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Question of the day

Monday, Mar 18, 2019

* The parking garage at 4th and Washington has long been an eyesore

The $56 million project would include the construction of a 95-room hotel, 17 luxury apartment units, ground level and rooftop retail space, a “one of a kind” rooftop bar facing the state Capitol, about 200 public parking spaces and an entertainment center that would include bowling, billiards, a lounge and outdoor TV screen.

The site, 300-320 E. Washington St., is now occupied by a city-owned parking ramp and a privately-owned building now occupied by Club Station House nightclub, both of which would be razed.

Ward 5 Ald. Andrew Proctor called it a “dream project” for downtown.

“The garage has kind of turned into a liability and this has turned it into an asset for the city,” Proctor said. “So it’s going to be a great thing for downtown because this project has all the things that downtown has been looking for.”

That rooftop bar sounds kinda cool.

* SJ-R editorial

Most, if not all, of the construction work is expected to be done by local labor, with O’Shea Builders the main subcontractor on the ground. Developers have signed a letter of commitment to work with Laborers Local 477, which should create 400 to 600 construction jobs and then 130 to 150 permanent positions. The property will eventually generate sales and property taxes.

This project is poised to be the catalyst for additional development downtown. The confidence and investment by the developer and ownership group should cause others to also look at downtown for their projects. The excitement and cooperation from city officials over the project hopefully helps quash the perception that Springfield is too difficult to work with on development projects.

I’m a bit wary that this is all coming out right before a mayoral election, but I’m still hopeful.

* The Question: What other big-city amenities would you like to see in this proposed Springfield complex? Wildest dreams encouraged.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

72 Comments
  1. - Rich Miller - Monday, Mar 18, 19 @ 3:38 pm:

    Malört fountain.


  2. - FarandWide - Monday, Mar 18, 19 @ 3:39 pm:

    How about something ulta lux like parking meters that take a form of payment other than loose change?


  3. - RNUG - Monday, Mar 18, 19 @ 3:42 pm:

    Let’s make the rooftop bar rotate.


  4. - Anonymous - Monday, Mar 18, 19 @ 3:42 pm:

    It’s been about 4 years since I used to park in that structure and even then you weren’t allowed on the top one or two levels because of crumbling concrete so I’m excited to see anything happen there.


  5. - Ron Burgundy - Monday, Mar 18, 19 @ 3:47 pm:

    Rooftop bar pre-wired for federal surveillance when necessary. /s


  6. - 47th Ward - Monday, Mar 18, 19 @ 3:47 pm:

    Sports book.


  7. - Fool On The Hill - Monday, Mar 18, 19 @ 3:48 pm:

    A movie theater.
    An indoor market with room for restaurant stands and seating.
    A cool setting for local music.
    An oyster bar.


  8. - curtis - Monday, Mar 18, 19 @ 3:48 pm:

    waterpark

    If JRTC gets one, so should Springfield. It’s only fair…


  9. - Dan Johnson - Monday, Mar 18, 19 @ 3:51 pm:

    Get a college downtown. Please.


  10. - 47th Ward - Monday, Mar 18, 19 @ 3:53 pm:

    A cigar bar along the lines of Shelly’s Back Room in DC.


  11. - RNUG - Monday, Mar 18, 19 @ 3:55 pm:

    Las Vegas style roller coaster.

    Move the giant slide to one edge of the roof and have it dump into s swimming pool.

    Glass walkways to neighboring buildings.


  12. - Hynes Guy - Monday, Mar 18, 19 @ 3:58 pm:

    This is BS. That garage has been my little secret gem for years…


  13. - Anonymous - Monday, Mar 18, 19 @ 4:02 pm:

    Downtown Springfield is the perfect type of downtown for rooftops. Why there are none is a mystery.

    As for this project: giant slide from the rooftop bar to the train station, make Thursday’s fun again


  14. - Just a Guy - Monday, Mar 18, 19 @ 4:03 pm:

    This would be great for downtown Springfield! It’s right there by the train stop for added convenience and also no more eyesore. I really hope this happens.


  15. - Merica - Monday, Mar 18, 19 @ 4:05 pm:

    I don’t think the hotel can be discussed without mentioning the $8M in public dollars used to build it. At that TIF ratio, every resident should get a free night once a year. The parking lot is as much an eyesore as any other building. I’d rather see the TIF money going to repurposing the old YMCA, or adding more brick paved streets and sidewalks to the downtown, burying powerlines downtown, or using eminent domain to take over and create more public parking downtown.


