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City could put Joliet Plaza Inn on nuisance list

The Joliet City Council next week for a second time will consider putting the Joliet Plaza Inn & Suites on a public nuisance list.

The 40-unit hotel at 4200 W. Jefferson St. still has damage from a
2014 storm, and an entire wing remains unused.

But it’s under new ownership making repairs, an attorney for the hotel told the City Council two weeks ago.

“In its current state, in my opinion, it is not a nuisance,” attorney Raj Sanghvi said.

The council decided to table a vote on the nuisance status until a pending reinspection of the hotel was completed. The reinspection was completed and staff are expected to again ask the City Council to declare the property a nuisance.

“There are still some violations,” director of community development Kendall Jackson said.

Of more than 220 building code violations found in a Dec. 5 inspection,
36 violations had been fixed after a reinspection was performed Tuesday, according to a staff report.

“Significant portions of the building remain unstable, dilapidated, and in such disrepair that it presents a hazard to the public health, welfare and safety,” according to the staff report.

One wing of the hotel has not been approved for occupancy since the 2014 storm, and another was demolished after the storm, according to the staff report.

More than 75 violations were found during the December inspection in the 40 rooms still being used. The reinspection found 25 of those violations had been fixed.

Declaring the property a public nuisance can lead to demolition.

However, Jackson said, the city is “using it as a tool to make sure they comply in a timely fashion and that they give us a plan. Even if there’s some sort of phasing, we need to know that there’s a compliance plan that addresses all of the violations.”

In addition to the 40 rooms that are used and the wing that is closed to the public, the hotel has a swimming pool that was closed by the Will County Board of Health in 2014, unusable fitness rooms and racquetball courts, and a main lobby that is used, according to the staff report.

The new owners acquired the property Sept. 30.

“We pulled it out of bankruptcy,” Sanghvi told the council, adding that the owners are “ready and able” to bring the hotel up to code.

He said the owners have hired an architect to develop a plan for repairs.