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Uptown Hole To Cost More To Fill

Fri, 28 Feb 2014 16:52:55 CST
By: Charlie Schlenker

Filling the hole in Uptown Normal will cost taxpayers an extra $550,000 above the original development agreement approved in December of 2012. A revised agreement for the hotel and mixed use building is due to go to the Town Council on Monday with $7.85 million in public support. That contrasts with $7.3 million in grants to Uptown Circle Development that the council signed off on more than a year ago. Construction has been delayed by design disagreements with the Town, financing difficulties, and cost estimates that exceeded original estimates. Town documents indicate general obligation bonds would fund the public grant to help put up the Hotel and Mixed use building across from Uptown Station. Town staff say local government should get the money back plus bond interest through increased sales tax, food and beverage tax, hotel motel tax, and TIF income revenues related to the project over the next quarter century. The town will also contribute more than 100 spaces in the parking deck. Phase one of the project would be a seven story Hyatt Place Hotel on the western half of the property. The mixed use portion of the project would happen later. The entire project is supposed to be done by April of 2016, nearly a decade after the project stalled because of the Great Recession.

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