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Construction to Begin this Fall on a 100-room Residence Inn
by Marriott in Bloomington, Illinois

To be Owned and Operated by Hospitality Specialists

By Karina Gonzalez, The Pantagraph, Bloomington, Ill.McClatchy-Tribune Regional News

Aug. 07, 2012--BLOOMINGTON -- Construction work on a 100-room extended stay hotel in south Bloomington is set to begin this fall.

Developers hope the Residence Inn by Marriott, 2160 Ireland Grove Road, will spur other projects on the 20-acre property near CVS that remains undeveloped. The hotel, first announced in early 2009, is now expected to open in September 2013.

John Mann co-owns Hospitality Specialists, a hotel development and management company based in Jacksonville that will own and operate the hotel. It operates other hotels in Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin, Indiana and Florida.

"This type of market is similar in size to Moline and Rock Island, where we have a location; it has been received well there," said Mann, a Jacksonville resident. "The traveling public recognizes it as a nice place to stay; it's got more room."

The hotel, with rooms up to 70 percent larger than typical hotels, will sit on 2.5 acres. Customers will be able to choose from studio, one-bedroom and two-bedroom options that include a kitchen.

Prices will range from $99 to $129 per night, depending on the time of year and size of room, said Mann.

"This is an upper mid-market hotel," Mann said. It's got better amenities and better finishing than a mid-market hotel."

The land is owed by Parkway Partners, a group of investors also including Mann, which bought the site for $6.1 million four years ago with plans to develop it into a commercial strip, Parkway Village. But the slow economy set the project back, Mann said.

The group has placed the remaining 17.5 acres up for sale. It is priced from about $522,000 to $784,000 per acre, depending on its proximity to Veterans Parkway.

"We would expect to see mainly a continuation of the growth of Veterans Parkway. This is the only site available on Veterans (for development)," said Mann. "Food places and other retailers will be interested in the site once we complete the project. We're already talking to a number of people."

Todd Raufeisen, president of Raufeisen Development in Rock Island, which is marketing the site, confirmed there are negotiations with several potential buyers. Taco Bell already has purchased a parcel on the property adjacent to CVS and is expected to begin construction this year, he added.

Meanwhile, Mark Huber, Bloomington's director of Planning and Code Enforcement, said the city is expected to issue permits for the hotel project soon. City plans listed the hotel as a $6 million development.


(c)2012 The Pantagraph (Bloomington, Ill.)

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