News Local/State

Urbana Backs Away From Proposal For Landmark Hotel

The now-closed Urbana Landmark Hotel

The Urbana Landmark Hotel, which has been closed since early 2016. Wikimedia Commons

The city of Urbana said Monday that it has decided not to pursue a developer’s plan to reopen the Landmark Hotel after receiving a report showing most of the financial commitment would fall to the city.

Mayor Diane Marlin says developer Crimson Rock Capital’s plan for the city to borrow $9.5 million would eventually have cost taxpayers about $15 million. But the report commissioned by the city showed the developer’s final cash commitment to the $24.5 million project would amount to just $400,000.

“And it made it very clear that the taxpayers were putting in a great deal of money and the developer was not and the risk was largely on the taxpayer,” Marlin said.

Glen Rock, N.J.-based Crimson Rock has not responded and did not return a call from WILL.

The firm's proposal called for reopening the hotel under a Hilton specialty brand.

Marlin is confident the 94-year-old downtown hotel, which has been closed two years, will eventually reopen.

“This is a great location. We are making concerted efforts to reach out to developers and investors,” she said.

And if not? She will only say officials are working on options for that possibility, too.

The hotel has long struggled under different owners. 

Urbana city officials have long hoped to preserve the building. It was designed by local architect Joseph Royer.