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NORMAL — As an uptown institution prepares to change hands, another long-tenured Normal business could make a comeback.

The Marriott Hotel and Conference Center, a major catalyst of uptown Normal, will be sold, and Swingers Grille is preparing to reopen after shuttering in January, according to town documents.

Neither business returned requests for comment Friday, but the Normal City Council is set to act Monday on major steps in both projects: reassigning a town development agreement for the 201 Broadway Ave. hotel and approving a liquor license for the resurrected restaurant at 1304 Cross Creek Drive.

Hotel owner John Q. Hammons Hotels and Resorts, the Springfield, Mo., company that built and opened the Marriott in 2009, plans to sell it to New York investment firm JD Holdings — an affiliate of Atrium Hospitality, an Alpharetta, Ga.-based company with 49 properties in 26 states, including Marriott, Hilton and Intercontinental hotels.

The town's redevelopment agreement is expected to be transferred as part of the sale, giving the new owner an almost-50-year lease on the attached conference center and an equal amount of time to access the attached parking deck, according to a memo from town attorney Brian Day.

"(Normal) may not withhold consent if the new owner manages two or more upscale full-service hotels with a value of at least $20 million. Atrium Hospitality meets those qualifications," Day wrote.

Swingers is seeking a class D liquor license — for all types of liquor to be consumed on site — before the town's liquor control commission. That commission is made up of City Council members and meets on the same days as the council.

The council will meet at 7 p.m. Monday on the fourth floor at Uptown Station. The town's liquor commission meets at 6:55 p.m.

In other business, the council will:

• Hold its first meeting since Mayor Chris Koos went on a leave of absence April 3 for prostate surgery to address a cancer diagnosis. Koos said he planned to be out "most of the month of April," and he told The Pantagraph on April 9 he was recovering well and ahead of schedule.

• Consider adding an emergency siren in the uptown area. City Manager Pam Reece said the siren will help officials get warnings out during crowded uptown events like the Sugar Creek Arts Festival.

Follow Derek Beigh on Twitter: @pg_beigh


Normal and McLean County Reporter

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