Glen Ellyn has hired real estate consultants to help attract a redevelopment project at the site of 1950s-era hotel buildings on Roosevelt Road.
Village trustees in June approved spending $2.85 million to buy the properties containing the Budgetel Inn & Suites and America's Best Value Inn.
The village has not yet closed on the purchase of the land, encompassing six parcels and more than acres between Roosevelt Road and Taft Avenue, but officials say they're taking steps to determine the future of the site after years of blight.
The board has agreed to pay Evanston-based Kon Savoy Consulting up to $59,430 to lay out a vision for the area and recruit developers.
At least one trustee says board members are keen on the idea of replacing the extended-stay hotels with affordable housing.
"We're very interested in this being affordable housing," Trustee Steve Thompson said.
In a proposal to the village, consultants addressed the possibility of funding for such a project.
"Given the site's proximity to shopping and public transportation, as well as the limited existing affordable housing in the area, a Low-Income Housing Tax Credit application should be able to score well in a competitive process," consultants wrote.
The consulting team includes Jim Plonczynski, a former community development director in Bartlett, and Kretchmer Associates, a firm that completed a market study in neighboring Wheaton as part of a planning effort to revitalize the city's east Roosevelt Road corridor.
Kretchmer also brings experience with affordable housing projects, Glen Ellyn Assistant Village Manager Emily Rodman said.
For the Glen Ellyn job, consultants will create five conceptual site plans. Those concepts could feature an all-commercial development; an all-residential project; a mix of commercial uses on Roosevelt and housing on Taft; a mix of commercial on Roosevelt and affordable housing on Taft; and some other combination.
Consultants will present the five concepts to the village board as well as the plan commission at public meetings and then invite developer interest by preparing and distributing a request for proposals.
Consultants will help evaluate the responses, interview the top developers selected by the board and ultimately make a recommendation.
Savoy has indicated the process could be done within six months.
As for the purchase of the properties, the deal will be finalized once the hotel buildings are fully vacant. When the board approved the purchase agreement with Glengold Hospitality Group LLC, which owns and operates the hotels, there were 19 guests renting hotel rooms. As of last week, there were five, Rodman said.
It's unknown when the village will close on the properties, and it's dependent on the hotel ceasing business, or having no more guests, according to village attorney Greg Mathews.
Officials say they've provided the current owner with information from the county and community groups to help hotel guests find alternative housing.
"It certainly is not the village's obligation as I understand it that the guests be relocated," Village President Mark Senak said. "But we have tried to encourage ... the property owner to take all steps necessary and avoid eviction as one of the alternatives."
The village will pay for the purchase by drawing from three funding sources: $2 million in general fund reserves, $500,000 in corporate reserve funds and $350,000 in tax increment financing dollars.
The village in 2013 established a TIF district around the area encompassing the hotels to help spur redevelopment efforts along the Roosevelt Road corridor.
In a TIF district, as redevelopment boosts property values, the extra tax revenue that otherwise would go to taxing bodies such as schools and parks can be used to pay for improvements in the area.