The town council got an update Monday night on a proposed mixed-use development. It would go in a hole off Beaufort St. that was created when another project fell through.
Council members learned the developer wants to build a seven-story Hyatt Place hotel across from the Marriott Hotel & Conference Center.
A nine-story luxury apartment building would go in the hole as well, but on the opposite end facing the Uptown Circle.
In between the two buildings would be a swimming pool and health spa with limited parking underground. A high-end steakhouse would be included the project, too.
City Manager Mark Peterson confirmed Tuesday the price tag for the entire development would be in the $30 to $40 million range.
He said financing for hotels is difficult because of the economy and for luxury apartments because he said that market doesn't exist in central Illinois currently.
As such, Peterson believes the town will have to invest in the project, although he didn't nail down a firm commitment.
"It will require significant public involvement, I'll say that," Peterson remarked.
A development agreement could come before council members in a month.
The developer has to finalize the plans while the town draws up legal documentation.
Normal previously studied the idea of having two hotels in Uptown. Peterson said the study showed it could be supported, but with a slightly negative impact to the Marriott.
Still, he said the Hyatt Place is a good idea because the Marriott alone can't support its large conference center.
"The Hyatt with over 100 rooms right across the street in the same proximity will give the Marriott the ability to more effectively go after those larger events," he said.
The original hotel idea was a boutique style venue, but Peterson said those are even harder to finance because it doesn't come with a brand name.
He said Hyatt Place has the power to attract guests to Uptown. He said it will have limited service only and cheaper prices per night than the Marriott.