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City of Urbana enters into Letter of Intent with new developer for Urbana’s Landmark Hotel

The City of Urbana has announced they’ve entered into a “Letter of Intent” with new developers to renovate the Landmark Hotel in Downtown Urbana.

To catch you up, here’s what’s happened over the course of the last couple of years:

  • March 2017: The City of Urbana has announced that Hilton was expected to purchase and redevelop the Urbana Landmark Hotel and convert it into a Hilton Tapestry Collection-branded location.
  • December 2017: The owner of the Urbana Landmark Hotel wouldn’t sell at $3.95M because it was under the desired selling reserve.
  • July 2018: The Urbana Landmark Hotel went up for auction again.
  • September 2018: The hotel sold for $1.3M in that aforementioned auction.
  • November 2018: The hotel buyer failed to close on the property.
It appears that these new developers have intentions to develop the hotel once again into a Hilton Tapestry Collection brand, complete with a “120-room boutique hotel, restaurant, bar and conference center”.
Here’s what the City of Urbana has issued this morning via a press release, and below that, you can see the Letter of Intent:


The City of Urbana has entered into a Letter of Intent with Maryland-based Marksons Affiliates, LLC, for a complete renovation of the Urbana Landmark Hotel, located at 210 South Race Street, resulting in a 120-room boutique hotel, restaurant, bar and conference center with Hilton Tapestry branding.

“The City of Urbana has worked tirelessly over the last five years to find a development partner for the hotel that brings the right mix of experience, tenacity, financial resources and a balanced level of risk for the City,” said Urbana Mayor Diane Wolfe Marlin. “We believe that his proposal and the team behind it is our best chance of success for this unique and historic hotel in the heart of our downtown.”

The proposed project would come at a minimum cost of $16.8 million and be supported by the City with at least a $5.2 million reimbursement to the developer upon project completion through a redevelopment agreement subject to approval by the Urbana City Council in the coming weeks.

The City Council will vote on an interim agreement at its next meeting on Monday, May 20, 2019. If approved, the developer would be required to purchase the hotel at a price not greater than $1 million. Should the City not be able to complete the final redevelopment agreement for the project by July 19, 2019, then the City would share in the cost of the developer’s due diligence costs up to a maximum cost of $75,000.

“A boutique hotel is the highest and best use of this building with the most spin-off benefits for the community, our downtown businesses and the nearby University of Illinois campus and Carle Foundation Hospital,” said Marlin.  

In 2020, construction of Phase 5 of the MCORE project will rebuild Green St. with multimodal enhancements for vehicles, bicycles, pedestrians and mass transit from the University of Illinois campus eastward to the doorstep of the hotel.

Revitalization of the hotel is expected to be a major step toward a greater transformation of the full nine square block area around the hotel and Lincoln Square  mall in the coming years. Nearby, Green Street Realty is readying for construction of 42 townhomes, the downtown’s first new residential construction in 13 years.

For more information about the City of Urbana, please visit


Top photo by Justine Bursoni

Executive Editor

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