The original developers of the Hotel Pere Marquette have sued the City of Peoria. Gary Matthews and Monte Brannan are asking for $9 million.
The suit claims the actions of the city, mayor Jim Ardis and city manager Patrick Urich forced the developers out of the project. Urich says, to the contrary, the city was a supporter of the hotel.
"We think that the lawsuit is without merit and is really baseless. I think that the city, and the mayor are certainly going to avail ourselves of every legal means to try and address this lawsuit," says Urich.
The city loaned $7 million to help the redevelopment of the Pere Marquette. That money was lost when the hotel foreclosed. In addition, the city issued $27 million in bonds for the project. That money is being repaid through taxes collected by the hotel, which remains in operation under new ownership.
Urich points to the loan and bonds as evidence the city supported the redevelopment of the Pere.
"We just don’t think there is any merit to this lawsuit. We were some of the biggest champions of the hotel Pere Marquette project and hotel from the beginning," say Urich.
The Pere Marquette was purchased in foreclosure proceedings by the Washington, D. C., based Indure Build-to-Core Fund.