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Friday, July 19, 2019 11:30 am

Hotel land deal set to close

Club Station House would move

Ryan Bandy, owner of Club Station House, says he has a July 31 closing date to sell the site of Springfield’s oldest gay bar to developers of a proposed hotel.

Bandy said that he has identified a site downtown that he declined to identify for the bar’s new home. “The lease is going to be contingent on the building sale going through,” Bandy said. “It could fall through at the last minute.”

But Bandy said that he has no reason to doubt that a purchase agreement reached last spring will be consummated by month’s end. The developers could not be immediately reached for comment.

The city council last spring approved $7.65 million of tax-increment financing money to subsidize the hotel project. Most of the money would be paid out over years, with $450,000 reserved for property acquisition. In addition to land where Club Station House now is located on the 300 block of Washington Avenue, a city-owned parking garage would be razed and turned over to the developer. The price tag for the project, which will include a bowling alley and apartments in addition to hotel rooms, has morphed from $56 million when the city council approved the deal to nearly $74 million last month, when city and county officials held a hearing on tax exemptions for construction costs.

Ward 5 Ald. Andrew Proctor said he’s not surprised that a building sale is going through months before a deadline set by the city for early next year, when the developer is supposed to demonstrate that construction financing has been arranged. City officials say that no city money will be released for the property purchase until the developer has secured financing.

 “From the beginning, I always thought this thing was going to go through,” Proctor said. “I’ve not seen anything that would hold this project up.”

Bandy said he plans to close the bar on July 28. “I’m hoping to get everything finalized and figured out and opened within a few weeks at a new location,” he said. He added that he’s planning a closing party for the bar on July 27, a Saturday.

“We’re going to have a big  blow-out show,” he said.


Contact Bruce Rushton at brushton@illinoistimes.com.


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