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Hotel project merging with terminal expansion

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (WCIA) -- Some say it's a win-win-win; a win for the city, a win for the Illinois Terminal and a win for developers. But, could another win be added for the University of Illinois? A major project scheduled to place is not only moving locations, but possibly adding investors.

City leaders are working with a developer to construct a hotel and they're reaching out to the UI to see if it wants to build a hockey arena should it choose to add a D1 hockey team. There's no timeline yet, but a developer is looking to clear buildings from Lincoln potentially all the way to Neil Street. 

"It moved here, primarily because of the opportunity to merge it with the MTD expansion project."  said Bruce Knight, the City Developer.
 
It could be a $150 million project, including the IT expansion, the addition of a hotel and possibly a new hockey arena.
 
"I had been working on an expansion of Illinois Terminal for several years and then Hans announced he was looking at the Northern Downtown Project." Karl Gnadt, the the Illinois Mass Terminal Director. He also says it was an organic decision.
 
After talking it over, the three groups decided coming together would fit all of their needs. Knight believes the pact could boost downtown's economy. "You look out the window over here and look at the location and it removes a gray field area that is not adding anything to the city's economy and turns it into an economic engine in the economy."
 
Meaning, out with the old and in with the new as multiple, worn-down buildings could be demolished over ten acres of land. With the option of a brand new hotel bridging to IT, Gnadt says it will attract more people who ride the bus or train.
 
"This kind of transit-oriented development allows us to be as efficient in our operations as physically possible." They're also talking about parking. They know this will be a big factor with a new hotel and the city is talking with the developer to integrate two parking structures in the layout. MTD has been looking to expand for years. The activity in the building has grown more than 50% since it was build and it's maxed out its space.
 

Original: 6:50 am, 7/18/17, Tuesday

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (WCIA) -- A major downtown project is moving forward and merging with another. Developer Hans Grotelueschen’s major downtown project, once sited at Washington and Walnut streets, will move several blocks south and east to merge with a planned expansion of Champaign-Urbana Mass Transit District’s Illinois Terminal.

As part of a new vision for this development, Grotelueschen and MTD officials are also evaluating a hockey arena and athletics event center for approximately 5,000 spectators. In so doing, they hope to partner with the University of Illinois Division of Intercollegiate Athletics, which recently announced that it was studying the feasibility of adding Division I ice hockey. 

The project will be immediately accessible by bus, train, bicyclists and pedestrians. The Champaign City Council is scheduled to conduct a study session for this development on August 22.


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