Why Glen Ellyn is buying hotel properties on Roosevelt Road for $2.85 million

Glen Ellyn is moving to spend $2.85 million to buy hotel properties on Roosevelt Road to control the future redevelopment of a site regarded as an eyesore by village officials.

Trustees on Monday night approved a purchase agreement with the owner of the properties containing the Budgetel Inn & Suites and America's Best Value Inn between Roosevelt Road and Taft Avenue.

Once the purchase is finalized, the village plans to invite developer interest by sending out a formal request for proposals.

Motels have occupied the site since the 1950s. Collectively, the complex was known as the Four Seasons Motel before the buildings were rebranded as extended-stay hotels. The site also has had a history of police calls.

"Encouraging reinvestment in the site has been a long-term goal for the village board for many years, for multiple boards," Village Manager Mark Franz said. "Given the property has been on and off the market, the village has decided to actively pursue the property to drive future investment."

The village used a commercial real estate broker, Polly Berry, to negotiate a purchase with Glengold Hospitality Group LLC, which owns and operates the hotels. Two buildings remain on the properties.

As a condition of the acquisition, the hotels must be vacant. There may now be as many as 19 guests renting hotel rooms, officials said.

The village will forego an inspection period, having already conducted its due diligence, Franz said.

In return, the village would have the right to terminate the agreement if the properties are not vacant within 120 days of signing it, Franz said.

The village will pay for the purchase by drawing from three funding sources: $2 million in general fund reserves, $500,000 in corporate reserve funds and $350,000 in tax increment financing dollars.

The village in 2013 established a TIF district around the area encompassing the hotels to help spur redevelopment efforts along the Roosevelt Road corridor.

In a TIF district, as redevelopment boosts property values, the extra tax revenue that otherwise would go to taxing bodies such as schools and parks can be used to pay for improvements in the area.

Also in 2013, the village adopted new hotel licensing rules in response to complaints from motel guests about unsanitary conditions and water and heat problems.

Buying the properties will help stimulate an area that has been "blighted for years," Trustee Gary Fasules said.

Trustee Steve Thompson said he was "enthusiastically supportive" of the purchase. The village board and plan commission, he said, will help shape what a future redevelopment project could look like, "whether there's an affordable housing component to it, whether it's got some retail component to it that activates that area."

Franz said the village will evaluate whether to tear down the hotels or have a developer handle the demolition.

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