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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 3, 1999

Governor Announces $300,000 Grant To Restore Galesburg Hotel

SPRINGFIELD -- Governor George H. Ryan today announced that the City of Galesburg is receiving a $300,000 grant that will be used to purchase a hotel and conference center, that once renovated, will create new jobs and help spur further economic development in the community.

"Galesburg is a city rich in history that draws visitors who are interested in learning about Carl Sandburg, the Lincoln-Douglas debates and the railroad industry. It's important that as the city continues to attract tourists, it has enough hotel rooms to accommodate them," Ryan said.

The City of Galesburg will use the grant, along with another $200,000 from a revolving loan fund, to loan Windsor Hotel, LLC money to buy the deteriorated Regency Hotel. The city will also issue $500,000 in general obligation bonds through a Tax Increment Financing (TIF) District for the project. Windsor Hotel, LLC will contribute $200,000 toward the purchase and use a $1.7 million bank loan for the renovation.

Once the renovation work is completed, the hotel will have 146 guest rooms and meeting space for 600. In addition, at least 35 new full-time jobs will be created and 23 current employees will be retained.

The Department of Commerce and Community Affairs (DCCA) administered the state grant through its Community Development Assistance Program (CDAP).

"While we've had success marketing Illinois as a tourist and convention destination, we have to remember that visitors won't come if there aren't adequate accommodations. This CDAP grant will not only create jobs at the hotel, it will help create jobs throughout the community," DCCA Director Pam McDonough said.

"The Regency Hotel project will be good for the community," said Galesburg Mayor Robert Sheehan. "Obviously, the hotel is showing signs of deterioration and there is a need for larger conference center accommodations."

As Windsor Hotel, LLC repays the loan from the city, the money will be placed in a revolving loan fund, which can be used to assist with other local economic development projects. Meanwhile, the city will apply property taxes paid by the hotel to retire the general obligation bond.


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