CARBONDALE -- Carbondale's mayor said part of the city's attraction is its history, but in between some downtown buildings a century old, is something new. The city's largest development downtown in decades.
The project has been in the works since 2005. It will be called Pioneer Plaza. It includes a Best Western hotel, restaurant and banquet hall, along with eight condos and two store fronts.
"For the last seven years we have been working on this project, and people have constantly said 'what do you need a hotel for?' Just the simple fact that Best Western was getting repeated phone calls and attempted e-mail online reservations just because we put a sign up shows there's a need," said Mayor Justin Taylor.
Even though the mayor said others had their doubts about Pioneer Plaza, he believes the last few weeks have shown how much it is needed.
There's already a waiting list for business and condo tenants.
Mayor Taylor said the hotel's already received calls from folks in the natural gas industry looking to stay in Carbondale for months at a time. He thinks it will be used by local folks too who haven't seen a hotel there for 60 years.
"I think it's wonderful, definite improvement for the downtown, Carbondale is definitely up and coming," said Barb Hughes of Carbondale.
"It's been seven almost eight years, 12-13 properties in the mix, millions of dollars, multiple funding sources, it will be rewarding when we cut a ribbon," added Taylor.
There's still a lot of work to do before the hotel and the condos are ready for people, but officials hope to open the doors by February 15.