Development plan unveiled to renovate area near Our Lady of the -

Development plan unveiled to renovate area near Our Lady of the Snows

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BELLEVILLE, Ill.- Developers unveiled a new plan Monday to build a 30,000 square foot convention center, convenience store and a Hofbrauhaus Restaurant in vacant land across from Our Lady of the Snows in Belleville. 

The planned development will fill a vacant piece of land that has sat unused for decades and could benefit Belleville, developers and the National Shrine of Our Lady of the Snows. 

The newly planned facility will not infringe on anyone's home in the area and the nearest road to the back of the project will be about a mile and a half away. 

The developer for the project is still looking for Tax Increment Financing (TIF) money to fund the project, but financial consultant to the deal, Forrest Langenfield, says all of the money will actually come from the project itself. 

"The TIF money, the business district funds and any enterprise reimbursement are all money generated from the front end by this project 100 percent," says Langenfield.

The National Shrine of Our Lady of the Snows owns the land and will lease it to the developers for a percentage of the sub-leases. 

With many of the rooms at the shrine's meeting facilities being old and outdated its visitors will have access to the new facility. 

Developers are hoping that the project will be more than just a convention center and say it can draw business from across the region. 

"This is not your traditional development with the same old chains that you see all around," says Langenfield.

There are only six Hofbrauhaus Restaurants in the U.S. and the restaurant says each draws visitors from a wide area. 

Developers hope to break ground two weeks after all the government approval is given, which they say could happen in late June or early July. 

The plans call for at least five restaurants and possible office space down the road, as well as the possibility of a winery. 

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