Downtown hotel breaks ground

Local News

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (WCIA) — The City of Champaign and former Illini basketball player Doug Altenberger broke ground today on the hotel he’s developing downtown.

It is an Aloft Hotel by Marriott that will be built at 401 N. Neil Street. The brand focuses on becoming part of the social scene. They are already planning themed events for the community like a jazz night and a dog social.

The hotel will be seven stories with 137 rooms and with a bar on the bottom floor. Developers have already agreed with the city to have hotel parking on the sixth floor of the garage next door.

Altenberger joined the project about a year ago. He still travels with the basketball team from time to time as a color analyst. He says seeing developments in the communities he visited helped bring him to the project.

“I really didn’t have to say much. I knew right away,” says Altenberger. “I looked at all the Big Ten schools and I was just amazed at what was going on. And I figured downtown Champaign, the city council, the mayor, and the vision. It just made a lot of sense. It really got me fired up.”

Champaign called the new hotel a “tipping point” for future development. They also announced zero tax dollars will go to the development. Work on the site is going to begin by the end of October. They hope to have it completed by Fall 2020.

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