With debts restructured, Westin in Lombard planning upgrades

 
 
Posted3/16/2018 5:06 AM
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  • The agency that owns the Westin hotel in Lombard plans to begin a three-year, $10 million renovation to upgrade amenities such as the parking lot, parking garage, banquet chairs and room finishes at the 11-year-old hotel.

      The agency that owns the Westin hotel in Lombard plans to begin a three-year, $10 million renovation to upgrade amenities such as the parking lot, parking garage, banquet chairs and room finishes at the 11-year-old hotel. Daniel White | Staff Photographer

  • Although the agency that owns the Westin Lombard Yorktown Center hotel recently had its bankruptcy restructuring plan approved in federal court, the 18-story hotel and convention center will remain open for normal operations.

      Although the agency that owns the Westin Lombard Yorktown Center hotel recently had its bankruptcy restructuring plan approved in federal court, the 18-story hotel and convention center will remain open for normal operations. Daniel White | Staff Photographer

  • The 18-story, 500-room Westin Lombard Yorktown Center hotel will remain open as the agency that owns it begins to make payments on $142 million in new bonds issued to replace $264 million in debt as part of bankruptcy restructuring proceedings.

      The 18-story, 500-room Westin Lombard Yorktown Center hotel will remain open as the agency that owns it begins to make payments on $142 million in new bonds issued to replace $264 million in debt as part of bankruptcy restructuring proceedings. Daniel White | Staff Photographer

A debt restructuring plan in the works since the Westin hotel in Lombard filed bankruptcy last July is now in motion, meaning the hotel will stay open but bond holders won't get back all of the money they put into the project a dozen years ago.

The plan calls for the agency that owns the hotel to take on $142 million in new loans, payable during the next 33½ to 50 years, to replace $264 million in debt that has accrued since the facility first issued bonds in 2005.

The plan also calls for Lombard to provide a total of $6.7 million -- $3 million now and the rest by 2027 -- to repay funds it used to make water main improvements at the site and to support future improvements to the hotel and convention space at 70 Yorktown Center.

The village doesn't own the hotel, but it does appoint members to an agency called the Lombard Public Facilities Corporation, which was created under state law in 2003 to own and manage the building. Village Manager Scott Niehaus said Lombard has a vested interest in the hotel's success because it props up the town's tax base with tourism spending.

"It's important that the Westin remain viable," Niehaus said.

Officials say the restructuring agreement allows for continued hotel operations.

Under the plan, a three-member board of the public facilities corporation will continue to own the building and oversee management contracts with hotel and restaurant operators.

The public facilities corporation will be on the hook to repay the $142 million in new bonds once they are issued, and will use only hotel revenue -- not any of the $6.7 million from the village -- to do so, Niehaus and Finance Director Tim Sexton said.

The village's money, however, will contribute to a three-year, $10 million facelift the public facilities corporation is implementing to upgrade amenities such as the parking lot, parking garage, banquet chairs and room finishes, which Niehaus said are "no longer up to Westin standards."

The work is expected to begin as an upscale senior living community under construction is expected to add 1,000 residents and $150 million in private investment to the Yorktown area, Niehaus said.

Village officials say this revitalization should help Yorktown Center fend off the national troubles facing shopping malls and continue to be a plus for the region.

"The hotel property," Niehaus said, "has had a positive impact to that extent."

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