Construction will begin in the spring on a six-story, $28 million Hyatt Place Hotel and Conference Center next to the Hofbräuhaus under construction in Belleville off Illinois 15, according to a spokesman for the developers.
However, in a odd twist at a news conference on Wednesday, the developers said they were not yet permitted to announce the name of the hotel until Nov. 8 although their spokesman had already released the hotel’s name.
Ron O’Connor, the spokesman for the developers, said he mistakenly released the brand of the hotel but he admitted it was correct. The developers — Chuck Keller of Effingham and his sons — said they were not yet permitted to release the name until next week.
This was the second time there was a mix-up involving the project and a news conference.
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That goes with a lot of projects.
Chuck Keller said of the delays on the hotel and Hofbräuhaus project.
In March, the Kellers canceled a news conference called to announce the hotel brand planned for the site, which is across Illinois 15 from the National Shrine of Our Lady of the Snows. The Kellers said at the time the hotel chain they were negotiating with was not yet ready to announce its plans. Also, their financial consultant, Forrest Langenfeld of Centralia, has said up to four hotels could be built on the site.
Keller said he is working with Utah-based ICON Commercial Lending to finance the Belleville hotel and with ICON on a hotel development in Jonesboro, Ark.
The Kellers initially announced their plans for the 33-acre site in early 2015.
Keller said the delays on Belleville project have not frustrated him.
“That goes with a lot of projects,” he said of the delays.
Keller said he hopes to have the Hofbräuhaus open by May 1. O’Connor has said construction on the Hofbräuhaus is more than half complete on the German brewery and restaurant. Initially, the developers wanted it open by June 1 and later said it would be finished in the fall. Construction on the Hofbräuhaus began late last year.
Kansas City-based Game On Sports Development last year announced plans to build an 11-field soccer and sports park but work on building the fields has not begun. Chane Keller, Chuck Keller’s son, said negotiations are now underway with Overland Park, Kan.-based Global Sports International because the person who ran Game On Sports Development, Dave Thorman, died in July. Thorman had been acting on behalf of Global Sports International, which developers have said wants to host regional soccer and lacrosse tournaments at the site.
Also, Effingham-based Wortman Properties has announced plans to build a Jack Flash convenience store at the complex, but construction has not yet begun on the store. The Kellers said construction on the Jack Flash is expected to begin in the spring.
This upscale hotel with its national reservation system and the adjoining internationally recognized Hofbräuhaus restaurant are significant milestones for Belleville.
The Belleville City Council has approved $38 million in tax incentives for the entire development, and the city has agreed to spend more than $2 million to extend sewer lines to the site. The Kellers can get up $32.36 million in tax incentives.
Game On Sports Development was eligible for up to $5.5 million in tax incentives and Chane Keller hopes these incentives would be made available to another company that builds the soccer fields.
Developers have previously estimated the value of the development at more than $100 million if it is fully built out.
“We know good things take time. We continue to hold our patience,” Mayor Mark Eckert said. “We’re going to see all this happen.”
“We just believe that we’re going to find out very quickly that the hotel business is going to be very well received when we can get that first hotel opened,” Eckert said.
Eckert said he thinks the hotel will succeed because of the number of visitors who go to the Shrine, Art on the Square in downtown Belleville, Lindenwood University-Belleville and the volume of traffic on Illinois 15 and Interstate 255.
Here are other details about the project:
▪ Plans are still underway to improve the Illinois 15 and DeMazenod intersection in front of the development but those improvements do not have to be made for the Hofbräuhaus to open. However, they must be made before the hotel opens in 2018.
▪ Costs of the road improvements and how much the state would pay toward the project have not been announced.
▪ The hotel will have 130 rooms and a restaurant.
▪ The conference center will be 40,000 square feet and accommodate 1,500 people.
▪ The hotel, conference center and restaurant will create up to 150 jobs.
▪ The Shrine hotel will remain open until the Hyatt opens and then it will be closed.
“This upscale hotel with its national reservation system and the adjoining internationally recognized Hofbräuhaus restaurant are significant milestones for Belleville,” Chane Keller said in the company’s news release.