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The successful sale of the Urbana Landmark Hotel was announced this week after an agreement was reached between Sam Spiritos and the hotel’s owner, Xiao Jin Yuan.

Renovating the hotel as an upscale historic boutique hotel has been a goal of City Council and the entire Urbana community. I am encouraged that the developer, Spiritos and Associates, with ICON Hospitality, LLC, has pledged to fully restore the hotel while retaining its distinct historic elements.

I urge the city to work with the developer to retain as much of the historic character of the hotel as possible. The historic features found in the lobby, the Library Room bar and the Great Hall all contribute so much to the hotel’s unique character.

As the alderman representing Urbana’s downtown, I look forward to significant upgrades to those facilities currently much in demand in our downtown: a convention center that meets modern performance and convention requirements, modernization of the individual rooms and suites, and repurposing the hotel’s swimming pool area, possibly as an upscale restaurant or conference room.

I especially look forward to the thoughtful restoration of the hotel’s exterior. Registered as a local landmark and listed on the National Register of Historic Places since 2010, this building is celebrated locally as a significant work by noted Urbana architect Joseph W. Royer.

Bringing the Urbana Landmark Hotel back to its former grandeur will be a significant achievement, acting as a dynamic catalyst for downtown Urbana.