  16. - Rich Miller - Monday, Mar 18, 19 @ 4:07 pm:

    ===The parking lot is as much an eyesore as any other building===

    Just stop right there. The place is an abomination. And those other projects you mentioned don’t have any developers behind them.

    Sheesh. Some people are just so my way or the highway.


  17. - Rich Miller - Monday, Mar 18, 19 @ 4:10 pm:

    ===using eminent domain to take over and create more public parking downtown===

    This place will supposedly have 200 public parking spaces that people won’t be afraid to use because the building looks like it’s gonna fall down any second.


  18. - Montrose - Monday, Mar 18, 19 @ 4:13 pm:

    A speakeasy inside a distillery inside a brewpub.


  19. - Rich Miller - Monday, Mar 18, 19 @ 4:16 pm:

    ===Sports book===

    How about a betting window for Amtrak arrival/departure times?


  20. - Anonymous - Monday, Mar 18, 19 @ 4:17 pm:

    Definitely a live music venue with bands every weekend. The downtown festivals during the summer just don’t quite do it for me.

    And it definitely needs to have a slide.


  21. - anananaomous - Monday, Mar 18, 19 @ 4:19 pm:

    I seriously do not understand why people keep dreaming up luxury apartment developments for downtown. Give people a reason to live there first before just building. This is the Y block debacle all over again. More lack of understanding from Springfield’s city government.


  22. - Leon Durham - Monday, Mar 18, 19 @ 4:19 pm:

    Quiznos


  23. - anananaomous - Monday, Mar 18, 19 @ 4:21 pm:

    To the post, for my dream addition to this: I wish I had something, the actual plan is so wild and unrealistic, I really can’t think of anything.


  24. - Montrose - Monday, Mar 18, 19 @ 4:21 pm:

    Underground tram shuttling folks between the hotel, Stratton, the Capitol, Howlett, and Boones.


  25. - Skeptic - Monday, Mar 18, 19 @ 4:22 pm:

    A rooftop bar does sound neat, although in reality it’d only be neat for about 17 days out of the year. Not a show-stopper, but hey.

    How about a roof-top ice rink in the winter?


  26. - Anon - Monday, Mar 18, 19 @ 4:26 pm:

    How about some affordable housing?

    What kind of rents are they expecting for the luxury apartments?

    Y’all want to revitalize downtown, figure out a way to get the new generation of state workers to be able to afford to live in the vicinity.


  27. - Michelle Flaherty - Monday, Mar 18, 19 @ 4:27 pm:

    A marketing budget along with associated creativity and energy to backup a downtown economy.


  28. - Nick Name - Monday, Mar 18, 19 @ 4:27 pm:

    A movie theatre
    A university campus


  29. - anananaomous - Monday, Mar 18, 19 @ 4:31 pm:

    - How about some affordable housing? -
    Eh, I feel like Springfield is full of affordable housing. The real problem is that downtown Springfield offers nothing except townie bars to burn out at. There’s legitimately no reason to want to live near it unless it is convenient for work, which even then, you’re never more than 15 minutes away from any other point in Springfield.


  30. - 47th Ward - Monday, Mar 18, 19 @ 4:31 pm:

    ===How about a betting window for Amtrak arrival/departure times?===

    Because nobody sane would ever bet the under.


  31. - anananaomous - Monday, Mar 18, 19 @ 4:34 pm:

    Actually, I’m not even joking here and this could help bring people to live downtown: an actual quality grocery store. Downtown Springfield somehow has no option for groceries or even quick items like a CVS/Walgreens. The closest grocery store is the county market on 2nd and Carpenter which is of questionable quality. The closest CVS is a mile away on South Grand. Maybe there really is no market for these stores to open downtown, but with all the talk of ‘revitalization’ this is a key step if you want people to live there.


  32. - The Captain - Monday, Mar 18, 19 @ 4:36 pm:

    An easy takeout place where you can get food after five. When I lived there downtown had some nice restaurants if you wanted to sit down and eat but if you just wanted to grab something quick and take it home your only option after 5 was Gallina’s.


  33. - Blue Dog Dem - Monday, Mar 18, 19 @ 4:36 pm:

    Think big. OK. An NFL franchise. How about the Springfield TopHats.


  34. - twowaystreet - Monday, Mar 18, 19 @ 4:38 pm:

    I think an additional place to get a horseshoe would be on messaging.


  35. - 47th Ward - Monday, Mar 18, 19 @ 4:39 pm:

    ===this is a key step if you want people to live there===

    That’s the key, getting people (who aren’t homeless) to live downtown year-round. It can be a chicken-egg kind of thing, but it has to start somewhere.

