RELATED: Springfield housing: Experts say funding tool becoming more common for development
He said potential investors are planning to meet toward the end of this month, and it's possible a deal to purchase the property for the new hotel could be completed by the end of this year. The investors have also formed a limited liability company, Major said. The News-Sun recently reported the group agreed to a potential sale price with the property's owner, but the deal was contingent on the zoning change as well as an official commitment from the investors.
According to its website, the Cobblestone chain focuses on providing upper-midscale rooms, typically in smaller towns. The chain’s only other hotel in Ohio is located in Orrville, south of Akron.
READ MORE: Northeastern buys land for new school building
No further action can take place on the property for 30 days due to a city ordinance, Crabill said. After that period, he said the city can review site plans for the property along with any requests for a zoning permit.
Local economic development officials began taking a closer look at a possible hotel project earlier this year after a consultant from the Core Distinction Group determined there’s enough demand for rooms to make a new hotel feasible. The area has several large manufacturing firms that could attract guests overnight, and Urbana University is also nearby and could attract additional business, consultants told the News-Sun.
DETAILS: Clark, Champaign County voters weigh in on local levy issues
Champaign County has rooms available for overnight stays, including a downtown bed and breakfast and businesses like the Econo Lodge Inn and Suites and the Logan Lodge Motel. But there hasn’t been a new hotel in years.
A 2013 study by Tourism Economics showed that the total tourism impact in Champaign County resulted in more than $47 million in sales and enables the employment of more than 350 people in the county, according to information on the Champaign County Chamber of Commerce website.
FACTS & FIGURES
$47 million: Amount of sales tourism generates in Champaign County
350: Number of jobs supported by tourism in the county
58: Top estimate of number of rooms at proposed Urbana hotel
The Springfield News-Sun is committed to covering business in Urbana and Champaign County and will continue to provide you the latest news on developments in the city and county.