Belleville

Hyatt Place hotel at Hofbräuhaus may have rooftop restaurant

This is an artist’s rendering of the $12 million Hofbräuhaus under construction in Belleville.
This is an artist’s rendering of the $12 million Hofbräuhaus under construction in Belleville.

The Hyatt Place hotel planned to be built next to the Hofbräuhaus restaurant and brewery that’s under construction may have a restaurant on the sixth floor to give diners a sweeping view of the Gateway Arch and sunsets.

That was one of several project updates released Tuesday by Ron O’Connor, spokesman for developers Chuck Keller and his son, Chane Keller, of Effingham.

He also announced that the developer is negotiating with four restaurants but it has not been decided which one would go on the top floor.

However, Chane Keller noted that the Hyatt officials will make the final decision on whether to allow the top-floor restaurant.

They have received a letter from someone in Belleville. It was more, I got a phone call, ‘Hey we got this letter, we thought you should know about it.’

Chane Keller, developer of the Hofbräuhaus

O’Connor also had said Tuesday that the Kellers had to go to Germany to speak to Hofbräuhaus officials about questions raised about the project, but Chane Keller said they did not go to Germany for this.

Keller said the corporate office received a letter from someone in Belleville about the project. He declined to say who sent the letter.

“They have received a letter from someone in Belleville,” Keller said. “It was more, I got a phone call, ‘Hey we got this letter, we thought you should know about it.’”

Construction began on the $12 million Hofbräuhaus in late 2015 off Illinois 15 in Belleville. Developers hope to have it open by May 2017.

Keller said the last time he went to Germany was in early 2015 to “meet and greet” Hofbräuhaus officials.

Earlier this month, Keller’s attorney sent a letter to Belleville City Clerk Dallas Cook, asking him to stop making “false and defamatory” comments about the project along Illinois 15 across from the National Shrine of Our Lady of the Snows. Cook said he had just asked questions to a developer who once worked with Keller, and Cook’s attorney said criticism of the project is protected by Cook’s First Amendment rights.

Cook on Tuesday said he didn’t contact Hofbräuhaus officials. “I don’t want it to fail at all, I want it to succeed. I think we need it,” Cook said. Cook, who is opposed to giving tax incentives for the project, noted the city has spent money to extend sewer lines to the site.

Think of this development as a 33-acre destination development of restaurants, hotels and other services.

Ron O’Connor, spokesman for Chuck Keller

Chuck Keller has said he hopes to have the $12 million Hofbräuhaus open by May 1, but O’Connor said that depends on when the winter weather breaks and construction can be completed on the parking lot and entry roads to the hotel, conference center and restaurant complex.

O’Connor also spoke early Tuesday during the annual meeting of Greater Belleville Chamber of Commerce members to give members an update on the project.

O’Connor said he told the chamber members to picture this development as more than just a German-themed restaurant.

“Think of this development as a 33-acre destination development of restaurants, hotels and other services,” O’Connor said. The project has $47.5 million in cash and financing arranged, he said.

The Kellers see the project as the “anchor” for development along the Illinois 15 corridor, O’Connor said.

The project was first announced in early 2015, and the Belleville City Council has since approved about $38 million in tax incentives based on city tax revenue generated at the site. Aldermen have approved spending more than $2 million to extend sewer lines to the development.

There is no update on the negotiations the Kellers had with a company that had proposed an 11-field soccer park next to the Hofbräuhaus.

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