The Alton City Council Committee of the Whole has made the move to seek letters of interest to turn former Great Central Lumber Company property into a hotel and convention center.  The city has long sought a hotel and conference center to accent the development that is already on the riverfront, and this is the next step in what has proven itself to be a lengthy process.

Alton's Director of Development and Housing, Phil Roggio, says they are looking at the potential for a conference center that measures 18,000 to 25,000 square feet, which would be large enough to host a gathering of 500 to 600 people.  As for the hotel, 110 to 120 rooms is the figure that has been most often referenced.  The committee also approved the relaxing of parking restrictions downtown.  Parking will, for the most part, be changed from 2 hour to 4 hour parking, except for the areas in front of and adjacent to the Hayner Public  Library locations.  The restrictions on the east side of Easton Street will also be lifted.  The city is also applying for a $111,000 grant through Madison County to upgrade the lights on Field #1 at Gordon Moore Park.  The full council will consider these and other issues at its meeting tomorrow night at 7:30.

(Copyright WBGZ / )