* 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.