Aurora plans five-story hotel near Route 59

Amy Roth
Share this article:

Aurora aldermen are poised to approve a plan for a hotel near the Meijer store on Route 59 that was the site of a previous hotel plan that the Aurora City Council rejected nine years ago.
The president of Indianapolis-based General Hotels Corp., along with representatives from Phoenix-based Best Western, presented the plan for the Best Western Premier Hotel during the Tuesday Committee of the Whole meeting. Council members voted to include the plan on the August 14 City Council consent agenda.
Jim Dora, president and CEO of General Hotels Corp., said the hotel is to be a five-story, 110-room structure with a 6,000-square-foot conference center.
Developer Lee Fry filed suit against Aurora city government in October 2009 and claimed that it breached an annexation agreement that zoned the property to allow “hotels with 50 guest rooms or more.”
August 11, 2009, aldermen voted 7-4 to deny Fry’s site plan for a 93-room Hampton Inn and Suites to be built in the Meijer lot.
Eighth Ward alderman Richard Mervine was one of the Council members who voted to deny Fry’s plan. Mervine said in Tuesday’s meeting the occupancy rate for existing hotels was low in 2009, and the country was heading into a recession. “That time has passed,” Mervine said. “Occupancy rates are better than they were 10 years ago.”
Alderman-at-large Sherman Jenkins was the dissenting “no” vote on the Best Western Plan when it came before the Planning and Development Committee in late July.
Jenkins said Tuesday he wanted to hear from the hotel operator, Best Western representatives and the property owner as well as the Convention and Visitors Bureau. That was accomplished during the Committee of the Whole meeting, he said.
“I needed to meet the people proposing it,” he said. “How will they run it? What is their strategy? I felt they addressed that tonight. I am much more confident about it than I was.”
Dora said General Hotels was started by his father in 1962. They own and operate 17 properties and they are a third party on 17 properties. The company manages the Hampton Inn in Yorkville.
Aurora City Council voted to place the West Aurora Campus Plan on the consent agenda August 14.
West Aurora assistant superintendent for operations, Angie Smith, said an early learning center, the Success Academy and Pathways to Prosperity classrooms, will open in January 2019 in the former Dreyer Medical Clinic Building on Galena Boulevard between Reimer Drive and Downer Place. The Weisner Center Family Technical Center will open in August 2019, she said.
The plan for the Weisner Technical Center is to provide workshops for specialized training in welding and machining, as well as workshops for other skills.

Leave a Reply