Champaign City Council set to vote on deal with JSM for Lot J project

An earlier version of this story included an incorrect start date for the project based on erroneous information in a city report. The correct date appears below.

CHAMPAIGN — Work could begin in fall 2013 on a much-anticipated 12-story hotel and residential complex at Sixth and Green streets if city council members approve an agreement with JSM Development this week.

The details of the project have evolved since JSM won the city's business in a proposal war last year. The deal now has JSM paying nearly $4 million to buy city-owned Lot J and building two 12-story towers connected by a glass bridge and five-story parking garage.

The city council is scheduled to review and vote on the deal when it meets at 7 p.m. Tuesday in the Champaign City Building, 102 N. Neil St.

Hourly parking would remain available to the public in the parking garage when the building is finished. Right now, the scheduled completion date is August 2015.

The builder would provide for about 21,000 square feet of retail space on the first floor, 108 hotel rooms in the next four stories and 297 studio, one-bedroom and two-bedroom apartment units above that. The building would be cantilevered over the existing building along Sixth Street, which JSM also owns.

According to a city memo, officials believe a brick-paved Healey Street cannot support the additional traffic the redevelopment will bring. The city expects that JSM will contribute $160,000 toward the estimated $1.7 million cost of reconstructing Healey between Fourth and Sixth streets.

City officials are estimating that the development could generate as much as $50,000 annually in new property-tax revenue, new sales-tax revenue, and as much as $179,000 annually in hotel/motel tax revenue.

The completion date had originally been set for August 2014, but negotiations, floodmap revisions and a review period by the hotel franchise pushed the schedule back one year, according to a memo.

If all goes according to schedule, the JSM project would begin after Bankier Apartments completes a 14-story building directly across Green Street on a site that is now occupied by Gameday Spirit, Hair Benders and Beri Frozen Yogurt & Roll Model.

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Orbiter wrote on April 08, 2013 at 8:04 am

"City officials are estimating that the development could generate as much as $50,000 annually in new property-tax revenue, new sales-tax revenue, and as much as $179,000 annually in hotel/motel tax revenue."

Tha'ts terrific. It's good to see a developer paying the city instead of vice-versa.  I do wonder how the proposed hotel at this site will enjoy knowing that their taxes are subsidizing a competitor that the city is having built at Neil and Church Streets. 

pattsi wrote on April 08, 2013 at 10:04 am

From an urban design perspective, this hotel will choke this corner, cut out light, create more traffic confusion than already exists, and not leave any elasticity as to sidewalk and street widths as urban planning theories change over time. I am a  1000% for infill throughout the community. But infill does not have to be 12-15 story high buildings in a low profile community, including the hotel being built in downtown Champaign. One can accomplish infil with buildings 6 stories high, which is in line with the profile rather than the present penchant of building spikes appearing on the horizon.

mrseeu2 wrote on April 24, 2013 at 1:04 pm

This city has to grow.  I'm all in favor of 12, 24 even 30 story buildings if it means more money for the city and hopefully in-turn lower taxes for us.  Who says this is a low profile community.  This is a low profile community only because there have not been any forward thinking developers willing to invest here.  We no longer need small town ideas, we need to be progressive and make Champaign the city that it should be.

Big J wrote on April 08, 2013 at 11:04 am

If I remember right the bidding wars is a little off, wasn't JSM the lowest bidder (usually the bid goes to the highest bidder not the lowest).


Also how much does Lot J bring in per year compared to what the hotel/motel tax will bring in or has anyone even asked that questiion.