    Which comes first, the revitalization or the residents? Hard to have one without the other.


  36. - Lucky than Good - Monday, Mar 18, 19 @ 4:39 pm:

    -“Malört fountain”-

    Seriously Rich?… that stuff tastes like a mud puddle on a Xmas-tree/hog farm.


  37. - Skeptic - Monday, Mar 18, 19 @ 4:42 pm:

    1) Quiznos
    2) quick items like a CVS/Walgreens
    3) no option for groceries

    1) Came and went quite a while ago
    2) Came and went quite a while ago
    3) The Italian Market on Monroe was for sale and no one was interested.

    But otherwise I agree.


  38. - Annonin' - Monday, Mar 18, 19 @ 4:50 pm:

    How about people in reasonably priced rentals or condos. Eateries, bar, etc. will folo the crowds.
    The rooftops are good for about 17 hours a year — that is the season between “non spring” and “prelude to the fair” There is plenty of parking (and traffic signals)


  39. - Roman - Monday, Mar 18, 19 @ 4:54 pm:

    I’m just happy to see more competition for the hotels downtown. Doesn’t seem like they provide the same TLC they did a few years ago. And there prices have shot up of late.


  40. - Merica - Monday, Mar 18, 19 @ 4:55 pm:

    I’m no opposed to development, I’m opposed to the use. Is it fair that one hotel gets $8M of free taxpayer dollars, plus likely no real estate taxes for a sometime while the others dont? This hotel will drive another already existing hotel out of business.

    How about a public beach with a lakeside restaurant marina and bar with a music venue


  41. - Rich Miller - Monday, Mar 18, 19 @ 4:56 pm:

    ===This hotel will drive another already existing hotel out of business.===

    Says who? The downtown hotels aren’t opposed.


  42. - dbk - Monday, Mar 18, 19 @ 4:57 pm:

    -“Malört fountain”-

    Chicago Party Aunt would be proud of you.


  43. - lakeside - Monday, Mar 18, 19 @ 4:59 pm:

    Whole lotta Quiznos stans here today.

    I’ll second the grocery store - even one of the small format Targets. Gotta have reasons for people to want to live conveniently in the city center.

    Also, and sorry lots of places, a seriously good coffee shop. There used to be a small one on 6th at about Adams (I forget the name); closed in 2012 or so. It was legitimately good coffee I looked forward to ordering, not just caffeine to throw down my throat.


  44. - Been There - Monday, Mar 18, 19 @ 5:00 pm:

    ===The closest CVS is a mile away on South Grand=== Actually there is one across from the grocery store you mentioned but I definitely agree with you. And a gas station even those are not considered great neighbors.


  45. - @misterjayem - Monday, Mar 18, 19 @ 5:03 pm:

    “Let’s make the r̶o̶o̶f̶t̶o̶p̶ ̶b̶a̶r̶ capitol dome rotate.”

    Make no little plans‼

    – MrJM


  46. - LBJ - Monday, Mar 18, 19 @ 5:05 pm:

    Moving some of the university and dorms downtown would liven up the area for sure. But that might bring LOTS OF music, art, strange food and such to the area…HAND ME MY SMELLING SALTS!


  47. - RNUG - Monday, Mar 18, 19 @ 5:06 pm:

    == “Let’s make the r̶o̶o̶f̶t̶o̶p̶ ̶b̶a̶r̶ capitol dome rotate.” ==

    Even better


  48. - Lucky than Good - Monday, Mar 18, 19 @ 5:09 pm:

    Maybe Saputo’s could move into the new building.


  49. - Anonymous - Monday, Mar 18, 19 @ 5:11 pm:

    Coffee/Cannabis bar only…build it and they will come.


  50. - A guy - Monday, Mar 18, 19 @ 5:12 pm:

    == “Let’s make the r̶o̶o̶f̶t̶o̶p̶ ̶b̶a̶r̶ capitol dome rotate.” ==

    It already does, doesn’t it?


  51. - RNUG - Monday, Mar 18, 19 @ 5:15 pm:

    == Is it fair that one hotel gets $8M of free taxpayer dollars, ==

    Well … another downtown hotel got a real sweetheart deal years ago.


  52. - Flapdoodle - Monday, Mar 18, 19 @ 5:21 pm:

    @Montrose =A speakeasy inside a distillery inside a brewpub.=

    I like the way you think.


  53. - lakeside - Monday, Mar 18, 19 @ 5:30 pm:

    So it sounds like we’ve landed on a spinning speakeasy/Quiznos inside the Dome, which is also spinning.

