CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (WCIA) — An empty, fenced-in concrete lot — that has been sitting in the middle of downtown Champaign for years — will still one day be the site of a hotel, according to the property owner.

Doug Altenberger broke ground on the future Marriott Aloft Hotel site at Neil and Hill Streets three years ago.

There were few updates until the summer of 2021 when Altenberger said plans were up and moving again, but there’s been no visible progress on the project.

“It’s not a matter of if the hotel will go up, it’s a matter of when,” Altenberger told reporters when pressed for an update Monday.

He said he’s finishing up securing financing, something he said was already in place in 2019. However, Altenberger said those investors left with the pandemic. He says the hotel market is bouncing back now, and so is his ability to secure the money to build it.

Altenberger estimates the construction will cost about $25 million. He plans to get started on that sometime this summer.

No formal plans for the hotel have been submitted to the city as of Monday, according to assistant director of planning and development, Rob Kowalski.

Altenberger said he’ll be able to share more detail in a couple of weeks.