Sept. 13–URBANA — After a $3.95 million bid for the Landmark Hotel failed to meet owner Xiao Jin Yuan's reserve price in December, the hotel went up for auction again this week.
"The owner has lowered his expectations significantly," his broker Rick George said Monday.
Indeed, when bidding hit $1.1 million, the online auction said Yuan's reserve had been met, and when it closed at $1.3 million, the website said the historic hotel had been sold.
"They're fine," Yuan said about the auction's results.
Yuan said he doesn't know who the buyer is but George does.
George, a broker with Avison Young in Chicago, could not be reached for comment Thursday.
The sale is expected to close within 30 to 45 days.
The auction began Tuesday on ten-x.com, with a minimum bid of $600,000.
By Thursday morning, bidding reached $900,000, and it heated up after noon in the final hour of bidding.
After it ended, the website said, "Sold!"
Urbana Mayor Diane Marlin said she is waiting to hear more about the buyer.
"I wasn't surprised at the price," she said.
Before the auction began, George said he expected six to eight qualified bidders to participate in the auction, and city officials said they had met with about a dozen interested parties from around the country.
The hotel has been closed since April 2016 and has been for sale since 2015, when Yuan had an asking price of $5.4 million.
He bought it in 2010 for $600,000 and renovated most of the rooms, but returned $1 million in incentives to the city after not reopening the hotel's restaurant and conference center.
The historic hotel opened in 1923 as the Urbana-Lincoln Hotel. It was later bought by Carson Pirie Scott & Co. in 1965, before being sold to the Jumer Hotel chain in the '70s.
It was sold again in 2001, and has cycled through various owners since then.
Last year, a New Jersey-based firm put together a $24.5 million plan to redevelop the hotel, with $9.5 million from the city, but Urbana rejected the plan due to its cost to the city and the risk it would have placed on taxpayers.