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Peoria project brings back old hotel; adds new

Courtesy Peoria CVB

PEORIA, Ill. — Downtown Peoria will add 400 hotel rooms adjacent to its convention complex over the next several years as a historic hotel is renovated and a new hotel is built.

Developer EM Properties took ownership of the shuttered Pere Marquette in April and said it planned to begin renovating the hotel almost immediately. It plans to complete renovations by March 1.

The 284-room hotel will become the Marriott Pere Marquette; it will have an attached parking deck, and a skywalk will link it to the Peoria Civic Center.

As soon as the Pere Marquette is reopened, work will begin on a new Courtyard by Marriott with 116 rooms. It is expected to open in mid-2014.

In addition to the two hotels, the project calls for a five-story parking deck with 15,500 square feet of retail and restaurant space on its ground level. Total cost of the project is $92.8 million.

The Pere Marquette has been Peoria’s spotlight hotel since the 14-story property opened in the mid-1920s. It closed in December in preparation for its sale and renovation, and in April, all of its furnishings and soft goods were sold during a multiday sale.

Among the famous guests who have stayed in its presidential suite are former Presidents Ronald Reagan and Dwight D. Eisenhower, Martin Luther King Jr. and Richard Pryor.

Combined, the hotels will have 18,840 square feet of event space with nine separate breakout rooms. Wireless high-speed Internet access and phone conference capabilities will be available in all rooms.

Both hotels will be connected via skywalk to the Peoria Civic Center, which has 110,000 square feet of exhibit space, 27,000 square feet of ballroom space, 16 meeting rooms, a 2,200-seat arena and a 12,000-seat arena.