    I don’t know what everyone always makes it seem like urban planning is hard. We got this done in *one afternoon*.


  54. - Huh? - Monday, Mar 18, 19 @ 5:35 pm:

    How about just patching the pot holes.


  55. - Bourbon Street - Monday, Mar 18, 19 @ 6:03 pm:

    An indoor pool with a lazy river or tidal waves. And a fancy wine bar.


  56. - Fool On The Hill - Monday, Mar 18, 19 @ 6:13 pm:

    spinning speakeasy with an indoor slide into a pool that has a wine bar….done


  57. - Union thug - Monday, Mar 18, 19 @ 6:38 pm:

    You guys do know they do have a local pharmacy downtown.
    On to the question. Move the tracks out of town. I’d like to see a casino in springpatch


  58. - Brenden Moore - Monday, Mar 18, 19 @ 6:44 pm:

    Just to clarify how the TIF dollars would be dispersed on this project. From one of our stories:

    “The city would give $450,000 in TIF money up front so the Club Station House nightclub property near the parking garage can be purchased and torn down. Developers will get the rest of the funding if the project is completed as proposed, paid through annual reimbursements of incremental property tax revenue generated by the development.”

    So basically, outside the initial $450,000, the developers would only recoup what they generate in additional property tax revenue. And, whether they reach the full $7.65 or not, they can only collect until 2028, when the downtown TIF expires. As most could probably guess, the city-owned lot is currently generating $0 in property tax revenue.


  59. - Just Me 2 - Monday, Mar 18, 19 @ 6:46 pm:

    I just think it noteworthy that this location hosts the only LGBTQ bar in Springfield. It would be nice if the replacement could have something that is LGBTQ welcoming.


  60. - MyTwoCents - Monday, Mar 18, 19 @ 7:48 pm:

    Merica, read about the project. The impact (or lack thereof) on the existing hotels has been discussed in multiple SJ-R articles.

    Honestly, there needs to be more draws downtown, live music venues, 1-2 screen move theater, etc. Downtown needs more residents and drawing people from the outlying areas.


  61. - Scoot - Monday, Mar 18, 19 @ 7:52 pm:

    More open air bar/restaurants…or more outdoor tables.

    A stronger U of I presence, perhaps in the old Armory building.


  62. - Scoot - Monday, Mar 18, 19 @ 8:06 pm:

    And more bike lanes.


  63. - tomhail - Monday, Mar 18, 19 @ 8:36 pm:

    I think there will be no more NEW theaters anywhere.


  64. - Retired Educator - Monday, Mar 18, 19 @ 8:50 pm:

    A year round outside Ice skating venue. I am thinking something like the one outside Rockefeller Center.


  65. - cc - Monday, Mar 18, 19 @ 9:35 pm:

    2 block drag strip with start line at 6th and Monroe making for a short run to hospital as needed.


  66. - Mankow - Monday, Mar 18, 19 @ 10:20 pm:

    If we are really dreaming, how about a Portillos. The rumor mill keeps saying they are coming to Springfield. Let’s make it happen.


  67. - Joe Bidenopolous - Monday, Mar 18, 19 @ 10:39 pm:

    ===waterpark

    If JRTC gets one, so should Springfield. It’s only fair…===

    If we’re thinking big, I don’t know why the JRTC Water Park wouldn’t be in Springfield. Aim it like an amphitheater so the tall part of the building is furthest away. Slides from 8-12, kids restaurant/entertainment on 13-14, and a speakeasy inside of a distillery (the pots are…somewhere else) inside a brewpub on 15-16, and give 16 some garage doors to open and view the capitol when weather permits. Make Scott Kennedy proud.


  68. - JS Mill - Tuesday, Mar 19, 19 @ 7:19 am:

    =-“Malört fountain”-

    Seriously Rich?… that stuff tastes like a mud puddle on a Xmas-tree/hog farm.=

    I always described as what I think turpentine would taste like.

    Seriously Rich……..that stuff is the absolute worst.


  69. - Sonny - Tuesday, Mar 19, 19 @ 8:37 am:

    That is known as the Club Station House block.


  70. - pool boy - Tuesday, Mar 19, 19 @ 8:42 am:

    Corporate headquarters for Capitol Fax.


  71. - Nick Name - Tuesday, Mar 19, 19 @ 9:05 am:

    Maybe, at long last, a Trader Joe’s?


  72. - Harvest76 - Wednesday, Mar 20, 19 @ 9:16 am:

    Banked corners on all downtown streets. If they wont divert traffic or eliminate one-way streets, we might as well make it as interesting as a NASCAR event.


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