URBANA, Ill. (WCIA) — People have high hopes after hearing the Landmark Hotel has been sold.
After being on and off the market for more than two years, a sale went through Thursday afternoon. A company from Las Vegas, called JWM Ventures, had the winning bid of $1.3 million. The new owners plan to restore the historic hotel. Several business owners around it say they’re looking forward to seeing how it will bring more people downtown.
After shutting down two years ago, the Landmark Hotel won’t be vacant much longer. The broker for the sale says the new owners plan to restore the hotel and stay true to its historic essence. They also plan to open the bar and restaurant again. It’s something the previous owner didn’t do. The rooms were renovated, but they didn’t re-open the restaurant and conference center, which was part of an agreement with the city.
With a new owner, people say they can’t wait to see what it will look like. Richie Brock is the manager at Crane Alley, a restaurant across the street from the hotel.
He says, “I support it. A lot of these Urbana buildings are really old so it’ll be fantastic to see it get a little facelift.”
He thinks it might help to draw in a new crowd.
Brock says, “If we could use marketing to get some of those hotel people over here to eat with us and have a good time, we would love that.”
Across the street is the Urbana Free Library. Its director, Celeste Choate, thinks this could benefit them too.
She says, “Having people from outside learning how great Urbana is, it only makes us stronger, brings new ideas and brings economic development to the downtown which is great.”
The design and renovations all depend on how much the company wants to spend. But many agree on one thing.
Brock says, “Any business that pops up here is really going to benefit the entirety of Urbana in the long run.”
JWM Ventures could not be reached for comment about details of any plans. The sale isn’t final. The broker says the closing should happen within the next 45 days.