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PAXTON — A revised redevelopment agreement pertaining to land located south of Illinois 9 and west of Interstate 57 in the city’s tax-increment financing (TIF) district is expected to finally be voted on by the Paxton City Council in upcoming weeks.
Mayor Bill Ingold told aldermen during their April 11 meeting that in May they should expect to take action on the long-delayed agreement between the city and Steven, Jacqueline, Gary and Tammera Glazik.
Also up for approval in May will be an ordinance amending an “annexation, subdivision and pre-development agreement” between the city and Glaziks.
Ingold read a prepared statement, telling aldermen that he was working hard to get both documents finalized.
“As you know, this land was previously owned by (developer) Joe Warner (of Rantoul) and his family members,” Ingold told aldermen. “Even though this land was sold (to the Glaziks), the previous redevelopment agreement (with the Warners) continued in effect for some time. The city has been seeking a release of that redevelopment agreement as it relates to this property.
“Recently, I received signed documentation from the Warner parties (authorizing the release). At the May meeting, I expect to present both items currently on the agenda pertaining to that land. And the reason it wasn’t ready for (the April 11 meeting) was that all of the people who were noted on those two different entries were out of town most of last month, so we were unable to get that done. We expect to have that ready to go at the May meeting.”
The Glaziks are among a group of investors financing the construction of a 41-room hotel being developed by Cobblestone Hotels & Suites on the south side of Illinois 9 and west of I-57. They also own other land in that same area eyed for development.
Ingold told the council last week that the hotel’s construction is “going well,” with an anticipated opening date in August.
“It’s about a month ahead of schedule,” Ingold said. “The building is going up. It’s looking good.”
Ingold said he visited the hotel construction site on April 10, and an access road was being built for the site off of Illinois 9. The council at last week’s meeting approved a resolution to formally request the state’s permission to put in the access road.
Ingold said state officials called him about two weeks earlier requesting permission to install the access road be requested in writing.
“They called about two weeks ago and said, ‘I understand you want this access off of Route 9 onto the hotel site; do you and the city council support this?’ And I said, ‘Well, we’ve supported this for the last 18 months since we’ve been working on it.’ And they said, ‘Well, we need a written resolution or a letter to just state that in so many words,’” Ingold told aldermen.
“I did send them the redevelopment agreement we had with the hotel (investment) group, and that worked. We were able to put a permanent access (road) in, and now it’s in there and going,” Ingold continued. “So just to formalize this, we need to be able to pass this resolution tonight. I need to sign it, and we need to get that emailed off to them tomorrow (April 12).”
Ingold credited state Sen. Jason Barickman, R-Bloomington, and state Rep. Tom Bennett, R-Gibson City, with going “to bat for us so many times” to get the hotel project rolling.
“We really appreciate all you’ve done for us, because there’s been a lot of phone calls I know of to your staff, Jason’s staff,” Ingold told Bennett, who was in attendance at last week’s council meeting. “So thank you very much.”
Also last week, Ingold told aldermen that the former Pizza Hut building east of I-57 had been sold as of Feb. 14, and there is a party interested in operating a restaurant out of it.
“Today we had some folks in here who wanted to open a restaurant in that building, and they’re working with the owner,” Ingold told the council. “Going forward, (the prospective restaurant operators are) going to talk to the building owner (on April 12) and hope to get those things all squared around. They thought they’d like to be open by mid-May; but I’d expect it to be more like around the first of June.”