Holland Construction Services is beginning the $14.2 million renovation of the former Meredith Home/Hotel Belleville, now known as Lofts on the Square. The highly anticipated senior living project, located at 16 S. Illinois Street in Belleville, will include 47 apartments, common areas, activity spaces, a library/computer lab, an exercise room and storage facilities. The six-story building will also include 3,000 square feet of restaurant and retail space on the first floor.
Holland Construction Senior Project Manager, Tim Simon, said renovating the nearly 90 year-old building, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, comes with a unique set of challenges, but his team is ready to get the project moving.
“We know this is a project that means so much to the entire community and the opportunity to help bring a building back to life that was built in 1931 is exciting,” said Simon. “Structurally, we expect to encounter unexpected surprises as we open up the walls, but our team excels at troubleshooting and thinking outside the box, so I think this project will challenge us in a lot of good ways.”
The Southwestern Illinois Development Authority (SWIDA) and St. Louis-based Bywater Development Group purchased the property from the City of Belleville for $600,000 and are the developers on the project. SWIDA executive director Mike Lundy said their goal is to retain the building’s original interior and exterior historic character-defining elements, while re-purposing the building as residential apartments, bringing new vitality to Downtown Belleville.
“This is a building that was once slated for demolition, and now has the chance to become a focal point of our city,” said Lundy. “It was very important to us that we selected a construction partner for this project that would help us find innovative ways to maintain as much of the original integrity of this building as possible and we know Holland’s team will collaborate with us to do that.”
Lundy said the Lofts on the Square apartments will be available to senior citizens, 55 and older, who meet income requirements. The senior apartments will be on the second through sixth floors and the first floor will feature a restored lobby area and street-level commercial space. The project is expected to be completed by July of 2021.