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Vacant Metro East hotel gets new life as apartments

The renovated building now includes 47 apartments, common areas, activity spaces, a library and computer lab, an exercise room and storage facilities

BELLEVILLE, Ill. — Construction has finished on the $14.6 million renovation of a historic former Metro East hotel, which has been converted into a senior living apartment complex in downtown Belleville known as Lofts on the Square.

The Southwestern Illinois Development Authority (SWIDA) and St. Louis-based Bywater Development Group purchased the long-vacant building from the city of Belleville and were developers on the senior living project, in the former Hotel Belleville on the public square at 16 S. Illinois St. The renovated building now includes 47 apartments, common areas, activity spaces, a library and computer lab, an exercise room and storage facilities. The six-story building also includes 3,000 square feet of leasable restaurant and retail space on the street-level first floor, according to a news release.

Credit: SLBJ
The lobby of the historic Hotel Belleville, transformed into the Lofts on the Square senior living complex.

The senior apartments are on the second through sixth floors, and the first floor features a restored lobby area and street-level commercial space. No tenants for the commercial space have been named yet.

The Lofts on the Square apartments are available to senior citizens, 55 years of age and older who meet income requirements, as set by the Department of Housing and Urban Development based on area median income and family size. Apartment rents at Lofts on the Square range from $550 for an efficiency, $615 for a one-bedroom unit and $750 for a two-bedroom unit, according to Jennifer Dischbein, director of property management for Webster Groves-based Sugar Creek Realty LLC, which is managing the property. She said Sugar Creek started leasing at the end of May and tenants began moving in at the end of August, and they hope to have the apartments filled by the end of the year.

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