CHAMPAIGN — They still have their reservations, but city council members on Tuesday said they want to begin negotiations with JSM Development for the construction of an eight-story retail, residential and hotel building at the corner of Green and Sixth streets.
City officials will spend the next two months trying to reach a formal agreement for the sale of the city-owned parking Lot J, and there are still plenty of questions to be resolved before the deal is final.
JSM Development and the city will have to figure out the sale price of the property, which JSM proposed at $3,365,000, but another developer is now putting at in excess of $8 million.
The deal may also be contingent on whether JSM Development can move forward with using a portion of the building for hotel rooms, from which hotel-motel tax revenues sweeten the deal for city coffers.
Parking remains in question, too. JSM Development has proposed including a structure with 218 private parking spaces and 221 public spaces, but whether the developer or the city will end up owning the parking still needs to be ironed out.
Currently, Lot J has 131 public parking spaces. City officials required that developers, at a minimum, replace that number of parking spots.
The JSM Development proposal — an eight-story project with 110 hotel rooms and between 49 and 175 residential units on the upper floors and retail space on the ground floor along the Green Street and Sixth Street frontages — was one of three presented to the council on Tuesday night.
Core Campus and HERE Enterprises also presented their plans had they been selected for the project. They are similar in concept — multi-story residential buildings with ground-floor retail space — but radically different in appearance.
Core Campus and HERE Enterprises both entered initial offers for the land around $4 million, but during Tuesday night's presentation, HERE Enterprises revised its offer to just more than $8 million.
The sale prices are not final at this point. Although city council members moved forward with the JSM Development proposal, they will still need to approve a final contract before closing the deal. That will be negotiated during the next two months.