145 rooms.

The hotel will have parking on its second through fourth floors, with guest rooms on the fifth through ninth floors. It has been projected to open in August 2013.

Hotel developer Hans Grotelueschen recently moved YG Financial's offices to the Blue Line Station building at 804 N. Neil St., C, so demolition of the Church Street building could begin.

For the next few days, Neil Street between Church and Park streets is scheduled to be closed for installation of a sewer line and replacement of a manhole — with that work prompted by construction of the new hotel.

Meanwhile, Eden Supportive Living plans to make use of the former Howard Johnson motel at 222 N. State St., and add stories atop it, as well as a tower to the north.

The supportive-living facility will provide 150 apartments for people with physical disabilities, between the ages of 22 and 64. The building will have an eight-story waterfall, a yoga studio, recording studio, library and fitness center as well as a 24-hour support staff.

Like the hotel, the supportive-living facility is expected to open in August 2013, said Mike Hamblet, general counsel for Eden.

The project missed its original timetable as developers worked to nail down their last piece of financing. That involved tax credits and tax-free bonds made available through the Illinois Housing Development Authority, Hamblet said.

Hamblet said Eden is collecting names of people interested in living there, with the expectation those people will be contacted first when signups begin.

Eden already operates two other supportive-living facilities, one in North Aurora and the other in Chicago. The company hopes to open an assisted-living facility in Hinsdale in early October, Hamblet said.

At the Eden facility in Champaign, the charge for Medicaid-eligible residents is expected to be about $2,800 a month, with a portion of that for rent and the remainder for other services, such as meals, housekeeping, transportation and activities. The state and federal government covers some of the costs for Medicaid-eligible residents.

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