Five Points project developer seeking contract extension

Five Points project developer seeking contract extension

URBANA — The developer of the Gateway Shoppes at Five Points center at University and Cunningham avenues would have an extra three years to finish the project if city council approval holds up on Monday night.

The project deadline expires at the end of December, but the Urbana City Council has already given preliminary support to extend the contract between the city and the developer, who is eligible for property tax rebates. City council members could move that deadline to Dec. 31, 2015, when they meet tonight (Monday, Nov. 19) at 7 p.m. in the Urbana City Building, 400 S. Vine St.

Last week, the city's Economic Development Manager Tom Carrino told council members that the developer, Five Points Realty LLC, has three options that would constitute "completion" of the project. The 8-acre site could contain two shopping malls, one shopping mall and a small hotel, or one large hotel and conference center.

There is already a shopping mall on the site, but Carrino said the developer is still working with prospective tenants and partners to complete the second half of the project.

The city has been paying partial property tax rebates to the developer based on how much additional property tax revenue the city has received as a direct result of the new construction. But under the original agreement from 2005, the city could terminate those payments if the project is not finished by the end of this year.

"In order to remain in compliance with the agreement, in order to maintain his current financing agreement and in order to secure future financing for the completion of the project, the developer approached the city and asked that we adjust the completion date," Carrino said.

If the city council signs off tonight, the deadline to get that second building on the property would be extended three years.

Carrino said the developer is trying to move forward quickly. The longer the second building is delayed, the longer it takes for the city to start paying the property tax reimbursements to the developer. The city would not make any payments beyond 2022, so the window of opportunity will eventually close.

"There's an incentive to build that second building and do it as quickly as possible," Carrino said.

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Sid Saltfork wrote on November 19, 2012 at 2:11 pm

Would a hotel at Five Points provide undesired competition for the other city financially supported hotel project at Lincoln Square?  Of course, it would also be within walking distance of the historic Champaign County Courthouse.  Maybe, it would be enough of a draw along with the historic downtown to maintain two hotels.  What is next, the recreation of the Chief Illini Motel?  Maybe; a bowling alley, or skating rink also?

rsp wrote on November 19, 2012 at 3:11 pm

I think they need to rethink this one. Are there any movie theatres in Urbana any more? Maybe some kind of family entertainment place. Something unique that people would come to do but doesn't cost an arm and a leg to do. That lot used to flood, if it still does they can skate around the cars. 

alabaster jones 71 wrote on November 19, 2012 at 5:11 pm
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I'd bet that there won't be any movie theaters in Champaign-Urbana in a decade or two.  Thanks to home theater, cineplexes are on their way to being as rare as drive-in theaters are today.

 

And I also don't understand why they want a hotel at that spot....like Sid said, they already have the other downtown hotel that they are trying to prop back up, plus there are already scores of more conveniently located hotels on Cunningham and Lincoln just a quick mile or two from this site.  Why would someone looking for a hotel to stay at drive a mile away from the interstate to stay at one at Five Points, when there are already a bunch right next to the highway?

rsp wrote on November 19, 2012 at 7:11 pm

I could see some upscale extended stay before another hotel. Something quality maybe. I think people come for short periods and could use a nice place to stay. Plus that area is getting better. I thought they could put some extended stay at Lincoln Square but it might fit better as a stand alone. Have some conference space for meetings. 

parkmymeterelsewhere wrote on November 19, 2012 at 4:11 pm

just build a roundabout and an overpass; then put in a twinkies drive-up window and get Hanson engineers to provide expert design.

Sid Saltfork wrote on November 19, 2012 at 7:11 pm

I had some ho-ho's reading your comment.:)