One Uptown on the Circle, a multi-phased mixed-use retail and hotel project developed by CA Ventures and Tartan Realty Group, has begun Phase I construction. The first phase will be a 114 room Hyatt Place Hotel and plans for Phase II include a mixed-use retail/restaurant, apartments and heated lower grade parking.
Occupying a prime location on the ‘Circle,’ the focal point of the Town of Normal’s nationally lauded redevelopment of its “Uptown” neighborhood, One Uptown will join Uptown Station, a new high-speed multi-transit station, the Illinois State University Art Gallery (scheduled to open September 1, 2014), a state-of-the-art children’s museum, farmer’s markets and festivals, and more than $150 million in public and private investment that is reinvigorating the growing Normal community.
The project is part of the town’s long-term vision to create a model micro-urban environment.
“The Circle embodies Normal’s commitment to growing a new kind of community for Central Illinois and the addition of One Uptown will only add to its vitality,” said Normal Mayor Chris Koos.
The $27 million Phase I project includes an eight-story tower which houses the Hyatt Place Hotel, a select-service hotel with 114 rooms, and 1,600 square feet of retail space. The hotel, across the street from a Marriott Hotel and Conference Center, will have a 2,300 square foot outdoor terrace connected to a 1,500 square foot meeting/event space as well as a pool and fitness area.
Phase II is planned to be a 6,500 square foot restaurant/retail first floor area with five floors and 34 units of market rate apartments and below grade heated parking. The full-service restaurant planned for the ground floor will add to the vitality of Uptown Circle, the gathering place for Uptown visitors. The hotel will also feature a bar on the street level that will be framed by a two-story expanse of windows.
The building’s styling and materials complement the existing architecture on the Circle while bringing a modern sensibility. The tower’s staggered elevations add dimension and rounded corners play off the geometry of the circle. While Hyatt Place does have a prototype design, One Uptown is adding a two-story public space to bring additional transparency to the ground floor. Sustainable design features have been incorporated into the building.
Several factors influenced Tartan and CA Ventures’ decision to build another hospitality venue in the Bloomington/Normal area. The new high-speed rail transportation system has increased traffic and created a positive economic impact for the area. And with only one hotel in the area, there was a need for more lodging options.
While building the Hyatt Place Hotel across the street from the Uptown Marriott could be perceived as competition, the Marriott and Normal see the hotel as opportunity to attract larger conventions and attract more visitors to Uptown Normal. Currently, the convention center that is attached to the Uptown Marriott is designed to handle conventions that are larger than the 220 room Uptown Marriott can handle.
The development team is anticipating a need for corporate hotel room rents for visitors to ISU, Country Financial, State Farm Insurance and Advocate BroMenn Medical Center.
“The additional Hyatt Place rooms create the opportunity to handle larger bookings, thus bringing in more visitors to the area,” says Doug Reichl, owner of Tartan Realty Group. “In addition, the new multi-model station will make it more convenient for the convention travelers to visit.”
Tartan Realty Group have been active in the Bloomington/Normal community for the past 15 years. Tartan is the owner/developer of four successful retail centers: The Flats Phases I,II & III comprising 450 beds of student apartments and 10,000 sq. ft. of retail space. Reichl himself is a founding partner of Meatheads along with fellow Tartan developer Tom Jednorowicz. Meatheads is a popular fast-casual restaurant chain with two locations in the area.
“While Tartan is a Chicago based company, we have local knowledge and market expertise,” said Reichl. “We are committed to this community and look forward to developing the first and second phase of the project on the Circle.”