Hotel, conference space planned in Mattoon

A Hilton Garden Inn with an onsite restaurant and an adjoining conference space is set to be constructed at the southwest corner of Illinois Route 16 and Lerna Road.

MATTOON -- A Hilton Garden Inn with an onsite restaurant and an adjoining convention center is set to be constructed at the southwest corner of Illinois Route 16 and Lerna Road.

The City Council will vote on a redevelopment agreement regarding this property when it meets at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday in City Hall, 208 N. 19th St.

Project developer Jeremy Yost of Charleston said the 102-room, 4-story Hilton Garden Inn will offer a Great American Grill restaurant serving three meals a day. He said other amenities will include a full-service bar, indoor pool, and fitness center.

Yost said the hotel will have an indoor connection to an adjoining 8,200-square-foot conference center with theater seating for up to 550 visitors. He said general contractor Horve Builders of Forsyth is set to start construction in July and complete the project in time for the fall 2020 school semester.

"I really think that it is going to be an anchor out there that will generate a lot of more businesses coming in," Yost said. He added that the hotel and onsite restaurant could help Eastern Illinois University and Lake Land College attract  more visiting teams for overnight stays and more conference games.

Yost said his project partners are his father, former Charleston resident Don Yost; and property developers Mike and Diamond McKenna of Milton, Wisconsin. He said McKenna is an Eastern alumnus.

His family tried developing a hotel and convention center near the southwest corner of Route 16 and Lerna Road in 2010-2011, Yost said. The project has become feasible now due to the economy improving and the plans being scaled down, he said. Yost noted that the original project included adjacent lots for possible restaurants.

"It's a project that has been near and dear to the Yost family's hearts. We have wanted to do this for a number of years," Yost said. "The Yost family is looking forward to bringing additional development into Coles County."

The southwest corner of Route 16 and Lerna Road is part of the city's Interstate 57 East business and tax increment financing districts, which provide financial incentives for development there.

City Administrator Kyle Gill said the proposed redevelopment will revise a previous agreement with prospective developers for a hotel and convention center project that did not occur. He said the agreement outlines how a set percentage of the property and sales tax revenue generated by the project will be returned to the developers for a limited number of years.

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In addition, Gill said the project incentives will include giving part of the city hotel/motel tax revenue generated by the project back to the developers for a limited number of years.

Finance Director Beth Wright said the project goes along with the goals of the city and the Mattoon in Motion community planning effort to promote economic development.

"I can really see that area start to take off. This could be one of the catalysts that helps get things started," Gill said.

Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Illinois also recently announced plans to move its Mattoon office to a new, larger location with more employees near the southwest corner of Route 16 and Lerna Road.

Other actions the council will consider during its Tuesday meeting include:

-- Approving plans for the Broadway Avenue street scaping project from 19th Street to the railroad bridge.

-- Amending the city code to establish Mattoon Bicycle Committee.

-- Approving a $37,000 change order from Crawford Murphy & Tilly for the design of the Sarah Bush Lincoln re-chlorination project.

-- Purchasing one 2019 Chevrolet Impala with the administrative package for $24,279.00 for the Mattoon Police Department.

-- Reappointing Laura Glenn, Jen Bullock and Greg Ray to the Mattoon Public Library Board.

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Contact Rob Stroud at (217) 238-6861. Follow him on Twitter: @TheRobStroud



Rob Stroud is a reporter for the JG-TC, covering the city of Mattoon, Lake Land College, Cumberland County and areas including Oakland, Casey and Martinsville.

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