|By Mary Ann Ford, The Pantagraph,
Bloomington, Ill.McClatchy-Tribune Regional News
March 10, 2009 - NORMAL -- The foreclosure sale of the Days Inn, 202 Landmark Drive, was postponed for 30 days Tuesday but the hotel's owner hopes to have the property refinanced before then.
A representative of Howard & Howard Attorneys of Peoria, the firm representing the company owed more than $3.2 million for the property, asked to delay the sale until April 14.
Owner Devang Patel said he is arranging financing and hopes to have it finalized within 30 days.
According to court documents, Patel owes more than $3.2 million to Greenwich Capital Financial Products for the mortgage of Days Inn. With late and default charges, the total increases to $3.4 million.
In addition, Patel failed to pay $65,271 in 2007 property taxes on the three-story, 128-room hotel, said McLean County Treasurer Rebecca McNeil. Those taxes were sold at the county's annual tax sale in November and must be repaid with interest before the property has a clear title.
Patel said Tuesday the refinancing also will cover the taxes.
Meanwhile, work on another Patel-owned hotel, the Crowne Plaza in north Normal, also has been postponed. Patel said he secured financing for the project during a recent trip to India, but the current economy doesn't justify opening the hotel as soon as planned.
"If we open and business is slow, we lose $60,000 to $90,000 a day," he said.
Work could start next week, about a half month behind the latest timetable. The hotel could open by mid-June, he said.
Originally, the opening date was Dec. 1. Patel said the hotel has had to cancel six events because of the delays.
The hotel also has lost an expected $2 million in tax increment financing money because it could not provide complete paperwork to the town proving all contractors on the project were paying prevailing wage. The town requires the state-determined wage for projects getting public funding.
The town and Patel mutually agreed to terminate a redevelopment pact that opened the door for that funding.
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Copyright (c) 2009, The Pantagraph, Bloomington, Ill.
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