Champaign Council Endorses Former Hotel Demolition
By Jeff Bossert
UPDATE: The Champaign City Council gave its initial approval to plans to demolish the old Gateway Studios hotel, at their Tuesday, July 23rd study session. Council members are expected to vote on a final demolition proposal in the fall.
The Champaign City Council is being asked to grant demolition of the former Gateway Studios site on the city’s north side.
Neighborhood Services Director Kevin Jackson says the former hotel site on North Neil Street has been vacant since 2009, when the city condemned the building over numerous code violations and asbestos contamination.
The price for using Urban Renewal Fund money to tear down Gateway ranges from $750,000 to just over $1-million. The city council will grant its first vote on demolition Tuesday night.
Jackson says the city is hopes to make that money back by selling the land..valued at roughly $1.2 million, through a sheriff’s sale. If it didn’t sell, he said the city would take ownership.
“We try to get the money back via a sale of the property through our regular disposition process, or through some time of RFP for redevelopment of the property," he said. "There’s no guarantee that we’ll be able to recover all of the money – 100-percent. But there is a likelihood that we can do it, given the value of the property.”
If granted a final vote by later by the city, the former hotel won’t be torn down until later this fall.
The Champaign City Council meets in a study session at 7 p.m. Tuesday at the city building.