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Local News

One Joliet hotel project stays on hold, another is coming

JOLIET – Plans for a hotel-conference center remain on hold after the City Council on Tuesday tabled an incentive package sought by the developer.

Meanwhile, another developer’s plan to build a Hilton suites hotel near the Louis Joliet Mall was aired as the council approved vacating an easement to make the project possible.

The hotel-conference center planned by Hospitality Guru Group would be located near the Houbolt Road interchange with Interstate 80.

But the Aurora-based hotel developer had asked the city to more than double the tax incentive package approved in 2013. Hospitality Guru Group owns the land but has not started construction.

The new request for a $6.5 million incentive package spread over 20 years received a cool reception from the council’s Economic Development Committee at a meeting last week.

The incentive package was tabled Tuesday without discussion.

Attorney Michael Hansen, who represents the hotel developer, said Hospitality Guru Group wanted the vote tabled.

“We’re still working on an agreement,” Hansen said. “We just need more time.”

Hospitality Guru originally proposed two hotels – a Holiday Inn with 120 rooms and a Candlewood Suites with 80 rooms at a projected cost of $16 million to $20 million.

But the developer now estimates costs at closer to $25 million and said it needs incentives increased from the $3 million package approved in 2013.

Hospitality Guru also has said it would delay construction of the Candlewood Suites extended-stay hotel until it determines there is a market for it.

Meanwhile, another extended-stay hotel might be built next year.

The Raymond Group, which already has one extended-stay hotel in Joliet, plans to build a 115-room Home2 Suites by Hilton hotel.

The Middleton, Wisconsin-based hotel developer plans to begin construction sometime in 2016 on the three-story hotel, said Sarah Langer, real estate analyst for Raymond.

“We see the need for an extended-stay product in the market,” Langer said.

The hotel would be built on a 2.7-acre site at the southwest corner of Hennepin Drive and Louis Joliet Mall Entrance Road 6. Langer said construction would take about a year.

The Raymond Group also owns TownePlace Suites by Marriott and two Hampton Inn hotels in Joliet.

In other business, the council:

• Approved fees for truck overweight permits, previously issued at no charge, that range between $75 and $150 per single trip depending on the size of the load.

• Approved lawn maintenance contracts with three companies, including A & R Lawn Services, which plans to use its business with the city to implement a youth employment program.

• Reversed a Nov. 17 vote that approved a Work Order Management System that would cost $964,000 to implement, so the expenditure could be considered in light of the 2016 budget first presented Monday.

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