Warren Buffett to invest in Illinois hotel project

Warren Buffett appears bullish on hotels. The "Oracle of Omaha" has reportedly joined in a project to turn the former Amerock building, in Rockford, Ill., into a $64-million hotel and conference center. However, there are still issues that could prevent the project from getting underway.

As the Rockford Registar Star reports, the lead developer, Gary Gorman, is concerned about a separate downtown hotel plan pitched by Joseph James Partners. The Rockford developer wants to put a $14.5-million, 76-room boutique hotel about six blocks north of the 150-room project that Gorman aspires will carry the Embassy Suites flag.

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However, a recent report from Chicago-based Hunden Strategic Partners suggests that there is enough room for both projects, saying the proposals "represent distinctive products and would provide a critical mass of lodging options downtown instead of just one."

The price is now $64 million and includes an $18-million investment from a subsidiary of Buffet's Berkshire Hathaway Inc. The project reportedly has EB-5 money attached, mainly from China, to the tune of $46 million.

  

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