October 28 – URBANA – Urbana Mayor Diane Marlin saw what the historic Lincoln Square hotel will look like once the ongoing restoration is complete.
And she loves what she’s seen so far, she says.
Work on the Royer Hotel, which will be labeled a property of the Hilton Tapestry Collection, began in July and should be completed in December 2022.
Today, the public can take a look at the renderings and learn more about this project at a groundbreaking ceremony scheduled for 2 p.m. at the hotel at 210 S. Race St., U.
âI see the renovation of this hotel as the first step in the reactivation of the entire Lincoln Square site,â said Marlin. âThis is a very important project for the city center. We are very pleased that the developer honors the history of the hotel while meeting the needs of today’s travelers.
The original hotel, which opened as the Urbana-Lincoln Hotel in 1924, was built with the help of investors from the local community, Marlin said.
The property was recently purchased for $ 1 million in January 2020 by Chicago-based Icon Hospitality.
Marlin said Urbana still needs this downtown hotel, a few blocks from the University of Illinois and the Carle Foundation Hospital.
Plans for the renovated hotel call for 130 rooms and 8,000 square feet of conference space.
It will also have a restaurant on site, Marlin said.
What she’s seen in renderings so far is public spaces, she said. Chandeliers and woodwork are preserved, and panels from a sideboard in the lobby will be incorporated into the new reception, she said.
Combined with modern guest rooms, she said, this is going to be a mix of the old and the new.
Joseph Prior, director of operations and development at Marquis Ventures, the company responsible for the renovation, said work is currently focused on the exterior – including waterproofing the building and replacing some of the half-timbering – and on the interior on about half of the rooms.
Despite the supply chain challenges, he said he was confident the hotel would be completed on time by the end of next year.
Prior will oversee this hotel when finished, hire the general manager, establish procedures and open the hotel, he said.
“I am very excited, because I know the project that we are going to bring to Urbana,” he said.
Marlin said she was struck by the community’s interest in the hotel renovation. So many people have memories of special occasions celebrated at this hotel over the years, she said.
âOver and over again you hear these stories,â Marlin said. “That’s what I still want.”