CHAMPAIGN — The owner of the Illinois Central Railroad Depot in downtown Champaign is asking the city for tax reimbursements to help along a $1.3 million renovation to make way for Black Dog Smoke & Ale House.
The old depot on the east side of downtown — just east of Memphis on Main — has been vacant for 30 years, and its owners are expecting they will need to make extensive renovations to make it suitable for the restaurant.
With council approval, the city would rebate up to $200,000 in sales taxes and food and beverage taxes generated by the restaurant. Black Dog has already signed a lease to move in to the space, but the new location (it has an existing location in downtown Urbana) is contingent on building owner William Youngerman making a deal with the city.
The Champaign City Council will meet in study session to discuss the project at 7 p.m. Tuesday in the Champaign City Building, 102 N. Neil St.