New hotel proposed for land near Louis Joliet Mall

Karen Sorensen | 12/2/2015, 10:41 a.m.
Home2 Suites is an extended-stay hotel that's part of the Hilton Hotel chain; the Joliet business would have 115 units.
The facade of the three-story Home2 Suites hotel proposed for Joliet is similar to the this four-story version built in Jacksonsville, Fla.

A Home2 Suites hotel would be built near Louis Joliet Mall under plans that will be presented to the Joliet Zoning Board of Appeals later this month.

The three-story building at 3554 Hennepin Drive would feature 115 rooms with kitchens and desks designed for extended stays, Planner Jim Torri said. Its location is a 2.7-acre site located between the mall entrance near the JC Penney store and a subdivision accessed at Woodside Drive.

Home2 Suites is a hotel chain is owned by Hilton, and locally is being built by Joliet 55 Lodging Associates, a Wisconsin-based company that also owns the Hampton Inn at 3555 Mall Loop Drive in Joliet, Torri said.

The Joliet City Council removed the first hurdle for the project by agreeing Tuesday to vacate a 20-foot-wide public utility and drainage easement that divides the two lots over which the hotel would be built. The easement would not be needed were the lots combined for one development.

The next step will be for the company to seek two variances from the zoning board at its Dec. 17 meeting, Torri said.

One variance would allow the developer to use a non-masonry material for the hotel's dark-brown facade, keeping it in line with the Hilton design for the chain, he said. The other would be for an off-premise sign that would be erected on the Hampton Inn property so that it could be seen by drivers on Interstate 55.

Construction should begin in 2016, and will take about a year to complete, Torri said.

When complete, it should will be the second Home2 hotel in Illinois. The other is being built in Champaign and is expected to open in April.

The chain has 87 hotels in the United States, two in Canada and one in Mexico, according to its website.