New Hotels and Apartments in DeKalb


It looks like DeKalb is trying to become a boom town by adding new upscale apartments and hotels.

First, the Cornerstone apartment project was built with 50 upscale apartments and now another new downtown upscale apartment project is scheduled for Lincoln and 2nd street. The City of DeKalb has received a request for proposal to seek TIF money from John Pappas and the Heartland Real Estate Corporation for a proposed mixed-use building on the property currently called the Mooney Building (pictured above, at 4th Street and Locust Street, across from Melin’s Lock & Key). The plans call for two buildings, with both having ground-level retail space with upscale apartments above.

Another project, that is currently on hold, is the old hospital building (across from the Ellwood House & Museum) that is the site of a proposed boutique hotel whose developers have requested TIF funds.

Ground breaking will happen soon, however, for the new Home2 Suites extended stay hotel on South Annie Glidden, which will provide an additional welcome to people visiting NIU and DeKalb. This will be near the Hampton Inn (a Hilton property) that opened several years ago.

Keeping with the trend, the Baymont Hotel & Suites on West Lincoln Highway (next to Fatty’s Pub) has been sold and is being remodeled to become a Comfort Inn & Suites (A Choice Hotel product) by early summer 2019. According to the new owner and management team they are excited to bring this new brand to DeKalb.

If all these projects happen, then DeKalb can become more of a tourist town with plenty of space for visitors.

Note: You can see more details about some of these projects in the agenda for Friday’s DeKalb City Council Meeting (see attachment below).



  1. Why can’t I get some of this free money??? $2000/mo to rent business space in DeKalb vs $1000/mo in the 5-6000 N blocks of Chicago. And then if you need a job to get by on in this town while you start your business…you’ll be bankrupt before you can even open the doors.

  2. No offense to NIU students what so ever … but they don’t pay the taxes in this city we do. Good tax paying citizens are leaving because this city is taxing them right out of their homes… and for what! more flipping unneeded apartments, most of which the students couldn’t afford anyways!

  3. I believe it is time to define ‘luxury’ and ‘upscale’ apartments in DeKalb . What exactly does an upscale apartment look like? Does a one bedroom ‘luxury’ apartment have room for a bed, a nightstand AND a dresser in the bedroom? Or is the bedroom so small that the dresser must be placed in the living room for the TV to set on? Describe the number and size of closets available for clothing and storage IN the apartment. It appears to me that at least one developer seems to believe that slightly more than indoor plumbing qualifies as ‘luxury’. Further, given that it is apparent that the population of ‘young professionals’ (another term used by a TIF recipient/developer) is dropping, just who is going to rent these ‘upscale’ apartments? And, looking forward (let’s try that for a change) what happens if/when these apartments are not rented? Do they sit empty? Do they become Section 8 housing? Are the structures razed? What happens to the TAXPAYERS’ investment? The JRB and the City of DeKalb had best begin asking some serious questions.

  4. TOO MANY yrs the city has spent wasted money building up NIU and around NIU leaving the east and south sides to struggle and deteriorate. Mayors have destroyed family facilities as in : 2 roller rinks, drive-in theater, mini-golf and a family entertainment center (forgot the name but it was always packed when we went). ALL this torn down for mini malls that STILL mostly remain empty..FOR ONCE can the city help the residents instead of trying to play off of NIU. the city needs to be self reliant and stop solely relying on NIU. build up the east/south side. NOT everyone wants to live downtown or around NIU specially with all the violent crime that continues to happen in those areas.

  5. Justin you will have to wait until someone finds vacant land downtown to do that. Otherwise new construction makes no sense without funding to cover demo and removal of existing structures. There is a reason why every city in America incorporates TIF funding for projects such as these or would if they had interested developers.

    You and Mark C. do a great job misrepresenting TIF and generating hostility toward local developers/politicians.

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