Sunday, May 31, 2020

Leland: In the Beginning 1926 Beacon News Article September 19,1926

Leland: In the beginning 1926: As originally written in the Beacon News Article
September 19, 1926

Aurora Beacon News Article
Provided by Aurora Public Library
Photo of Leland was original architectural sketch
different than what was built
Aurora Beacon News article September 19, 1926

Aurora is to have the tallest skyscraper in Illinois outside of Chicago, when the new 18 story hotel to be erected by a building corporation headed by Herbert P. Heiss, president of the First Illinois company at the southwest corner of Main street and Island avenue is completed. Work will be started within 30 days.
The cost of the building, land and equipment which will include the Moose building, recently purchased by Mr. Heiss, as a part of the Improvement, will be $1,750.00 according to an announcement made last night by Mr. Heiss. The building itself will call for an investment of $1,000,000. The Aurora Building corporation, organized by Mr. Heiss with himself at the head, will handle the financing of the project, the largest single downtown real estate development in the history of the city.

206 Guest Rooms
Mr. Heiss in discussing the project said; "I and associates have organized the Aurora Building corporation for the erection of a new hotel on the island site at the corner of Main street and Island avenue, with a 100 year renewable ground lease. The building will be fireproof, steel frame construction, 18 stories high and containing 206 guest rooms with baths. There will be included the usual public facilities, such as lobby, lounging room, barber shop and beauty parlor, cafeteria and other public spaces.
The entire ground floor, with the exception of the necessary entrance, will be given over to the subrental purposes. A drug store will occupy the corner of the building and other high class shops in the several remaining store rooms.
The hotel building will be first class in every particular, and will compare favorably with larger hotels in other cities. There will be an enclosed solarium or roof garden suitable for use as a ball room, banquet room, convention assembly or lecture room, with a seating capacity of approximately 250, on the roof of the building.
The location I consider the best in the city of Aurora. It is situated on the bank of the river, facing the new bridge recently completed, forming a new thorofare {sic} by the extension of Main street across the river, which I believe is destined to become the principal business street in Aurora."

To Cost $100,000.
The hotel building will cost nearly $100,000 and its furnishings and equipment about $150,000. The land will be leased for 100 years, renewable forever, at a net annual rental of $22,500 for the first 20 years and $27,500 thereafter. There will be an issue of land trust certificates to the amount of $275,000, representing undivided interests in the land and the rentals therefor secured by the ground lease and the improvements and their earnings.
This form of financing is comparatively new here, but is destined to play and important part in realty and building development as its many advantages become better know. There will be an issue of $700,000, 6½ percent building and leasehold serial gold bonds, with maturities of three to 20 years. 
The financing of the land trust and leasehold bonds is being handled by E. H. Ottman & Co., Inc., 137 South LaSalle street, Chicago. The architects are Graven and Mayger of Chicago. H.G. Christman company of South Bend and Detroit is general contractor.
The hotel will be leased for a term of 25 years to Henry S. Duncan, A prominent and experienced hotel operator of New York City, at a term rental of nearly $2,000,000. In addition to the rental, the hotel lessee will pay all taxes on land and building, insurance costs and maintenance, repairs and renewals to building.
There is at present on a part of this site to a two story and basement stores, shops and office building which will be remodeled and made a part of the hotel. This building has a present value of approximately $200,000, which make s a total security in excess of $1,300,00 for the $700,000 issue of leasehold bonds, or about a 59 persent loan without taking into recognition any value for the leasehold estate. The lease will contain an option to purchase the land at any time at a sum not in excess of $395,000.


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